Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You. Rock. XO, Chloe Pink and Pete

Copyright © Sharna Fulton 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"The pink check is in the mail," says Chloe Pink.

To me, August 24, 2012 was a landmark day in the history of Chloe Pink. And I say, "it was," because it "was" yesterday. It's over now, but I'll never forget it.

That's because Chloe Pink and I finally did something we've wanted to do for a long time if you consider six years a long time. I do.

It seems like ages ago--in 2006, when I first started drawing Chloe Pink at Myrtle Beach and one of my goals was to align with a nonprofit organization. I thought it would be so easy. Twirling my pencil between my fingers like a little mini baton, I threw my head back in the sea breeze and said "ha ha!" with an air of confidence that rarely comes to a newbie cartoonist sitting all alone on the beach. I'm sure I got some weird looks.

So what gave me this brilliant idea? A few things.

First, I was planning to sell literally hundreds of orders of Chloe Pink cards at my first show, the National Stationery Show in NYC. (Another erroneous newbie cartoonist thought.) I had so many then...and unfortunately, still do. Anyways, I'd met Joe Waters, Cause Marketing Guru. Joe had shown me along with, now, thousands of nonprofiteers and corporate do-gooders through his book, Cause Marketing for Dummies, the wonders of giving a percentage of your sales to a nonprofit organization. "How cool is that?" I thought. "I shall do THAT! For I am a do-gooder. Yes. Indeed. THAT is moi. And THAT is what do-gooders do! Yes! Chloe Pink will not only show girls how to follow their dreams," I declared to myself. "She will bring extra dollars to some very special nonprofit." Duh. It just made sense.

So, I called a few girls orgs. and left a few voice mails. Strange. I never did reach Billie Jean King, but I tried. Of course, nobody called me back and that was that. Besides the stationery show didn't pan out. No sales. No cause marketing partnership needed, right? I shelved CP for awhile until about a year later, a friend encouraged me to start anew.

After practicing my cartooning, recreating Chloe Pink as the "young girl" she was meant to be and starting a Chloe Pink blog and Facebook page, I bought a booth at the 2010 Decatur Book Festival. I had 2 months to create a book, self-publish it and get it ready for the show. And I did it! Things were finally starting to click for Chloe Pink as I received some amazing PR including a feature in the AJC and sold a ton of Doodle & Dream Books. But much to my chagrin, Michelle Obama or the president of a girls organization never walked past my booth that weekend, begging me to do Chloe Pink cartoons for their organization. Nobody! Shocking indeed.

So, I continued on...putting feelers out there on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. I had a few meetings here and there with people about Chloe Pink going to work with their organization, but there were no real bites.





The Big Goose Egg.

I finally realized that maybe "they" weren't going to "come to me." I would need to amp it up a bit and go to them. Hmmmm...I started working on a general presentation, called an executive director at a local girls club and got a "meeting." I showed up ready to land the big gig. Problem is, she (the executive director) didn't.

Oh well. Heavy sigh. Not meant to be...back to the drawing board. Literally.

After getting feedback on the unseen presentation from my expert panel of family, friends and advisors, I repackaged it to make it better. I then I rolled up my sleeves to do some REAL digging on girls organizations in Atlanta. And then it appeared! A really, really, really good one. So I took a risk and did the thing I am more afraid of then almost anything else.

More telemarketing!

But let me tell you. This time it paid off. Little did I know Id been preparing all along for what was meant to be Chloe Pink's first important cause marketing partnership! That all the frogs I'd metaphoricall speaking, kissed so far, were only helping me prepare for the big party.

And what a party it was!

The Girls Inc. Strong, Smart & Bold Awards was held yesterday at the Westin Perimeter North Hotel. A truly classy and glamorous afternoon soiree saluting 61 strong, smart and bold grown-up girl nominees who embody the values of Girls Inc. (In a nutshell or rather a clamshell pink clutch purse, their principles basically say that girls are entitled to be their best self and deserve to be supported by other people AND other girls as they follow their dreams. Girls Inc. says it so MUCH better in their Girls Bill of Rights. You really need to read it.

And once you do, you'll understand why I am so gosh darn proud to be affiliated with Girls Inc of Greater Atlanta if only for one day (that was yesterday.) And yet, I certainly hope this partnership goes on and on.

Thanks to the vision and gracious hospitality of CEO, Heather Rocker and her team including Molly Friesenborg and Bonnie Chapman, Chloe Pink got to be a part of it! Outside the glitzy Girls Inc. Awards ballroom, was a table just for me to present Chloe Pink and friends to 61 award nominees, plus tons of Girls Inc. sponsors, employees, members and volunteers.

Girls Inc. made posters with Chloe Pink and her friends asking women to fill in the blanks of what makes them feel strong or smart or bold. They printed a little take home Chloe Pink piece that sat between the water glass and salad fork at every place setting!

Best of all, my six year dream to "cause market"- yes, CM can be a verb -- finally came to fruition. Selling $200.00 worth of Chloe Pink books with 25% of the sales going to Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta, I just wrote them a check for fifty buckaroos. I know. It's nothing but maybe a a few after school cupcakes -- Hey! Never underestimate cupcakes -- compared to the thousands of dollars Girls Inc. deservedly receives from major companies based here in Atlanta, but it's a start!

In closing, thank you Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta for letting us be a part of your amazing day and for letting me, let alone thousands of Atlanta's girls AND Chloe Pink follow our dreams.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Life imitates art or vice versa?

This past Saturday, was the Chloe Pink book launch for her second activity book, The Tell Your Secrets & Stuff To Chloe Pink Diary. What a fun surprise it was when Abby showed up portraying Chloe Pink and Kiyana came as CP's friend, Brooklyn with her signature sparkly headband and all!

Every time I see these girls together, they have big smiles on their faces. They are always implementing one or another's new creative idea. On Saturday, they handed out pink lollipops to our launch attendees and passed out pink strips of paper for them to put their dreams on and stuff in a pink bottle. Taking their hostessing duties seriously, they even made a label with directions for the front of the bottle.

All the while, they were encouraging each other to be their best selves. They are true friends! So, this little cartoon is a salute to you, Abby and Kiyana.

Two "true originals." Follow your dreams, girls!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

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