Saturday, July 23, 2011

Please Vote for Me!

Vote for Us

Kimberley's Kitchen is nominated for this great contest and I would really appreciate your vote!

It's simple:
2. Register
3. Vote for Kimberley's Kitchen

We have until October to get the most number of votes. The Grand Prize would make a huge impact on my life and business and give me an opportunity to grow and develop my passion.

(I would also win Westjet tickets which I could use to visit my brand new niece in Ottawa~ tug heart strings~)

So, thanks for voting for me. I truly appreciate everyone's support and encouragement.


Monday, July 18, 2011

One Bite at a Time

Photo by Magna Vita Photography

Starting a small business is a lot like having a baby. Many have drawn this parallel before and now that I have done both I can confidently say that its very true.

There is the idea phase. That moment where your "baby" is conceived. (I vividly remember the moment, more like vision, of gourmet marshmallows. And I have a journal entry/rambling/"plan" that documents it and outlines how I would do it different than the rest).

The anticipation. What shall I name it? What room will it live in? How shall I decorate it? How do I want to announce it?

And then it arrives. Sleepless nights. Time is not your own. Its not what you thought it would be. You get lots of feedback and opinions and advice. Your emotions are haywire. Loss of sleep, new parent anxiety, wondering when life will "get back to normal."

And then there are the Year One milestones. Its like a huge competition. Independant sitting. Crawling. Walking. First words. First foods. Okay, for the real baby. But the business version of this- social media presence, SEO, press, sales, profits.

But just like real babies, our businesses can only grow and develop one step at a time. Certain milestones need to be reached before the next. Babies don't walk before they hold up their head (hopefully!). Businesses don't grow before you lay a foundation.

In all my previous corporate experience, the best business lesson was at Starbucks. (I often tell people that being a Starbucks store manager is the best business school a person can attend). The mantra of One Cup at a Time resonated with me deeply. Passionate about coffee and customer service, I took this to heart. And still do. I truly believe that thriving companies, big and small, are built on the One Customer at a Time philosophy.

At Kimberley's Kitchen, One Bite at a Time is my growth strategy. Why? It has to be. I won't grow until someone tries my gourmet marshmallows and falls in love with it. If they don't, I move on (and try not to take it personally, but it is my baby after all).  I really love connecting with each and every customer, achieving milestones one step at a time.

Just like a mom, I nurture my "baby" everyday. Often in the middle of the night. Whenever needed. Always trying to make the best decisions and do the right thing. I have met lots of supportive Mompreneurs along the way and am inspired by them daily. My "baby" will be turning One in the Fall, my favorite time of year. And I am really looking forward to celebrating this first year. Motherhood and Business Ownership have enriched my life and I am definitely better for it.

Now back to the Kitchen, to make a batch of marshmallows for this week's market. Where I will get to connect with my customers and continue to grow One Bite at a Time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Picnic

Photos by Magna Vita Photography
This Spring I hosted a birthday celebration for our daughters, Olivia and Georgia, who turned 1 and 3. I love themed parties and took inspiration from one of our favorite books, Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. With contributions by many talented women, we enjoyed a picnic at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, BC. A special thank you to Magna Vita Photography for the beautiful party images.

The guests were welcomed to the picnic by a gorgeous banner from Bella Grey Designs. Two strands with printed cardstock in all the colors from the book strung onto soft tulle. A great keepsake!

Welcoming our guests to eat was a handstamped banner from Sweet Stella's that is a work of art. Handcut embellishments of the caterpillar and fruits adorned the Happy Birthday banner- AND the clever artist behind Sweet Stella's, Shannon, made the fruits removable so that the banner could be reused with a different theme. Another beautiful keepsake for a special birthday.

Sweets and treats were available for guests from Kimberley's Kitchen, Em's Gems, and iBakery. The gorgeous butterfly cookies from iBakery are a replica of the butterfly at the end of the book. They taste as good as they look. And each guest got to take one home. Jackie is a true talent when it comes to creating cookies in any design that you could wish for.

Cookies by  iBakery

Cookies by Em's Gems

Marshmallows by Kimberley's Kitchen

The caterpillar cupcakes didn't survive the travel to the park; poor little thing has a smudged face. But it tasted good.

To decorate the tables I used lovely mini pinwheels from Twirlie Whirlies. The kids loved playing with them and we tucked them into the loot bags at the end of the party. I have a few left and have used them to decorate the girls' bedroom. I am now in love with pinwheels!

A very special handmade gift by our  friend, Jessica- a Very Hungry Caterpillar sock puppet that eats all the felt fruits and food! What a clever idea (and I think she should sell them!)

Time to go home. Thanks to everyone who made this a special day for our family!


Here is a complete list of the talented contributors: