When last we “spoke” I was writing from the framing conference. Evan and I were so pleased with the conference this year…. classes were wonderful and we had the opportunity to meet with framers from all over to touch base and trade thoughts and ideas. We also saw many familiar faces… it’s nice to be a part of such a friendly, dynamic community.

Since our return we have been busy putting some of what we learned into place. I have been working to get a monthly newsletter out with a target for the premier issue being the first week of April. One of the first things that I did was send an individual email to each and every person in the Finishing Touches address book. Our newsletter will be permission based, so I needed to be sure of each address and needed to have each person’s permission. It took some time, but it was nice to finally have a “clean” email list, and hearing back from so many people was just a joy. I am always pleased when someone takes the time to tell me that they are still enjoying the work that we framed even after so many years. More progress: I now have a “subscribe” button on the website down at the bottom of the home page.

Evan took some really cool technical classes and is currently designing some great new framed samples for the store. With spring here all of a sudden (!), and summer just around the corner he is putting together a summer/wedding themed display to give you all some great ideas.

We are always looking for new ways to “get the word out” about our store and recently I attended a Women’s Speed Networking Event sponsored by the Southern Rhode Island Chamber and Fresh Connections. In response to my question, “What’s speed networking?”, I most often heard, “It’s a lot like speed dating”. Having never been a speed dater, I was still in the dark and a bit skeptical. But I attended and got the word out to lots of people and had a lot of fun in the process. Imagine having 30 seconds to concisely tell the person sitting across the table from you about your business and then 30 seconds to listen to her tell you about hers. Then, on cue, quickly move down one seat and do it all again! Not only did we have to tune up our speaking skills, but our listening skills as well! Interspersed with the “speedy” part of the evening we had the chance to listen to a couple of great speakers: Erica Ricci who spoke about presenting our businesses in very compelling ways, and Joanne Daly who addressed some of the financial concerns women face.