Sarah Sara Craven Comedy | Coffee & Cards Conversation #44

Dr. Sarah Carothers, aka Sarah Sara, sits down for a raucous Coffee and Cards Conversation about menopause, self-talk and comedy.


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Top Three Reasons for Joining the Greeting Card & Gift Revolution | Coffee & Cards Conversation #43

Joy Brasington of shares her top three reasons for joining SendOuCards:



Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money

Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money, will share his reasons on April 26, 2014 in Houston, Texas.

Joy’s 3 Reasons:

  1. Splashpaks
  2. Treat’em Right Seminars
  3. Positive People

Join The Greeting Card and Gift Revolution

Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money, and he #1 earner in our company, will be in Houston, Texas on April 26, 2014 to share his reasons for leading the Greeting Card and Gift Revolution. I’d love for you to be my guest at this life changing event. Contact me for details.

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How Kim Ketcham Transitioned from SAHM to Museum Marketing Director | A Fun Way for SAHMs to Make Money | Podcast #17

Spirit Warrior on display at the Washington State History Museum

Spirit Warrior on display at the Washington State History Museum

After 15 years as a stay at home mom (SAHM), Kim Ketcham found her passion in a rewarding career in marketing. Today, she is the Marketing and Communications Director for the Washington State History Museum, part of the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS).

WSHS is the state agency that is trusted with the task of preserving Washington state history and educating the public about that history. This is done through the Washington State History Museum, the State Capital Museum, and the State Research Center through the collection and preservation of various artifacts, photography, and ephemera, personal stories, as well as digital assets. We lead a variety of outreach and educational efforts for people of all ages.

Topics covered during our hour long conversation include: D.B. Cooper, the Seattle Seahawks, the Mt. St. Helens eruption, Japanese Internment Camps and the Civil War.

Transitioning From Stay at Home Mom to Museum Marketing Director

What’s your motto?
“I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The choice is yours.”

Why did you decide to go back to work?
I had put my career on hold to raise kids. It got further delayed by taking care of ailing in-laws. After some family financial issues, I decided to finally start working in my chosen career…beyond my previous volunteer work and having owned a JBF franchise.

Who inspires you?
My kids. I wouldn’t get up some days if I didn’t have to take care of them, help provide for them, and help them succeed.

Why are you different from others in your industry?
My drive and intensity, and also a wide understanding of a variety of topics. Good general knowledge. Lots of skills taken from being at home with my kids.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Get a job in this economy against people more experienced.

What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
I accidentally stabbed myself in the forehead.

What’s your biggest challenge?
Job market and competition.

How will you overcome this challenge?
Show initiative, create work, not only succeed at what’s expected but do more…innovate…

What are your favorite books?
Harry Potter series, Pillars of the Earth, Gulliver’s Travels

Define your style.
Simple, sophisticated, sometimes vintage.

Kim Ketcham, Marketing & Communications Director, Washington State History Museum

Kim Ketcham, Marketing & Communications Director, Washington State History Museum

Describe your typical day.
Get the kids up and out by 6:30. Work by 8. Catch up on emails and all the “urgent” tasks that didn’t exist the day before. Then tackle my to do list. Lots of computer time, but then meetings. Can be a meeting with other marketing directors or with in-house staff. Check in on my staff to see how I can support them and make sure they have what they need to do the job I have given them. Maintain the website, post on social media… much more.

How do you juggle work and family?
My ex and I live in the same school zone and text every day about what’s up with the kids. If we didn’t communicate, we’d both fail at work and with the kids.

Can you offer some tips for those entering marketing, communications or PR fields?
Get experience writing, learn about journalism and the press, learn about advertising, become comfortable with public speaking, become an expert in social media, make friends with your IT people, volunteer to plan events, learn about branding

What is the best way to market your museum?
Through press releases about relevant and timely exhibits and events, good media management, and targeting niche audiences that have a special interest in a given exhibit topic, etc. Email and social media rank right up there, but a good news story about your business is worth more.

How have you grown since working at the museum?
With all experience, you grow by learning more about the parts of your industry that can’t be taught in books.

What would you say to your 18-year-old self?
Tough call. If I changed anything about the past, I wouldn’t have the kids that I do or the skills that I do. I don’t like to 2nd guess my choices by imagining how I would undo them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A VP of communications. Remarried. Grown children. Flexibility and income to travel.

For whom are I thankful?
Everyone I’ve ever met for the impact they had on who I am today.

A Fun Way for Stay at Home Moms to Make Money

Kim owned one of the first Just Between Friends franchises. Just Between Friends is a consignment event for children’s products that happens twice yearly in select markets around the country. Many SAHMs have made extra money for their families by selling gently used children’s clothing and toys at these sales.

Connect with the Washington State Historical Society

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Sitting on The Corporate Couch with Dawn Mitchell | Coffee & Cards Conversations #42

Dawn Mitchell, founder of The Corporate Couch, is a motivational speaker and trainer who encourages an empowered workforce.



