Labor Day Flies By as Autumn Swiftly Approaches

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There are patches of red appearing here and there on the trees already!  How did that happen? 2014 has flown by and I think part of that is age! (the older we are the faster time seems to pass) and part is how out of balance our lives have been this year as we concentrated on opening Shops at Fayrehale.

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The Shops At Fayrehale will continue to be the primary focus as we finish out 2014 and then bring balance back in to our lives in 2o15!  We were fortunate to be invited to participate in the Peacham Corner Guild Annual Christmas Show in Peacham, Vermont this year.  This successful annual event will expose us to 1000 local people with two months to go before Christmas.  Exactly the exposure we need as a new business working to be known locally.  Already planning our display which will be planned and set up here before being dismantled and transported to Peacham for the two day show.

I discovered a great old postcard from the past as I was looking for local items that might be of interest in the Shop or at the Show.

FRONT PC

Talk about excited!  I could not believe my luck!  What a marketing tool. I added the line across the bottom and then searched the internet for a postcard back that did not say “affix 1 cent stamp here” !

BACK PC

While looking for feedback on a rack card I was designing, I had a friend ask me why I didn’t use a QR code!  Prior to that, I knew nothing about them!  A quick education for me and Tom said he could generate the codes.  It is obvious that in this age of smart phones we have to go higher tech!  My first thought was to place the code in the stamp corner and then I realized it would be covered (lost) when the card was mailed.  So the solution was to double down!  Primary QR code is for the Shops Facebook Page as that is where the frequent updates are. That was placed center bottom so always visible and scannable. The secondary QR code is for the website and that will be covered by a stamp if the card is mailed.

IF I have your address in my files you will probably receive one in the mail.

We still needed a serious piece of marketing literature as we build our exposure. I considered a tri-fold brochure to distribute to B&Bs, Motels, Information Centers etc. and after pricing and pondering, realized that a two sided rack card would do everything we needed at a substantially reduced cost per piece. I used Vista Print to create a rough draft and then posted the draft images online and sent them in an email to others for feedback.

Marvelous feedback came back to me from many people with varied backgrounds. I am fortunate to have a network of friends and associates to assist me prior to my finalizing the design and printing.  SIX draft modifications later, the finished design was ready to print and it will do what we need it to do.

Final FrontFinal Back

                          Final Front Design                                     Final Back Design

I must tell you about the exceptional customer service Vista Print provided over the Labor Day Holiday weekend!  I e-mailed them several times to discuss the QR codes being distinct enough for printing.  They responded every time in less than  24 hours (I wasn’t expecting any response until after the weekend) They clarified the codes at their end and they now reside in our image files.  Both post and rack cards are being printed. I am excited about receiving them.

As I am still on activity restriction while abdominal healing occurs, I feel productive as I get things accomplished that take hours and hours but are not physically strenuous.  Just finished a small article on including locally produced consumable specialties in smaller retail shops.  A long shot! Nice exposure if published in a retail gift shop magazine.

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Still working on pictures to submit with the article and they may  drive me crazy as I work to create some good marketing shots!

Click, Click, Click, then Pick, Pick, Pick!

The green stocking is the wrong angle, the doll needs to sit up, the light is wrong, oops!, crooked ornament in the background….. and on and on and on!

Through the eye of a camera we see the flaws:):)

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Back at it tomorrow with a fresh eye!

On a more personal note, I have decided that 2015 will be the last year we hatch and ship chicks on a large scale.  The White Chantecler will remain part of our lives as we keep our flock for our own use (eggs and meat) and possibly some small local sales/sharing. We have done our part to preserve this great Canadian Heritage breed  that nearly disappeared and are ready to just enjoy having backyard chickens again.

2015 will also see our gardens back in production.  Nature blessed us w/ abundant fruit this year and next year we will have that balanced with abundant vegetables.

Immediate priorities right now are getting some wood stacked, getting the pellet stove in the Shop vented to the outside and getting the first floor of the house in suitable condition for a very special cousin who is visiting the beginning of October.

May Autumn slow down Old Man Winter so I have plenty of time before I hunker down !

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