Lowri, Betsy and myself have just returned from a few wonderful days in Melbourne. Kaisercraft hosted a retailers' event on Monday and so we took the opportunity to head over and spend the weekend in Melbourne (shopping!) and then go and visit our favourite company - Kaisercraft.
We had the most wonderful weekend together! We enjoyed looking around Melbourne, shopping at the Queen Victoria Market, dessert at South Bank, Rugby in the Casino (supporting the Welsh) and scrapbook shopping! We hired a car and trawled around a few of the Eastern suburbs. It was great to head to the shop where Lisa's does some teaching (Scrapbook Lady).
Lowri dresses up for the Welsh - but it didn't help!
It's always fun to see how the shops are set up and what new stock they have in store. Artfull Crafts appears to be leading the field in new stock and our website service - so that was really encouraging. We are certainly the biggest stockist of Kasiercraft products in NZ and possibly Australia - almost carrying every core range product and attempting to keep the new releases in stock for a few months. I'm not sure where all the new ranges will go!
We headed down to Geelong on Sunday and enjoyed a dinner with Al Hannah (she taught our classes at SENZ with Melissa Kennedy) and Shirley Towan (on Artfull Crafts Design Team last year and now works at the Kaiser retail outlet). The rugby was on and so I was running off to check the screen every now and then! It was sooooo great that we beat the Aussies (except the Aussie's didn't actually seem to care!). Many of them said, "What rugby....?!"
Lowri, Al, Liz and Shirl
On Monday morning we met at the Kaiser Headquarters and had a great time catching up with people I know. This is my third trip to Kaiser and I'm always made to feel very welcome. It was such fun to introduce Betsy and Lowri to everyone. Betsy is a bit of a superstar at Kaisercraft! Her work is greatly admired and they all told us that when her boxes of cards arrive they shout out down the hallyway and everyone comes running! She sure is talented! Here is Mel - pleased to see Betsy - but not quite so thrilled with my gift to her ... an All Blacks pencil...!!
We also got to meet Lisa Skinner our Design Team member. We didn't recognise her when she was waving at us in the car in the morning. We thought she was either an extra-friendly Aussie or we must have almost run her over! It was great to meet her!
Betsy, Lowri, Lisa and Liz
We day was split up into 4 activities and was so well organised and interesting. We started with a card from Carolyn Kaiser using the new Cock-a-doodle-doo range (to be released November). It's a farmyard range and is pretty fun! In particular we love the new "collectables" that they have created.
We progressed on to the Kaiser Outlet and was given a merchandising talk about how to set out a shop appropriately and then we got a chance to do some outlet shopping...!
We then headed back to headquarters for lunch and then a class with Melissa Kennedy using the new Madame Boutique and the Bracket Frame. What a wonderful project (and incredibly generous). No photos yet as I haven't finished mine!
We then got a tour of the warehouse and the packaging area....
Then we got access to the wood-working factory where all the BTP projects and albums are produced. These guys have some fun experimenting with designs.
Finally we enjoyed looking at all the new products due for release during Nov/Dec/Jan. That was a wonderful treat because Betsy's cards were on display and looked beautiful. Not only that, her card is featured on the FRONT cover of the Kaiser workshop magazine for November!! How exciting! Here is Betsy with Claire and Jess the Graphic Designers at Kaiser.
Here is Betsy with Kylie Obst - part of the in-house Design Team at Kaiser. They are standing in front of the over-sized Cock-a-doodle display!
We were treated like special guests and we were given a sneak peek of the new ranges that have only been printed as a sample run for Feb/March/April! We oooheed and ahhhed and chatted to the lovely designers (Claire and Jess) about the ranges. We even asked them to show us how they do the design work! Fascinating stuff. These girls are talented to produce the wide variety of ranges that come out of Kaisercraft. Claire is getting married this weekend! Happy Weddding!
We were very, very lucky to be the first people in the world to take some of the new ranges home so Betsy and Lowri can create some projects... (shhhhh!). We're going to pass around the parcels of goodies and I'm going to have a play with one of the ranges as well. So with any luck, you may see a few more NZ'ers featuring in the mag!
Kaiser is so generous and they had a fun prize tree. 10 names were pulled out of a jar (and after winning the MAJOR prize a few years ago), I had to chuckle when the NZ rep pulled my name out of the hat for one of the prizes this year!! We didn't rig it! Thanks Kaiser!
Steven and Carolyn Kaiser are lovely people and they are full of ideas and made us all feel so welcome. They have some new ideas for some scrapbooking storage solutions - so that will be interesting to watch.
I was also given a special little NZ treat from Conrad and Christina. More on that another day...
Then we were taken out to dinner with Melissa Kennedy and Christina (the NZ rep) and throughly enjoyed some laughs!
All up the time spent at Kaiser was memorable and special and we'll be back to support our favourite company!
Keep your eye on the website for the new November collections....