Brightlife-Truly a “Bright Life”

Quote taken from BrightLife website: “Bright“ (adj.)–Radiating or reflecting light; luminous; shining; filled with light.”

Today I write about someone near and dear to my heart. I can remember growing up every year, we went to Greenville, SC for a golf tournament that our father’s played in together. I was always the only girl with Tim, his brother, and my brother; I hung in there, racing on bikes, wrestling, going to baseball games, and playing roller hockey in the cul-de-sac. I hung in there mostly because I enjoyed the company. Our families have stayed close over the years, and although we don’t see each other as often, and we definitely don’t get on rollerblades to try our hand at hockey anymore, we have stayed connected over the years.

My heart was heavy a few years ago when I got the call about Tim and his diagnosis with Colon Cancer. I racked my brain for reasons why this disease would strike someone of our age, and especially someone who was so athletic and healthy. But the first time I saw Tim after his diagnosis, all I can remember is the smile on his face, and I was reassured that he was going to beat it. 

As Monday draws near, the annual BrightLife Golf Tournament, AKA Tee It Up For Cancer 2013, will take place. Although this event is in honor of my friend, Tim, you would never be able to pick him out of the crowd. Since childhood, not a time has gone by that I have seen Tim without a smile on his face. This event was started by Tim 3 years ago as a golf tournament, dinner, and silent auction to raise money for colon cancer research. I am always amazed at the outpouring of generous hearts that donate money each year for this awesome awesome cause! For more information on the event or to REGISTER Or DONATE, CLICK HERE! You can also email them at brightlifesc@gmail.com.

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In the English language, almost every word has multiple meanings. The word “Bright” can be used to describe so many different things from the sun to a lightbulb to a person’s IQ. To me, “Bright” will always signify Tim Bright and the smile that never leaves his face.

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Branding Genius

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Sometimes I get the urge to write about something that I am passionate about. Today, I felt the urge…to talk about Pure Barre. For 6 months now I have been going to Pure Barre religiously, so I feel that I can honestly say now that I am passionate about the work out, about the people, about the environment, and about their branding.

First things first, the work-out…holy #thighsburnsobad! After the first day, I thought I would never walk again; but for some reason, I kept coming back. And although it never gets easier, you learn the ways to work harder in each pose so you continue to challenge your muscles…and somehow, the burning becomes addictive. Talk to almost anyone who has stuck with the workout more than a month and they will say the same, I promise.

Mentally, when I go in that room, I check-out. I check out of my day and what has been surrounding me, and check-in to focusing purely on the workout itself. It is a mental break that leaves you feeling energized after you take 55 minutes off of the hustle and bustle. If you don’t focus mentally, you will never get the full benefit of the workout because there is too much going on to think about anything else. The fast pace has you changing what you are doing every 20-30 seconds, so you must pay attention.

The Pure Barre Family…I felt like I was a part after day 1. They call you by name, they greet when you walk in, they smile when they see you at lunch after class, and they encourage you in every way they know how. I know from experience there are a lot of encouraging fitness “families” around Charleston, and we are so very lucky to live in a city where this is true.

Branding…that is why I write this blog, right? Well…sometimes 🙂 Anyway, yes, Pure Barre has got the branding thing going on!  Even if you have never been to Pure Barre, you know that bright red P when you see it, right? It is on their leg warmers, their red work out balls, their cars, their facebook page, their nutrition bars, their socks, and the list goes on. Their walls are red, their mats are red, and if you reach 100 classes, you get socks with red grippers.

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I often think of the list of traits that come with a successful brand. There are many, and I could sit here all night naming, but one that resonates with me is the fact that any part of a logo can stand alone and signify the brand just as strong as the company name. PURE BARRE, you don’t have to see the name written out to know what the red circle with a P stands for. It does not come overnight, but once you make this connection in other’s minds, you are well on your way to recognition. Although they have done much nationally to push the brand by getting celebrities behind it as well as multiple national publications and magazines, each local PB team reps the brand around town day and night. I am proud to walk over to Whole Foods sporting my shirt-inquiring minds want to know, what is this Pure Barre work out and maybe I should try out the LTB…By the way, that is Lift.Tone.Burn…yes they even coined this phrase!

