Saturday, April 26, 2008

You asked for it, you got it—more shopping!

We’ve set a date for our next event: a mini-workshop on design selections on Saturday, May 31st at Pacific Home Furnishings in Pearl City. We’ll be sending out more details to all of our qualifying members, because this intimate setting will only be able to accommodate 30 registered members who are proud Style Kit owners!

Just as with our Shop with Focus workshop last month at C.S. Wo, I’ll be teaching in a real-world design setting. I’ll give professional pointers on how to select rugs—which I’ve always found good inspiration pieces for a room—and we’ll also talk about fabric and pattern choices and finishes like tile and other flooring materials. Registered members with Style Kits will receive 30 percent off PHF’s retail prices and have access to an amazing inventory that is not normally available to the average homeowner. I’m really excited about this!

PHF is a place that I love to go to. There are so many possibilities that I can stay for hours. For the novice it can be overwhelming, so our workshop will help break things down, make it easier, and share with you some of my tricks on how to put things together and layer more texture and color into your space. The purpose of RSVPstyle is to train your design eye, and that’s what this is going to be about.

PHF has been an incredible supporter of RSVPstyle and has sponsored our Invitation to Design workshops for the last two years. They’re a wholesale distributor dealing with design professionals and retailers and their showroom is not open to the public.

But PHF is graciously opening its doors to members who have Style Kits. They are allowing this exception to their professionals-only policy because they agree with our RSVPstyle fundamentals of inspiration, color and texture and understand that registered members who are Style Kit users have attained a measure of training. However, there are some rules that we need to follow because of this special exception, and they will need to verify that you’re an RSVPstyle member with a Style Kit. So please, remember to make an appointment!

We’ll be sending out a couple of e-mail blasts to our registered members shortly, offering more details about our mini-workshop and about visiting PHF on your own, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The rest of the story

It’s been two weeks since we returned from our trip, and so far we’ve put up the first part of our Amazing Asian Adventure, with the second part going up in just a few days. The response we’ve heard from you has been awesome. I’ve gotten phone calls and e-mails from people who say they’ve enjoyed reading about our adventures. I’ve even run into people on the street who’ve said hey, when did you get back from China?

It’s been fun for the three of us back at the office to relive some of our moments as we’re putting this together. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, scroll halfway down the homepage of this website and you’ll see our Amazing Asian Adventure. There’s a lot more to come!

Although you probably would never know it, I do consider myself a pretty private person and have never joined any club to share photos, but once we started this blog and people seemed to enjoy reading about what was going on with us and our company, posting photos just sort of continued on with this trip report--which is why you haven't seen any further blog entries about our journey.

Not only was this a family trip, but we really went for a lot of business reasons as well—to do some research, look into the possibility of a workshop on board the Crystal Symphony, and get some more material for our website. I hope you have as much fun reading our adventure as we’re having putting it together for you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy birthday, Brooke!

That's Kara, proud mommy Judy, birthday girl Brooke, proud papa James, me and Lissa

What a cutie pie—and we’re not talking about you, James!

James Brennan, director/producer of our web videos and Style Kit DVD, had his daughter Brooke’s first-year birthday party this past weekend. Of course Lissa, Kara and I were there to celebrate with them, along with our three little girls, who just like their moms never miss a party!

It was absolutely adorable—almost as adorable as Brooke’s smile. James is Irish and his wife, Judy, is Filipino, and for favors they had these cute Hershey’s candy bars that read, “Ingredients: 50% Irish, 50% Filipino."

Being a producer, James knows how to throw a shindig. There was a clown, a magician, a videographer and a photographer who took pictures of you and instantly put them up for you to take home. The room was decorated in a butterfly theme. Our girls loved the whole evening.

Since I’m such a stickler for detail, I appreciated Judy and James’ following the butterfly theme throughout. There were butterfly balloons, butterfly photo stands, the goodies for the kids were in butterfly bags, there were butterflies all over the table, and they had a video slideshow of Brooke’s first year, with butterflies fluttering through that too.

James’ attention to detail carries through in the way he works with me when we are shooting videos for our web clips—hope you are enjoying those!—and also in putting our entire DVD series together. He needs to keep on top of everything, from the cameraman to the gaffer or lighting person, to me and what I’m saying, what I’m doing, what I’m showing. He has to make sure the audience is going to get what I’m teaching. Especially in the beginning—I’d done a lot of public speaking, but once the red light on that camera goes on, boy, it’s a whole new world. James is the one who taught me about this world. His direction to be more myself, keeping me focused, asking leading questions that would help viewers understand my thought processes more clearly—all of that helped us turn out a better DVD.

James also has his own show on Oceanic Cable 16 called Little Grass Shack, where he is not only behind the scenes but also in front of the camera as the show’s host. I happen to think I do a better job of that, but he’s actually not bad. Love you, James!

Friday, April 11, 2008

We’re ba-ack!

I know, I know! I haven’t been in contact for a long time. But I do have a few reasons:

1. We have been very busy having fun.

2. We intended to keep working and blogging, but after our families joined us it hit home how little we’d seen them in these last hectic months, and despite our admittedly flagging attempts to work, the chance to spend quality time with our families won out.

3. We did encounter some technical difficulties getting our blog to you from the ship.

4. See #1!

We all returned from our trip on Sunday, and the first few days after that were absolutely a blur with the jetlag and getting back into routines of work and school. But I have so much to share with you. It was an amazing trip: the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and all the fascinating places that I’ve read about all my life. In Beijing I was entranced seeing the rooms that the emperor’s concubines slept in. My mom almost fell off a bridge in Shanghai. Nicki wanted to bring home a life-size terracotta warrior for $25,000—but had to settle for a pen-size variety pack terracotta warrior gift set. In Hiroshima, some of the things we saw were quite graphic but even though the girls were all 7 or 8 years old, we felt it was important for them to see the devastation of war. Nicki and I cried.

The food that we ate—oh my God!—did we eat! And all the fun things that we did! This trip was good for business, but more importantly it was a great family trip with really good family times. I’ll have stories and photos for you starting next week on the homepage of this website. We’re ready to get back to work and ready to get back to you, so stay tuned!

Update Tuesday, April 22: here it is!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Somewhere in China...

For those of you checking back for Cathy and crew's latest blog from Asia, we at the RSVPstyle office are sorry to report that since their High Point in Hong Kong, apparent difficulties accessing the Internet have prevented blog updates for some days now.

Last we heard, Cathy, Lissa, Kara and all eight family members had left Hong Kong and were floating on the Crystal Ship somewhere off the coast of Japan. Brief e-mails mentioned something about having too much fun eating and shopping, and promised a full report imminently from the Crystal Ship.

As of this moment, the itinerary they left puts them somewhere in China. We have faith that as soon as they're able, more reports about the sights, tastes and bargains of a once-in-a-lifetime business trip-cum-family vacation will once again grace this space. So keep checking back!