I told you I made it to Maryland for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Retailer Training, but I never told you I made it back home! I’m back and safe and sound and thought it’s about time I tell you about an incredible week.
I arrived Monday, September 23rd safe and sound in Maryland after a two-day, 14 hour car ride. I had about an hour and a half to myself to relax and write a quick blog post, then I was off to meet Jennylyn Pringle (President of Homestead House Paint Co.), Abbe Doll (of All Dolled Up & Primary Educator for MMSMP) and Veronica Barr (Australian Distributor for MMSMP) for dinner.
We had a lot of laughs and great conversation, but headed back to our rooms early to get rest so we could conquer Advanced Training the next day.
Tuesday, September 24th, started out with a lot of hellos, intros and hand shakes. And as I was moving some chairs around, I saw “her” walk in out of the corner of my eye. “Oh my gosh. She’s here”, I thought. I tried not to look too excited and I casually chatted with a few people and then it happened. She noticed me. And we hugged and smiled and talked like old friends. Just like that.
I apologized to Marian and told her that if I seemed aloof at all during the day to forgive me because it was just that I was so excited to meet her. She reassured me and said we’d be best friends by the end of the next day when I went to her house and saw her dirty toilets and Legos spread out all over the floor. A woman after my own heart!
As MMSMP Retailers, we spent the morning listening to Marian talk about her journey from muralist to Mom to ornament maker to blogger to furniture painter to antique dealer to author to brand . . . it was very encouraging and we asked a million and one questions.
Then we moved on to Advanced Training techniques and we. learned. a. ton! I learned new techniques I hadn’t tried and we laughed as we spilled paint and told stories to one another. I was so glad I took that ride out to Maryland.
We packed up, cleaned up, ran off for a quick bite to eat, then it was back on the road north to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to get ready for a full day marathon meeting at Marian’s house the next day.
Wednesday, September 25th, we arrived at the doorstep of Marian’s house and Abbe Doll looked over at me and mouthed “We’re about to walk in to Miss Mustard Seed’s house.” To which I mouthed back, “I know!”.
You open the door and walk right into a magazine. I kid you not. It doesn’t look any different in person than it does on her blog, for those of you that follow her. And if you don’t follow Miss Mustard Seed, well then you need to get your head examined. Just sayin’!
We poorly pretended we were doing okay as she walked us around her home, but we were clearly weak in the knees. It was very surreal having followed her for so long to now be standing in her home. It was an honor that I don’t take lightly.
Abbe and I even took photos of each other taking photos in Marian’s house. We were having way too much fun for a work meeting!
And these next two photos are great because one is from Veronica’s camera and the other is from mine taken at about the same time, completely unplanned.
Myself, Abbe Doll, Jennylyn Pringle and Marian Parsons sat around her dining room table (5th edition, I believe) and talked non-stop for 8 hours about the brand, the retailers’ concerns, the future and got our heads together going forward.
(When Veronica Barr and her husband showed up in the middle of the day, we took a moment to shop Marian’s basement and had a little fun goofing around together – see photos below).
I was honored to be brought onto the team of leaders and I hope my role will be a compliment to the wonderful team already in place and inspirational and uplifting to the retailers and consumers. I really do love this paint and I’m on a personal Milk Paint revolution. I mean, the cost point is comparable to that of a regular quart of latex paint at Home Depot, yet it’s environmentally friendly, safe for you and I to use, AND you can use it 4 ways? Why wouldn’t you choose to use it then? It just makes sense.
At the end of that long, productive day, I headed off to a little Bed & Breakfast right in downtown Gettysburg and hunkered down for the night.
The next day I was off to go antiquing by myself to a couple of places Marian told me about . . . but I’ll share that part of the journey with you soon.
P.S. I still get giddy when I think about being in Marian’s home and chatting with her about her brand. Are you kidding me? What on earth have I done to deserve that?