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Love Day

Be Mine

I know, I am a day late on this one. I meant to write this all day yesterday and just never prioritized; Usual…Anyway, I really did not want this one to get by me because I really LOVE to write about LOVE!

Here is the thing, I love love..I really do. You will often hear me say or see me text LOVE in all-caps, like I am shouting from the rooftop: “I LOVE wine,” “I LOVE LOVE Pure Barre,” or “I LOVE LOVE LOVE Friday nights at home with my Hubs.” Now is it necessary to use the word LOVE for all of these and especially in all-caps? I think it is…because when I use it, I mean it!

I said yesterday and will say again today, I know that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday, but who is to complain about a day dedicated to Love? We could all use an excuse to say “I Love You” an extra time or to an extra person at least once a year if not more, so I will always LOVE Valentine’s Day for that very reason and you should too!

American Hearth Month

February is also Heart Awareness Month. It is no coincidence that they coordinated it with the month of Love. Events around town from Grand Balls to 5k Runs are held to educate the community on the heart. You have lots of reasons to celebrate this month, so even if ‘Love Day’ is not your thing, love your own heart and get out in the community. You may find yourself giving away extra hugs or ‘I love you’s along the way…

Heart Pedometer

Heart Krazy Straw Sipper

Heart Clock

 

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Cheers to a Year!

OK, I am BACKKKKK!

I know, I have been gone from blog world for a while now. I have a lot of excuses, I promise! 

First things first, I got married. yes, that is right, I got hitched on December first to the love of my life, and I officially gave up the Surname Krapfel last Friday. My new name is Sarah Beaver. My friends tell me that giving up Krapfel for Beaver is not much of a trade-off but I love him. At the very least, it is easier to spell. Below is a sneak peak of the best weekend of our lives.

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We also traveled to Argentina for 2 weeks; If you have not been, you must go once in your lifetime. The wine and red meat are the best you have ever tasted, and the snow-capped mountains in the background make for an ambiance like none other. Best of all, time together was shared and memories were made.

Then the Holidays came, and we all know that things get crazy around the Holidays. The mad dash to find the perfect gift for everyone, the decision about who’s family to spend Christmas with looms over your head, you are either stuck in a car for hours on end or a busy airport with millions of others running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you always eat way too much desert, drink way too much eggnog, and work always gets put on the back burner. I know, this makes it sound terrible. December is actually my favorite month for all of these reasons-hence why I decided to throw my wedding in the mix. I love Christmas-I love the decorations, I love the mad dash, I love the traveling, I love the families, and I love the joyous mood that hangs around most during the Holidays.

Next comes New Years, for some a Holiday that they do not look forward to, but for me, a time to reflect on the successes and failures of the last year, and set goals for the upcoming. To start fresh, whether it be at work, with your family, at the gym, at cooking, at a sport, at quitting a habit, or just to start fresh ready to take whatever comes your way. I love that about the New Year.

And that brings me to…the New Year. 2013, what is in store for Branding Bliss? What goals have I set forth for myself and my company. As we celebrate 1 year in business, there are so many things I can reflect on from the first year: my fabulous customers-I love you all!, my supportive Husband-I love you too!!, my suppliers, my friends, my luck really…But most importantly, rather than spending a lot of time in 2012, I am ready to face 2013 head on! I am ready for the challenges and successes it brings my way. I head out to Las Vegas next week for our largest Trade Show where I will attend educational sessions and visit each of my suppliers to pick up new products and trends in the industry. It is the perfect way to start off the year…and maybe I will even set a goal to BLOG more in 2013.

Stay tuned for updates from me at the show…

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Helenbach, Georgia

So it has been about a month since I wrote last. Sorry about that…life has gotten in the way! Our wedding is quickly approaching, our weekends have been a mad dash to and fro, and it seems everyone wants their promotional products yesterday! Needless to say, these are all great things, but they have put the blog on the back burner for the month of October.

Late September, Chad and I took a trip to the N. Georgia mountains, also recently known as ‘Georgia Wine Country’, although I am not sure I would brag about that if I were them. We both love our wine, and we thought this would be a fun time to go up with the leaves turning. We found a sweet little Inn that we decided to try it; This place was actually a highlight of the weekend with fresh breakfast each morning and only 11 cozy rooms. Let me preface this with the fact that we still had a wonderful weekend despite our letdown from the wine. I guess that is one way to know you have found a true partner for life, make the best of any situation and have fun!

