Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kathy Carroll Hostess with the Mostess and Fun Class photos

Well it was another super busy week of travel which included, Cleveland, Nebraska, West Chester/Philadelphia, with a special Saturday trip to Carol Stream, Illinois to meet with the Chicago area IDAL chapter members at Kathy Carroll's, Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.  What a place, what a lady, and what a group!!

I hope that in the picture above, you notice in Kathy's arm, "The Cutest Guard Dog in the business," Bella.  Bella was a good kisser, and she is named after Kathy's private label product line.

I know that for many, Saturday is an important college football day and Sunday a shrine to the NFL.  As many got ready for their favorite teams, I got up early to work off some nervous energy and put in a couple of hours of studio time in before heading to Kathy's Institute.  (Paint Nerd!) I spend my Saturdays and Sundays in the studio trying to keep up with what I learned from you all in the field and then do my best to catalog it for you each Sunday morning in this blog.  (Family time too, don't worry, they still know what I look like.)

As I was completing sample boards for some commercial architects and the PDPA event, I was very excited and a little bit nervous to be headed to meet Kathy and present to her IDAL chapter later that morning.  (It was 5:00 AM, so later was 7:30.)  I was concerned because I did not want to disappoint this group or waste their valuable time.  It was a honor to be invited and I wanted to "Deliver!" I have seen Kathy's work in person and have heard for so many years about Kathy's teaching prowess, her student's impecable reputations, her product lines, and her overall positive impact on our industry.  I also knew many of the IDAL chapter member by their stellar careers.  (An Industry Maven and a Tough Crowd!!) 

I know that Veronica, a local assistant Sherwin-Williams, store manager felt the same.  She was prepared and had packed some nice goody bags, which included new fan decks, Stir magazine, etc. for the attendees. Kathy Carroll, supplied the cupcakes and goodies!!  (It was her and Barb Runyard's birthday celebration.)

Speaking of goodies; if you haven't seen Stir magazine get online and register for an electronic copy! 

8:55 AM: I arrived a few minutes early and the parking lot was already filling up.  Kathy opened that door and gave us all the sign to come in.  As I carried in the product and tools, I was greeted by Bella.  I also found out that it was Kathy's Birthday. (Saw it on Facebook as well.)

Like I said earlier...Too cute. Later, I mentioned to Kathy that Bella might be going home with me in my Blue 5 gallon bucket.

Well fast forward, and thankfully I was pleased to be welcomed as "one of the girls."  (These Girls GOT GAME!)  Kathy gave me a tour of her facility and it was even better than I had expected.  She has great products and tools, stencils, sample boards, state-of-the-art school environement, a good slop sink, (That's how I really judge a studio) 2 tint machines and shakers, a spray booth, and great insprational finishes everywhere you look!!!  She also has a new line of foils that were great.  Check them out on her site.

As I sat back and watched her present to the group, I could see why the many students of hers' that I have met over the years, are always so pleased with their experience at her school.  She takes charge with a team approach, and moves FAST.  The entire group was going to spend the day testing 2 new prototypes of products, as well as work with our new Venetian Plaster and Metallic plaster lines.  (There is No Wasting Time at the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes!)  They also found time to fit in IDAL chapter business and Birthday celebrations.  Kathy previewed a super high-end cut glass class that she is holding in the near future, as well as featured a stencil mask product that she is using in a class this coming week in Atlanta.

 When she graciously gave me the floor, I was impressed with and thoroughly enjoyed the group's expert questions and comments.  It is so much fun to talk shop with real experts.  After an hour of discussion, sharing of product information and samples boards, Veronica and I left the artists to their day of testing and play.  I am looking forward to seeing some of the results and comments.  I will feature these in upcoming updates for you to see. 

Happy Birthday Kathy Carroll and thanks for being a great Host!

Since I don't have the pictures of finishes yet from the day, I will share some photos from other sessions this week...

You can see that those who attend a Sherwin-Williams, Faux Impressions event, have a lot of fun and get right to playing with product. Usually attendees leave with at least 2 sample boards to show to prospective clients.  I am excited and pleased to say, that many have already led to successful and profitable installations!

Next week, after 3 days at the PDPA Education Summit in golden Colorado, I should have some great stories to tell.  Can't wait to see Pierre, Nicola, Pat, Ron, Andre and friends in action!

I am still working on adding video and will do my best to get some for you soon.

If you are interested in getting a glimpse at our new line of products, you can see the How-To videos on or stop into to a store nrear you.

I look forward to continuing to meet you in coming months as this road show continues.

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