Spring is a time for renewal and second chances – especially after a long Wisconsin winter. It’s comforting to see the grass green up, trees start to bud and children at the playground.

For merchants it’s time to spring clean and brighten up their shelves. A consumer makes financial and strategic buying decisions based on what they like, the timing of the purchase and what they can afford. A retailer has to know what the consumer wants. They’re responsible for carrying the right merchandise at the right time and price. It’s a bit intuitive, yet highly calculated, as a buyer’s decision can make or break a store’s bottom line.

               Many Sunset Hill Stoneware spring colors at Museum of Aviation

Visual merchandising plays into this as the retailer wants the consumer to linger and spend time at the shelf while ultimately having an enjoyable experience. Merchants know that more is not always better. In fact, rearranging displays, removing clutter and simplifying displays will most likely have a positive impact on sales. Sometimes it’s as simple as moving a product from site A to B that causes it to gain more visibility. 

               Many Sunset Hill Stoneware spring colors at Hank Williams Museum

A retailer’s effort at creating eye-catching visual displays will typically translate to sales and future word-of-mouth advertising. While the time invested is well spent, creative display merchandising is never done. Every three months, shop staff need to step back and evaluate their client base to ensure their stock will satisfy their ever changing needs.

               Many Sunset Hill Stoneware spring colors at The Local Store

As a consumer, we tend to take for granted the extra effort that store staff take to make our first impression a lasting impression. Think about the t-shirt you picked up off the shelf, held up to see how it would look and then carelessly threw back down as you moved on to something else that caught your eye.

               Many Sunset Hill Stoneware spring colors at Shellatte's coffee shop

Cheers to the retailer who is willing to clean up after us. Their spring cleaning role never ends.

Let’s remember to do our part. Support our local communities, buy American-made products and help retailers maintain the beautiful displays they put together so carefully and thoughtfully with us in mind.

Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in America, Marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I went to day camp when I was young. I also attended a Girl Scout camp for a week – and a Christian weekend retreat as a teenager. The memories of camp haven’t escaped this city girl.

Going to camp exposes you to the outdoors in ways that can’t be experienced if you live in town. The forestry, fresh air and wildlife cause you to pause, reflect and appreciate. Camp pushes you out of your comfort zone – meeting new friends, trying new skills, working as a team. It simply builds character and friendships – whether it’s for a day, week or weekend. It’s that way and more at Living Waters Bible Camp.

Living Waters Bible Camp
This Wisconsin-based Christian camp is not just a safe, affordable place to meet new friends – they actively train campers for service and leadership. It’s the ultimate goal of all of their camp activities.

             Buy Living Waters Bible Camp branded Signature Stoneware mugs at camp store

They call it: Programs with a Purpose. Where climbing the tower is a lesson on endurance and trust. Playing paintball is a picture of spiritual warfare. Service projects teach humility. And nature programs draw attendees to awe and wonder about our creator.

For parents, the scenic year-round camp is an investment in a child’s spiritual development. It reinforces their personal beliefs through activities conducted by trained counselors who have gone through an extensive 7-level screening process. While being educated on God’s word throughout the camp, there’s plenty of swimming, horseback riding, crafts, games, skits and campfires.

            Buy Living Waters Bible Camp branded Signature Stoneware mugs at camp store

The camp is designed for all. They hold weekend camps for ladies and family retreats, scrapbooking, lumberjacks and adventures; day camps for the young; and full week camps for the homeschooled, boys, girls and senior students.

            Buy Living Waters Bible Camp branded Signature Stoneware mugs at camp store

We all enjoy the all-inclusive resorts that offer sunshine and fruity cocktails. For a deeper spiritual experience that you can take with you long after you leave the grounds, the memory of camping places you in the middle of nature while fostering your soul and guiding your heart all year long. Sunset Hill Stoneware is grateful to be part of their story.

Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in Wisconsin | Tagged , | Leave a comment

One of the best ways to connect with prospects is to share customer testimonials. People want to know they are working with a trusted source; someone who will do and deliver what they need, when they need it.

While some companies may use testimonials periodically, they neglect to date when the customer actually endorsed the company. It’s a bit misleading. Was the validation given last week – or seven years ago? There’s a lot that can change within that span of time.

We’re proud of our customer feedback; that’s why we actively post what they say, when they say it and where they live. It humanizes their endorsement and gives credibility to what we did this week and in the past. We started the tradition in 2011. At this point, we can’t stop posting – it thrills our team to know the great impact they make.

Here’s a few customer comment’s from recent and time past:

Signature Stoneware™ Products

  • 2/17/17: “Mugs are now available for sale! They are flying off the shelves. Been available for 30 minutes and I have sold 25 already.” Sam, Hulbert, OK Find Sunset Hill Stoneware testimonial mugs at the Hank Williams Museum
  • 1/6/17: “The mugs all arrived safely! The staff is pretty excited about the mugs for our mug club members and I think they are just beautiful! Please tell those hard working folks who created them!” Maria, Sunnyvale, CA
  • 12/29/16: “The 72 mugs I ordered are ABSOLUTELY EXQUISITE! Craftmanship is artisan elite! Beautifully glazed in awesome color combos. Sturdy! Microwave and Dishwasher Safe! Artwork and 3-D medallions are beyond my expectations! Manufactured brilliantly. Fair price. I have never seen such safe and padded shipping containers!” Dan, Hampton Cove, AL 
  • 7/24/14: “Everything looks great. I am happy with quick turn-around time. Good thing I ordered when I did, we were almost totally sold out. These mugs just sell great!” Alison, Washington, PA
  • 12/19/12: “The mugs are awesome. Please thank the designer, potter, yourself and anyone else involved for their great effort. I'm so proud of the Wisconsin Company that creates such a wonderful product.” Riene, Eagle, WI

Customer Service

  • 1/20/17: “You have awesome mugs with awesome people working to make high quality mugs and customer service.” Judy, Luxemburg, WI
  • 6/23/16: “BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER. Good to know companies like you are still out there, I will be placing more orders. Thank you so much.” John, Stevens Point, WI 
  • 12/16/15: “Such a pleasure to work with individuals and a team that care so much about their customers. You all rock! Looking forward to working with you again in the New Year.” Christopher, Jamestown, ND 
  • 1/3/14: “It came together quickly because you are quick to respond and EASY to work with. Thanks for your great Customer Service. I only wish my other suppliers could be half as responsive as you. Looking forward to sending more orders your way.” Cheryle, Thomasville, NC
  • 12/16/11 – “You are still the greatest sales goddess ever!”

Packaging & Shipping

  • 2/24/17 – “Delivered MUCH sooner than I expected, and exceptionally packaged.” David, Lawrenceville, PATestimonial to 100% eco-friendly packaging used at Sunset Hill Stoneware
  • 8/26/16: “I received the package yesterday evening. Thanks for the extremely speedy shipment! The steins look great.” Dan, Peoria Heights, IL 
  • 3/29/16: “We were a little concerned when the driver tossed one of the boxes from one end of the truck to the other, but you do such a great job of packaging on your end that no damage was done.” Susan, Penn Yan, NY 
  • 12/22/15: “I received the order before the weekend! It was awesome that it arrived that early, and may I mention that the packing job was incredible. I have never seen such care taken with the shipping of merchandise. I love these; they are the coolest gifts I have ever given my family. I can't wait to see their faces and I will definitely get a few pictures together for you guys. Thanks again for helping me make Christmas magical.” Vince, Pawleys Island, SC
  • 8/19/14:The mugs are BEAUTIFUL. We are incredibly pleased. They arrived in great shape – great packing! The medallions are perfect – everything is exactly what we had hoped for. We are very happy with the work and will be re-ordering in the future.” Craig, Etna, C

We hope you take time to share your own Signature Stoneware™ stories. Pour yourself of a cup of tea and enjoy the feedback customers have given us through the years.