Despite our grand plans to take a long hike on Saturday morning, we woke up to pouring rain. So after our breakfast and coffee, we decided to head into the town of Helen to check it out. What we found was unlike anything we had experienced or imagined.

 

A German town in the middle of N. Georgia. They were in full Oktoberfest celebration which helped pass the time. After touring around briefly, we posted up to listen to a little music and drink a German Beer.

 

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because this trip confirmed for me that people really will buy ANYTHING! The stores we traveled into had all kinds of “Swag” branding this town of Helen. I have never seen anything like it~even at the cheesy stores along the beach walks they don’t have this much crap. But, I guess even the town of Helen needs to brand itself…

Oh, and by the way, the wine was not very good..they still have some work to do if they want to give Napa a run for their money.

 

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Happy Holidays!

There you have it…I said it…before Thanksgiving, even before Halloween!! I said Happy Holidays!! Growing up in our house, it was considered a sin to speak of the Holidays prior to Thanksgiving. I adopted this policy as I got older, even though it got harder and harder for me as my Love for the Christmas season grew. Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE Christmas!! I love everything about the season: the actual meaning of Christmas, the lighted trees, colored lights on houses, ornaments, Christmas cookies, candy canes, holiday music, Santa (yes he still comes to my house and I am 29), snow (albeit rare), cold weather (only for the month of December), family, holiday parties, I could go on forever naming why I love it! I even chose to have my wedding this December; Forever I will have the most special day of my life on the first day of December.

But why am I talking about the Holidays again? And why so early? Well, I happen to work in an industry where we are always looking 2 months ahead if not more. At least if you are not, I am! I always try to plan ahead so orders don’t get rushed (and cause me to lose sleep at night), but I am especially trying to plan ahead this year since I will be attending my own wedding and honeymoon the first few weeks of December. (Don’t fret, there will be someone standing by for me while I am gone.) It has also been my experience in the past years that stock gets low and production time gets longer and longer the closer December 25 gets, so why wait?

Holiday cards and thoughtful gifts are especially important to give to your clients during this season. Let’s be honest, everyone likes receiving a gift, and especially when it is not expected. It can be as small as a card in the mail, or as large as a custom etched bottle of wine; I encourage all of you to think Holiday early this year, and help your clients remember you as we head into 2013!

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Oh Holy City

So today I am writing not about marketing, and not about promotional products, but about the city I love to call home: Charleston, South Carolina. I was driving over the bridge this morning to pick up some of Chad’s friends from a beach house they rented on Isle of Palms (It was his Bachelor Party Weekend-and I stayed away until I was needed to taxi people to the airport Monday morning). As I drove into the sun rising over the horizon at 7:30am and saw the palm tree silhouettes against the sparkling sea as I reached the top of the IOP Connector, I fell in love with this city all over again.

My Love Affair started with Charleston years ago. Although I did not grow up by the saltwater, I quickly realized after living here a few years how much it clears my mind on a daily basis. The world could be crashing down, but yet it is nothing a walk on Sullivan’s Island, a run on the Cooper River Bridge, or a ride in the boat can’t snap me out of. This summer has been extra special because we have finally started exploring some of the treasures of Charleston that you cannot see from a car. We have traveled up and down the Intracoastal Waterway by boat as well as paddle-boarded and kayaked some of the creeks. Just when I think I have lived in this city for 8 years and seen it all, we discover something new.

I hate that sometimes I get so caught up in my everyday routine that I forget where I live until visitors are in town. I know that we live in a place that many dream of, vacation to, or never get to visit in their lifetime; I know that when I leave my house, I drive over at least one if not three bridges every single day; I know that the oysters are fresh, the beaches are sandy, and less than a mile from my house can I see water; I know that I can wear my flip-flops to a client meeting and they will understand; I know that the sunsets are unreal and the rainstorms are debilitating yet refreshing at the same time; I know that wherever I go, I will see familiar and smiling faces; And I know that Charleston will always be my Holy City.

 

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