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Turn Your Passion to Profit with Strategist Iyea Brandy | Can STEM Really Transform a Nation? | Podcast #16

Iyea Brandy is a strategist that solves problems for entrepreneurs and educators. She teaches entrepreneurs how to turn their passion to profit.  She also has a big idea what could transform an African nation.

My Pain is My Purpose and My Story is the Solution


Iyea Brandy, Strategist

Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?
I have been a serial entrepreneur my whole life and love business of any kind. My passion is creating new and unique experiences that solve problems for others. I enjoy the adrenaline in starting a new venture.

Who inspires you?
My son-he makes me better.

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
I follow my gut and intuition. I have lived all the things I teach. I know success and failure intimately. I walk my talk.

Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?
What competition? I am a unique brand that appeals to the inner of my clients. I am not every one-cup of tea.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Walk away from my comfortable life in NJ and move to MD.

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
One of former students screamed “Ms. Brandy is that you” in the middle of the mall and I felt so old. I actually said hush girl, not so loud. Ha ha ha

What is your biggest challenge or obstacle?
I am multi-talented so I have business ideas everyday and I have to say focused on one and grow that one.

What will it take to overcome your biggest challenge or obstacle?
I have to stay focused every day in growing my business and brand.

How do you juggle work and family?
I prioritize my time. I cook twice a week, I make sure to read to my son every night and do family activity with him. I make time to conduct my business and research when my son is at school and watching TV.

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
1.  Find your niche and know what you offer
2. Understand your audience like you understand your self.
3. Genuinely connect to your audience by sharing meaningful content

What’s the best way to market your particular business?
1.  Speaking at various events where your audience is in attendance
2.  Writing a book or eBook on solutions for problems they have
3.  Networking with others doing similar things as you self
4.  Social media

How have you grown as a person since starting your company?
I’m still growing, I have to learn to bring more of myself into this brand. I want to leave my self out of it but people need to hear more of my story.

If you could travel back in time and speak to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Girl you have it together, don’t quit just keep going. It’s not my 18 year old self that needs the help its my 25 year old self that lost me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Creating another new venture, married with two children, traveling to different countries sharing my story and offering solutions on issues in entrepreneurship and education.

What else would you like to add?
My pain is my purpose and my story is the solution.

Iyea’s Big Idea That Will Transform a Nation

iyea-brandy-2_300x225Iyea has a big idea.

She wants to bring STEM to Liberia.

She believes that putting Legos, basic robotics and simple machines in the hands of the children of Liberia would inspire generations of engineers and scientists.  This idea requires teamwork.  If you are familiar with crowd-funding for non-profits and would like to offer some suggestions or advice to Iyea, leave a comment below.


Iyea Brandy’s Bookshelf

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How to Get Your Music Played by Radio Producers with Dick Schissler, Lonestar Internet Radio | Coffee & Cards Conversation #41

In episode 41 of Coffee & Cards Conversations, Dick Schissler, General Manager at Lonestar Internet Radio in Conroe, Texas explains the basic differences between podcasting and internet radio, how to host your own internet radio show, and how to get your music played by radio producers.



Get Your Music Played

The Rev card insideA 72 web

What’s Dick’s best tip for artists and bands who want their music considered for radio play?  Send the radio producer a greeting card!  Not just any greeting card.  A custom greeting card with three key ingredients:

  • Headshot
  • Note of Appreciation
  • QR Code to Download Song

SendOutCards makes creating these greeting cards easy!  Drag and drop technology, a robust contact manager, and card campaigns allow you to send the same card to just one radio producer or 5,000.

dick-schissler_300x214Connect with Dick Schissler

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Actor, Writer, Puppeteer Stephanie Diaz on Life in the Arts & Finding Your Own Way | Podcast 015

Actor, casting director, writer & puppeteer Stephanie Diaz is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked in markets across the country, including Seattle, Minneapolis & Milwaukee. Currently, she is an artistic associate with 16th Street Theater in Chicago.

Her recent work includes MARIPOSA NOCTURNA: A Puppet Tritych, a show she created in residence with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Stephanie is currently in rehearsal for Pinkolandia which opens April 3, 2014.

In this podcast, Stephanie shares stories from her journey as a working Latina artist and offers insight for up and coming actors wanting to break into the business.

I Tried Not Doing It



Sum up your business in three sentences or less.
I’m an actor, writer and puppeteer. I don’t know if it can really be called a business I’m an artist. The business part is really secondary (or tertiary), and the stuff that earns me the most money is sometimes the least interesting to me.

Why did you choose to become an actor?
I didn’t, really. It chose me. I tried NOT doing it, and it was not a good thing. I suppose I have my ex-boyfriend to thank for getting serious about it when I did, though (right after 9/11).

