What are we all doing, and what are we doing it for?  Sometimes you need a little perspective, and thanks to Derek May of the Drawing Dreams Foundation I was happy to have that perspective back.  eco-kids partnered with Drawing Dreams to deliver our natural art supplies to 25 pediatric hospitals around the country.  When Derek asked us to work with him it was a "you had me at hello" moment.

eco-kids is trying so hard to build a sustainable business right now in a very tough economy. Our focus is constantly on sales, purchase orders, product development, and prepping for the New York International Gift Fair in August.  Cammie and I went down to NYC to meet with FAO Shwartz, and look at our products in the store.  All though a great experience,  the hiccups to overcome started fueling my negative thoughts.  Add in a little bit of anxiety and feeling like I was going to faint, all could happen when you build a business from scratch.  It is always on the line...

We shipped eco-art pads and eco-crayons to 24 hospitals and hand delivered the 25th donation to Maine Medical Center here in Portland.  I took the elevator to the 6th floor and after being buzzed into the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital wing, the normally bland walls of the hospital turned in to an array of color and life.  This hospital is sentimental to me.  My daughter, who has Down Syndrome and is easily susceptible to pneumonia, has spent some long nights in this wing.  The staff and nurses are so caring and selfless.  It was great to see how well the children were being cared for, with anything to help them smile.  I walked around wishing I was Michael Clark Duncan in "the Green Mile" wanting to hug every child and then have magic bees take away there illness or pain.  When I was leaving I couldn't stop thinking about how important it was to be PARTICIPATING in life, and for me in Drawing Dreams.  

So my problems, are dealing with venders, reps, companies, damaged products, feeling like things are falling apart in my business, (apparently hyperventilating once in a while) while trying to answer 200 questions at once.  Those"problems" led me to working with Drawing Dreams.  Is it really a "problem" or just an adjustment in perspective?

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Have a great weekend!

New goals, new products, major deadlines.  Tomorrow we head down to NYC to work with our natural chemist to finalize a new product we are introducing at the New York International Gift Fair in August.  We are hoping to bring a new medium to children's markers.  The markers will be bio degradable with a vegetable dye base and come with ink refills.  Less needed material, less waste.  I am always looking forward to these steps as you get close to seeing the finished product.  It will be a great way to finish off this week. 

Had a excellent meeting this morning with our illustrator, Portland Maine based artist Mike Lewis.  Helping eco-kids create new worlds for children to explore and watching them come to life is awesome. 
We will be introducing our new eco-kids coloring book series, Woodland World and Underwater Kingdom at the the NYIGF.  Each book contains 48 coloring and/or activity images featuring a cast of six hand drawn characters.  Printed in Maine using wind power on recycled paper with soy ink.  Our goal is to "step it up" in the world of coloring books and give children and parents a more artistic and sophisticated choice than what is in the market place.

A sneak peak at Woodland World!