Category Archives: Uncategorized

Many people will win one of our most popular products

Is imitation REALLY the sincerest form of flattery? Not when they lie to your face and then knock you off.

During the week of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market ’13, a major retailer/cataloger came to our booth, expressed interest in our products and asked for samples. Three weeks later when we follow-up with them, they say no thank you and that they “have a very similar product in development for 2014.”

I’m not going to name names because, well, this is a MAJOR company with a stellar reputation among consumers (but apparently dubious among industry insiders,) and I don’t want to bring their wrath down upon my employer.  Instead, we are giving you the opportunity to win the item they are knocking-off before they have a chance to sell it.

Here’s how:

  1. Browse our website at http://sprigs.com to see our items and guess which one they are knocking off.
  2. Guess the retailer/cataloger & product and either Tweet your answer to us @Sprigsville using the hashtag #WhoCopiedSprigs OR on our Facebook page

All correct entries between now and 11:59 PM EDT, Sunday August 18, 2013  or as supplies last win. It’s as simple as that. Guessing the brand will not gain you entry into a drawing. Guessing the brand will get you the product.

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Holiday 2012 Gift Guides

There is still time to shop for Christmas 2012, even from your favorite online vendors, like us www.sprigs.com. If you are still looking for inspiration, here is a list of holiday gift guides we’ve compiled this year (in no particular order):

Of course there are hundreds, if not thousands, of online gift guides and we can’t list them all, but if you have a gift guide and you’d like it listed here, please leave a comment, including your URL.

And last but not least, if you are pulling your hair out about what to get someone in your life, there is a great Subreddit called Santa’s Helpers. Check it out.

Out with the Old, In with the Feng Shui

OK, maybe “in the with the Feng Shui” is hyperbole. We have used Feng Shui as a guiding principle for years, but this week we’ve been making some drastic changes to our office – paint, new flooring, and accents around the windows. The accents are really cool. We took old pallets and cut them up to frame our windows. The wood was quite weathered and no longer usable for pallets but they are PERFECT for decoration.

If you aren’t familiar with Feng Shui, Wikipedia defines it as:

A Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi.

Some people will dismiss Feng Shui as “voodoo” or superstition, but we’ve found when things are in alignment, our creativity and productivity soar. If you’re interested in Feng Shuing your office, a good starter article is “13 Do’s and Taboos for the Feng Shui Office” on the Care2.com website.

While moving things around for painting and flooring, we’ve been on a cleaning spree.Take a look at what we found:

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Yeah, that’s a box full of 3.5″ floppy disks. Remember those?

As good as it felt to dump them into the trash bin, fear not! We WILL find a way to reuse/recycle them. We’ve already considered using them as coasters, but we’re open to alternative ideas (wall art? wind chime?) What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments section below.

Green Sauce Recipe

Last week I was on vacation, but due to my son coming down with a highly contagious strain of the Coxsackie virus, it became a staycation. The upside is I got more time than usually to cook. On one trip to Whole Foods I saw some gorgeous bone-in pork chops on sale. I was in the mood to try something new so I asked the butcher if he had any recommendations. He quickly and enthusiastically offered up the following:

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 whole red onion, peeled
  • 1 whole green pepper, cored
  • 2 cloves of garlic (I love garlic so I used 3 cloves)
  • half a tomato

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a fairly smooth sauce – not quite liquid.

My new-friend suggested putting a bit of oil in a hot pan, then a bit of sauce and then the pork chops. He also suggested four minutes per side, but the chops were rather thick so I finished them in the oven.

Once the chops were done, I didn’t love the color of the sauce. Don’t get me wrong, the cooked sauce looked OK, but the raw sauce was so beautiful! I wiped the excess sauce from the chops and spread some raw sauce on top when I plated. Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures because it really was a lovely shade of bright green and just looked fresh and beautiful.

So, how did it taste and how was it received? GREAT! My wife was so surprised by the beautiful plate I put in front of her and it was delicious. The flavor was very “fresh” with a little bit of a kick from the onion and garlic.

Two of the great things about this sauce is the quantity the above recipe yields and its versatility. I made the above dish on Wednesday. On Friday I quickly sautéed shrimp and then served it with a bit of the left over sauce. Last night (Tuesday) I used more to repeat the pork chop dinner. And there is sill enough left over for another meal.

While I found the sauce delicious, I’m going to experiment a bit and try swapping out half of the celery for half a peeled cucumber and add some cilantro. Any other ideas for variations on the sauce?

