Yesterday, I drove about an hour to go visit a couple of stores that have recently added The Tote Buddy to their shelves.  I was thinking it'd be crazy-fun to see MY creation for sale ON A SHELF for the very first time!  I have to admit that this has been a day that I've been looking forward to for almost two years now.  I've worked really hard to get The Tote Buddy our there - I've tweeted, updated, commented, followed, friended, liked, posted, etc. 'til I found myself dreaming in 140 characters!  Have you found yourself packaging thoughts into twitter 'bites' like me?  Definitely a signal to unplug, but I digress.

During the drive, I was all but picturing a flashing neon sign welcoming me at the store as though I were a head of state or Gary Vee or Tim Ferris or someone!  I could barely contain the jitters and excitement.  And, I know we're not talking Target or Whole Foods, here, but it was still momentous for me.  After all, just two short years ago I considered myself to be pretty much a 'nobody', since I never really thought I had done anything worth mentioning.  I've been a housewife and a stay-at-home mom for most of my life thus far, and the idea of creating a product that was actually available in a store for sale!  Well, I was beyond excited, to say the least.

Fast forward to my first stop, which was Latitude 33 Bookshop in Laguna Beach, CA.  When I walked inside I felt as though I was stepping into a cozy living room.  A fireplace in the corner would have made it picture perfect.  I introduced myself to Jessica, the woman behind the counter, who also turned out to be the shop 'buyer'.  She's the one who had placed the order for The Tote Buddy and the one I had come to say hello to.  We talked for a bit, discussing the recent rains, the sluggish economy, the recent 'Day Without a Plastic Bag' day, and possible future Tote Buddy promotions.  She was adorable and sweet and kind enough to humor me with a photo of herself next to The Tote Buddy display...

 

My next stop was the Children's Orchard store in San Juan Capistrano.  If you're not familiar with Children's Orchard, it's a national chain of children's clothing and goods resale shops.  It's the perfect place to bring your kids' outgrown clothing, toys, car seats, playpens, etc. and buy the next size up!  A great way to support local families and reduce the load on our planet by buying pre-used items - always a good thing.

Anyway, Debbie at the San Juan Capistrano Children's Orchard store was such a delight.  We talked for quite awhile about her business and entrepreneurism and G.I. Joe (don't ask) and everything in between!  It was an absolute pleasure.  She, too, humored me with a photo near The Tote Buddy display in her store...

 

On my drive home I found myself smiling.  I was happy to have seen The Tote Buddy on the shelves and for the feeling of accomplishment, which was not a familiar feeling.  But, most of all, I was smiling because I had just met two amazing women.  And it was meeting them and our easy conversation that had made the day feel fulfilling.  I had started the day thinking about me, but was ending the day thinking about them and how I could help them be more successful.  My mind was racing with ways that I could help get the word out about their businesses - tweeting, blogging, updating, posting, liking, and on and on.  It felt as though I couldn't get home fast enough, as my mind raced with ideas.

And isn't that the way it works?  We start out focused on ourselves, thinking that will bring us joy, but in the end our greatest joy truly does come from helping others.