Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It is now a day after Christmas and we have opened all of our presents. Not bad! I would have posted pics of the presents , but how boring is that? So instead, I posted me standing in front of our "christmas tree" holding all of our presents. The tree is actually a contemporaty book case from IKEA. We managed to get that and a leather sofa home on top of our car. If the camera pbatteries would not have died, I would have shown pics of those, but ah well....The holidays are almost over, and it is a ZOO here at Panera and the MALL. After Christmas sales I guess. Hope everypone else is still having a happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Putting the Sweet in Success!

So with our new found time, Cheryl and I have been making some treats for the family and postal workers that have made this years Allenbrite experience a stunning success! I wanted to get a box of these to the UPS guy why has also been influential, but I never seem to be able to catch him...And we are unlikely to have any new deliveries this things are looking rather bad at the moment. Who knows? Anyway, we tried our luck with some new chocolate truffles, along with some toffee, fudge, and white chocolate star clusters. My rule when making candy or any treats is to buy enough for at least two attempts....especially when you are in uncharted waters....what way, when you mess up, you can try again with the extra supplies. The truffles were like that. The first batch turned out looking more like lumps of dirt than decadent pearls of chocolate delite. So Cheryl worked on shaping while I worked on a better way to drop them on the paper without messing up the chocolate. In the end, they began to look like they were supposed to. So hope everyone else is having a great Christmas so far and having fun cooking, baking, and candy making. A special thanks to all those folks that made this years sales the best ever! We are truly thankful to everyone. Merry Christmas! ( If I don't get a chance to blog before the 24th....)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Great Allenbrite Finale...As the Shop Cats Look on.

Last night was the last act for this Christmas season. We have been informed that it can not be guaranteed to arrive before Christmas after today...and people seem to have figured it out. Sales have finally slowed a bit and given us time to breath. We worked till the wee hours ( again) to get the final orders out on time so they should make it before Christmas. Now everything else is Bonus. It's actually a welcome relief. I'm sad that we did not make our sales goal this year, but we discovered many things about the company and our sales plan that will only help in the future. Plus, there are many things we got right this year, and the increased sales show it. So, like the shop cat, we have to now look out the window and see what the future has to bring us....while also looking behind us to see what might be there ready to pounce. Merry Christmas everyone.....perhaps now I will be able to blog a little more often with my new found time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mountains of STOCKINGS! Hundreds! Thousands! Millions and Billions!

Ok Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but they are still coming. The good news is ( kinda good) that the sales have slowed down a bit and Cheryl and I have been able to catch things up with several all nighters. I say that is good because we are getting a little worn out. But it is not so good when you think that sales are slowing.. At this point I'm trying to harness the GREED gene that will allow me to work even harder to get that goal we set back in October. However, Greed or no greed, there are still only 25 hours in a day.....or was it 24? Honestly I have forgotten what day it even is! I can't even believe I have the time to blog! Ah well, I'll look back at this and sign with a smile on my face as I remember "those crazy days" of 2011. Hope everyone is having a great Christmas. If it is half as good as ours, you must be having a lot of fun! Lots of people are sending us responses that they LOVED their stockings...and that is really what motivates us now. It is fun bringing a little extra Christmas Cheer to peoples homes. ( makes me feel like an Elf!) Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I have created a monster in the last few days of the Christmas Shipping season. The NAMES! They now take about three hours to do! This is a sample of ONE DAYS worth of name requests. I have finally had to limit the number of names we offered, but they continue to come's just that we are not getting paid for them now...AH well....I guess that was My bright Idea..but they have slowed to a controllable level now. I guess I should look at the names as a RUNAWAY success! ( cough cough!) Thanks to me, of coarse! I guess I should not be so hysterical then and just revel in the sales that are literally flooding in. ( we are Drowning!) Be careful what you wish WILL get it if you want it bad enough. Hope everyone else is surviving the Christmas Season. This has been even MORE of a roller coaster ride than last year...( AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT! 2010...Recap: Close business, sell everything, move to Iowa, start business over, succeed wildly!) 2011 recap: buy furniture, money runs out, get a job, quit job, restart business, SUCCEED WILDLY! Makes you wonder why we don't keep the business year round eh? Hopefully we will become a little wiser this year and cut the soul crushing job out of the equation. we shall see..

Friday, December 9, 2011

NAMES! Glorious NAMES! What have I Done to Myself?

The names are so POPULAR! I'm actually very happy. Yes it is a lot of work, but people seem to be happy with them and that makes me happy. Plus I like the way they look. Check out a ..".typical " (20 Names!) day at the Allenbrite Studio where I have to do all of the names. They now take about 2 hours just ot do the NAMES! Nevermind the stockings....what fun! Ah, there simply are not enough hours in the day to do everything the way I want. But seriously, I'm GRATEFUL for every single name I get to do. Not to mention every stocking is a blessing. Hope everyone is having a great Holiday Season so far.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Are FAMOUS! (Almost) In IOWA!

That is right! We are in the NEWSPAPER! Which is almost like being on Google...and in Iowa it's like being on TV! Well it has been a busy....what day is it? I have completely lost track of time. Our days are now running together and we put in 16 hour days back to back. We have been getting felt of fast that now even the factory is in short supply! We have been averaging 60-70 stockings every other day with small batches ( 30-40) on the days in between. Needless to say..things are getting a little crazy. Well I can't make this posting too long because My battery is short and I still have to open the orders....Hope everyone day is going well. As for me....looks like another allnighter. YEAH!

Friday, December 2, 2011

MORE buttons, More Felt, More Sales!

What day is this? I can't even remember Thursday! Cheryl and I have been working long days to stay on top of this tidal wave. But NOW we have buttons! The Pic is rather dark....but imagine three more boxes of snowflake buttons. And then there is the felt. Cheryl put in another order today..and will probably follow that up with another order on Monday. I'm hoping the orders will be large enough to last through the season. And the sales keep coming. We finally got a little caught up yesterday working till 3 am. ( that is nothing....we worked till 5 the night before!) But the orders keep coming so we are behind again....YEAH! We are hanging on to a tigers tail here and we simply can't let go now. So....Cheryl and I have to dig in and re grip as we ride this train. Hope everyone else is having a fun and event fun Christmas as we are. It's AWESOME! Oh! And it snowed today....and nthing says Fun like an Origami Hummingbird at Panera.


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