Sunday, May 17, 2015

THAT Clock

Over the years, it hasn't been unusual for our customers to be inspired by our products and create something unique and personal to them. After all, that's really what Uppercase Living is all about. What is unusual is for a customer design to become a perpetual best seller. That is exactly what happened with our Time Spent With Family clock.

A couple summers ago, I suddenly noticed that I was selling a LOT of these clocks. They'd been available for a while, with photos floating around the Internet. But all at once, I was getting orders for them from new customers I'd never had contact with. A quick check-in with my demonstrator friends confirmed that they were seeing the same trend. It seemed that a website had shared a photo of the clock and it had quickly gone viral. It was only a few days before we sold out of the clock mechanisms, and our next two shipments quickly sold out, too. People who'd never heard of Uppercase Living were now searching us out to order this clock. Since then, the clock has gone viral a handful of times with sales spiking periodically. The rest of the time, it is one of our most popular items, with consistent orders month after month.

It wasn't difficult to see why this particular item touched so many different people. As our lives become busier and free time becomes more elusive, what matter most are the moments we spend with our loved ones. Adding personal photos to this expression makes it the ultimate custom wall art, showcasing the times and people who mean the most to us.

Before long, we started seeing customers' photos of their clock installations. As you'd expect, many added their own personal touches to the basic design. Why copy our photo, when they could create their own version. We saw different vinyl colors as well as unique frames, sometimes in equally unique configurations.

Inspired by our customers' creativity, our designers decided to give them even more choices. New font designs were soon introduced, proving just as popular as the original, and resulting in more new customer creations.

Each customer photo is as special as the faces smiling out from the photos. I love knowing that each picture was painstakingly selected just for this clock. 

The latest addition to our Family Clocks is a Spanish version. I think it is going to be hugely popular as well. 

One other thing I've noticed about these clocks is that, more than any other item, my customers love to share their photos of it. Not only are they proud of their installation but they love to show off their precious family pictures. I love being able to give them something that is so close to their hearts, and I never get tired of hearing how much they love their clocks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Morning At MOPS

Even though I have three kids and I've been a mom for almost (gulp) 15 years, I'd never been to a MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) meeting until this week.  After all this time, never having been a member, I found myself presenting a craft to this group of about 30 moms who meet at Calvary Community Church in Westlake. 
I was invited by a sweet friend who I've gotten to know through my UL business. Cynthia, who's a wedding planner with a great eye for design and a huge heart, is a mentor mom in this group. She's been a long time customer and hostess and has a new UL idea each time I talk to her. She asked me to teach her group a little about decorating with vinyl and lead them through a craft project. 
While I was waiting for my turn to speak, I gave my full attention to the meeting to distract me from the nervousness of public speaking. I watched the group reminisce about the past year, celebrate two new babies on the way, plan for summer playdates and give out a ton of recognition. And presents. Lots and lots of presents. The speaker before me talked about teaching gratitude to kids and taking care of our relationships. Clearly, this was a group of quality ladies (a fact that was not lost on me as I kept trying to ignore those nerves). 
When it was finally my turn, I got on stage and told everyone a little bit about UL and my introduction to it: how I fell in love the first time I saw it and knew I didn't want to lose the opportunity to share it, even though I had three small children and no desire for a new business. I demonstrated a UL installation by adding the word "enjoy" in Etched Glass to an elegant trifle bowl (another one of Cynthia's great ideas), which we raffled off. And I explained the craft they'd all work on: plain tiles that would turn into dry-erase note boards and a place to clip a favorite photo or two. And I got off that stage as quickly as I could! Finally I could do what I really love about my business: provide our products and watch as each person creates something unique and personal. 

Some of the moms kept their projects simple. Others added several words of inspiration. The fun part was watching the camaraderie as the ladies shared suggestions, helped each other out and sweetly made a fuss about how cute each finished tile was.

Yes, there were Bundt cakes! Didn't I tell you this is a quality group? 

I loved seeing what each mom chose and how the special words on the tile would be inspirational to her in her daily life.
Before long, the meeting was over and all of those preschoolers (and younger!) flooded the room with their chatter and energy. It was like the sweet bubble of those two hours the moms had to enjoy each others' company was popped by a toddler's sticky finger or sweet laugh. As the moms said good bye for the summer, it occurred to me how close their friendships would grow over the years. And while they were all there getting support for their young families, they were also becoming a family of friends. What better reason is there for a mom to keep on coming? Oh right, Bundt cake. And presents.

If you would like me to lead a craft project for your group or organization, please contact me

Friday, May 1, 2015

For The Love Of Pink!

Say "Hello" to Uppercase Living's newest color, Pink Peony! It was introduced today as a replacement for the discontinued Fairy Tale Pink, and I couldn't be more excited. This is a cooler shade of pink, with a fresh, on-trend feel. In fact, it was chosen in part because it's closer to the current shades of pink being used in home decor products right now, making it a better match for items you're seeing in stores or may already have in your home.

Pink Peony is an obvious choice for designs that are traditionally pink, including girly looks, breast cancer awareness, and spring decor. It's also a great pop of color in room with cool neutrals like gray or brown. It will look great as a one-color design by itself:

Item #21965 in Pink Peony, #30111 Punched Metal Tile

or combined with another color in a two part expression:

Item #21853 shown in Pink Peony and Slate Grey
For those of you who prefer a softer shade of pink, Cotton Candy is still available. Where will you use Pink Peony first?


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