UTAH Highlights

We are here! Our family has officially settled in Utah. Right now we are living in a temporary condo but that is all about to change..(more on that later.) Life is different. Better. More relaxed. Less stress. As if it couldn’t get any better…I have been working non stop on new product design & development which I love! Becoming a part of a company like American Crafts has opened up so many more doors for our brands! They truly are a “crafting” company. Everyday they design and develop products that go beyond scrapbook and paper crafting. Their vision, commitment, and dedication to this industry and their customers is admirable.  I can’t wait to share some of our new products in the upcoming months!

Now…about the ‘less stress’ part of this story: we made a family pact to spend 1 day every weekend “exploring” Utah and all it has to offer.  We have been hiking and driving through the mountains admiring all of the natural beauty of this state. We actually look forward to weekends again and have started taking turns picking and choosing our next “day hike!”  It is quite the family affair.

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A few weeks ago I had never heard of a city called MOAB but I can tell you now – that I will never forget it. The Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life.  We actually spent 2 nights in MOAB and spent 2 days hiking to the arches and windows that have been formed over the years.  You can’t see this beauty if you just do a “drive by”- you have to get out and explore all the trails to really appreciate it. Connor loved it..but honestly I think Barry loved it even more.

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These 2 are quite the pair..stopping to take a rest and admire the rocks ahead of them!

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I am so proud of Connor for letting go of his fears and climbing high on rocks wherever he could.

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arches…everywhere.

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another pit stop at the Devil’s Garden trail.

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This was actually a smaller arch called The Skyline

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I don’t think he is actually holding up that rock ;-)

DSC_0577Happy as can be…chewing on sunflower seeds the whole time…

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We didn’t get a great shot but there were groups of rock climbers here. SCARY!  We stopped to watch.

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And to wrap it up…there was a small group of rocks in MOAB that are well known for their petroglyphs; attributed to ancient indian tribes. Pretty cool.

Stay Tuned for more Utah adventures and the long 6 month process of building our dream home! Yes…I said it. We bought a lot and are starting the process of choosing a builder and an architect.  This will be the front yard view from our new home.  Crazy amazing..

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Until Next Time – Rebecca

New Beginnings

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As the new year approaches I am forced to face the fact that 2014 will be a completely new adventure and experience for myself and my family.  The long list of changes is overwhelming but the hardest change will be “letting go” of everything I have worked so hard for over the past 6 years.  In November of this year we officially signed closing documents to sell our company.  The entire process took about 3-4 months and after lots of meetings with lawyers and accountants we finally got it done! We are excited; it is a great opportunity for our brand and the Heidi Swapp brand to grow even bigger then they are now.  Our company was not in financial distress or even remotely close to it. In 2013 we doubled our revenue thanks in part to a very large retail account in the US and that made our “receivables” and our position in the marketplace very desirable. But it also meant we were twice as busy – yet still we managed to do it all with just 4 employees. We welcomed the idea of becoming a part of a larger company and having additional resources and staff to begin the next chapter for our company!  We are grateful to American Crafts for believing in us and for asking us if we were “interested in selling our company?” those 5 words changed our lives forever.

My experience, dedication and commitment to the success of Pink Paislee will not change. I will continue to manage and direct all aspects of both the Pink Paislee and Heidi Swapp brands! Barry and I are now official employees at American Crafts and will be moving our family to the burbs of Salt Lake City sometime within the next 2 months.  It is a big change but we are ready for the adventure! The fact that we will be close to about 6-8 ski resorts doesn’t hurt matters either!

In 2014 my blog will be focused on our move to a new state, the process of building a new home from scratch, getting settled into a new office environment and the exploration of our new surroundings.  I for one can’t wait to have some weekend “staycations!”

Until then!

-Rebecca

What I Am Pinning….

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I am completely obsessed with HOUZZ and all of the amazing images of beautiful homes.  I have always had a desire to build my dream home from the bottom up.  Of course I don’t mean build it myself..but I have always wanted to choose my own floor plan, choose my own finishes and of course choose my own paint colors.  I live in a gorgeous home right now; I am blessed.  But I didn’t get to customize it.  I didn’t get to make every choice and if you know me at all you know one thing…I am a control freak!

So…for the past few months I have been pinning images for my future dream home.  I have been gathering ideas and pinning all of the ideas I want to incorporate into my fantasy home when the time comes…..I mean I want to be prepared right?

-Rebecca

Bellagio Italy

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Do you have a bucket list? Did anyone really call it a bucket list before the concept was introduced on the big screen? I know I never did. But now….I have one and it involves traveling to several amazing destinations across the world.  I am not going to lie…Italy is on my list.  And…lucky for me I get to go there in 2014. In fact, I get to travel to Bellagio, Italy (which is close to Milan..) for a creative retreat next May.  This retreat will be the last official “teaching event” I will be saying “yes too” and I am glad it is going to be held at such an amazing location with a smaller more intimate group of women. As much as I love sharing my ideas, concepts, and products with the world it just isn’t feasible for me to be away from home. According to Southwest Airlines I have taken 12 trips this year and that doesn’t even include flights on other airlines.  I am averaging 1-2 trips a month and it has greatly affected my life / work balance.

So..this trip to Italy will be something to cherish. Not only for myself but for those I will meet in the classroom and at the event.  Laura (the event organizer) has always been an avid fan of our products and she is an amazing crafter and designer; she also looks amazingly “fashionable” every time I see her! That girl knows how to put together an outfit!  When she invited me to teach next year I couldn’t say no and I will be looking forward to spoiling every attendee with lots of Pink Paislee goodies!  The event has SOLD OUT – so if you are going I can’t wait to meet you there!  We have some new & exclusive new products coming in 2014 that I can’t wait to bring to this event.  It is going to be worth every second!

The countdown has begun and if all goes well I will accidentally run into George Clooney while I am there.  That would be like crossing 2 things off my bucket list at the same time…  ;-)

-Rebecca

Quickpages Are Quick!

I have said this before and I will say it again. Sometimes you’re in a hurry and you don’t have time to “be creative” – when this happens digital quickpages are the answer. I often find myself sitting in front of my computer on a lazy Sunday afternoon and I just want to do something with my photos. I am pretty sure I have close to 10,000 pictures in my iphoto library (and most of those need to be deleted…but that is another task all together…) In fact, most of my photos still need editing and cropping. It can feel overwhelming at times; especially if you are behind on “scrapbooking” your most recent memories.

So…I wanted to do SOMETHING creative today – that is when I decided to hop over to the new Pink Paislee digital store and downloaded some of the quickpages that are available for just $2. After just 1 hour I was able to finish the following pages…and you know what took the most time? Picking out my photos!

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And as a bonus….I also received this FREE quickpage from Wild Dandelion Designs and I played with it too:

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The benefit of creating digital scrapbook pages is that one day I will be able to create a photo book (shutterfly or something similar) and I honestly believe my son will love seeing his memories in a professionally printed bound book. I don’t think I would ever print these pages for my other albums but I think they are fun to create, fun to save, and it still allows me to get “creative” with my photos in one way or another when I don’t have a lot of time.

-Rebecca

You Only Get (1) Shot

Last night while listening to “my playlist” one of the songs that popped up really hit home. The song from Eminem titled: “Lose Yourself” starts out like this: “Look…..if you had one shot…one opportunity..to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment….would you capture it or let it slip?”

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Never has this phrase meant more to me.

In the last 5 years our company (pink paislee) has grown at a rate of 23-25% and it has taken all of my energy to keep up with the fast pace of the craft and hobby industry in addition to the fast pace of our own growth. We now have 5 full time employees (yay..up from 4 last year) and we are constantly working with more and more freelance employees to cover our workload; it is an exciting time. In 2012 we also moved into a 5200 sq. foot warehouse & office space and already we have outgrown it and are on the lookout for a larger facility! It’s crazy! …and now..the biggest opportunity we have ever been involved with will be revealed in just a few weeks. (more on that later….)

A close friend and confidant said to me this week “we don’t want to take on too much so let’s just pace ourselves…” If only he knew that wasn’t possible for me. I can confirm without even a second of hesitation that I am a workaholic. I work 7 days a week and when I’m not working my brain is still “working” – thinking of ways we can improve our business or improve the products we design. Being “good” just isn’t good enough. We want to be great; and..luckily in 2013 great things are happening!

And that is why this song really hit home for me. How about you? If you only had 1 shot…would you capture it too?

-Rebecca

playa del carmen wrap up

We are home from Mexico!  To be more specific we are home from our 6 day trip to Playa Del Carmen which is about 30 minutes south of Cancun.  One thing is for sure…it is always “good to be home.”  When Barry and I first met in 1997 we went to Cancun and we actually vowed we would never go back but I kept hearing really good things about Playa Del Carmen so we gave it another shot!  We were not disappointed. The location is gorgeous and the water temperature (even in late November) was warm and inviting.  Although we all suffered from “montezuma’s revenge” as my friend called it…we still enjoyed our time away from “work” and the daily grind.  Here are just a few photos:

This is our balcony on Day 2.  Snapped a quick photo of the little guy before going down to the beach!  Such a “cool dude.”This is a hotel balcony view from Day 1

This photo was from my favorite day…Akumal Bay where we got to swim with the sea turtles. I really loved how quiet and “non commerical” this area was.  We snorkeled out about 100 yards and saw stingrays, sea turtles and lots of little fish. There is no reef where we were but there is lots of shallow grassy areas the sea turtles love.  It was overcast this day but it was still very warm.

X-caret!  Connor got to pose with the parrots right after we entered the park.  This is a beautiful place but unfortunately Barry got pretty sick and we didn’t get to stick around for the nighttime events.

Spider Monkey’s at X-caret.  This park was sort of like half water park / half zoo.  We enjoyed all the little walking paths.

My toes match the water……hmmmm…..(I sort of planned that)

Everyday we would dry out the swim trunks on the hammock!  Nice.

So that is a quick overview!  We didn’t go on a lot of excursions mainly because we all got ill but we did spend a lot of time resting and doing nothing which totally made me happy!

-Rebecca