A personal update & why you won’t see us this week at NSS

Long time no see huh? I’m so sorry it’s been forever since the last post but I hope I can make it up to you. A lot has been happening at our household & at pop-in-greetings. Since one of my big rules of running a small business is authenticity I felt the need to share in case someone out there needs to hear the same thing I did. If you’ve never struggled with one of the following: overworking, running two small businesses, the demands of raising a family or major health issues… you might not care to keep reading.

It all started about 6 months ago after I paid my deposit for the National Stationery Show. Our first NSS last year was a BLAST! We made a few awesome friends in our industry, connected with phenomenal retail shops and larger lifestyle brands. It’s a huge marketing expense since we live about 900 miles from NYC, but it was definitely worth it. However it’s also an all-consuming event between booth design, new product design, logistics, advertising, etc. It takes a large chunk of the year to prepare. We excitedly picked a new booth number and paid our deposit. A few weeks later as I started planning, something felt off, but I was determined to be there.
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What I wasn’t realizing, was the speed at which I was working at both pop-in-greetings & my marketing/creative direction company, MagloCreative. I was ignoring what it was doing to my body, my spirit & the future of my family. Read more

10 Questions with Joanna Gaston, The Kind Cake: Small Business Stories

The Kind Cake

I will never forget meeting Joanna Gaston. We were selling pop-in-greetings at a local Nashville market. She came to our booth and it felt as if she brought this huge burst of sunshine with her. As she so kindly gushed about loving our cards, I remember thinking… wow, how did she know I was needing that bit of encouragement right this second? She’s making me feel like we can take over the world! Much like her product, The Kind Cake, Joanna herself is a gentle reminder of the power of kindness.

Not only does each cake taste amazing, but look on the bottom of each one and find a sticker with a little reminder to perform an act of kindness. You’d also never guess they are egg, dairy, gluten, soy & nut free. It might make you ask what IS in them but after one bite you won’t care. They are perfect for my little family who has to be egg, dairy & gluten free because of various food allergies. Only whole, nutritious ingredients and baked with love.

Tha Kind Cake 2

A big thanks to Joanna for participating in our interview this week. If you’re interested in seeing more about Joanna and The Kind Cake go to http://www.thekindcake.com/, her Instagram or on Facebook.

1) Why Nashville?
I originally moved here for songwriting (shocker) but the tug at my heart to pursue a venture with The Kind Cake couldn’t be ignored.

2) When you were 10, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?
Oh, I knew I was going to Broadway. In my mind, I was already there on stage performing. I was OBSESSED with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s work when I was about 6 or 7 years old and have been a big fan of Broadway since.

3) If a kid walked up to you asking for advice and you only had a few minutes to give one life tip, what would it be?
Whatever it is that scares you, freaks you out, makes you feel uncomfortable…DO IT.  I feel that is when you’ll reap the biggest reward and probably learn a lot about yourself in the process.

4) What’s made you want to bake on a larger scale, other than for yourself or your loved ones?
Knowing there is a need for a product like mine gets me out of the bed every single morning. I’m a problem solver and providing baked goods free of the top eight food allergens that are still delicious is, to me, solving a problem. Plus, I love cooking, baking and serving others so it’s a “win-win” for me.

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Valentines with heart

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Fearless. Loyal. Supportive. Kind. Compassionate. Advocate. Loving. Inclusive. Motivated. Deserving. Fighter of the good fight.

These are all things I can say about my friend Colleen. From the day I met her my freshman year at Belmont University, she proved to love me fiercely. It was recruitment week and I was still trying to find my place in college. I was majoring in art, which I had never done in high school (that’s a whole other story), and while I really loved the people I was meeting in art class, I felt there was a great group of friends out there that I hadn’t met yet. I was hesitant to join a sorority because, as my friends at Alabama and Auburn can attest to, it’s a completely different thing at a state school than it is at Belmont. No greek housing, no tailgating, no football, etc. But at Belmont, if you aren’t in music, it’s really hard to make friends. So I thought what the hell. I’ll see what it’s about. And I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t taken that chance.

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I never would have met this girl who sat in the parking lot of our apartment building with her arms around me when I got a phone call with bad news. There would have been fewer porch hangs in pajamas or runs to Wendy’s late at night after going out. With every bad relationship we learned from, or friendship that crumbled, she was there. She recruited me not just in the sisterhood of Alpha Sigma Tau, but as a friend for life.

Fast forward to ten years later. We’re both married and she’s expecting. You know the excitement that comes from each ultrasound but also the fear that is in the back of your mind that something could be wrong at any time? Colleen and Dan were told their son was showing signs of HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). This means that the left ventricle of his heart did not fully form. Read more