Trip to Cousin Corporation Day 2

I’m back to talk about the second day of my trip to Cousin Corporation. If you missed the first part, you can find it here!

The second day of our trip was LONG. We were picked up at our hotel at 7AM which definitely came earlllly after staying up late enjoying myself the day before. This morning ocean view did help to make up for it though for sure :)



We all loaded back up onto the “Cuz Bus” and headed out to visit the company headquarters.



One of the things I really took away from this trip is how…approachable and relatable the Cousin company and brand is. Cousin is a MULTI-million dollar enterprise but it is run with a family background and realistic principles.


The president, Jeff Cousin is a business man and very successful but he doesn’t have a crazy huge office or ego. Liz Heggy the sales manager really carries a lot responsibility and has a lot of power within the company but talked and related to all of us ambassadors as just another girlfriend.


We took a tour of the facilities and got to see where all the beading magic happens. I loved how the office décor was all about beads and jewelry!!! There were pictures displayed everywhere and lots of handmade jewelry displayed throughout the building. I mean, they even had handmade jewelry displayed in the bathroom. Talk about inspiration EVERYWHERE!!! 


The best part about the tour was seeing all of the masses of BEADS!!! I was basically salivating. I mean, I think I could have just moved in and lived amongst the bead displays and forever be happy.



We got to see the different collections they have set up for different stores and how they arrange to have all of these beads displayed on different planograms. There is so much science and process behind getting those pretty little beads onto the shelf and into the consumer’s basket.



Another part of the tour was to visit the warehouse where all the orders are packaged and shipped out. Walmart is a HUGE customer for Cousin. Cousin basically stocks about 75% of the jewelry section for Walmart in America and Canada. That’s a lot of beads! They have an entire assembly system and entire team of workers dedicated just to Walmart orders.



The warehouse might not be as pretty as the office section, but still just the thought of the amount of beads in that place makes me drool. This looooong aisle is just filled with boxes upon boxes of beads. And there were a lot of aisles!!!



After our tour we headed out with Liz Heggy to do store visits at Walmart, Michaels and Joanns. We learned a lot about how Cousin has to stay on top of trends and styles and present new lines to the store buyers months before the trend actually hits to get the real estate space in the store. Also, each store has a different type of target customer and as such not all of the same beads are stocked at each store. It was fun watching Liz check out all the competitor products, she even had a store employee come over and scan one empty section to see who's stuff was going to be moved in there next.



After our store visits we had a product development and trend lunch to share what we thought Cousin could be doing better with, and then after that it was time to craft!!! I was so excited to get to bead since we had just toured the facilities AND went to three different craft stores, my fingers were itching to get at some beads and make something.



All of us ambassadors were paired with a Cousin designer and we each had to create a necklace, bracelet, and earring set that will be used in inspiration marketing at AC Moore stores! We were each assigned a color story (I had pink/red, go figure why haha) and given a bunch of strands to work with. We could supplement our strands with extra findings and accent beads from the AC Moore section of beads at Cousin. Man it was fun to be able to go pick a bunch of beads off the shelf to craft with and not have to buy them first haha! We were given two hours to craft and the in-house designers were there to help us, but man it was intense! I managed to get my necklace and earrings done and my lovely designer Theresa executed my bracelet idea. I pretty much felt like I was on project runway for beading haha. We were all set up around a big conference table that was just COVERED with beads and random supplies when we were done.



I can't share what I made until summer time when all the new Cousin strands will hit AC Moore stores. I will be sure to share after that though :) After the mad dash to design, we headed back to our hotel to get fancied up for dinner. We were supposed to wear another handmade jewelry design so I sported my DIY Silver Sparkle Necklace



We were treated to dinner at the schwanky Middle Grounds Grill. Since we were right by the ocean I made sure to try some seafood like this fish spread and my entree was a shrimp pasta. I even tried a mussel for my first time! I was a littllleee scared but I ate it anyway. It wasn't bad either!



We all had a great time and then when it was time to head out I saved the last of the wine from the table haha (no one was taking it!) In Florida they give you little goodie bags to take home your wine bottles if you don't finish them! They also sell wine and liquor in Walmart which this PA girl can't understand since our state has such weird alcohol laws and you have to go to three different store to by wine, a six pack and a case of beer (and none of those places are a grocery store).



After dinner some of the ambassadors went to bed and few of us others enjoyed a little more time enjoying the Florida weather outside the hotel and walking along the beach. This was a picture from earlier in the evening- it was just SUCH a pretty area to be in! Can I move to the beach now??



This was our only full day in Florida so it was packed full but it was a good type of busy! Friday was our last day in Florida (*cries*) and I will be back to talk about that soon!

6 comments

  1. Wow, this sounds (and looks) like an amazing trip and an awesome opportunity! I am from PA so I can totally relate to your weather blues... sunny Florida looks fantastic right about now! :) I'm looking forward to the next post.

    xo Always, Abby

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  2. Oh my gosh! That looks like so much fun! Love the necklace!

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  3. OH my goodness. I would have a seizure around all those beads.

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  4. great recap! you and the wine lol :)

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  5. Loved reading your recap! It was so great to finally meet you! :-)

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  6. Sounds fun! I can't wait to see your design :D

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