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    Faceplant BLOG

    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

    As with most business trips, we set off with a few goals last week…find new fabrics, work out the latest design issues and improve rapport with our manufacturing partners. After 18 hours of air travel, a 7-hour train ride, and a full day of working with our Chinese sampling team, my ‘happy go lucky’ self would have been happy to crash at the hotel.  As congenial as he is, I was hoping to beg-off dinner with Leo, our long-time vendor in China. We had brought our son Greyson along, and I was afraid he would lose it if he landed at another business dinner with fish eyes staring him down from the plate. But we showered up, dusted ourselves off and headed out to be sociable.

    The Chinese restaurant experience is unique. The culture favors tight-knit gatherings of family and friends, so most restaurants cater to that with private dining rooms. As Leo and Jimmy lead us to our dining room, we were surprised to find Leo’s wife and daughters along with other family friends and children already there. Hanna had brought loads of games for the children and had them set up around the sofa and coffee table. With a little persuasion, Greyson quickly adopted a tetras-like board game of layers and shapes that fit together, and he was thrilled to help the younger children learn some of his tricks.

    Meals are family style and served on a giant turntable that covers most of the round dining table. As the platters arrived, we were elated to discover multitudes of new vegetables and familiar ones prepared in a new way. We learned there are about 50 ways to prepare the cucumber and we delighted in each new one we tried. One of our new friends teaches English and became our designated translator, but after many shared smiles and joyful responses to new and exciting flavors, language became unnecessary. The children laughed at their mutual diverse cultural habits and found ways to play without words.

    Goals are great for setting us on a path, but sometimes the path can wander in amazing directions, and if we’re lucky, we’re brave enough to follow.  I’m happy to report that we found some luxurious new fabrics and worked out a few design hiccups. I’m elated to report that we fostered new and intense friendships and trust that transcend the cultural boundaries that we sometimes believe define us.

    Why we (don’t) call them slippers

    Why we (don’t) call them slippers

    When our son was three, Grama and Grampa who were ever-attentive to his interest-de-jour, gave him a pair of Lightning McQueen slippers for Christmas. Anyone who knows Lightning, knows that our son was immediately inspired to squeal his tires and race circles around the living room. Alas, he only made a couple of turns before he fell fast and hard on the tile floor. Anticipating an intense squeal of pain at that point, I was affably surprised when he sat up with a smile, brushed himself off and said, “Ahaaaa… so THAT’s why they call them slippers!”**

     

    **Official Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home! Our soles are ANTI-skid, not Non-skid. Rapid circles run around any tile floor are not recommended.

    The Power of Words

    The Power of Words

    I tell my son that words only hold the power that we give to them; a simple and true intellectual statement. Emotionally though, words are very powerful and can be the catalyst to incredible change.

    Words begin with thoughts. Thoughts begin in our imagination; our dreams. When I imagined building a company, the intent was to offer people serenity before they slept to inspire positive and peaceful dreams. I imagined using pillowcases inscribed with powerful words as my medium.

    Imagining is a beginning, but it takes effort and action to make it real. While I imagined the company I could build, I struggled with taking the first steps to make it happen. In the spring of 2007 I was travelling for business with my dear friend Aly. While treating ourselves with a joyful evening on the patio at the top of the W hotel in San Francisco, we pondered the idea of a company that uses the power of words on pillowcases to inspire positive dreams. We giggled and vetoed hundreds of outlandish would-be names for this company. As the sun set over the city, the waitress misinterpreted my hand signal for “check please” and brought us each another glass of wine. My (petite) friend Aly considered the brief thought of another drink and uttered, “I don’t know what you’re going to name this imaginary company of yours, but if I touch that third glass of wine, I will absolutely FACEPLANT into my pillow”.  The red rockets blared, fireworks burst in the air and my vision became completely clear. “Faceplant” was a powerful word. It was time to make my dream a reality and to begin building “Faceplant Dreams”.