Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Warehouse Party and Sale!

Back on the road again we couldn't stop talking about the tour, we needed to stop for lunch though (our 20 minute tour lasted over 2 hours) so we were all getting pretty shaky. After some lunch and caffeine we were feeling more like ourselves and looking forward to getting to Louise's (#3903) house! According to Agnes (our trusty GPS) we would be getting there about 5:15.

We ended up rolling in right about that time and were met with by a smiling Louise. Louise had invited any fiskateer's that wanted to over to her house for pizza and swimming. (And then stay over for the sale the next morning) Ashani #4685 met us at Louise's as well and after a quick tour of her house and a claiming of our beds for the night we sat down to eat. Jen #3213 met us then to join in the fun!

After dinner we had some work to do! What fiskateer gathering would be complete without goodies and CRAFTING? Merlene and I had told Louise since she had to clean house, we would bring snacks and fun stuff. There were goodies: Anglea had given me Fiskateer bags for each of the gals there to go shopping with and Merlene and I had put some goodies inside. There were prizes and naturally there were make and takes.

We had three projects to keep us busy during the night. I brought the stuff to tie-dye shirts plus stencil our names, fiskateer numbers and scissors on. Merlene brought things to make fiskateer bracelets. Last but not least Ashani brought not one but two make and takes; tule to make hair scrunchies and beads and shrinky dinks to make cute little fiskateer scissor earrings! It was so much fun sitting and chatting and creating with friends. (Granted we didn't have time to go swimming)

Once again morning came way to early as we dragged ourselves out of bed and drove to the Fiskars warehouse sale! The line was friendly at 7am and we enjoyed chatting with people about Fiskateers and handing out raindots. We gave a tub of orange and green cookies to

the warehouse employees telling them we loved them. There were also a few Fiskateers that came by to say hi that couldn't come to the party. Jeni (#2794) and her friend Beth as well as Maryanne #5271. I had goodies for those Fiskateers that stopped by as well!

Soon the excitement mounted as the countdown to 9 started. Then it was a mad dash for a cart and STUFF! 100's of people flooded the warehouse to find those fabulous fiskars products at rock bottom prices! I ran to the squeeze punches first to see what ones I didn't have. (I was looking for the ovals (got all but 1) and the Nice Tri (only got the large) I also wanted to find the collapsable rolling tote (found it) and the scissor

punch (got it.) Then it was on to SCISSORS! I LOVE the decorative limited edition scissors and found 5 of them to add to my collection as well as a cool storage rack for them ( that actually held the pattern scissors so I took them out to display my collection.)

After shopping we needed to check in with the canned food drive. I love how Fiskars give back to the community. One of the things Fiskars did was host a canned food drive in conjunction with the sale. In return for bringing in 5 cans to donate to a local pantry, Fiskars gave you a $5 coupon good towards your purchase! It was cool to see the Salvation Army guy there with all the collections.

The line started forming and we realized we needed to get in it if we ever wanted to get back out. It snaked around all over the building, in and out of the shopping area as well. This had it's bad and good points. Good we got to shop while in line. Bad people not in line couldn't shop. I was able to demo tools quite a few times (especially to the people behind me, who ended up buying whatever I demoed :) ) as well as explain the

quality and benefits of the different types of scissors to numerous people as well.

You end up being in line with the people around you for such a long time you feel like you become friends! As I said I had been demoing tools and answering questions about different Fiskars tools to the gals behind me for about 1 1/2 hours and we were all on a first name basis. Sadly they realized they would need to leave without getting their items. Pat (one of the gals) was a real estate agent and had a closing at 3. I offered to purchase their items and leave them at Louise's house for them to pick up later. Handing me money and their items they took me up on the offer! (Hi Pat hope the closing went well)

The line moved slowly. At one point there was confusion as to where it was suppose to move and it caused a bit of a ruckus. Warehouse employees Beth and George were wonderful creating order out of chaos even in the midst of heated tempers.

Since it was a long time to wait, occasionally someone would leave to go get an item or run to the bathroom. Jen took Merlene (who really needed to eat) to get some lunch and bring some back to those of us starving in line. I went around with the rest of the raindots (that had Angela's cards in them) handing them out and telling people of how wonderful Fiskars and Fiskateers where. What was really funny was more than one person called me Angela until they read the back of my shirt (I don't mind if people think of me as a tall, slender red head...can you see the resemblance?)

The end of the line was met with cheers! 4 and 1 /2 hours we waited to purchase our treasures! Boy was I happy to see Jim (he was the employee that rang up my purchases) we chatted as he talked about how happy he was we were there and how they appreciated our good attitudes and the fun we brought to the day. Other employees said similar things as they walked by. It was great to know we made a difference at least to them that day.

We loaded up the van then went back to Louise's house to pack up our clothes and belongings (and nose through her and Jen's treasures to see what they got.) Then after

another round of hugs, goodbyes and promises to get together soon we headed back on the road for the trip home!