My First Product Photo Shoot

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to participate in a photo shoot of some of our soon-to-be-launched products. Having never done such a thing, I was nervous, but things went exceptionally well – mostly due to the talented photographer Ed Cody and our models Jessica and Thomas.

My day started with a train ride up the Hudson branch of the Metro-North Railroad. I’m pretty familiar with the first half of the New Haven line and very familiar with the Harlem line so it was actually a treat for me to take the Hudson line. As its name suggests, the line runs along the eastern shore of the Hudson river, offering some spectacular views. I was on a local so in transit for a little over an hour. Really, not a bad way to start the morning.

Jessica and Thomas were on the same train as I and we were met by my colleague Julie. She took us to our first location of the day – a yacht club on the Hudson. I was quite busy so I didn’t take many photos – well, I did, but there ended up being product in most of them and we’re keeping the new stuff under wraps. One image I did manage to take for this post was of the view from the front of the boat where we did a lot of shots:

Image

As you can see, it was overcast, but Ed is a PRO and managed to really capture the feeling we were looking for as well as the products themselves. The chemistry between Jessica and Thomas also helped. But what really helped keep us on schedule? All of the planning and organization Julie and Val did before hand.

After shooting at the yacht club for a while we took a break where we got to all know each other more. Turns out Jessica and Thomas have a business called She and Wolf. They purchase up-scale designer jeans and convert them into maternity jeans. What a BRILLIANT idea. Check out their shop at www.SheAndWolf.com Maternity Jeans or their Ebay Store.

Our next location was a running/walking trail. It was lovely, but the sun was stronger and the trees were causing some funky shadows. But, again, Ed is a professional and had the right tools to get some shots of our products in a different habitat. I found a few ripe wild raspberries and ate them right off of the vine. One of my favorite things about summer.

After that the other folks from the office met us at a restaurant on the river and we had a nice group dinner. I got home in time to talk about “The things we’re going to dream about,” with my three-and-half year-old son before he went to bed which was a great way to end a great day and I can’t wait to be able to use the photos we took yesterday.

I Couldn’t Make This Up: Banjees Saves Customer from Quicksand

The other day I posted some unsolicited praise from a customer about our Banjees Wrist Wallet (click here for that post.) Today’s post is also from a customer, but this comes from the “I Couldn’t Make this Up” file. Let’s start with Linda’s original email to Sprigs, sent via the form on our Contact Us page. Linda wrote:

I have lost my wrist banjee that saved my life in quicksand and now I have gone to sooooo many stores looking for one, that I have spent more money on gas than what the product is worth. Is there any way to purchase one from you? PLEASE!!!! Linda

WAIT A MINUTE! “Saved my life in quicksand”!?!? I had to hear that story so I replied asking Linda for more details. She wrote back:

The quicksand thing was…. Last year I was in our swamp and alone.  Had my phone strapped to my wrist and a rope tied to my waist, which was connected to my truck.  I am out in the middle of nowhere trying to remove some invasive species of Phragmities and hit a very Cold spot in the swamp.  My waders sunk and the muck became quicksand and was drawing me down.  I hung onto the rope and used my teeth to pull out the phone.  Sounds so Neanderthal.  Called my husband, who was 1/6 of a mile away from me.   he came down and slowly pulled me out using the truck.  I am an organic farmer and many times when I am out in the fields I cannot put a phone in my pocket cause I cannot hear it due to chain saw, tractors, or chipping dead trees for mulch.  Having the phone of the wrist keeps it close to my ears so I can hear.  Glad I kept the container that the Sprigs was attached to.

See, I told you I could never make this up. Thanks for sharing your story Linda and we’re also glad you kept the backer-card!

P.S. Support your local farm (organic when possible.) It makes a difference and, frankly, food tests best when fresh!

Praise from a Customer

Last week we received a great email from a customer, Erica M. I’m going to let her email do the talking on this one:

I really just want to say thank you for creating the Banjees Wrist Wallet. I saw them mentioned in Rachel Ray Magazine and knew I had to have one. I bought one for my husband, two for my mom, and two for me. We are so happy with them! We took them on vacation to Jamaica where they definitely came in handy. I’ve worn mine bicycling, walking, during Zumba class, and to the store when I have no pockets. My mother, who works in a high crime area, wears hers to avoid purse-snatching! Everyone wants to know where we got them! This is the coolest procuct I’ve seen in a long time!  P.S. When the weather turns cold here, I imagine I’ll be getting myself some of those neat gloves, too!

Thanks Erica! You made our day.