Keeping Watch. Pat

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Doble family has a long history of brewing success. John and his wife Vicki Doble founded Tampa Bay Brewing Company in 1995. Known as Florida’s oldest brewpub, the business started from a historic two-story brick building satisfying the region’s thirst for good beer and great food at an affordable price.

Twenty years later, the company’s growing fan base necessitated the need for a larger location. Mike Doble, John and Vicki’s son, was a civil engineer by trade and instrumental in designing the company’s new facility from the ground up. Today the business offers indoor and open-air patio seating, along with a production brewery and restaurant. Mike’s brother David is the company’s Brewmaster. It is David and his assistant brewers who handcraft the brews and where patrons can enjoy everything from IPA to dark stouts.

Fast forward to 2016 and the family story brews northward. With Mike’s long family history in brewing and brewpubs and Joan’s love for the Milwaukee region, it made sense for them to permanently return to Wisconsin where they could offer small batch, handcrafted beers and foods from their home state.

   Hand throwing Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs for Explorium Brewing Artisan-thrown Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs for Explorium Brewing Hand glazing Sunset Hill Stoneware brewery mugs for Explorium Brewing Bisque Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs waiting to be glazed for Explorium Brewing

The Explorium BrewPub
Newly open, the Explorium Brewpub offers a broad offering of flagship beers and flavors. They target long-time craft brewer enthusiasts and also those who are new to exploring and learning more about craft brews. Conveniently located in the Southridge Mall in Greendale, the family friendly environment is open 7 days week and serves a wide menu of Wisconsin favorites – like Squeaky Cheese appetizers, Wisconsin Rarebit soup and Pretzel-Crusted Walleye. The Explorium Brewpub also offers tours – and an exclusive Explorium Mug Club.

Sunset Hill Stoneware beer stein for Explorium Brewing Sunset Hill Stoneware beer stein for Explorium Brewing

Why did they pick the name The Explorium? They wanted a place for people to gather comfortably, share, learn and explore stories of others personal life adventures.

This new Doble-family adventure has been a brewing success and our Sunset Hill Stoneware team is happy to be a part of their story.
Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in Wisconsin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

We are ‘over the moon’ announcing the addition of Moonberry to our growing glaze collection. While astronomers recently discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away, our production team has encountered their own findings. This out-of-this-world glaze color is now available for your next American-made Signature Stoneware™ order.

          Sunset Hill Stoneware launches Moon berry glaze color.

Previously, Moonberry had been available on a limited basis as a specialty glaze color at an extra cost. We are pleased to offer it as part of our standard glaze collection of 60+ beautiful choices. Our Moonberry glaze reflects a dark rich purple color featuring beautiful speckles of sky blue flecks.

         Sunset Hill Stoneware launches Moon berry glaze color.

From previous blogs you may recall that creating new glaze colors is a science dependent on the chemistry of all components fitting, melting and interacting. Customers select our handmade stoneware for our artistry – and functionality. Our Signature Stoneware mugs are 100% lead-free – making them food safe and perfect for everyday use. We’ll continue to work hard on our processes and efficiencies to ensure you receive beautifully made stoneware each and every time. We love what we do – to the moon and back.

Keeping watch.  Pat

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

This time of year makes Wisconsinites yearn for green. After a long winter, we take joy in seeing green grass, green foliage – even a green beer sounds pleasurable.

Late last year, Pantone unveiled their 2017 Color of the Year as Greenery. Calling it a refreshing, revitalizing shade, Pantone stated that Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. The color green can create a sanctuary from the stresses of modern living, helping us restore back to a sense of well-being.

                   Request a color glaze chart from Sunset Hill Stoneware greenery blog

At Sunset Hill Stoneware – green is important to us. You will find 13 pretty shades of green glaze colors – and if you’ve had the opportunity to view our facility, you’d find many energy-smart ways where we do our best to make a difference. 

