Debra Darvick — I got by with the help of my friends…

This is what 27,000 cards looks like.

This is what 27,000 cards looks like.

This is what the delivery of 27,000 Picture a Conversation cards looked like. Not pictured are the five boxes delivered a day or so later that contained the makings of the 1000 boxes into which we would place the 27,000 cards.

Our work was cut out for us. We had one week to collate the cards, wrap them with a little belt cut from card stock, seal the ends of the belt with a sticker, and put each set of 27 cards into 1000 boxes that also needed folding. And then seal each box with a clear label. Piece of cake.

the assembly line assembler

the assembly line assembler

Martin is a master organizer. Thank Heavens. Whereas I would have arranged 27 piles representing each of the designs, and then walked around the table creating sets, Martin saw it differently and oogobs more efficiently. He “dealt” sixty cards of each design on a table, working his way through all 27 cards.  Round and round the table we went, assembling 60 sets of cards at a time and stacking them all over the den until the next step of banding them together with the card stock belt and sticker. Had we done it my way, I think I’d still be assembling.


the “belting station”

It would not have been possible without the help of an army of friends.  Beth and I passed a snowy afternoon ferrying stacked cards to the “belting and stickering station.” (Look closely and you’ll see the stickers on the edge of the table.) Diana came in-between depositions for some marathon belting and stickering and then stayed for lunch. Liz popped over for a quick hour or so to help assemble and got us further down the road, as did my friend Brenda who was also one of our testers.

The Night of the Huge Assembly, Sara, Naomi, Ginger, Rhona, Etta, Stacy and her eight-year-old son Brady came to assemble boxes, put the pre-assembled stacks of cards into the boxes and then organize the individual boxes of cards into shipping cartons. It felt like a barn raising or a quilting bee where everyone comes together to help one of their own. I made lasagna and salad to fortify us at the start and cheesecake at the end.  While we worked, talk flowed.  After learning about one another’s businesses Stacy (owner of the Home Life Center) and Rhona (owner of Dance City ) began brainstorming ways to collaborate on a mother-daughter dance and body movement workshop.

While we worked, I thought about the strong thread of American ingenuity and the kitchen table entrepreneurship that brought us Liquid Paper, Spanx, and Slinky. How many men and women have come before me testing ideas, hoping, flailing, breaking out of the pack toward stratospheric success?  No one succeeds without the support of friends and loved ones. I am blessed indeed.

Brady's favorite card is about keeping life balanced.

Brady’s favorite card is about keeping life balanced.

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2 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Kevin says:

    Look like a great innovation. Thanks for sharing….

    • Thank you, Kevin. It is an innovation in this niche. As far as I can tell, Picture a Conversation stands alone in this genre by combining nature photography and meaningful questions. Plus, we’re a husband and wife team!

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