Cousin Creative Circle Retreat 2015

I love being a brand ambassador for Cousin Corporation, they manufacture so many different kinds of beads and findings and supply them to so many different stores, I have tons of fun playing with their new products and helping promote their lines!  One of the best parts of the gig though is that each year they fly us down to their headquarters in Florida for a retreat with the other members of the Cousin Creative Circle team! This has been my second year as a part of the program so I was so excited to go back to Florida for the retreat. I blogged about my trip last February in three parts which can be found here, here and here. This time around I'm doing one big ole recap :)

It's a quick trip, I flew out last Wednesday morning a little after 8AM and landed in Florida a little after 11. I actually really enjoying flying by myself, it's fun to wander around the airport, get some coffee, do some people watching and get physched up for your coming trip :)  I made it to Florida fine and met up with some of the other ambassadors and Cousin workers who were at the airport already. We went to lunch in the airport and Dawn talked me into a Pineapple Margarita...ok ok I was easily convinced to partake :)

We hung around a bit for one more ambassador to fly in and then we were driven back to our hotel while the other two ambassadors from the West Coast flew in a little later in the day. This was one of the BEST parts of the trip for me - we have such a packed schedule the other days with events going on with Cousin so it was so fun to be able to sneak in some time on the beach!!! The ocean is SO FREAKING BLUE in florida! And it was WARM! Like bathwater!! Nothing like the dirty jersey oceans this philly girl is used to!!! I set myself up with a daiquiri from the beach bar and completely relaxed for a few hours before I had to get ready for our first event.

The first night of the trip Cousin hosts a little cocktail event at the hotel to introduce all of the ambassadors to each other and get to know a lot of the employees that work at Cousin! We were supposed to wear one of our favorite handmade creations so I wore a cute little floral dress with my blue web cluster necklace.

There are seven ambassadors this year: myself and four others who I knew from past years and this year we added two new ladies! From left to right we are: Allison of Quiet Lion Creations, Shelly Owen of Raziela's Rant, Rachel Nielsen of Adventures of a DIY Mom, Jennifer Priest of Hydrangea Hippo, myself, Dawn Doucette of Bella Amore Jewelry and Lisa Crone of A Bead a Day. Jennifer and Rachel are our two newest ambassadors!
We had such a fun night of chatting and catching up with the ambassadors and other Cousin employees we had met last year, nibbling on yummy hors d'oeuvres and of course drinking lots of wine :) The hotel is located RIGHT on the beach so of course we had to take a classy beach jumping photo!!
Thursday morning came bright and early - our ride to Cousin headquarters met us at the hotel at 7AM - ouch! But luckily this GORGEOUS view from my hotel room made the early morning wake-up call so much easier!
Thursday was a PACKED day at Cousin headquarters.  We went on a tour of their facilities, had a few round table discussions, went out on store visits to Michaels, Joanns, and Walmart to see and give feedback on the different bead sections, had a presentation on Swavaroski crystal, and even snuck in some time for designing!

Last year we had about two hours to design specific projects for one of the vendors Cousin supplies to, but this year we were able to just design whatever we felt like! It sure was fun to be able to go up to the WALL of beads to pick out whatever materials I felt like using. I could get used to that!

After a packed day at headquarters we were taken back to our hotel for just a little rest before dinner. I snuck a walk in on the beach and another drink from the beach bar, I really think I could get used to living with this kind of beauty on a daily basis!!!

After some quick time on the beach I got all fancied up again and wore my DIY Anthropologie Knock-Off Necklace with a cute floral maxi.  We went out to dinner at a nice restaurant in Florida where I was super adventurous and ordered a fish dish that I had never heard of before. It was delicious! Eating healthy has caused me to expand my horizons and makes me want to try new foods! Unfortunately the copious amounts of wine that were served with dinner and the two bites of FRIED CHEESECAKE I ate for dessert don't really fit with my normal "diet" but you have to live it up when you can :)
Most of us ambassadors after dinner with Jessica from Cousin (on the left of the picture) she takes care of marketing for the company and is in charge of the ambassador program.  She did a FABULOUS job planning the whole retreat and we all love her to pieces!

Friday morning we were taken back to the Cousin headquarters again bright and early  We spent some time giving feedback for Cousin's retail site - Prima Bead and had a few extra meetings. Some of the ambassadors were also able to spend some time filming video tutorials for different jewelry making projects which was really cool! Unfortunately we all had to head back to the airport at noon so the only extra thing we had time to sneak in was some shopping in the bead warehouse!!!

We had ten minutes to "shop" on this huge wall of beads and fill a flat rate shipping box with as many beads as we could fit. Whew! It was intense! I can't wait to get all of my goodies in the mail and craft with them :) After our mad bead dash it was time to pack up it all up and head back to the airport to head home :( womp womp. This trip is always way too short!! The only thing keeping me happy on the plane ride home was this cute new wire wrapped bracelet that Shelly whipped up for me while we had some down time in between filming video tutorials. I love going on trips with other jewelry makers, cool jewelry for everyone!!!!! :)

So now I'm back home in PA but totally missing the beautiful beaches of Florida and all of my beading and Cousin friends. It was such a fun little get-away and has completely inspired me to get beading some more and excited to work on some fun new projects in the near future!!!

1 comment

  1. I am glad you enjoyed your trip. I totally love your blog :-)