At the beginning of the month I started a new adventure as I became the new Showroom Manager for Teknion, an international designer/manufacturer of commercial furniture. I worked in this industry before my ministry days and when this position became available, I couldn't pass it up. There are a variety of reasons I chose to step out of professional ministry, all of which revolve around a healthier personal and family balance and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity God provided for me. One of the greatest benefits of this is that I don't work on the weekend anymore so I am able to attend the campus where Zach leads worship. For all of last year I was pretty much completely absent from Zach's ministry and campus due to my role at a different campus. Although I miss numerous people and teammates from my time there, I am so happy our family is finally united in one place!
Sunday mornings are quickly becoming my favorite part of the week as I get the opportunity to read, work out, sip some coffee or tea in front of my fireplace and then ATTEND church with Zach at 11. ELEVEN people! Thank you Lord. It also allows me to be more present with Allie on the weekends and give her maximum church time since she loves going to church and meeting new people. Another huge blessing. I am SO proud of her for how well she navigates new environments and isn't afraid to talk to people she doesn't know. She is so confident and bold and it just... makes me all ooey gooey proud inside.
Now about the new job... many people have asked, "So what exactly do you do? Like... what is a showroom manger?" So here's my job description in a nutshell:
Similar to a house manager at a large house or estate, I simply manage the showroom. The showroom is where we showcase a sample of our products. Since everything is custom and made to order, the space provides a basic representation of the main product lines and the general quality of Teknion products. It's my job to keep the space in tip-top shape. This requires me to constantly be coordinating various vendors who service our space. If something is wrong with the sound or video in the conference room, I schedule the AV guys to come fix it. If the door bell stops working, I call the electrician. If the placemats need dry-cleaning, I schedule the pick up and so on. I also have to maintain all of our inventory of brochures and finishes (which is a lot) and stock the kitchen (which is fun). Basically, I'm a professional organizer/online shopper and Amazon Prime's #1 customer. Haha!
Since this is the only showroom in the southeast, we regularly have out-of-town visits from other Teknion teammates and clients. Sometimes this requires me to make hotel reservations, dinner reservations, call cabs, etc etc.
I also get to create fun things like welcome baskets for out-of-town guests and really anything I think would enhance the experience.
The showroom is mainly used for client visits and events. In both cases I am responsible for food/beverage and general prep of the space. Larger events (such as our upcoming chili cook-off) require a lot more attention since I get to design the experience. From invitations to decor to menus and gifts, I am up to my eyeballs in details to make the event special, unique, and professional.
4. I'm a resource for the region
I also support all the district managers in the southeast region. This involves everything from me shipping out brochures/finishes when needed, helping them get product questions answered, to even designing the holiday client gifts. This involves a number of other creative projects I have in the hopper to help our region reach new heights in serving our clients.
Oh- and I also get to travel! I love traveling and haven't been able to do much of it in recent years. Next month I will be traveling to Toronto for a week (Teknion is a Canadian company) for new hire training. In December, I'll be going to San Francisco for some additional hands-on training, South Beach in January for our regional meeting, and the NJ/Philly in February for more training. I am so thankful for my great boss who believes in me and Teknion for wanting to equip me with skills and knowledge to excel in my role. So much to be thankful for including earning Skymiles! :)
My new job has kept me so busy that I have had ZERO time to invest in the care package biz. I guess I'm kinda on hiatus with it right now as I settle into my new groove and work-life balance. Another great part of my job is that the showroom is a place Zach and Allie can be. It's not like a typical office that would be weird to have your family hanging out in. Ha! This is a major blessing and makes this transition doable given our irregular schedule with Allie. And speaking of our sweet Al, we had an awesome week with her for fall break this month.
As usual, here are the deets on our time together!
Allie turns 14 next month. 14. We can hardly believe it and we know that every second of our time together is important. She's growing up SO fast. One thing that's hard for me is managing our time well. What I mean is... when Allie is here I want to do a hundred fun things and make incredible memories and try new things, basically squeeze 6 months worth of fun stuff into a week's time, but sometimes... what needs to happen (and what Allie really needs most) is some down time. Quiet time. Time just hanging out on the sofa doing nothing or sitting in her room for a little while reading, drawing, etc. We are constantly in prayer over her and asking God to reveal to us what she needs and how we can parent her well to prepare her for young adulthood. Although we had a ton of important conversations and interactions over fall break, here are the highlights from all the fun stuff. :)
Goofing off at church with costumes left over from a recent series.
A few of their daddy-daughter activities included walking the prayer trail...
Before going to our friend's house for dinner, I had to get a pic of Allie in her new palazzo pants I found last month. Thanks Nana for hemming them! She LOVES flowy pants and looks absolutely adore in them.
I'm still getting use to being on this side of the dressing room... the waiting area side!
The orchard shop is full of ready to buy apples, pumpkins, gourds, and a variety of homemade spreads, sauces, and jams.
Even though Allie loves searching for apples and climbing trees to get them, I'm pretty certain her favorite part is eating the apple cider donuts. :)
Drinking cider while working on a puzzle..
After returning from our trip to NC, Allie and I rounded out the weekend by doing some serious fall-inspired baking at home. Every year we make "jam up" cookies- almond oatmeal cookies that are filled with apple cinnamon jam. It's a tradition and all three of us love these "fancy pop tarts" as Zach calls them. Ha! This year, we did the cookies and threw in some cinnamon roll muffins and experimented with gluten free pumpkin donuts. (Is it just me or does it seem like we ate A LOT of donuts this week? I swear we had healthy food too! Haha)
On Sunday we took a sample of our goodies to church and shared them with Zach's team of volunteers. Everything was gobbled up and next time... I think we need to bring a lot more. :)
We are so proud of Allie and the young woman she is becoming and are so incredibly grateful for all our answered prayers. God is faithful and he has such a special plan for her life. We can't wait to celebrate her birthday next month and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday together. Stay tuned for more updates from the Kales!