Arriving in Minnesota drove us toward larger cities again and started us on the last stage of our first sales road trip. Once more, skyscrapers appeared in the downtown cores, and we visited varied clusters of boutiques throughout the cities rather than a main street or plaza. Unlike the Denver area, where we knew Creabelis would be well received, and the Salt Lake City area, where we attended the OR Show, we entered cities like Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee uncertain of our plans and of local response. As before, we visited local boutiques and introduced ourselves and Made for Freedom to the respective communities; however, this time we were armed with a great picture of the new Fall fabrics coming from New Life Center (center picture). In addition, we had the opportunity to worship on Sunday at Maple Ridge Church, which allowed us to set up a table to display and sell product.
We met so many great people and enjoyed each boutique we visited, but our purpose for this trip (and for the others to come) has also been to sell product, and in Minneapolis, we were able to place Creabelis and MFF tees in Regla De Oro, a Fair Trade boutique on Lyndale. Jessica (in top left picture above with Dawn), the owner, is very excited to partner with us and our cause, and we look forward to hearing how our product performs in her store as Summer ends and Fall descends upon us.
While we peddled our wares across Minnesota and Wisconsin, we were graciously accommodated by Ashley McDonald and her family and by Eric's great-aunt, Helen Manske Lippitt. Dawn and Ashley met on the research trip to India that propelled the creation of Made for Freedom, and so it was a wonderful reunion time to catch up and to cast vision for the months ahead. Ashley was also instrumental in encouraging her family's church to allow us to display and sell on Sunday. Helen was excited to have us visit, and we were just as excited to stay there. Eric had not seen Helen in over 30 years, having last visited when he was in the eighth grade, and Helen really enjoyed getting to meet Dawn as well. Once again, our family and friends cared for us well as we continued our 17-city journey.