Confessions of a Pen Thief

I have a confession to make: I steal pens.  Not from children or stores, and generally not from waiters (unless they have a particularly good one).  But a nice pen from a hotel is going in my handbag!  Along with those advertising schools, events, financial corporations, obscure pharmaceuticals…you get the idea.  I can’t help it, I just have to have them. 

 My favorite stolen pen is from the Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove.  It writes well, it’s slim, the ink doesn’t smudge.  Great pen.  And great marketing for that hotel.  I’ve had the pen for years, and every time I look at it, I see their logo and think of how much I enjoy that particular establishment. 

 Turns out, allowing people like me to “steal” branded pens is a great move.  A pen gives you great logo exposure because it’s useful, meaning that people will keep it around.  They’re also often passed from person to person, so the logo is seen by multiple sets of eyes.  They give you great bang for your marketing buck.  And they give me a thrill when I slip them into my purse!

And as you can see I’m not the only one with this affliction. Check out

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

The best part of living in South Florida: winter.  Not only does it not snow, but the weather becomes amazing.  Sunshine, low humidity, ocean breezes…perfect!  And we Miamians do not squander that perfection, we head outside to bask in it.  One of the ways we do that is by attending art festivals. 

Last weekend was the annual Coconut Grove Art Festival, which is the biggest of them all. While I love looking at the art, eating the food, and spending time in the Florida sunshine, my favorite part of the Fest is the poster.  Each year, one piece of art is featured on the official poster, thousands of which are purchased and hung in homes throughout the city (I have 2008’s in my hallway!).  It’s excellent exposure for the artists, and a great reminder that the Grove Art Festival will be back next Presidents’ Day weekend!

Check out NBC’s YouTube video:

Networking Tip – Follow Up

Biltmore Hotel, Coral GablesYesterday I attended the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce’s “Good Morning Coral Gables” breakfast.  This monthly event, held at the Biltmore Hotel, is an excellent opportunity to network with Miami’s movers and shakers.  However, because it starts fairly early in the morning, sometimes I’m not as “on” (or awake!) as I’d like to be, and I don’t necessarily remember everything about my breakfast companions.  Fortunately, a good number of people I met yesterday have sent follow-up e-mails.  What a great reminder of their names, their company names, and the services they offer.  And it’s so easy!  Five minutes of typing, and you’ve created a lasting impression on a potential customer.  I’m sure everyone has heard it before, but follow up, follow up, follow up!


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