                                  Sunset Hill Stoneware offers 13 green shades of glaze colors, similar to Greenery

Celebrate this upcoming St. Patrick’s Day thinking about ways you can contribute to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Start small. Use less paper. Recycle more. Use canvas bags. Or simply breathe deeply and kick back with your favorite brew to reflect on your options.

Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

To be more precise, the Navy Seal Museum located in Fort Pierce, Florida. The museum is the only institution dedicated solely to preserving the history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors.

                    Navy Seal Museum offers hand thrown Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs

The Navy’s Sea, Air and Land Forces (SEALs) were established in 1962. This elite maritime military force is skillfully trained to deliver highly specialized, intensely challenging warfare capabilities that are beyond the resources of standard military forces. Their training is intense and secretive – requiring fast thinking, unbreakable commitment and invincible will. When the exclusive squadron took down the world’s most wanted terrorist in 2011, America knew of the fact only after the mission was accomplished. They are simply the best of the best.

                             Navy Seal Museum offers Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs thrown by Wisconsin artisans

The National Navy SEAL Museum and Memorial was formally dedicated in 1985 and is the only national museum in Florida. They receive no federal funding and are 100% dependent on private donations. A tour of the museum will trace the history of the Navy SEALs, while providing visitors with a perspective of our nation’s constant vigil for freedom spanning more than 70 years. Visitors will learn of the SEALs dedication to duty and the cost of elite preparedness.

                   Navy Seal Museum offers American made Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs

Inside the museum they display authentic artifacts. When you go, make sure you take the time to pick up the replica weapons to gain a sense of what it takes to hike with a gun for several miles through suboptimal terrain. Outside you view a 9’ tall bronze sculpture of a modern Navy SEAL giving you time to pause and pay your respects, along with a children’s obstacle course to test their athletic and mental abilities.

                   Navy Seal Museum offers custom made Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs

Time spent here makes you proud of these brave individuals who serve America. Thank you for your service today – and every day. Our Sunset Hill Stoneware team is happy to be part of your story.

Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in Marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I’m not talking baseball; I’m referring to brewers as in beer. The brewery market overall is growing – in fact, it never really stopped. In 1873, there were 4,100 breweries in America; today there more than 4,200.The market bottomed out during the prohibition years of 1920-1933. That’s when members of my husband’s family tree ran whiskey in northern Wisconsin for Al Capone. Since that time frame, our family history has become a bit more uncertain while breweries have rebounded and the battle for the best beer extends from major players like Budweiser to the small, independent and traditional craft brewer.

In fact, each year the Super Bowl provides the perfect battleground for rivals. Last year, when Peyton Manning held up his favorite ‘big name’ beer after the game, the craft brewers responded by sending him a care package of more than 4,000 small and independent craft beers. Ah, point taken and message received.

In Wisconsin, statistics confirm we have 121 craft breweries in the state and we drink 7.6 gallons per 21+ adult annually. In fact, Wisconsin ranks #8 per capita in the most craft beer produced in the US. Many Wisconsinites take pride in following the Green Bay Packers, cheese and visiting their favorite pub. Some of our home state stoneware favorites.

Stevens Point Brewery
Celebrating 160 years in 2017, this brewery provided beer to Civil War troops. That’s a bit mind boggling and satisfying at the same time. During prohibition, the company produced near-beer products and soft drinks. In 1990, they began distributing their popular Point Special Lager outside of Wisconsin and eventually the brew was available throughout the Midwest.

In 2003, Point Special Lager received national recognition when they won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival over Miller Genuine Draft and Budweiser. That’s quite an accomplishment for a craft brewer from a city that boasts a population of 26,000.

      Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins   Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins 

     Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins   Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins

Along with their brewery line, the Stevens Point Brewery also offers season brews, hard ciders and a line of Gourmet soda brands – and their distribution network has expanded to 25 states. Take time to visit the third-oldest continuously operating privately-owned brewery in the United States – right in Wisconsin.

