Wow! What an amazing week! Made for Freedom is on its second sales road trip. This time we're traveling up the west coast from San Diego to Seattle and taking the month of November to do it.
We flew in to San Diego on Monday, November 3 and spent several days visiting boutiques, gift shops, beachwear stores, and yoga shops. Being in southern California, we naturally had to stop at In-N-Out Burger and several authentic Mexican restaurants for fish tacos. Dawn presented at 1 Million Cups San Diego, and we made many good connections and received a lot of good advice. Devin and Ali Kaun were kind enough to put us up for the entirety of our stay in San Diego, and it was great fun to catch up with them and to learn all that has been going on in their lives as well.
We spent a few days hitting the beach and inland communities between San Diego and Los Angeles, even driving as far east as Palm Springs, where Dawn had opportunity to practice her pitch on Lucille Ball! In Temecula, we met the savvy women of Up Your Alley, which has become the eighth boutique to carry Creabeli products, and we enjoyed talking about using fashion to help further good causes.
Our time in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, 2nd largest by population in the nation, was a whirlwind. One day we spent over 10 hours visiting 20+ boutiques. We peddled our wares from Laguna Beach all the way up to Santa Monica, and from the Pacific coast out to Redlands. We discovered that the further we ventured away from the beach communities, the less interested (for the most part) the boutiques became in our products, which was helpful to learn and allowed us to cut short our planned visits for the second day. Our focus became boutiques that cater to swimwear and beach attire. Needless to say, these days were exhausting! My second cousin, Lisa Olson, offered us a place to stay in Venice, but we only saw each other in the early mornings and late evenings, although we did find time to get her outfitted in her own pair of Creabeli pants. (Lisa had a very busy schedule those days as well.) We also had opportunity to visit the Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Boulevard and dined with some notables, but we have to keep that secret for now.
After our overstimulating time in San Diego through Los Angeles, we enjoyed a respite for a few days in the more relaxed communities of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, enjoying a late breakfast one day with Paul Ranheim, a former, fellow student with Dawn during her days at Covenant Seminary. Both cities offered several boutiques where we expect to place product, and both, being beach communities, were very receptive to our style. We also sense we are getting closer to our target markets of socially conscious consumers and eagerly look forward to heading further north tomorrow. Due to being overwhelmed from our first week on the road, we ended up taking no pictures from the past few days, even though we really enjoyed visiting these cities (and Paul). We'll try to make up for that in the days ahead.