November 2006

“All Saints, All Souls & Thanksgiving Day(s) Edition”

“Hello Family!” We hope you had happy All Saints & All Souls Days! Also, “Happy Thanksgiving!” We are pleased to welcome our newest family member, Mary Sperry, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Your hand painted Saint medal and Serenity Story is on its way to you. We hope you like it. Thank you for your order!

First things first. If you think you did not receive our October Newsletter it is true you did not but … that is because it was never written! So many exciting things happened in September we could not get the newsletter mailed as planned. We have good reasons: We had to send all the orders that kept coming in from all over the country, Canada, and the UK. It’s exciting to announce that the “ family” has now doubled in size. Some explanations for our tremendous growth follow:

In early September an issue of “OK! Magazine” came out and on the inside back cover was a section featuring former “Sex and the City” writer and TV show host Greg Behrendt who commented in the magazine that he wears our “design” of Saint Matt “all the time.” OK! Magazine associate photo editor Astrid Starwiarz included colorful images of our hand painted saint Expedite & Anthony medals and featured them squarely in the middle of the page and very prominently next to a great photograph of the “Sex and the City” star, Sarah Jessica Parker.

The response we received from Astrid’s artistic rendering of our hand painted medals and Greg’s kind words was truly amazing. We have never been as busy as we were for the months of September and October. With a little luck and continued hard work we hope the momentum will continue. We were truly invigorated by the increased interest in our hand painted saint medal and serenity story business. So, when the ESPN Monday Night Football crew broadcast our New Orleans Saints team in their line up we found a way to get some publicity…

My nephew, Doug Cardinale, a staff writer for the University of New Orleans Newspaper, “The Driftwood,” and I were trying to think of an eye catching sign to make to bring to the game. Doug thought of a great design that advertised and paid homage to our New Orleans Saints newest editions, Quarterback Drew Brees and the rookie Running Back Reggie Bush. We labeled them “Our Saviors” in a yellow and black sign with halos and the logo on top and bottom. In the third quarter some friendly camera people at ESPN placed our sign on the television screen for a very long time.

Many people called or wrote to say they saw the sign! Once again we received many orders in a short span of time. We fell behind but then were completely caught up after working day and night for weeks to get the orders out. We sent the orders out and about and included a “Flood Medal” and handwritten note with each package sent.

After we mailed the first set of flood medals on the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina we received many heartfelt responses that were very moving and we decided to continue sending a piece of history, a severely damaged, rusted saint medal nearly completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flood. We put the medal in a “Ziploc” bag and made notations indicating which saint was in the bag along with the date the package was prepared. You kindly responded to the flood medals received and in various ways ….

Family member Emily Squires in Providence, Rhode Island e mailed to say she was keeping the medal in her clutch as a reminder of the troubles New Orleans has endured over the past year, Maquel German called and said she was planning to place her flood medal package in a prominent place in her home so she would not forget New Orleans, Corey Halphen wrote and said he was very touched by the receipt of the flood medal and was keeping it in the breast pocket of his suit.

Laurie Clark in North Carolina wrote that her 8 year old daughter Emma brought the flood medal to school to show to her class during “Show and Tell.” And Susan Schmitz in New Jersey sent us a beautiful hand written note saying she was missing her Mom, Rose, who had passed away. And then she (“Coincidentally”? We don’t think so!) received our Saint Rosalie flood medal and took it as a comforting sign from her Mom. Many of you wrote with similar responses.

The flood medals are obviously “striking a chord” and we will continue to send them out with each order. Perhaps one day our supply of thousands of ruined medals will have been sent all over the world and will be completely depleted. And perhaps, some day, the medals you receive will have archival importance as being pieces of history from the worst natural disaster in our country’s history. Maybe not, but one thing is certain: we expect to continue sending our medals out west….

A short time after the OK! Magazine piece hit the news stands, we received a wonderful telephone call from Oregon. “Portland Monthly” Style Editor Jill Spitznass ordered medals. We sent them off and Jill let us know she would be placing images of our hand painted saint medals in the January 2007 issue of Portland Monthly on her “Styles” page. It is exciting to be in a monthly magazine and amazing to be included on a “Styles” page! It seems we have developed a bit of a following out west already.

We recently learned that the singer Huey Lewis is wearing our hand painted Saint Andrew medal in Oregon. So now Saint Andrew has joined Saint Peter as our “Rocking and Rolling” Saints and Saint Matt remains the sometimes co-host of The Greg Behrendt Show. Our saints sure are doing some interesting work and we are happy for them.

We made changes on the web site, among them:

  1. We added new folks in the family to our “Hall of Fame – Ous” link and
  2. We added new testimonials to the letters link.

We have continued with the fun method of answering the “Who’s Your Saint?”Quiz but need to apologize because we are not yet up-to-date with answering all the quizzes that have arrived. Our page has over 150 friends and has new audio, photographs and stories, thanks to the immensely talented Jeff Peters in New Orleans.

The plan to begin selling bracelets is progressing- we located and purchased the bracelets and found suitable clasping methods. The bracelets will be available in a few days! Longtime family member Dorothy Dorff in New York City will be receiving the first bracelet we make! We also cannot wait to have Dorothy on our Hall of Fame-Ous!

“Thank You” to Jill Spitznass, Huey Lewis, ESPN, ABC, Greg Behrendt, and OK! Magazine’s Astrid Starwiarz. Please spread the word, visit the web site and feel free to photocopy or e mail the newsletter(s) to others in your circle who might like to join our family. Let us all be mindful this November to be thankful for what we’ve got. We’ve got the saints and that’s a lot! Thanks, ya’ll!

All the Best,

Rob Clemenz, Founder

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