September 13, 2023 I worked this fundraiser for the amazing organization: Food Strong. This was my first time working for this group. Sara saw me at a recent Mix at the art museum and invited me to attend. Well, it was out of my price range, so I offered to volunteer. This is Sara and I that evening (yes, I again look like Godzilla).
I was basically the hostess for the dinner, making sure sponsors got to their tables and getting the other guests seated. I was in my element, making one amazing connection after another. I saw people I had recently met at Pandemonium, made new friends and even made what could be some great business connections.
It seems that I have endeared myself to the organization and quite a few of the ladies involved. I had to chuckle. I overheard a woman at the registration table refer someone to me by saying “Kandi is the tall woman…”. As you may know, I adore the natural references that are made to me as “she” or as a woman. I still get chills when I hear it or even think about it. Well, I am one very lucky woman!
Okay, this is how bad I am getting, as the cheese continues to slip off my cracker… I wrote the following and simply forgot about it. So here you go, your geriatric hostess, recanting a tale she wrote a little bit ago and forgot. Bonus post time!
Let’s set this story up properly. In early April, I attended a Plexus Annual meeting. There I met the head of the company sponsoring this event, a large LGBT owned apparel company! Fast forward a bit, this company is part of one of the largest ad specialty companies in the country. A company with over 600 sales people nationally, the type of large marketing channel I am seeking. Months of relative inactivity followed, much of which because I am old and I do not know how the marketing world operates these days, considering technology and social media.
While I know very little, when I learn something I absorb it and immediately understand all of the possibilities. I call it “marinating”, once I have marinated in an idea or possibility or a new tool to me, there is a point when it literally clicks and my mind expands and sees the field differently. I become like a Peyton Manning then, I see things before they happen or see small openings in the coverage, to continue the analogy. Experience is a wonderful thing! The older I get, the more experiences I absorb, the smarter, the wiser, the more intuitive I become. Life…..why does my mind expand and contract all at the same time? Ask me the name of someone I just met, with whom I exchange names and shake hands and I draw a blank.
No laughing here. I have participated in Zoom or Team meetings, but never set one up. No clue. On September 7, 2023 I set up and hosted an introductory webinar, featuring me and my national sales manager, whom I have known almost 50 years (we are high school friends). Attendance for the webinar far exceeded my expectations and I believe, impressed the company, my customer. Within 24 hours of the conclusion of the webinar, I had four sales opportunities!
The following day, I had planned to run around town, introducing myself to some existing and potential customers for my other apparel line. I am driving from southeast of Cleveland to the west side. My phone rings and I recognize the name as a webinar attendee. And she is in the 216 area code, Cleveland! She has a project that she wanted to discussed. Long story short, at about the exact time of that call, I was no more than five miles from her. We quickly met at a local McDonalds.
Not only does she have a great opportunity, we instantly bonded. We have common backgrounds, recently lost a parent and have the responsibility for the remaining parent, she grew up and still lives about a mile from where I went to high school and she is an ally! She works with and for the LGBT company that is a part of this broader, large national company. Well, within minutes I was sharing Kandi photos (my day started with an agenda of cold calls, dressed as myself, not Kandi) and we were almost like two sisters! The impromptu meeting ended with multiple hugs and Kelly and are fast friends! Going forward, I expect to see her frequently and will not call on her or meet her any longer in male mode.