Central Waters Brewing
Just a short 20-minute drive down the road from Stevens Point is Central Waters Brewing. In 1996, the business began in a historical building that began as a Ford Model-A dealership. Today the brewery has expanded its product line to 18 beer styles and services more than 200 retail locations in Central Wisconsin.

Important to the owners is their environmental footprint – from upstream product sourcing to downstream management. Bottles are sourced from a manufacturer using green initiatives, packaging is post-consumer recycled and, most importantly, they work with local farmers for their hops and barley. Solar technology for heating their water, using T-8 fluorescent light with motion sensing, conserving and reusing brewing chemicals when applicable all play into their strategic plan. Even their sampling room has been created from recycled materials.

                       Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins  

All of these combined initiatives gained them recognition as the first brewery to be named in Wisconsin’s Green Tier program. Today they remain the only brewery in Wisconsin’s Green Master’s program. They are simply a model for environmental stewardship – and for producing a great brew.

HopCat – Madison
Located in the heart of the city, close to the State Capital, University of Wisconsin and the popular State Street, HopCat-Madison offers Wisconsin’s largest selection of craft beer on 130 taps. The company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has achieved much recognition since their 2008 start up. In that time, they’ve been named as one of the top 50 bars in the US by Draft Magazine, #3 beer bar in the world by Beer Advocate Magazine, #2 beer bar in the US by Craftbeer.com and #1 brewpub in the US by ratebeer.com.

What’s created all the excitement? HopCat has one mission: To bring you great beer.

                     Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins

They have 11 HopCat locations in six states with more sites in the works. If you’ve gone to one HopCat location – you haven’t gone to them all. The company is adamant to not take a cookie-cutter approach to their business allowing each beer manager to customize the business to their location and local flavors. And each location, offers a full menu including fresh takes on local specialties. In fact, Food Network magazine has named their famous Crack Fries as one of the top 10 French fries in America. Beer and French fries – now that’s a taste of Wisconsin you won’t forget.

Port Huron Brewing Company
Established in 2011, Port Huron is Wisconsin Dell’s newest production brewery producing both kegged and bottled beer. This family-owned business is named after a 1917 Port Huron Steam Traction Engine. The 22,000 pound engine has been part of the family since the 1950’s and still drives and powers antique farm implements.

Tanner Brethorst is the chief brewer. Prior to opening Port Huron Brewing he finished his studies in Madison, Chicago and Munich, Germany while working at a number of other breweries to confirm his career path.

The brewery specializes in four tap beers with many seasonal flavors. Recent claim to fame was Port Huron Brewing Company being the featured beer in the movie ‘Uncle John’.

                       Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins

You’ll find the Engine House Tap Room open Wednesday through Sunday where you can view the brewery floor through windows while you sample. Then you shop for apparel, drinkware and purchase a ½ gallon Growler full of your favorite brew so you can enjoy ‘fresh from the tap’ from your home recliner.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
This family brewery is celebrating 150 years this year. Founded in Chippewa Falls by Jacob Leinenkugel, his German heritage and work ethic has set the foundation for the next six generations of Leinenkugel’s® legacy. Today, Jacob’s descendants are building on the family’s German brewing traditions working to get more of their beers into more markets.

You may know that beer is 92 percent water. For that fact alone, the company relies on pure water for their Signature brews – it’s why they created Canoes for a Cause. This group effort organizes volunteers to clean up local waterways by removing debris to improve and protect waterways across America.

                        Wisconsin brewers use Sunset Hill Stoneware steins

You can become a Leinie Lodge® member – it’s free! You’ll receive The Legend, a monthly email newsletter giving you access to great offers and special event notifications. And for the full flavor of all things, you can take a tour of Leinenkugel’s historic brewery even requesting a Leinenkugel family member to conduct the tour. In the end, you’ll end up at the Leinie Lodge® where you can find wearables and collectibles to take home.

