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My name is Cheryl Kees Clendenon, a California transplant to Northwest Florida. Been in the interior design business for 14 years and learn something new every day! This blog is about the day to day running of a design business and the crazy clients, silly subs, vexing vendors and exasperating employees! Join us for the ride!
After getting a really good night’s sleep, I am ready to hit the pavement and get back to work. I have lots to share on the blog about my impressions of the show, Blanco new products and other manufacturer innovations and ideas but first want to talk about the trip’s greatest highlight: the people. For me, it is always about the people first and foremost.
Not just the other folks on the Blanco by Design but the people who are part of the Blanco family here in the states as well as in Germany. I hate to get all schmaltzy and ruin my perfectly good bad girl persona but this group of people are not only top notch professionals but kind and generous individuals. I am lucky to be included in the group and am humbled by my colleagues each time I meet up with them all.
There is not enough adjectives to adequately describe all the varied fantastic personalities on the trip and I am embarrassed to say I did not get a chance to meet all of the Blog Tour Cologne designers and bloggers. I will hope to rectify this at the next event where we may meet! And, no doubt I am biased but must say the Blog Tour Cologne group had quite the buzz going whenever they were together. I marvel at how Veronika at Modenus is able to put together such dynamic groups over and over again. And I thought our Blog Tour London group certainly could not be topped! ( click on photos to take you to the respective links)
Lori Dolnick is part of the Blanco marketing team via Frank Advertising. She is the glue that holds the Design Council together with Blanco and is a key member of the marketing efforts of Blancoamerica . To me, she is simply a wonderful human being. But on this trip, I vote Lori “Most Unflappable”. Not ever seen her cage rattled! Here she is at the Sports Museum in Koln, walking the line…so to speak!
Another vital personality of the Blancoamerica marketing team. Christy Emens is not only (duh!) gorgeous but a very savvy woman. I loved talking to her on varied interesting topics ranging from marketing strategies to ghosts! I vote Christy “Most likely to incite a riot on the streets of Koln”. Do you doubt me?
And of course our leader of all things Blanco! Tim Maicher ( shown trying to horn in on Koln Carnival time!) is one of a kind. A brilliant marketing mind coupled with an intensity that is to be admired topped off by a sense of humor that would make the most stalwart German giggle! I always am alive when Tim is around. This is how he makes you feel. I vote Tim “Most Inspiring”.
And then there is my erstwhile traveling companion. Nick Lovelady is a principal and designer at Cupboards Kitchens and is one heck of a guy. We laughed, snarked, rolled our eyes and were inspired by so much at the show. The trip was just more fun with Nick around. And despite catching a bit of a bug, Nick hung in with all the events. i vote Nick “Most likely to carry on” despite German ..er, germs. MWAH!
I have known this lovely lady, Susan Serra for a few years now and always treasure our time together. She too, is an inspiration to me. An incredibly accomplished Kitchen Designer but also a very astute business woman. She has multiple awesome businesses! I love Susan’s direct approach and she always has an opinion. Which, makes me vote Susan “My Kindred Spirit”. X0X0
Two new Design Council members I had yet to meet, Ken and Grace Kelly, were such a treat. They jumped right in with this crazy crowd and it was apparent they were the perfect additions to the group. I angled to sit near Ken whenever possible to discern his secrets to success. We talked of “hanging fruit”, employees,teenagers and I was even able to give Ken an idea or two as well! I was so honored when he whipped out his phone to write it down. This is the sort of trading of business practices that makes these events a BONUS plus for us all. I vote Ken and Grace “Most Real” and I thank them for being so willing to share ideas! Kitchens by Ken Kelly
My friend Leslie (KB Culture blog) is always an interesting traveling companion. As a writer, editor, and design lover, she brings a different viewpoint to many things we see. Leslie is quieter than the rest of us (thank God!) but do not overlook her gentle demeanor for not having things to say! Leslie has the ability to slow me down…a tad….long enough to really listen to what she is saying and thinking. I love her for this. I vote Leslie “Most Eurdite!”
And this sparkly lady is none other than renowned author and Kitchen Designer, Kelly Morisseau of Kelly’s Kitchen Sync. Kelly was one of my partners in crime going to Amsterdam as well and we had a blast. From walking and shopping and….resting…we all loved Amsterdam and Kelly’s bits of info she gave us on the local scene. We walked the show some together and marveled at the European innovation and cried a little about what we would not be able to get in the states. I love this woman and her ever present BIG smiles. I vote Kelly “Most full of Happy Thoughts”! Oh and say hi to Blog Tour Cologne participant Todd Vendituoli!
The stunning woman surrounded by all the guys? That would be the unsinkable Andie Day. Andie is an Interior Designer and business woman extraordinaire. She also happens to be a man magnet. We all discussed how to be around her just to garner a bit of the overflow male attention! What these guys do not see on the surface is the inner beauty of this talented designer. She is always willing to talk, share her ideas, listen to yours, commiserate and be your friend. A truly exceptional person and am happy to know her. I vote Andi as “Most likely to become your best friend”. ( That Todd snuck into a lot of pictures didn’t he!!:) Also here is Ken Kelly, Tim Bogan from Modenus.
Somehow I did not seem to snap even one photo of my good friend Jamie Gold! 1000 lashes for me!! So I am pinching this picture from Facebook and using it. Apologies to Jamie! Jamie who is a well known author as well as kitchen designer is someone from the group I have known the longest since meeting her in my NKBA chapter rep days. She is always a delightful traveling companion and love chatting with her about design and life in general. Always insightful, Jamie has followed a few paths to get her where she is today and is also another inspiring individual. She moved her life thousands of miles away and started fresh when most people are settling down. I admire her guts and determination. I vote Jamie as “Most likely to land on her feet” . X0X0
Jamie’s fab book just hot off presses a few months ago!
The cover of Jamie’s new book…and I am in it too! I am so proud of my friend!
More coming up on other folks along for the trip on Blog Tour Cologne!
Follow these great folks at the links below!
Nick at Cupboards Online
BlancoAmerica and Blanco Design Council
Leslie at KB Culture
Jamie at JG Kitchens
Susan at the Kitchen Designer
Kelly at Kelly’s Kitchen Sync
Andi at Andi Day
Ken and Grace Kelly at Kitchendesigns