You would never guess it by the name, but can I just tell you that Pitman is a quaint little town? Both Sue and I commented as we drove into town yesterday about how beautiful it is! And Melissa’s home simply added to the charm of the whole experience. As most of you know, I’m an antique lover, and her home is older, with wonderful doors, creaking floors, stained-glass windows—it was delightful to just walk around and feel the history of the whole area.
I told Melissa and her guests yesterday that whenever I do a workshop, an interesting thing happens. As I approach my destination, my heart beats a little faster and I get butterflies in my tummy. There are a few moments of apprehension and nervousness as I wonder how the workshop will go—and then within seconds of entering the house, it all disappears as I meet the hostess (and in my case demonstrator), share a warm hug, and start chattering about all the things we have in common! It happens over and over again; I suspect most of our demonstrators feel the same way.
Melissa’s workshop was a great experience! She teaches first grade, and many of her guests were fellow colleagues, or friends of colleagues. I thought the conversation might center on that, but except for a brief update (Melissa had taken the day off to prepare and one of her guests was the substitute teacher for her class, so she had to check on how the day had gone), the conversation mostly centered on the other thing they all had in common—stamping.
Although there were a few newbies, many were seasoned stampers. They seemed to love the projects, and I certainly enjoyed sharing them. It was fun to hear that many of them have Idea Book & Catalogs tucked inside their desks at school, and they’ll sometimes run between classes on breaks, sharing their ideas and brainstorming with each other.
Melissa’s demonstrator event (a group meeting) was actually first, and that gathering was equally enjoyable. It was open-house style (although most people stayed the whole time), with no set agenda. We stamped a couple of Make & Takes (one was a card that the group is donating to the Ronald McDonald House Charities), chatted, snacked (of course!) took a few pictures, and just had a great afternoon.
One of Melissa’s recruits is a fellow schoolteacher, and one thing that impressed me is that they had talked up front about the fact that they might be “in competition” with each other. However, they realized that they had different personalities, different skill sets—as well as a different group of friends outside of work—and they wouldn’t let that bother them. They could have felt threatened by each other, but recognized that there are plenty of customers to share. I like that approach!
I got to steal a few minutes on the front porch with Melissa and her husband, which was one of the highlights for me. I’ve mentioned it before, but getting to know the demonstrators—and their families—has really been one of my favorite parts of this whole experience, so it was delightful to be outside in the perfect weather and connect in a personal way.
And in between the group meeting and workshop, we took a short walk around town and then enjoyed authentic Philly cheese steak sandwiches; the husband of one of Melissa’s recruits actually drove into Philadelphia to get them, and it was the best Philly cheese steak sandwich I’ve ever had!