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:

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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.

In praise of small batches

I was making Swedish meatballs last night and I was inspired to post about our organic yoga clothing and accessories, more specifically our Organic Infinity Scarf. Odd connection right? Well, let me give a little back-story to explain how I got there.

I have a three-year-old son. Unfortunately he became a picky eater just after his second birthday, but one of the foods he will eat is Swedish meatballs (I think it’s the lingonberry jam aka “meatball-jam” in my house.) We discovered this while visiting my mother, who happens to be Swedish, and makes meatballs people rave about.

I was thrilled to have another protein to add to my son’s menu, so on the way home we stopped at Ikea and bought a bag of frozen meatballs. Later in the week I heated a few for my son and he gobbled them down. Over the next few months we went through the bag of meatballs. At some point my wife pointed out, Ikea probably does not use antibiotic-free meats like we purchase for everything else my son is potentially going to eat.

So I stopped buying the big bag of frozen, factory-made meatballs and emailed my mother for her recipe. I’ve made three or four batches now and, not to toot my own horn, the are GREAT! The flavor is better than the Ikea meatballs, but where they really stand-out is the texture.  So this got me thinking about the difference in quality between things mass-produced and those made in small batches. Then I started thinking about our products and our Organic Infinity Scarf.

Our Infinity Scarves are beautiful and people love them. The Organic Infinity Scarf is truly something wonderful this time of year. And it is one of those things that fit into the “small batches” category. The raw materials are grown within a few miles of the mill where they are spun into yarn, woven, cut and dyed. Because of this we can make, at most, only a few hundred at a time.

So that’s how I got from meatballs to organic clothing and accessories. I had fun writing this cerebral journey. I hope you had fun reading it.

So two questions:

  1. Who wants the recipe for the meatballs?
  2. What do you do in small batches that are better than mass-produced?

Why we choose a “Green Hosting” company for our website

Because it makes sense. Our hosting company, Site5, is competitive when it comes to cost/features/up-time/data-transfer etc. And they have good customer service, so for us it just made sense to pick a hosting company that strives to be environmentally friendly.

The environment is something we take seriously here at Sprigs. In addition to choosing green service providers when possible, we also make a lot of our clothing from organic or recycled materials. For example, our line of organic yoga clothing and our recycled banjees wrist wallets. In fact, we have a section on our website dedicated to environmentally friendly products; check-it-out: http://sprigs.com/eco-products/

These are just little things we do on a daily basis to help preserve the earth for future generations, but little things add up and make a big difference. What little, outside-of-the-box things do you do? Share your ideas with others in the comments below.

Yoga Journal Conference, New York: We were there. Were you?

Sprigs booth at Yoga Journal Conference

The New York Yoga Journal Conference for 2012 has come and gone and frankly, we’re a little sad. Sprigs had a booth in the marketplace. We were as busy as can be, but we managed to have some fun.

So, what made the event so great for us? The people of course – both the attendees and the other merchants in the marketplace. As one of my colleagues said on her Facebook page, “Nicest group of customers I’ve experienced in all my years in business.” And I’d say the same about the other vendors. If anyone needed a pen or ran out of credit card slips, someone was sure to lend a hand. Now, if there was only a way to spread that kind of energy to the rest of the world…

During classes, the marketplace would slow down which freed me up to walk around and chat with other merchants. My favorite ice-breaker was “What’s your surprise seller?” Some companies had no surprises (VitaMixer sold a lot of blenders apparently,) but for some there were surprise winners.

We weren’t terribly surprised by what products of ours were popular, but we were excited (and a little filled with pride) over the enthusiasm with which our Yogi Arms were received. One customer was elated and called them, “The yoga clothing accessory I’ve been waiting for.” Also popular were our yoga pants, Aspen Cardigan Wrap, and of course our organic infinity scarves.

Also not surprising is the cross-over between yoga and running. We sold an extraordinary number of Banjees Wrist Wallets. Some of the buyers said they would use them when commuting to a yoga class, but others mentioned running. To quote another customer, “This is the perfect wallet for running!” And I agree with her. Slipping my Banjees on has become a regular part of my morning routine.

But enough about me… Tell us about you. Did you make it to the Yoga Journal Conference? What were your personal highlights? What did you think of the marketplace? What new thing did you find that you were surprised by? Me, well I have to admit, I am hooked on Honey Drop’s honey-sweetened teas.

“The Johnny”

“The Johnny” is what we Sprigs’ insiders call our Rainbow Peace Sign-Banjees Wrist Wallet.  The name derived from one very special man; he was a brother, a friend, a husband, a free spirit, a leader, to some of us he is known only through the actual Laugh Out Loud stories that stream through the Sprigs office.   A portion of all sales made from “The Johnny” is now being donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Sprigs is a proud sponsor of the AFSP and will be participating in their Out of the Darkness walk this year in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

Out of the Darkness Community Walks benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Thousands of people nationwide raise money for AFSP’s vital research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives, increase national awareness about depression and suicide, advocate for mental health issues, and assist survivors of suicide loss.

For more information on how to donate or participate in an Out of the Darkness community walk please visit www.afsp.org.  Continue reading our blog and like Sprigs on facebook to hear about more fun activities we’ll be involved in during 2012.

Check out the Rainbow Peace Sign Banjee Wrist Wallet on www.sprigs.com, a colorful, fun & funky design that adds a bit a flair to our Banjee line.