Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One month until action

Warning: this might be kind of a boring blog. Sort of a house keeping piece to catch up so I can do more interesting blogs in the future. Hopefully the pictures are pretty.

[mountain biking in Lyons, Colorado] You know, it feels like I have been blogging for the past year, but then when I look at the blog, I realize that I haven't done a darn thing since returning to Seattle in June. Whooooa. I'm not going to try to catch up on the last six months, but I feel like I should at least give a little information on what are plans are and how we prepared for it.
After returning from  Colombia, I promptly forgot all of the spanish that I had spent so much time trying to learn. It must be in there, but I don't know where.
I fell right back into my business (luxurious productions) by creating a series of training events for GORE-TEX® Products around the country. The contract this year was for a similar amount of work as last year, but I wanted to execute with a much higher quality. We made the decision to have her not take another job and help out with Luxurious Productions. We needed her considerable expertise in experiential curriculum development.

[teaching about motorcycle safety] Megan taught several classes to 3-6 year olds about motorcycling to South America and some of the cultures we visited. It was fun to see her in her element. I still have no idea how she can manage a room of 30 preschoolers all by herself for hours on end.

 We took a trip back east to visit Gore and to visit Megan's family and friends. While there, we took the mandatory trip to Shelbourne Farms in Vermont and held Henrietta the chicken. We also visited one of Megan's best friend, Erika who is a very talented artist and has two adorable kids and a fantastic husband. Her blog is here.

We climbed a little bit in Utah while by going to the Uintas for 2 days with our friends Kasi, Andreas, Jenna, and Dylan. We also went to Maple for a few days with the same crew but added Roger, Merridy, Maya, and our good friend Dan Morris who lives in Salt Lake. As usual, I am never in the physical shape that I would like to be in when arriving at Maple, but it was fun and Dan shot some good photos (psswd: maple).

We planned and developed curriculum in August and then in September we began executing our events starting with Anchorage, then REI Corporate in Kent, WA, then Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake, Las Vegas. Southern California, San Francisco Bay area, Bend, and Seattle. The events went fantastically well with the new curriculum this year and we received amazing feedback.

[mailing our first order] Upon arriving in Seattle, we went and bought a business. Over the past couple of years, Megan has become disconnected from the Montessori world and has been playing with ideas to get back into it. However, given our lifestyle (of not being in one place for very long), teaching is out of the question.
[we found this little fellow on the beach in Southern California- turned out he is very invasive] An opportunity presented itself in the name of montessori123.com. This is an online retailer that sells montessori materials for teachers, parents, and home schoolers. We have hundreds and hundreds of nicely crafted nomenclature, or 3 part, cards. When someone wants some, we print them up, laminate them, and mail them out. It sounds simple and mostly is, but the magic comes come from the fact that the cards we have are very nice, that Megan will be able to make lots of new cards from our travels, and that the business has been around for quite a while and has a good reputation. The prior owner hasn't leveraged her past customers in a while, so with a little bit of marketing (which is what we essentially do now) we will be able to create a community around the brand and grow it... right?
We'll see, but in the meantime we are trying to figure out how to
a) actually buy a business. It is more technical than we thought and there is a lot to learn
b) run the day to day of the business
c) develop a system to have it keep going while we are back in South America
d) prepare for a conference in Chicago in March (we will probably fly back from Chile for it)
e) not kill each other from working together so intensely over the past 6 months.

[teaching our nephew Lucas about Gore] So there we are. With a return ticket to Colombia on January 2, we have just over a month to start planning and thinking about being on motorcycles again. Vroom Vroom.