Mobile Maddness at Wild Oats Headquarters

May 8, 2006

Related Topics: On The Road

Why have a mobile phone if you don’t have the mobile life to match. Before starting a conversation with a rep or buyer, I often laugh and apologize for the buzzing chaos of children milling around behind the thin, oak pocket door. Although this door is the only barrier between my little folding table office and the kids play area and kitchen, we often take the chaos with us from the RV into meetings with media, vendors and buyers. Sound a little strange?

Last year I traveled the country collecting frequent flier miles and hotel points, leaving super-mom (Sara) to manage the household. It isn’t easy to keep the clothing ironed and maintain a schedule with three little anomalies running around. Now that I’m on the road instead of the air, I’m collecting FREE frequent driver showers by filling up with diesel at truck stops and stickers (points) to put on my RV job chart from my 7 year old for making my bed every morning. What happened to housekeeping?

Denver is a hot-bed of activity and healthy living – a perfect environment for PROBAR®! After a week of productive, in-store demos, Sara and I took the kids to Wild Oats Corporate Headquarters to meet the first natural food market to sell our line nationally. No matter how much we begged, bribed and pleaded with the kids to be good for the meeting with our buyer and our friends at Wild Oats, they did exactly what we expected and had a blast.

I’m not suggesting every business transaction involve your spouse, kids coloring stick figures of the buyer on the conference room dry erase boards, allowing them to dig through a huge box of sample chocolate bars sent to our buyer from vendors hoping to land on the shelves. However, what a fun experience to share my life in business with my family and those who make it possible for PROBAR® to share products with people across the country.

As we left, I thought out loud, ‘How many children ever spend an hour with one or both of their parents in a meeting like this?’

As luck would have it, REI’s spring sale was taking place this weekend and they welcomed me on short notice to share samples of PROBAR® with thousands (no exaggeration) of consumers to visit Saturday. It was a treat to be a part of the REI pre-opening team huddle just a few minutes before the doors would open as I was setting up in the exact area (near the fireplace). REI employees are a fun crowd to mingle with as most of them know a thing or two about an active lifestyle and the outdoors. Most eagerly accepted the open invitation after the huddle for a free bar to replace the breakfast they missed, before the crowd entered.

Five minutes later the doors opened and a flood of synchronized taps on the old warehouse planks began to echo through the updated rafters of the updated building. Within the first hour, the two wire bins holding our bars were void of shiny foil wrappers, completely sold out. Who would have guessed only after two years of business, PROBAR® would be selling (out) product in one of the premier outdoor retailers in the country?

Hopefully this mobile life will pay dividends in education and understanding for our children that will open more than thin, oak pocket doors in the future.

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