Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter 2014... Deep Freeze and the Polar Vortex...

The old saying goes... "be careful what you wish for..."  you might just get it!  Many of us look forward to the beginning of a new year.   To many of us it represents a fresh start, a new chapter or perhaps a clean sheet of paper.   With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season behind us we can finally get back into a new groove now that kids are back to school.  Right?  NOT in 2014! 

Nobody mentioned the words "Polar Vortex" before as far back as I can remember.  I even took a weather class back in the day at CMU and never heard anyone mention a "Polar Vortex".  Well it appears these things are for real since we are now recovering from the nations second one in this short year.   So what does this have to do with anything?  Let me tell you about the conversations in my household and place of business these past few weeks.   How many days can you miss school from a snow/ice event or below zero cold snap?  That seems to be up for debate.   At this point our district has had 11 days off and that my friends is a few too many days according to the rules we know.   All that being said it will be interesting to run up to the end of the school year to see what if anything is done to account for the excessive days.  FYI... I found this handy little link that calculates snow days in your zip code.  Try it!

If we were to believe everything our parents/grandparents tell us... they for sure would NOT have missed most if any of these days.  Are today's generation too soft?  Is it all just an over reaction to the possibilities of what might happen if we venture out in the cold or snow?   I myself use a simple albeit a sad tool in trying to make the determination.   I recall a snowy morning not too many years ago that some might have questioned why school had not been called.  Yes the road were snowy but not excessively so.  Plow trucks were doing their desired best attempt to clear the way or motorists.  Unfortunately there was a horrific crash that led to fatalities of students being transported to school.  Hindsight is 20/20 and your darned if you do... and darned if you don't make the call.  I suppose changing the decision of that day would be easy with the new information.   Sometimes you just can't see it coming. 

I will use that to overlay into my main point for this beginning of the year report on and our progress in the beginning of our 4th year.  Many of you know from past reports that our focus point and business model has evolved into an e commerce strategy.  I am pleased to report to you that 2013 was a record year in growth of sales and new customers clicking/purchasing from our "Little Green Store...".

What we really didn't see coming is the interest on a much bigger national stage.  While most of our efforts and attended events have been right here in Metro Detroit Michigan we have found most of our buyers/shoppers coming from just about every where else.   That is good news in that the message and interest level is now proven and turning the wheels of growth.  Here is what we have seen in 2013 in the way of top region activity:

26 % West Coast-California, Washington, Oregon
15%  Southern States- Texas,  Florida, Georgia, North Carolina
20% East Coast-  New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts
14% Midwest-  Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana
25% All other

Final thing.... in the last quarter of 2013 we were happy to make a contribution to a cause that was very meaning to me on a personal level.  We chose to support "The Philippines American Foundation" in their fundraising efforts for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan "Yolonda".   This had special meaning to me personally since a client and personal friend in Dennis Vista passed away suddenly around the time of this calamity.  Dennis introduced me to the kind and generous culture of the Philippine's.  I later discovered that he had been working on building a mango farm back in his birth place located in the Philippines.  He had created jobs in a green industry and in the end was doing what he loved.

Spring time is just around the corner... right after the next "Polar Vortex".   Keep the faith!

Best Regards,

Don Sherman
President and Founder of