In early March I got to take a fantastic trip to NYC to attend the Dreamers In To Doers event at Martha Stewart’s offices. INSANE! Being in New York makes me absolutely giddy. So I was super excited to extend my trip by a day to explore the city with my friend, Leigh (really she is family, my husband’s cousin’s wife, if you please) who lives in New Jersey and works in Manhattan.
Leigh had texted me on a food tour of Chelsea Market about a year ago and told me I would love it. So when I knew I was headed her way I told her to take the day off so we could play. She got me in to the city on a train and we jumped in to a cab to deposit my suitcase at the hotel. And then we wandered. We walked through the Market and sampled some tasty treats. Then we headed over to Mario Batali’s Eataly to check it out. We found out he has a rooftop restaurant and brewery so we decided on a late lunch there. It was a beautiful sunny and clear day (but fricking cold, about 40 – which could have easily been below 20 since I have lived in Southern California my whole life) and the restaurant has a clear paneled roof that makes it feel like you are sitting outside. It was amazing. But the most important thing on my “to do” list was tracking down Milkbar. Turned out it was around the corner from my hotel. We walked toward the address that I had found for it and we couldn’t find it! Panic set in! What if we were wrong? What if it was across town? And then a car pulled away and we saw the above sign on the street! Angels sang. And if you haven’t read my post from yesterday about Crack Pie, definitely check it out! But our gallivanting was done and it was time for me to get ready to attend a mix and mingle of some gals that would be at the Dreamers event. I was super excited to meet Melissa of Truly Chic Inspirations! Love that girl! And somehow I didn’t end up with any photos of Michele of Cakewalk Baking from that night but she and I became fast friends and I couldn’t wait to spend more time with her at the event. I walked back to the hotel. 9 blocks. In the dark. By myself. Boom. Just like a big girl. FINALLY, Abigail, of Paper and Cake and my roomie for the event, arrived. We chit chatted and went to bed. The next day would be a long one.
First thing in the morning we headed to Chelsea (totally used the subway) to be in the audience for a taping of the Martha Stewart Show. Abigail and I were seated really far to one side. Lame. I was super excited because it looked like the craft demonstration was going to be close to us in the garden area of the set. Nope. Total fake out. They moved that table over to smack dab in front of us which meant we couldn’t see anything because of all the cameras. We were allowed to take photos before and after the show and you should have seen all the cameras out the moment they told us they could be used again! A cool grip (I don’t really know if he was a grip, but I’ve always thought it would be cool to be a grip on a tv show) came over and grabbed my camera and snuck up to take good pictures of Martha for me. Awesome!
That huge crane thingy was so cool. And check it out. It is the camera mans “desk.” There is a few schedules and instructions binder clipped up, but there are also pens, pencils, you can’t really see it well but there was a photo of his daughter and his cell phone is even charging right there! Not sure why I liked that so much. I just do. Well, maybe it was because I saw more of this than Martha.
After the taping we were whisked over to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. OHMAGAWD. There would absolutely be NO photos in the offices. Only in the designated spaces where our sessions and lunch would be held. They wouldn’t even let me take a photo of the front desk. Beyond the large glass doors sits a humongous reception desk with shelves of perfectly aligned magazines, from Weddings to Everyday Food. Beyond the desk are enormous picture windows showing the most magnificent views of, well, I don’t really know but it was magnificent. It was just what you would want the reception are of Martha Stewart’s offices to look like. We were ushered in to a large showroom that was turned in to our luncheon area. We mingled a bit and after lunch was over we were treated to a message by Terri Shapiro, Executive Director of Brand and Media Relations for Deluxe Corporation, the event sponsor. She gave us fantastic information about correctly marketing to our customers as well as finding new ones. She shared ways to get our businesses in front of media outlets and then how to best handle the media once we’ve gotten them interested. She was inspiring, funny and smart and the perfect speaker to kick off the Dreamers In To Doers event. And yes, lunch was delicious and the desserts were absolutely what you would expect from Martha Stewart and her peeps.
My favorite part of the this whole event was all the picture taking. And there was a lot of it! That’s my girl, Lynlee of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes in the yellow. So glad I met her. She was funny and I loved hanging out with her.
After lunch we moved to one of their photo studios where we would be for our sessions. There was an all white candy bar set up, along with popcorn, in case we needed an afternoon pick me up. More picture taking and then it was down to business. Our first speakers were Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream Truck who talked about how social media helped them to launch their business. They were super fun and it is no wonder that they have been able to grow their business with their social media model. Next up was Karen Lee, an Eco Etsy Team Leader. She gave us helpful information on how to green our businesses and in turn save money.
I wish I could sit with all of you and describe just how cool it was to be in Martha Stewart’s offices. It was exceptionally organized and it was a magical place. You would see what appeared to be drafts of their newest patterns for the furniture line and samples of chair legs. There were editors and design directors huddled over light boxes tweaking photos of a plate of delicious looking food. OMG! I just walked past the test kitchen!!! Hey, there is a girl pushing a birch log through the office, no doubt headed for photo shoot or maybe to be used in a craft. You don’t see that in every office. SO MUCH FUN. All of this was ensconced in bright white walls with huge windows overlooking amazing views, like the one above. Such an inspiring place to work.
After the program ended for the day, Abigail and I headed back up to the hotel for a quick rest and then met up with Leigh for dinner. We found this charming pizza place a few doors down from our hotel and shared some awesome dishes including but not limited to this friend pizza shown above and a dessert pizza covered in Nutella. Not bad for day #1! If I get my act together and get the rest of the photos edited, you may see Day 2 of the event tomorrow…