Those are some stories of Wisconsin Brewers. Let’s hope at the end of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers create their own story.

Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in Wisconsin | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women typically purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. Each year, I send a few Valentines to some of my favorite people. They enjoy knowing that I put effort into remembering them with a handwritten message in a handmade card.

Love & Art
We live in a world where most things are mass produced. That’s why people tend to embrace, appreciate and treasure handmade items. The very fact that someone took the time to hand create something – whether it’s a card made of ribbons, a bench from your favorite oak tree, an oil-based painting or a wheel-thrown mug – the item reflects the pride of the maker and the very fiber of joy the consumer values on the maker’s creative spirit.

After all, an artisan can’t duplicate their art. As much as they may want to, there will be variations in color, shape, texture and grain. It is fulfilling to know the final piece is one-of-a-kind and not manufactured by the thousands.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I asked a few of our account specialists to share one of their favorite stories. Our team sells artisan-thrown stoneware to buyers across the nation, helping select the style, glaze and artwork that will retail best in their store and/or reflect their organization.  Many times, the account specialist doesn’t get to see or hold the final piece. The pieces simply get shipped out in bulk and we eagerly wait for the buyer’s reaction to the shipment.

Proud to be a Pepper
TomM is an account specialist with Sunset Hill Stoneware. (We call him TM to avoid confusion with our owner, Tom Dunsirn.) One of TM’s favorite accounts is the Dr. Pepper Museum – it’s an iconic brand and it also reminds him of his dad, Donn. Dr. Pepper museum sells favorite Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

Donn is 86 years old, and like most that grew up during the depression, he tends to save things. One of his treasures is a plastic-branded Citgo coffee mug that has an innovative base that could be adhered to a vehicle’s dashboard. Donn’s children were cleaning house and they asked him to let go of it. In turn, Donn asked TM if he “would have use for it.” Well TM works with Sunset Hill Stoneware artisans who throw amazing handcrafted mugs for a living; stepping down to own an old plastic cup from his Dad’s cupboard wasn’t the most appealing treasure. So TM responded with a laugh and a kind, “ah, no Dad.”

Now you may recall from a previous blog that we’ve been fortunate to have signed an exclusive manufacturing agreement with the Dr. Pepper group. TM manages this account and for Christmas this past year, TM purchased his dad a new Dr. Pepper mug to honor his dad’s childhood love for the product. Donn was appreciative of the gift and uses it daily. Like many other items in Donn’s life, this mug is a keeper.  

Nag to Riches
We encourage employees to work on the accounts they love. Our audience base is so diverse – national parks, museums, Fortune 500 corporations, associations, mom and pop shops, breweries; it’s easy to get distracted during the day as you uncover another market to research.

Anne is an account specialist and has always admired horses. Her daughter Gemini, also a fan, operates Gemini Stedl Photography that specializes in affordable equine photography. When Anne came on board, she pursued the iconic Santa Anita Park.

                       

For more than 80 years, this historic Southern California race track has set the stage for the most dramatic moments in thoroughbred racing, where legendary racehorses crossed the finish line into infamy. The racetrack is known for the inspiring story of Seabiscuit – the true account of the famous undersized depression-era racehorse that lifted the spirits of the nation and gave Americans hope during a difficult time. The movie inspires its audience with its story of determination and love.

                 Santa Anita Park sells favorite Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

This great American story was filmed in 2002 at the famous Santa Anita Park. Their brand is now set in stone(ware) and stands as a constant reminder that diligent perseverance does pay off.

