Monday, March 28, 2011

Sending Santas!

     This morning I sent 8 Guardian of the Gulf Santas on their way to shops in Edisto, SC and Fripp Island, SC. It always makes me happy to send our Santas out to beautiful shops where they will find great new homes in different parts of the country.  Knowing that our vision and handiwork and something that we have made has been given value and  appreciation by others is a feeling like no other. It is this feeling that keeps us working hard everyday to create new designs for our Santas and our ornaments. We live for the positive feedback we get from our customers and the new ideas they send our way. But back to what I was saying earlier, there is nothing like packing up our Santas and ornaments and sending them off to all points north south east and west! The farthest we have sent one of our Santas was to Australia. We have also sent them to England to Scotland, to Spain , to Alaska and to Hawaii! We are proud of every one of our ornaments or Santas that leaves our homes bound for other parts of the country and world.They represent a little piece of the Chesapeake and the Mid-Atlantic Coast wherever they go! As soon as I sign off on this blog I will be going right back to painting 72 special order lighthouses  on spiral seashells for a shop on the coast of Oregon. When I am packing them up to send them on their way I will get that special satisfaction of knowing that my treasures will soon become someone elses.....
thank you for reading!
   Check us out on and don't forget to order between April 1st and May 1st to use the SPRING15 coupon code at checkout and get a 15% discount on your online order.. Let us send  you some of our well loved treasures for you to have and pass on to others... to bring a little bit of the Chesapeake into your home and holidays!!
     We will be starting our show circuit in May and  we will post our calendar on the website very soon so keep checking back!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It can't be Saturday again!

    The weekends are coming too quickly as my son's wedding and our farmers market season approaches. We swore we would be ahead this year when it came time to hit the road every Saturday with our wares and our aching lower backs! We are not ahead. We are behind as usual....but with a few differences. We have acquired a wealth of new knowledge about social networking, marketing, product representation, website security, website design and manipulating our own website software, analyzing our own stats, mass producing ornament lines, and staying organized ( well we are still working on that one!). This has been a year of learning and  we have faith  that using this knowledge and continuing to learn will pay off!  But in the meantime it is time to pick up the paintbrushes, get out the glue guns, and get back to  making the things we are learning so much about selling!
Thanks for reading....
check us out @ , and

Friday, March 25, 2011

Website improving ....15% coupon to check it out!

   Just a short post this morning to let our old and new customers, friends and family who are visiting our website in the near future to be patient with us. Our website is and probably always will be a work in progress. We are in the process of making new categories to make way for new product and to make finding product easier for our customers. Right now our Online Store page will not have all of the categories that we actually have on the just click on any one of our categories that are there and once you are into the site all of the categories available will appear listed on the left in column form.There you can then find all that we have to offer. We are also re-doing our upcoming events page to a much more user friendly calendar format. We are trying to get all of this done early in the year so our website will be at its best for the 2011  holiday season....All year for that matter!
   We have added our facebook, twitter and blog links to the website so navigating these will be a snap. Starting April 1st we will be running our first website special called SPRING15... Just type this code in at  checkout and you will get a 15% discount on your order. This coupon brings the spring deals we offer at our farmers markets, and spring shows to our website too! Take advantage now... and for all of you that do, we will offer another exclusive coupon just to you!  We want you to join our family of happy customers who have found a way to bring a little bit of the Chesapeake into their homes and holidays!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Over and Over and Over Again

   Once again I have allowed more than a week to fly by without posting.  It has been a busy week for both Shawnette and I. We are working hard on different projects and keeping in touch by phone and email to document our separate progresses and setbacks. Having a home based business allows certain freedoms that  a conventional storefront or business location does not. One of those I am exercising right now which is working in my PJ's while my oatmeal and coffee are brewing in the kitchen. The downside is that your personal life is constantly interrupting  and tempting you to put your work on the back burner and take care of the things that pop up spontaneously around you. Shawnette and I are both a little ADD so it does remain a constant challenge to stay focused and on track! I feel like I just derailed from my original line of thought just now  so back to business....
    Shawnette has been staying on top of our foray into social networking and she has been doing a phenomenal job. This week on the advice of Charlene Saunders our mentor from Women Working 4 Women  we offered some our our product to Freebies and  Giveaways  on facebook and were very happy to say that that small donation of product earned us over 150 new facebook fans on  and  several new visitors to our website . We are also participating in donating prizes for the game night Charlene is doing once a week and that has helped gain us many new fans also! We are now believers in cross marketing...Thanks Charlene! Shawnette has also started Santa making...she broke the ice and made our first 24 Santas for 2011...we have finished the design phase and are moving into the hard labor phase!
    So what about me? I have been filling out show applications, finishing up our materials and supplies orders, painting special order lighthouses for a shop in Oregon, working on our website design..... but more than those I have been obsessing and working on my son's upcoming wedding. Last week I went with Alex my future daughter in law to finalize the design and furniture placement in her venue, then went to her final dress fitting, attended a bridal shower, did invitations to the rehearsal dinner, opened boxes of decorations that I was able to order from Darice ( a wholesale bridal catalog) and re-ordered the items that arrived broken, consulted with the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, finalized hotel reservations for our family and several of our guests, shopped for the outfit (still don't have it!)....   whew it makes me tired just typing it!!! Oh yeah...and we did our taxes in the middle of this week also!! thank God that is over!
   After listing our accomplishments for the week I feel a little better about things...but we still have so far to go...but that is life isn't it? I guess I will worry when we have nothing to do on our to do list!!
      Just got off the phone with Shawnette...going over our list again as we will  continue to do again and again and again.  She just told me she  posted a special  for our Psalms in the Sand ornaments on  so please go check it out . It is a great deal!! and please visit our website to see all we have to offer! Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Making Networking a Priority!

