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Cookbook Signings :: Day 5

With just a days rest the team headed out to the Houston Nutcracker, a retail show where we set up a booth and sell our products to lots and lots of retail customers. It is a fundraiser for the Houston Ballet and all ticket proceeds from the Market benefit the Houston Ballet Foundation, Houston Ballet Academy and its scholarship funds. We are nestled in among hundreds of other vendors {323 to be exact} selling everything from gourmet food, clothing, jewelry, home decor, Christmas decorations and everything else you can think of.  It is a very, very busy show with over 100,000 people attending and I just love it! It is a wonderful way for me to see how our customers choose our products, what they select and I even get to hear their suggestions. The booth is fairly small which forces us to concentrate on selling our Personalizable Glass Ornaments, our Happy Everything line and of course, our new Happy Everything Cookbook!

{Please excuse the iphone pictures, that's all we had time for! ;-)}

My sister Marcie and my Mom set off pulling a trailer packed full for the long drive west across I-10 to Houston, a mere 12 hours! I flew in the following morning followed by the rest of our team: Kristin, Coton Colors' National Sales Director, Jenny Lynn, our dynamo sales rep from Mississippi and Kyle, my daughter and a talented Coton Colors Artist. We were ready to personalize, personalize, personalize!

We were fortnuate this year to connect with Sommer Shelfer Blackburn.  Sommer is a Tallahasse girl who married and settled down in Houston with her husband and two precious children.   She graciously signed up to help us during this fun {but exhausting} event and brought some great friends with her who helped sell, wrap up packages and check customers out. Believe me, we needed all that help and more!  These girls were wonderful, jumping right into the madness of selling to a booth packed with people. Sommer is also an entrepreuneur, starting a delightful children's clothing line called Beanies. It is such a cute, well done line.  She has a great website too: http://www.beaniesclothing.com. Check it out!  I just wish my girls were still young enough to wear her adorable designs. {Perhaps my grandkids can wear them someday... ;-)}

During the show, Marcie is 'chief personalizer', beautifully writing names and dates on many thousands of ornaments.  It is a tough job, being able to concentrate on the different spellings and specifics of the orders while being jostled by shoppers.  Kyle really stepped in this year as an 'assistant personalizer', giving Marcie some much needed relief.  Kyle has heard about the excitement and madness of this market for many years but she was still surprised by the craziness during her first visit!  Mom, of course, was busy selling, selling, selling.  We are all constantly amazed by her energy which kept up great this year.  Go Mom! 

My job was to show off The Happy Everything Cookbook as well as introduce people to the complete Happy Everything line. It was a pleasure meeting so many different people, talking about cooking and entertaining, swapping recipes and signing cookbooks! Susie cooked up the delicious Cipotle Pecans for customers to taste and the recipe received RAVE reviews. I highly recommend to you... offer them up this Thanksgiving to your guests!  They are easy to make and are the perfect snack. Rosemary and chipotle are the unexpected flavors that make these pecans so different.  I assure you they will be a big hit! Click here to order your cookbook and find the pecan recipe on page 110.

We've attending this show for many years {not one of us can remember how many} and it is great to meet back up with customers who have purchased Coton Colors' ornaments each year for their growing families. It is a busy {and hard on the body} show to work, but I always, always mange to somehow leave energized.  Thanks Houston for your friendly welcome. We look forward to coming back next year.  {...after we get a bit of rest, that is! :-)}


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