Thursday, August 31, 2006

What a Weird Week

I can't believe how actively stressful this week has been, and it's all been from external sources.

Tomorrow is my Bellevue store manager's last day. He has been a paint store kid since his Dad was our store manager! But, it's hard to compete with the pull from Microsoft. Rats. Gonna miss Lucas and his energy a whole bunch.

Had an employee collapse at work last Friday. There's some drama for ya! He's back at work with some staples in his head.

My friend Dennis.

An intense brain storm meeting in New England for C2 that I jetted off to for 2 nights. It almost took longer to recover from the jet lag. All I can say is I have a WONDERFUL spouse.

The burglar alarm went off at midnight last night and I got to hang out here in the very, very creepy dark for an hour and a half. Not so fun. And now I'm tired and I want to go shopping. (Actually, I'm not sure those two things are related, but I DO want to go shopping!)

A trade magazine, The Paint Dealer, was kind enough to feature me in their August issue focusing on women in the paint industry. Not stressful - fun! But still, clustered in this busy week of highs and lows...

Cool news:
My partner Herb and I had a new label presentation this morning. We are redesigning the Daly's Wood Finishes labels (and boy, is it about time!) and our design team (Turks Head) came to us with some real great concepts. Herb and I even agreed on the direction we liked - and that is notable. Our design tastes are different, but the work was very good.

I'm looking at this as a good sign. Ending the week on a positive note, setting the tone back in a positive direction.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Goodbye Dennis

Dennis Vacca died this weekend - cancer. Only 57.

Truly a complex color, Dennis will be missed by his C2 partners. Smart, loyal, often challenging, sexy - he was the consummate salesman who looked out for the best interest of his clients.

He talked about our stores being Best in Class, and I think he strived to be that way himself in his approach to work.

I was with some of my C2 partners on Sunday morning when we learned of his passing. While not a surprise, it did happen too soon.

We were gathered together for some brainstorming work pertaining to marketing - and Dennis was supposed to be part of that process. Instead we spent a few hours processing our friend Dennis and what he meant to us. I was lucky to have the opportunity to do that with my C2 group, since I won't be able to make his wake or service. Sometimes living on the west coast can kinda suck when things often happen back east.

Dennis definitely had it going on.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why Get Mad at Us?

Is it us? I mean really, are we insane?

It's happened again. A woman came in today loaded down with all her ideas and samples - she is pulling colors together for her exterior. She specifically wanted to work with one of our store designers, and she got Richard.

He noticed that she had all these Home Depot and Lowes paint brochures amongst all her stuff. So he asked her (very nicely) if she was planning on using paint from our store.

"Oh no", he was told, "My painter won't use your paints, but he told me to come here for my colors." He asked if there was any way she would reconsider - nope. Richard (again, very nicely) explained he could only help her with our colors, and she gathered up all her things and left in a big if it was Richard's fault! She was genuinely mad at him.

To me, this is different than when you are going out in the marketplace, doing research on products, trying to learn all you can from the salespeople. In that type of scenario, salespeople are usually happy to help you find the right solutions for your needs.

She was just ballsy in my book.

I suppose it IS Richard's fault that he won't just give away his expertise. I think this kind of behavior is sooooo weird. What other type of business do you go into, hoping to get advice (for free, I might add), and then plan of going somewhere else for the product.

Can the customer be right if they won't even be your customer?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yay! I can finally let you know!!!

C2 had JUST introduced the coolest thing in paint sampling - it's just as cool as the 18" x 24" Ultimate Paint Chip...

It's the C2 Paint Sampler. Okay, fine - right? Everyone has sample pots of wet paint now, don't they? So what's the big deal?

Alright, here's why I am so excited: These sample pots are 16 ounces! Not 2 ounces, not 4 ounces, but 16!!! That's enough to actually get a good sense of the color on the wall or side of the house.

But wait, that's not the ultimate in cool color work. It gets better, way better...

Not only are we able to provide samples in sizes that are actually practical - but we can make these samples in ANY color you want. EVEN CUSTOM MATCHES! That's what gets me feeling good. Yup, custom colors in a SAMPLE. Thanks to cool technology and forward thinking.

Now the possibilities are endless....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Making the Right Call

If you are starting a radio show, shouldn't you be excited about it? Telling everyone, including the checker at the grocery store?

I thought so too. So, that's why Christian and I decided to pull the plug on our radio show.

We were in a foggy place... not horribly opposed to doing the show on a station where we didn't feel our values were aligned, but things didn't feel crystal-clear either. I kept waitng for the fog to lift, giving me the feeling that this was the right path to take.

Even after learning we had a show sponsor, it just wasn't popping. Visiting the station last week was probably where it occured to me that the only thing that was clear was how unclear about it I felt.

Why, you ask? Conservative Talk Radio is a format I do not feel comfortable aligning myself to. While the weekend lineup is less intense, those are the listeners who will be tuning in on the weekend, and I don't think our style would really fit THIER sense of style.

Christian and I both feel that this is not the only opportunity we will have, and that helps. But it's very disappointing, I really DO want to reach out and communicate with people! But it has to feel right, or it's not fair to anyone.

Once we made up our minds, a huge sense of relief was there and that fog lifted. So, we made the right call this time.

But... no show for now. Bummer.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bad, bad news.

The supplies of C2 Designer Kits and Fan Decks has dried up. We have a VERY limited inventory of Fan Decks, and once they are gone, they're gone. We have NO Designer Kits at all. I gave the last few away at my Designer Presentation (which was GREAT, by the way!).

Word is we won't see any more color tools until Septemberish. So - we are going to craft our own version of the Designer Kit to keep the flow of color tools going. I don't want the designers to wait until fall, and lose momentum in specifying colors.

Tomorrow, Courtney (my office assistant who know everything) and I are going shopping. We need to find a cool looking container/box for holding the color chips. I have business cards from over 60 Designers who attended my presentation who want color tools - and they don't care if it's in a temporary container. I will do my best to make them happy!