Tag Archives: inspirational quotes

LOOK WHAT I WOKE UP TO FIND… an article in the Ukiah Daily Journal about me.

Happiness Cards still blooming

This red-edged white begonia carries a quote from Beethoven. Connie Fledderjohann
Connie Fledderjohann. photo by River Wilder.

Long time photographer and Mendocino County resident Connie Fledderjohann is wrapping up a second year in the business of creating “Happiness Cards,” a line of simple cards with photos of nature on one side and quotes aimed at cheering you up on the other.

She works from Fort Bragg and has cards available in a couple of stores on the coast but mainly she’s an online business and got help from West Company to figure out the business side of things.

Fledderjohann’s operating assumption is “You can increase your happiness by making others happy.”

She came up with the concept mainly because she was eager to share her photography.

“I love photography and want to share my photos. Mendocino County has many wonderful photographers, lots of them my friends,” she explained. “But the more of us there are trying to sell our work in conventional ways the harder it becomes for each of us to make a living. In addition, I wanted a product that most anyone could afford. I began by giving away little cards with a flower photo on one side and an inspiring quotation on the other. I handed them out to friends and strangers. In return I always got a smile and ‘thank you’ and sometimes tears or a hug. And I always came away feeling happier. When my friends asked for their own cards to give away it became a business.”

And Fledderjohann says selling the cards makes her happy too.

“I treasure the many comments I’ve received from customers who relate the positive experiences they’ve had giving out Happiness Cards. I estimate that there are over 60,000 cards in circulation right now adding to the happiness of both giver and receiver.”

An example of the quotes on her cards is: “‘To play the wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable.’ – Beethoven.” This one comes on the back of a photo of a red-edged white begonia.

Fledderjohann works alone – and loves living so close to the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg where she finds inspiration all the time – but gets help filling orders from a friend and neighbor when things are extra busy.

She takes inspiration from nature but also from role models “like Georgia O’Keeffe who kept creating late into life.” Why? “I’m almost 85,” she says.

Find Fledderjohann’s cards at http://www.happinesscards.net

 

GUPPY OR TROUT?

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.             …

WHAT TO DO WITH HAPPINESS CARDS:

If you buy a box of Happiness Cards, what are you going to do with them? Let’s see, you could use them to paper your bedroom. Might take too many. How about gluing them to your ceiling so you be inspired as you fall asleep? A little better. Or you could share them with friends and strangers. That’s cool, and it’s why they were made, but if you have other ideas, great! Here are 10 suggestions to get you started. I’d love to hear how you use them, too. The only “rule” is to get happy spreading happiness.

10 Ways to Use Happiness Cards

1. Enclose them in birthday cards, get well cards and other communication.

2. Take several to local Food Bank to be picked up or included with bags of groceries.

3. Leave some in the hospital and ER waiting rooms.

4. Have them for customers or clients to take.

5. Include one with bills you’re paying and other business mail.

6. Leave them on a park bench for someone to find.

7. Give to guests at birthday parties, weddings and other celebrations.

8. Send one in your child’s lunch to give to his/her teacher.

9. Leave them in library books you’re returning.

10. Leave one with the tip when eating out.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are the sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank