From angels in February to suddenly summer and I’m still not sure where the time went. Between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day 12 Small Thingswas busy showcasing hand-made hearts from Haiti, Kenya and Guatemala along with recycled glass necklaces from Ghana and jewelry from the forests of Colombia. To supplement website sales, I joined forces with friends for a three-way trunk show of handmade products at the Apollo Cafe and also made appearances at a couple of Appel and Frank shopping events including Babes and Babies at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. I don’t remember when I’ve ever seen so many pregnant and young mothers in one place before.
In between shows and sales I picked up some part-time work with Paul Terry and Associates, my teacher fromThe Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center where I attended the business planning classes almost two years ago. I enjoyed learning about fellow student’s business plans for opening new restaurants and clothing stores in and around San Francisco and remembered when 12 Small Things was just an idea on paper not that long ago. Partnering with By Hand Consulting and Hand/Eye Magazine was a great asset for 12 Small Things this past year, but I still needed a full-time day job to make ends meet.
While attending a party at The Liberty Cafe for my good friend Darcy Lee, the owner of Heartfelt, to thank her for her work on behalf or the Bernal Height’s merchant community, I met a mutual friend, Catharine Keena. I had first met Catharine when I was considering starting 12 Small Things more than five years ago, and we have kept in touch ever since, saying hi at gift trade shows. One conversation led to another and I am now happy to be working with Catharine for her manufacturer’s representative company Keena. Keena represents 30 different product lines featuring tabletop, decorative accessories, personal care and stationary to retailers west of the Rockies. And I feel very lucky to have as my sales territory, my own back yard of the Mission, Bayview, Potrero Hill and thankfully Bernal Heights.