The buzz these days is social networking. Much of the attention is focused on online sites like Facebook and Myspace where you get to renew friendship and make new ones. Social networking is also essential for small businesses - to get the word out on what you do and to meet potential new clients. This can be done either online or on a local basis. 

 Debbie and I participated in a great event today - the Party People Fair at a local community centre. This mini-trade show was organised by a human dynamo, Holly Pelley of whose small business is specialty decorative bead craft kits (not jewelry). Holly pulled together 17 of us - no easy task- all with varied businesses where we each showcased what we did. To pull in the crowds, we collectively offered free admission and lots of door prizes. 

The event was successful and Holly is planning a bigger one in the fall. And we all want in again! We were there to promote our Design Your Own Jewelry home parties and workshops - you can see our set-up in the pictures above with Debbie putting the finishing touches on her necklace. We made some sales but more importantly, we made contact with many people who had never heard of us and were keen to attend future workshops! Pat Routhier of who has been in business for about 20 years also encountered many people who hadn't heard of the clothing line. So there is clearly an untapped market out there! 

 We ourselves learnt about businesses we hadn't known about such as Recent Fashions which deals with recycled clothing or Spa Lot of Fun and Pole Lot of Fun (exercise with a lot of fun). Xocai Chocolate is the healthy revolution in chocolate - I didn't know healthy and chocolate could co-exist! Arbonne, the cosmetic line, Pampered Chef, Partylite, Tupperware, Epicure Selections, Discovery Toys, and Creative Memories (scrapbooking) were also represented. But there were independents and new start ups like The Naughty Cookie Company. Dawn's chocolate biscotti is to die for. We know because we bought and ate some! Momaid is a professional organizer. Anne-Marie does air-brush tattooing parties - now aren't temporary tattoos a good idea? There was also a lady who did tarot card readings -she was quite busy doing them so I didn't get a chance to speak to her. Altogether a fun and productive afternoon. Way to go, ladies!!