HQ Trip

This past week has been completely amazing. It started picking up Merlene #1166 from the airport Tuesday. Merlene was my roommate from Orlando and we had such a good time then that we planned for her to fly in and stay with me for the Warehouse sale. Merlene, my daughter Winter (#4785) and I had so much to do on Tuesday night. Making orange and green cookies, packing bags, packing the van, (and chatting up a storm) we didn't get to bed till after midnight.

After being up so late, Wednesday morning came early, finishing up a few last minute things (like the rest of the green cookies) as well as the rest of the van loading took awhile but eventually we were on the road. The first stop on our trip was to drop off my dog at my sister's house. Then it was on to my mom's place to drop off three kids (I have a great mom!) Kimberlee #2494 lives in the same neighborhood as mom so we ran to pick her up and then we were on our way!

Traffic was surprisingly good and were making great time. Granted the trip was a bit long so we started calling various Fiskateers that we happened to have phone numbers for. Kimberlee even looked up the phone number to FOY Maxine's store The Scrapbook Page" that conversation was a hoot! "Hello Scrapbook Page" " Is Maxine there? " "This is" "I hear you have a giant pair of scissors for sale?" "What?" " I hear you have a giant pair of scissors for sale?...How much?" " Who is this? QUIT CALLING ME!" as we erupted into gales of laughter and told her who it was....

Once in Wisconsin, we had to stop for CHEESE! (and a bathroom break, and gas for the

van...LOL) We stopped at the "Cheese and Wine Chalet" to sample some wonderful cheese (chocolate cheese anyone? tastes like fudge!) and Merlene loved the shaped cheese! (We found out that she was a PACKERS fan which didn't sit well with a van full of Bears fans!)

Back on the road our next stop was Fiskars Headquarters! Maya #351 and her son Eli met us at HQ to take a VIF (Very Important Fiskateer) tour of the building. Our very own Legend Stephenie #003 was there to meet us. She escorted us into the meeting room and were we met Jay (VP of Marketing.) Jay talked to us about how much they love the Fiskateers, and wanted to get to know us a bit. He shared with us some of what was happening around the office (like the upcoming meeting with all of the big wigs from Fiskars Finland) as well as presented us all with wonderful gifts!

Jay had to leave for a meeting but Stephenie walked us around the building. Remember my secret tag project? I asked on the message board if Fiskateers would help me make tags. As we walked around the building Winter gave the employees orange and green homemade cookie packages with orange and green tags made by the Fiskateers, the tags read "Fiskateers love Fiskars." We wanted to show Fiskars how much we appreciate all they do for us. I can tell you the feeling was mutual. The employees were wearing orange

and had smiles and hugs for us. You can tell they really appreciate us!

One of the first stops was the tool room. Rows upon rows of punches, templates and tools. Plus a HUGE table. It was a crafters dream room! We got to see "Fiskars Village" USA (aka the lunch room) and then Stephenie introduced us to the tech guys. (I had to meet C.J. since he was so helpful when I couldn't logon to the message board!) A quick trip down the hall of the big guns, had us meeting with the President of Fiskars (who even got off the phone to meet us!)

Then we met with the wonderful Fiskaneers who all had numerous questions for us on the projects they were working on. We were shown the ______________ and the _____________ oh and then in the hall we saw the _____________ plus there was the _______________. (Sorry we were sworn to secrecy. No photos, no talking, no nothin'!) It was so exciting to see what products were being developed. Not to mention get a glimpse of the creative process behind those products we love. I was really overwhelmed as to how much they listened to us. They have said it before but I guess seeing it in action made it really sink in, they are serious about our opinions, concerns and suggestions (and were even taking notes :)) Fiskars listens to what we have to say and tries to take those things into account when they design and develop new products (and improvements to existing ones!)

As much as we enjoyed talking to the Fiskaneers we had to leave because there was more to see! We stopped by customer service/warranty to visit with Nikki(#2963) and Jan they are the ones that oversee the live chat when you have questions and answer all of the warranty issue emails and letters (which they lovingly refer to as "fan mail"...LOL) and then in the hall way I spotted them...GIANT Fiskars scissors! Steph

said "you want to get your picture taken with them?" (Like YEAH!!!) After checking the supply closet she came out with the scissors!

We had a blast posing and even Eli got into the action. Maya is raising him right because that kid knows his scissors! Eli was heartbroken when it was time to take the scissors away because he was having a great time and we had to pry his hands off the scissors! Poor Maya had to console her tearful son, heartbroken at having "his" scissors taken away from him!

All too soon it was time to gather our belongings go. Handing our badges in we paused for a few more pictures and hugs and last goodbyes. We all left with full hearts. Fiskateers means so much to us and we wanted to thank Fiskars for giving us the outlet of Fiskateers. Instead we got treated like royalty and shown how much WE were cherished by them. It was a pretty amazing afternoon!