Now and then I feel like a medium-sized fish (a trout, perhaps) in a small pond. Ft. Bragg, where I live, is home to around 6,000 residents. When the following article with my picture, appeared in our local paper I thought I’d be a trout temporarily, or at least garner my 5 minutes of fame.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The article appeared at the very back of our weekly rag, a place I pay no attention to, and seemingly my friends ignore it as well.  It took my neighbor’s sharp eyes to point it out to me. So much for medium-sized fish status. I’m back to being a guppy. Following is a slightly condensed version of that article that I hope you’ll read.

Ft. Bragg Advocate April 17, 2014

Spreading Happiness Like Rose Petals…

When Connie Fledderjohann first came in to West Company, she was looking for help with Facebook. “When we opened her page I remember thinking, 800 fans? Maybe she should be helping me with Facebook,” says Heather Gurewitz, Women’s Business Center Director.

As it turned out, using the program was not Connie’s problem. Instead, Connie, a photographer on the Mendocino Coast, was suffering the challenge of selling photographs in a saturated market. While beautiful, those that were “liking” and valuing her photographs, weren’t purchasing. West Company has seen many photographers over the years.

As our area is a destination for art and natural beauty, there is no shortage of photographers. Instead of focusing on selling the actual photographs which, despite a new sales campaign, weren’t taking off, Connie was brave enough to tackle a new question, “How do you change your product into something people will buy?”

“One day Connie came in with these laminated cards that looked like a business card, but they had a gorgeous flower image on the front and an inspiring quotation on the back. I asked what she sold them for, and she said,’ I just give them away to make people happy.'” After further discussion, Connie realized that she could achieve her goal of making people happy and generate income for herself at the same time, and thus Happiness Cards was born.             …