   We attended the WW4W business networking trade show on Saturday and enjoyed it a lot. We gathered some good leads by raffling ornaments and a Chesapeake Santa. We met a lot of very interesting entrepreneurs and attended some very informative workshops on social networking and marketing your business. We are on a very intense learning curve right now. Most of it involves technology and we are trying to embrace it. Shawnette is more tech minded than I and I am leaning hard on her to learn it and teach me! Charlene Saunders from WW4W has been helping us by sharing information with us and being a cheerleader for us. We are not sure how she does all she does with being a mom, a business owner and the leader of WW4W...we are in awe. She is encouraging us in our blogging efforts, and our facebook and constant contact efforts. She is taking us down some new paths of marketing to groups through facebook and we are thankful for all of her mentoring. We have been doing CBCC now for 15 years...but we are just now trying these new avenues for promoting our business. I hope  that at the end of this year we will be able to look back and say that it was an invaluable decision!  Thanks again Charlene and WW4W!
   We are offering a coupon for purchasing product from our website between April 1 and May 1. Just enter the code SPRING15 on the checkout portion of the website and you will automatically get a 15% discount! This is the coupon we promoted at the trade please visit our site and enjoy! Look for our new Limited Edition  Chesapeake Santa coming out this summer!

Thanks for following

Friday, March 11, 2011

Women working 4 Women Networking Show Tomorrow

   Today we will be getting ready to attend the Women working 4 Women Networking Trade show tomorrow  Saturday, March 12 at the Hampton convention Center...upstairs!! Come out and see us and over 50 other vendors offering opportunities for women who want to start their own businesses. We will be offering one of our Limited Editon Santas for raffle and will be giving out a coupon that gives our customers a 10% discount on any purchase made on our website from April 1st thru May 1st!!
  There will also be several informational workshops and seminars that can benefit the small business owner. Gina Watkins from Constant Contact will be teaching a workshop on using Social Media for marketing your business. You do not want to miss this free opportunity to learn, learn learn! Join us as we will be there to do the same Learn!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Falling down the "Rabbit Hole"

    Since entering the world of blogging and social media marketing we feel a bit like Alice must have felt when she fell down the rabbit hole. Things that come to mind are parallel universes, science fiction meets ice cream social, and exponential, mind boggling, information. Overwhelming is an adjective that hits the nail on the head...but we will grab hold and hang on for the ride and turn that adjective to  prosperous, profitable and triumphant! Then we will begin  again with something else that overwhelms us!
   Thanks for reading and come and see us this Saturday at the Hampton Convention Center at the Women Working for Women Trade show. We will be upstairs from the RV and Boat show....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rainy Days and Sundays

   Today looks like it is going to be a total wash out. Rain all day....great air though, open windows are a must! I think today will be a good day to take on my last bastion of total office! As soon as I finish this blog I am going to go into my office armed with trash bags, and a clear and calm mind to try to bring order to CBCC's nerve central.  I will be cleaning out and off, sending things out the door...then putting them back into designated labeled spaces...getting rid of the multitude of piles that inhabit the space now! I am already visualizing clean and orderly shelves, labeled drawers with a space designated for every item, floor space with carpet showing wherever there is no furniture, and NO DUST!  I know that visualization is the first step so I am well on my way...but I also know that I must create a larger Chaos before order can be restored...! That is what has continually kept me from beginning this process or at least completing it! Total Chaos scares me... so I dance around the need to confront it in order to rid myself of it!!! Somewhere in there is a metaphor for life??? I will leave on that thought go forth and ORGANIZE and know that  the end result will be worth all of the anxiety that this task will entail! Thanks for reading....
Look for games and giveaways on our Facebook page this week...Also we will be at the Hampton Convention Center Saturday, March 12 for the Women Working for Women Trade Show. Come down and see us...we will be looking for  work at home high productivity artists who would like to join a very hardworking team.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Technology spells Trouble!

   I apologize for being AWOL for the past week. This has been a challenging week for us at CBCC as every piece of technology that we depend on seemed to decide to fail at the same time! In a single week we had a virus take over one of our computers, our Visa/MC terminal broke, the paypal system we recently upgraded our website to use was not working properly, and we had a power failure on the computer that has our business software and temporarily ( Thank God!) removed our entire 2010 books from anywhere that I could find it! I was in the middle of putting the finishing touches on the 2010 books and printing reports for taxes when the lights started to flicker and I quickly moved to back up the files just as....THE LIGHTS WENT OUT!! That's right when I went back to open the file again it was GONE!! I had a weekend of angst thinking I would have to reconstruct my whole year of everything....but I called my friend and MYOB expert Susan Burdette and she talked me through finding the file over the phone! I love you Susan...if anyone following this blog needs a business software expert in the Richmond/Williamsburg area she is the best!
   So back to the fact that it has been a week of Technological Tragedies!...  things are looking up... it is Friday and we have replaced our Visa terminal( and learned how to use it), fixed the Paypal problem (with a little help from our friend Tim LeGrand at Host International), are wiping the lap top with a virus clean and starting over( thank you Gary!), and yes we found the 2010 books good as new             
    Shawnette and I felt our patience and our aging brains pushed to the final frontier this week... but in the end we prevailed!...proving you can teach old dogs new tricks and there is still some gray matter left at our disposal when we absolutely need it (and friends that know their stuff too)! 
   Now maybe we can get back to what we do best....making the best Coastal Santas and  Coastal Christmas ornaments in the business...Thanks for reading!