Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to make lemonade out of them. That is what happen to Shara Reiner and me. Over a year ago we got together and designed this Santa:
We decided to do a retreat in both California and Pennsylvania in April of 2020. We advertised and lots of people signed up and we were excited. Then in March our country was shut down because of the Corona Virus. We hoped it would pass quickly, but it didn’t and we realized that we would have to cancel our retreats.
Before cancelling we brainstormed and decided to offer our Holly Jolly Santa as a virtual retreat. We would do instructions with lots of videos and put them up on a private web page. We would also do a private Facebook group where people could gather and share. We Offered the retreat to the ladies that originally had signed up for the retreat and over 1/3 of them signed up.
Before the retreat we gave them access to the web page that had lots of tips on using Quikwood, some recipes, and a small project. We also gave them the materials to make the project. For those that had never worked with Quikwood it was a great way for them to get familiar with it before the big project.
We wanted to make it as much fun as actually being together. We did videos of our studios and posted them in the Facebook group, and many of the ladies also gave us a tour of their studio. We had three days of shopping of hand made one of a kind items and special new kits just available to the attendees. We also made fun, silly videos like this one that we shared during the retreat:
About a week before the retreat Shara and I thought about using Zoom to connect with the group but we were not sure if we were up to the learning curve with everything else we had to do. Four ladies from Illinois had a zoom party each day as they created together. They invited Shara and me to join them one day. We will definitely consider Zoom if we do another virtual retreat.
Some of our students had never used Quikwood before, but they did amazing. Shara and I were so proud of our students work. When your students are happy with their accomplishments, it definitely makes us very happy. Here is some of their creations. Warning – Be prepared to be WOWed :
Many said they liked the Virtual Retreat because they could stay in their jammies and work at their own pace, replaying the videos as many times as needed. The only thing they missed was the fellowship of being together, as we all did.
Many want us to do another virtual retreat. We will have to put our heads together and see if we can come up with anything.
Thought we would share our ending video with you.
To make things a little more special Shara painted a pin for each of the students and placed it in the Santa kit that was sent out in the beginning. I made a retreat angel for each of them and sent it out at the end.
We packaged the angel with a special note:
As I write this I am sitting here smiling thinking about all the fun we had together and the new friendships that were made. Many said the retreat was a cure to their quarantine blues. I know it blessed us.
Big Virtual Hug,
PS. If you want to find out what we will be doing in the future, sign up to follow this blog.