Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Mom & Dad-vertising"

Phil and Rollie (Heidi's parents...the Chef's In-Laws) at Christmas, 2009

With as tough as the restaurant business can be, we'll take any marketing help we can get. Especially during this start-up phase we're in. And on my short list of top-secret advertising strategies that are within our budget (which is currently anything for, um, zero dollars) is what one might call "Mom & Dad-vertising." Seriously, there are no bigger fans of our crazy endeavors than our parents. I guess we're pretty lucky in that regard.

Back when my sister and I were in college and drew up plans for a booth to sell airbrush t-shirts and face painting at our county fair, our Dad didn't bat and eye...built us a booth (that Gretchen still works at every summer, 10 years later), and both he and Mom proudly wore my airbrush T-shirts and told everyone they knew who painted them and how they could get one.

When I wanted to start an online business selling my T-shirts, they'd proudly wear them for other to see. And Tony's mom took order forms and business cards to pass out at her work and also showed off her "gear" from my shop.

So when our restaurant plans were finally becoming more finalized, I decided to make them some new T-shirts for their collection and give them out at Christmas. Each with the Caribe logo. One reads: "Chef's Father-In-Law" the other: "Chef's Mother-In-Law."

In addition to those I made one for myself that reads "Chef's Wife" although Tony's siblings were quick to suggest I make mine say, "Chef's Boss." Tony occasionally wears his Caribe shirt that reads "Grand Poo-bah" under his chef coat. You'll have to ask him about that.

Tony and Rollie (Heidi's Mom, Chef's Mother-In-Law) at Jay's Cafe Jan. 6, 2010

But back to our parents. Even if we had it in our budget to pay one of those crazy-excited people to wave a huge sign all day on the corner of a busy intersection (i.e. "HUGE FURNITURE LIQUIDATION TODAY ONLY 90% OFF!!!), we'd still not get the enthusiasm we genuinely get from our folks.

So thanks, Mom & Dad for wearing your shirts out in public, and Tony's Mom (who's also sporting her "I'm the Chef's Mami" apron!). Your support (and free advertising) means the world to us.


Rollie said...

AWE... it's easy to be so proud of such great “kids!” Yeah guess we've been M&D-vertising a long time! I remember out in the ocean on a ship while cruising Dad would wear his “will work for cruise” shirt and would always get stopped by people “where did you get that shirt?” We should've had a suitcase full of them with us. We could've sold out for you! Love ya.. mom

karimakandda sony said...

I find myself very diverse, in that I will airbrush on just about anything. Though I don’t make a full time living on my art, I do hope to one day, be able to set at home and just paint what ever I want on what ever I want.
Your blog actualy reminds me of a time in my life… (here comes a story, I’ll make it short
airbrush t-shirts