It all started on a Tuesday, the day I had planned to attend the New York International Gift Show and the forecast was claiming a "northeaster" was going to roll in by two o'clock in the afternoon. Time to change my plans. Over my morning cup of Hot Chocolate I realized the deadline for entering Country Business Magazine's Retailer of the Year was at midnight. Now mind you I had sworn off entering after two years of no response from the magazine and the huge time commitment of applying. But maybe this was a sign I should attempt one last time.
As the day grew dark with a threatening sky and the winds picked up, I remained in my PJ's. The task of fully answering the questions by the magazine were as hard, if not harder than I remembered. (Must be why I refer to my previous application as my HiHo thesis) I wrote past lunch, took a break for dinner and Mr. HiHo did a proof read after 9 PM.I answered questions like "how do you make decisions about buying for your store?" and " what type of promotions do you do?" I know, open ended questions that need specific examples to back them up. I kept saying to the family"I'm never doing this again". Well long story short I made the deadline and moved on with my life.
The very cold Spring arrived and meetings and plans for the towns annual Cupcake Festival had me busy. The kids had rehearsals, concerts, shows and Mr. HiHo had projects in motion, life is always full. HiHo was holding it's own while I plotted cupcake themed displays and window props, business as usual.A small group of us would meet every Weds. morning early to hash out and discus the count down to the event. On this particular morning the bank called my cell phone, ut oh. A customers large check had bounced and my account was in jeopardy, not good. I jumped up, ran to the bank and covered the check made a phone call and straightened things out. I went back to the meeting. Needless to say not a great morning. The morning continued to have "pop ups" and I guess you could say I was having a bad day. I was finally settling into the afternoon and putting the morning behind me and the phone rang."Heidi, this is Susan Wagner of Country Business Magazine" I was thinking OK ,we had discussed the possibility of writing an article for them, hmmm."yes?" "I have good news our judges have voted you our 2011 Retailer of the Year"
The rest is a bit of a blur, because I couldn't stop repeating "OMG I can't believe it" I awkwardly got off the phone and finished up with a customer before phoning Mr. HiHo.
I phoned home told him the news ran through some of the winnings and paused "can you believe this morning I couldn't cover the accounts and this afternoon I'm retailer of the year?" and with out a moment of hesitation my hero said "that's why your retailer of the year, you are up for the ride"