Saturday, July 30, 2011

Assistance Needed

If I have ever been close to the breaking point, this was it.  I can pinpoint the exact moment, on my knees on the driveway over a pile of vintage Christmas lights, removing the bulbs, while my brother stood over me and said I was not mucking the house out fast enough for his likes.  Preparing for my Father’s birthday party, running a business or three, family in town and a magazine shoot in two days’ time along with all of the normal goings on would probably push one to the edge.  Yes, I have been to that edge and looked over the precipice.

That same week, I read an article in Vogue magazine about the wedding of Dylan Lauren (Ralph’s daughter) and something about her giving something to one of her assistants.  Plural.  This stuck in my mind like a tiny fish bone in the throat, annoying me.  I got on the phone with Raquel, our Sunday market manager, and said, “Raquel, I need an assistant!”  Oh, she proceeded to tell me, so-and-so the musician got a free intern on CraigsList and so she got a free intern that same day also by CraigsList to help run the market.  Talk about a light bulb going off; seems there are lots of kids coming out of college with no experience; experience wanted….

The next morning I placed an online ad for an internship with commission, with a listing of Import/Export Wholesale/Retail.  And oh my, I got an absolute blizzard of responses.  A few caught my eye, and in the end I found my favorite; meet Kerry, my new Assistant~


Somewhere in our conversation she said the magic words: “My schedule is wide open and I am available to help you.”  Imagine!  No, really, I can’t.  In two days, Kerry has helped me run errands, fill orders, and give me a bit of my life back. She is a recent grad from University of Wisconsin-Madison (R’s undergrad and grad school; I am a bit biased; go Badgers!) with a degree in Retail.  She understands my demographic and was perfect and appropriate today at the booth; Kerry’s Mom, are you listening, you have raised a great daughter!!


In addition to the baskets, Kerry is taking ownership of our new Maggies’ Farms organic lettuces venture.  Today was the third week at Corona del Mar and each week we have doubled sales.  Here is today’s sample, arugula with olive oil, a spritz of lemon juice and a dash of French sea salt and pepper.  Delish; all gone~


Kerry took to the market with ease.  She listed “visiting farmers markets” on her c.v. which caught my eye; she will do just fine as she and I grow the business~


As I bring Kerry up to speed on the various aspects of the basket and greens business, she will be a huge help to me.  And let me catch up on back orders etc.  And give me a little sanity back.  Eventually I hope she will run the businesses while I am in France for 6 months.

We will continue to tune up the greens and herbs for the market.

You can contact Kerry at if I am lame and you can’t reach me! Or you can copy both of us.


  1. Andrea so nice to meet Kerry after your glowing review of her!! I can see she will be perfect!


    Art by Karena

  2. What a lovely addition and just in time! :)


  3. Hello Kerry!! Nice to meet you! And Andrea, I couldn't be more excited for you. Now I just need a homesteading assistant... ah, yes! That would be my oldest daughter who has been running around East Asia all summer. I'll be so glad to have her home, too. Just hearing her voice on the phone after 2. 5 weeks brought joy to my heart. She's learned a lot about organic farming over there and I can't wait to learn from HER!!

  4. Lucky,lucky you. Kerry is a doll and I feel sure full of that young enthusiastic spirit that we could all use a dose of.

  5. Congratulations, Andrea! It will be hard for you to give up even a slice of work but, boy, will it pay off.

    And congrats to you, too, Kerry. Andrea is a doll and you will learn so much.

  6. Is there an assistant for Dealing with Brothers? Wish you could have delegated that job. Loved your dad's remark in the last post.

  7. Andrea, congratulations on your new assistant. She looks like she has jumped right in and helped out at the market!! Good luck!

  8. Kerry sounds onwderful and with a smile to match. SO glad you two connected! You'll soon be living La Joie de Vivre!
    Bonne semaine,

  9. That's a great thing somebody was really there when you needed help. I think her presence really helped you out on your tasks. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Wonderful pics of the market and
    of the basket!



  11. Brilliant idea, and she looks/sounds like a godsend!

    Felicitations to you both!


  12. Breathe! You are the busiest person I know!
    So happy you found a little relief in Kerry!
    xo Yvonne

  13. You are a wise woman....and smart! Kerry looks perfect for your helping hand. You can't go wrong with a midwest girl (hardworking and honest). I may be partial since I'm from MN:)