Our final stop, city #17 on our 17-city tour, was Chicago. Our biggest lesson from Chicago: we need a different strategy for mega-cities. We stayed a few days and bunked in the Chicago Getaway Hostel during our time there, but we were simply overwhelmed by all the neighborhoods, suburbs, boutique niches, etc. that we encountered in this massive US city. We did review a few boutiques, but we concluded that we will approach Chicago in the months ahead by trickling into this market, especially since we live relatively close. To effectively tackle the Chicago market will require us to visit multiple times over the next several years. No matter, with our new car vinyls from Graphics Factory to replace our car door magnets, we are definitely up to the challenge. (And we visited the Bean, otherwise known as the Cloud Gate.)
While in Chicago, we promoted Made for Freedom, its cause and its products. Dawn was provided the opportunity to present once more at 1 Million Cups. Many of those who attended were excited about Made for Freedom and shared good leads to additional services. We enjoyed bookending our tour with 1 Million Cups presentations (Denver and Chicago). As well, we also encountered another store that will carry our Creabelis--Sozo Market in DeKalb, IL! We are excited to partner with this great organization and to get our product close to the Northern Illinois University (NIU) campus.
Chicago also marked one of Eric's favorite events of the trip as well as a chance to get some good promotional pics for our upcoming spot on the PBS reality show, Startup. Chicago Pizza Tours was featured during season 1 of Startup. With season 2 about to start in a few weeks, and since we were already in Chicago, we (Eric) felt this would be a great time to attend the lunch tour and promote Startup (and the potential Startup Alumni Association)! Not only did we enjoy some delicious Chicago pizza (and not all of it is the famed deep-dish style), but we also met some fascinating people from around the States and the world. Danny was our guide and presented an inspiring picture of the Chicago pizza scene and of Chicago history. We even got to document the first ever root beer enjoyed by Ben from Sydney, Australia, who may one day aspire to be a Made for Freedom model! Chicago provided us with plenty of exciting adventures and with ample opportunities to learn. We look forward to trickling into this awesome market and making Made for Freedom known here.