Archive for March 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who You Gonna Call?!

The last few weeks have been very challenging for me and my design crew. I needed to come up with a whole new line up of pots for next year and I needed to do it FAST! This was a job for my CRACK DESIGN TEAM headed up by my SECRET WEAPON.......


"Hey Wee One, are you available to give me a hand this week? You're my best hope at getting this project done on time!"


"What?! You're in trouble Gramma?! I'll be right over!"


How much do you charge these days? Can you accept payment in Gummy Bears? I'll pay you time and a half 'cause I really need your HELP!"


"Mmmmmm! GUMMY BEARS!! Now that's what I call a sweet deal!"

"Can I bring my peeps over with me? My Mom gets kinda lonely when I leave her home alone. She says she won't cause any fuss. "


"I don't care WHO you bring along......just hurry up and get here allready!"


"Just give me a minute to get there. Don't you worry, Gramma. I've got your back!"

Fortunately it didn't take too long and my CRACK DESIGN TEAM headed up by the Wee One was on site and brainstorming in no time. Should the style for 2010 be urban chic or modern traditional? Is it too risky to go with "cutting edge"? Maybe we should play it safe this year. We considered all the options.

Suddenly, the Wee One got really quiet.........


"Why don't we do something with STYROFOAM?! Nobody does stuff with styrofoam these days. It will be CUTTING EDGE!"

"Just look at these beauties! These could really add some dimension to the design....."

"There's NO WAY the competition will be using STYROFOAM!"

"If we just place them strategically into the pot, they will look very CHIC!"

"That's it! That's the ticket! We're gonna be FAMOUS with this new concept!"

"I just wonder how we're gonna get someone to make 2 million little styrofoam balls for us?"

"Oh no, wait a minute. We actually will need 3 million little styrofoam balls for my plan to work"

"I hope you have a LOT of peeps working for you in China Gramma, cause this is gonna be one BIG project!"

So, once my crack team of designers was finished getting my whole presentation together I booked my airplane ticket and jetted off to see a few customers.

(NOTE: This is a TOP SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL presentation as usual. My apologies that I am not able to share the details with you at this time. You will just have to wait to see what it looks like when it arrives in a store near you. At that time I expect you to purchase at least 2 of these beauties so that we can afford to keep our employees in GUMMY BEARS for another year)

It was a long and tiring flight.........

Travelling is such a CHORE! "Can you pass me another warm chocolate chip cookie please?"

I brought a book with me so I could do a little reading during the long flight on how to make a killer sales presentation . I wanted to make sure I was perfectly prepared for the tough sales job I was facing.

I walked confidently out of the airport and boarded a cab, knowing that we had done our very best to offer our clients an amazing program that is sure to please due in no small part to the incredible help from my peeps at Darvonda!

What would I do without you guys??!!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Long Haul Trucking

Things are starting to get crazy busy in the greenhouse! The spring rush is almost upon us and that means we are sending our drivers out on the road to do a whole lot more travelling than they were doing last month. Our truck drivers are a very special breed of people and one fella in particular is someone I just HAVE to mention........'cause.......well.......he's not just a driver........he's my DAD!
My dad used to be a baker. As a matter of fact, he was the CAKE BOSS before the cake boss EXISTED! He could whip up the most amazing wedding cakes and themed birthday cakes you have ever seen. I remember one particular cake he made for Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding......but that's a whole OTHER story that I just don't have time to tell right now!

He retired a number of years ago and now he drives truck for us. Good thing for us because the customers LOVE my dad! He has those lady receivers wrapped around his pinky finger. I get complimentary phone calls from our customers telling me what a great guy he is all the time. I think I'm gonna have to give him an award one of these days. Not every driver gets that kind of reception when they arrive with a load full of plants that everyone is too busy to deal with during the spring rush. Driving truck can be a thankless job some days......but not for MY dad. He's got that CHARM factor. Recently we sent him on a long haul run down south to pick up some plants from California. We buy plants from other growers that we can't grow up here in our dark and dreary BC climate.

So, we send DAD because he LOVES the long haul trips.......
He LOVES his truck.......He LOVES the challenge.........and he LOVES plants!!! These are some photos he took for me while he was down there. Normally he would spend all his hard earned money on the cool plants he sees when he gets to where he's going....... but this time he brought me home a whole WHACK of pictures for my viewing pleasure!

Can you BELIEVE these gorgeous orchids?! It's not every day you get to see so many beautiful colors in one place at one time. Too bad Orchids are on the endangered species list and difficult to bring home or DAD would have bought the whole farm empty, I'm sure.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wine, the Great Stress Reliever

Another hectic week at the greenhouses has begun. My first phone call of the morning, Monday morning, was an exciting one, to say the least. One of the customers I have been working with for the last 3 months suddenly called to tell me that I was being DUMPED! Can you believe it?! ME??!! DUMPED??!! I think I need a drink.....

As I am speaking calmly into the phone I hear myself saying "Just give me one more chance! I can get you ANYTHING you need!" but what I'm really thinking is "Oh, what I wouldn't do right now to be having a glass of Cabernet on a patio in the Canary Islands right now....."Then I can hear my voice rising an octave higher saying "I've been working so HARD for you! What did I do WRONG?!" My mind is racing even faster, but instead of thinking of professional sounding sales pitches to bring this client back on board, I keep remembering that amazing SYRAH we had in Barcelona last month........"Perhaps I can go back to my suppliers and work out a better price for you?! Would that bring you back to the table?!" I can feel my lips moving and I hear myself talking but my brain just won't stop thinking about that Merlot we sipped in Tenerife......OK, maybe that one wasn't the BEST Merlot we ever had but it did contain alchohol and right now, that's all that really matters. And then I hear my client say the words "I'll give you one more chance. I need your final sample by Friday!" Now THAT is a reason to CELEBRATE! Break out the bubbly baby! We're back in business! But there isn't really any time to celebrate because I now have only 5 days to pull off a miracle. I gotta start going through my pictures and find the PERFECT sample. I know I have a photo of what I'm looking for somewhere in the abyss of my digital photo files. Unfortunately I tend to take a LOT of pictures.....I kid you not! My digital camera goes with me everywhere......It's just like my American Express. I never leave home without it.....It's like underwear. I feel naked if it's not on me.

I am so dedicated to taking pictures that not even a torrential downpour will stop me. Fortunately for me, the Big Guy is quite supportive of my habit. However, I try to keep him away from the camera because as soon as he has it in his possession he starts getting all Annie Liebowitz on me, trying to get pictures at funky angles and just generally clicking shots that really shouldn't be shown in public.
Now, was it at the VATICAN that I saw that AMAZING urn that would look great as a spring planter?

I'm off to check through my files. Very little time left to get that sample made so I'd better stop fooling around and get back to work.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Workin' 9 to 5

What a month this is turning out to be here at Darvonda. I've been working the phones for the upcoming spring season rush........

racing around the greenhouse trying to keep things tidy.......

lending a hand on the production floor by pushing carts around....and working on the planting line whenever possible.......
The girls really enjoy it when I help out.

I'm just a little EXCITED about the coming busy season........can you tell??!!