Where do you find inspiration?
It really depends on what I’m working on. With acting, I generally find it in the play itself, occasionally in great performances by others (lately, Matthew McConaughey is KILLING IT all over the place and I am mesmerized). The puppetry piece I created recently in residence with the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs was inspired by Guatemalan folklore, sea life of the Monterey Peninsula, Ukiyoe archetypes, silentera films and the work of the Brothers Quay. Right now I’m really into microorganisms, and incubating ideas about how to make them into beautiful, light-up puppets. I’m really inspired by athletes. I’m obsessed with baseball and the Olympics. I am also inspired by avant-garde fashion and performance art.

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
I guess probably the variety of things that I do on a comparable skill level. Also, I’m not much of a sycophant, for better or worse. I don’t “play the game” very well. Diplomacy is not my strong suit. I am nobody’s satellite, you know?

Why should someone choose you instead of your competition?
It really comes down to what they want. Do they like what I make? Then they should hire me. Art is a really subjective thing. I mean, I’m a damn good actor, but so is almost every actor I know. The people who would probably be considered my “competition” as actors are so completely different than me? the only thing we actually have in common is that we identify as Latina and are in the same general age range. Other than that we’re as different as can be, in every possible way. I also find that thinking about my “competition” is really destructive to me creatively. I believe that there is enough work to go around.

Define your style?
Uh… what kind of style? Whatever style I’m working in depends entirely on the project. “Eclectic” is probably the best umbrella term, since it describes everything about me, from what kind of foods I like, to the clothes I wear, to my home decor, to the type of art I make/like.

Tell me about your typical day.
There really is no such thing for me. I generally get up after my husband goes to work (he makes the best coffee!) and what I do depends on what I’m working on: if I’m rehearsing a show at a big theatre, I’ll go to rehearsal in the daytime. If it’s at a small theatre, I’ll go in the evening. If I’m in performance or not working on a play, I might have to go somewhere for an audition, or record a VO audition in my studio at home. If I’m meeting a writing deadline, I’ll write in fits and starts throughout the day and night. I try to work out (Bikram or Baptiste yoga and running) every other day. I meditate 20 minutes a day. I drink coffee. I usually answer one or more casting emails (I’m a casting director), maybe coach a friend on an audition, maybe proofread some copy that’s going out for 16th Street (a theatre company I’m a member of). I might have a meeting with a collaborator somewhere. I take Pilates on Fridays at 11 (unless I have a booking).



How do you juggle work and family?
I don’t have to, really. I don’t have kids. But when I do have them, the beauty of what I do is that I’ll just choose projects to accommodate whatever is happening with child-rearing (or not). I didn’t marry an actor (I was never going to? not attracted to them categorically), so there’s a certain amount of financial stability in my marriage that enables me to have artistic freedom (this wasn’t always the case in our relationship, and I’m super-grateful that I’m no longer the main breadwinner. That was rough. I hate teaching and don’t love doing musicals, but they paid our rent for several years.)

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?

  1. Know yourself
  2. Diversify your hustle.
  3. Shut up and do the work. You can talk when you have something to show for yourself. Otherwise you’re just full of it.

How has your career helped you grown as a person?
I just sort of evolved into a working artist over time. When I was 25 I decided I wouldn’t work for free anymore, unless there was some kind of serious payoff in other ways and I haven’t. I guess the most profound and beneficial thing I’ve learned is that it’s OK to be the way I am, to honor and pursue my particular proclivities, and that there is truly no one-size-fits-all template for a fulfilling artistic career, no comprehensive measure of success. Also, learning to not judge the work, just letting it come about and THEN evaluating it is an ongoing lesson that I wish i’d begun learning earlier. It really is all about the work for me, and I try to let the work speak for itself. John Cage has a rule list for artists that has a lot of truth in it for me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Not in Chicago!  And with children.  And a published novel.

For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
My mom, my husband, my sisters, my agents, my best friends Alissa and Jessica. I had a rough couple of years from a personal standpoint, and they were all tremendously nurturing and supportive in emotional and practical ways. They also really believe in the the art I produce, and that’s important, because when you’re IN it, it can be really hard to SEE it and know that it’s worthwhile. I also really appreciate super mediocre artists who produce, produce, produce I mean, obviously they don’t think they’re mediocre, but they are clearly not spending a lot of time worrying about whether something is “good” or not they just MAKE it. They get it made. Those people are very instructive.


Stephanie Diaz

Stephanie Diaz’s Bookshelf

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Get Poked with Alyson Bayer, LAc of Clear Choice Acupuncture & Wellness | Coffee & Cards Conversation #40

In the 40th episode of Coffee & Cards Conversations, Alyson Bayer of Clear Choice Acupuncture & Wellness explains the benefits of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Then, we have a brief spat over parking lot semantics.   To wrap up, Alyson shares how she uses appreciation marketing with SendOutCards in her practice.

Connect with Alyson Bayer

Alyson Bayer, LAc Clear Choice Acupuncture & Wellness

Alyson Bayer, LAc
Clear Choice Acupuncture & Wellness

Clear Choice Acupuncture & Wellness
213 N Thompson St
Conroe, TX 77301


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