Our Stories posted by Nan Tofanelli

Company is always fun. This week we were fortunate to host three beautiful ladies who we love for their personalities and respect for their savvy business sense. Sandy and Heather, our sales reps for two of our very favorite lines...

Heather came from San Francisco, Sandy from the Manhattan Beach area and Annie from Marin.

Sandy and Heather came to lend support to our sales team and update our catalogs and fabrics for their lines. Annie is the owner/proprietor of the beautiful Sunrise Home in San Rafael. Annie's showroom has long been a model for us. Whenever we travel to the Bay Area we try to stop at her home furnishings store for inspiration. As in most industries, It's really important to meet and confer with other like retailers... we are lucky we found a proprietor as generous as Annie.  We call upon each other to help with product sources, problem solving, display ideas, transportation and logistic sources, computer and web site ideas and many other important  topics. Most small businesses don't have the time and the deep pocket books to do all the necessary reserach on their own so it's extremely valuable to share tried and true information. Obviously with the distance between our two stores, we don't have any problems with competition. We try to get together when we go to trade shows, we email, we have quick chats over the phone but it's always worthwhile to sit down together without a proposed question to see where the conversation leads.

We spent the afternoon in our showroom exchanging ideas and then strolled to Tres Hombres for an outdoor margarita, a walk through the Thursday night Farmer's Market and then settled down to a relaxed dinner outdoors at our home on the lake. Thanks to my son-in-law, John, dinner was a breeze. He BBQ’d figs with goat cheese and prosciutto, he seared scallops and served them with a fresh fruit salsa and I made a green bean salad with beets and oranges.

The next morning we shared breakfast outdoors together and watched the Canada geese parade by our dock. Sadly, after breakfast they had to leave for home.

As always, time flies when you're being productive.  We had a great time with such a fantastic group and hope to do it again soon.  Thank you Sandy, Heather and Annie for making this such a special visit!

Nan

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