Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Cathy: Well, we did it! A big high-five! The workshop was a huge success and it was our biggest and best event yet. Now that we’ve had a few days to recuperate, Lissa and I are sitting here reminiscing. The day started out a little shaky because of my health.

Lissa: A little shaky? I was really worried about you. I knew you would put on a hell of a show, but you stood up at the podium the night before and nearly fainted, you were so sick! You’re so headstrong, I was worried you would pass out onstage, and then sit up there on a chair trying to finish the workshop and fighting me trying to pull you off!

Cathy: It was pretty cute.

Lissa: Cute?!

Cathy: At one point there were three cups of hot tea on the podium from different people. Doug from HomeWorld passed me some li hing mui, and later my dad handed me lemon peel. My mom was in the audience, she’d been feeding me Korean seaweed soup all week, and she was worried. My husband had an ER doc standing by in case I fainted. But I knew that once the adrenalin kicked in—not to mention a whole bunch of Tylenol Cold and Motrin—I knew I would be fine, because the response I got from the crowd and their enthusiasm kept me going.

Once I wasn’t concerned about my voice giving out, everything went great. People were really present, they were enthusiastic, they were ready to learn and train their eye. It was just so rewarding for me during the breaks, when people were coming up and shaking my hand with both of their hands saying how much they were enjoying themselves and learning, it was heartfelt, and it felt great.

Lissa: I had people pulling me aside. They kept telling me over and over, she makes it easy to understand, and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, but now I feel like I have the tools. I even had a real estate agent pull me aside and say this should be a must for every Realtor. They go through so much training. She said she thought this was going to be boring, but she was so excited she couldn’t wait to go back and start decorating her office and her house.

Cathy: So as they day began, I think everyone on the team was excited, the crowd was phenomenal, we were sold out, the room was packed, we had three Jumbotron screens, the centers of the tables were full of samples and materials to play with during the interactive portions, and everybody who registered got a voucher they would later redeem for their Style Kit. And then when we broke up into teams, at our tables, everybody was able to actually put into practice some of the things I was teaching, like putting colors together with their sample area rugs, and determining whether the colors were warm or cool.

Lunch I heard was great, I didn’t eat a bite. I think there was salmon and chicken, and a mushroom risotto…

Lissa: That was not bad, I scarfed it down. I kind of pity you, you didn’t get to all those cakes and pies.

Cathy: And during lunch people had the opportunity to eat with some of the sponsors. I think my only regret there was that with so many people in attendance, sometimes that’s the catch-22, a lot of people but a lot of chaos, and some of the people couldn’t eat with the sponsors they wanted to and pick their brain over lunch.

I really enjoyed the fact that even after a full meal, people were raring to learn, and when I called out OK, everybody back to your seats! They were right there and eager to get started. I decided to play a game, get the adrenaline flowing, and we had one of our sponsor games that get people out of their seats.
Lissa: Things really got going again! I heard women were actually crying when they didn’t win that $10,600 sapphire-diamond pendant.

Cathy: Wasn’t it gorgeous?

Lissa: I wanted to hide that! I like that kind of bling, you know.

Cathy: Dale Cripps and Robert Palma, they donated that, and men were pushing women out of the way to win…

Lissa: I heard people say it’s not fair! It’s so chaotic!

Cathy: The game was chaotic, but how do you not have a chaotic game when you have a $10,000 prize on the line? One team got everything right first and they came up onstage and ultimately there was one winner. She was from Maui and we’re going to do a little writeup on her on the new Workshop wrapup page we’re putting together, on the story behind how she actually came. She was kind of shy up there, but she told me she had a great time.

Lissa: I think she was overwhelmed—just showing up at a workshop and walking away with the grand prize.

Cathy: Afterward we got back to learning. People said they really enjoyed the Shop with Focus segment, where I took them step by step through the considerations of putting a room together. And finally we went through Quick Fixes and then our Style Kit giveaway. How awesome was that?

Lissa: One person told me they were so thrilled they ripped it open as soon as they got back to the table and started to wear the shoulder bag.

Cathy: I always wanted my Oprah moment, where Oprah yells, ‘…and everybody gets one!’ And that’s what we were able to do with the Style Kit.

Lissa: You, you even drank tea to clear your throat for your Oprah moment.

Cathy: And you guys rolled out those huge carts of white boxes and people rushed up and within minutes all the Style Kits were gone!

Lissa: I had an e-mail, somebody called you Oprah Lee—they said I loved the Oprah Lee moment!

Cathy: And we got some e-mails from people saying they love their Style Kit and bag and they’re carrying it with them everywhere. Isn’t it going to be fun, Lise, to be walking around town and see somebody with our bag?

Lissa: Yeah. That would be neat.

Cathy: All in all it was a great day, from the enthusiasm of our attendees to the generous spirit of our sponsors for their generous participation, especially the Honolulu Advertiser, to our staff at RSVPstyle, especially Kara who kept it together, and the front table that was so organized with Mel and Randi, and our awesome production crew—just everything went off without a hitch. And I just found out that awesome Melissa Chang, who wrote the cover story about us for Homescape, wrote about the workshop in her blog today at ! To read the blog click on Urban Mix Plate.

Lissa: This one took our workshops several notches higher. My old boss told me, I was so proud to say I know you. He was so impressed with the production. From the time people walked into the ballroom it just kept building and building til the very end.

Cathy: I’m so glad we did it, but I’m so glad it’s over, and it’s time to look toward our next event, our Shop with Focus event, because I knew everybody would want more, and they did. So I hope everybody out there is putting their inspiration photos in their RSVPstyle book.

Lissa: I hope they’re uploading. I hope they’re going online and if they’re having any problems, e-mail me.

Cathy: Thanks again to everyone for participating in our workshop and helping us to celebrate the launch of our brand new Style Kit—use it in great health and great design!

Lissa: I have to say thank you to my husband and my daughter just for being so patient about not having a mommy for several months. Danny and Megan, thank you. Thanks for understanding, thanks for sacrificing, thanks for helping. And thanks to our parents, for picking up our kids, picking up dinner, picking up the printing the night before the workshop.

Cathy: Our families have been so patient and supportive, the best. The kind of hours we’ve been putting in, especially going into this workshop, it’s been insane. And everybody’s had to sacrifice, from our kids to our husbands to our parents.

The girls came up onstage while we were doing the Style Kit giveaway. We all have daughters. I have Nicki, Lissa has Megan, and Mel’s and Kara’s daughters were there too, so they all joined us onstage for a moment—they’re not shy either!


I love the pictures.
I wanted that necklace so badly!! i fought my way to the front. BTW, I love my style kit!!! Thanks Cathy!

I magnified that pendant to 150% to get a good look--what a beautiful bauble! I'm glad the lady from Maui was happy she won. $18,000 in prizes and gift certificates was extremely generous. Thanks for putting in all your hard work to make a learning workshop so much fun!