Sweet Tradition
Many times our stoneware mugs serve as 1st, 2nd, 3rd place award recognition trophies for marathons and contests. That was the inspiration for Brandi, our account specialist who works with The Omni Grove Park Inn. For more than two decades The Omni Grove Park Inn has conducted a National Gingerbread House Competition™ with open entry categories for adults, teen, youth and child.Omni Grove Park Inn sells favorite Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

It began in 1992 with a small group of gingerbread houses built by community members. Since then, it has evolved into one of the nations most celebrated and competitive holiday events. More than 150 entries from the United States and Canada were received in 2016 all competing for the $5,000 grand prize. The well-covered media event has been broadcast on ABC’s Good Morning America, the Travel Channel and the Food Network and is judged by nationally renowned food, arts and media professionals. The entries are on display each year from Thanksgiving into the New Year, with the exhibition now a holiday family tradition.

Brandi had the pleasure of working with the resort to create memorable takeaway mugs for guests. We hope our creative readers consider entering their own sweet gingerbread creation The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition™ in 2017.

We hope you enjoy some of your favorite things this week. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in America | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Powerlifting is a true measure of one’s individual progress. You are competing only with you and the weight – you either lift it or not. This individualized sport challenges a person to lift as much weight as possible for one repetition in the squat, bench press and deadlift. It can strengthen your skeleton while building muscle and reducing fat.

                Neenah Powerlifting Booster Club is selling highly-durable Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

When competing, every lifter is allowed three attempts at a lift. A lifter’s total is determined by the sum of their best lift and the individual with the highest total is considered the strongest lifter in the division.

Our local high school has a powerlifting program for students; in fact, Neenah High School is celebrating their 28th year of competition this year. Participants lift as individuals and as part of a team. On February 11, 2017, the high school is holding the Neenah Powerlifting Invitational. Individual qualifiers will advance to the WHSPA state meet. What does it take to advance? A 114 pound high school girl needs to lift 515 lbs. A 181 pound high school boy needs to lift 1,150lbs. That’s takes a lot of physical and emotional strength – all good attributes for a person’s future.

                        Neenah Powerlifting Booster Club is selling highly-durable Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

At many high schools, powerlifting is considered a club and not a school sport. That means the athletes and their parents are responsible for all participations costs. These costs include the suit lifters wear in the squat, knee wraps, wrist wraps, shoes, training clothes and entry fees for the regional meets. The Neenah Powerlifting Booster Club is instrumental in helping raise funds to alleviate some of the expenses for athletes to participate and to help purchase equipment for the program.

           Neenah Powerlifting Booster Club is selling highly-durable Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

If a lifter makes it to the State meet level, the booster club pays for the lifters to attend. If athletes are chosen to be part of the National team, and their State lift total qualifies them for Nationals, the lifters have a fundraiser called Penny-a-Pound where they ask people to sponsor them based on the total number of pounds they lift at the Neenah Invite meet. If the athletes raise $200 or more, the booster club pays their trip to Nationals. If not, the athlete pays their own way. 

           Neenah Powerlifting Booster Club is selling highly-durable Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs.

Fundraising Efforts
To date, the team's largest fundraiser has always been the Team T-shirt Sponsorship. The T-shirts are worn at each regional meet as well as the State and National Meets. The lifters and families seek out local businesses and ask them to sponsor their business on one of the two sleeves or the back in a small or large logo or they can be listed as Friends of Neenah Powerlifting. With the money generated from the t-shirts, the team is able to purchase equipment for the weight room such as ER racks and kilo weights. A main purchase this year was geared towards technology, including a new scoring light system and large screen televisions to display lifter information for spectators, lifters and coaches, as well as some additional equipment.

This year the Neenah Powerlifting Booster Club wanted to offer something new and bring excitement to the club's fundraising efforts. When a parent suggested Sunset Hill Stoneware mugs and presented design ideas, the booster club was ecstatic. The mug styles and colors were chosen to represent the Neenah Powerlifting Team and have already been a huge hit with the athletes, parents and powerlifters across the country.

  

Many non-profit organizations use our hand-thrown stoneware for their fundraising needs. Our products provide an excellent return on investment and provide the morning ‘lift’ to start the day.

Keeping watch. Pat

Posted in America, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment