Hi Friends!

While this post DOES have some small business insights, I’ll confess that it’s also about 80% pure eye candy 🙂

I had to share these amazing images with you from my recent trip to Niagara Falls. They are too amazing NOT to share!

Have you ever been? It was on my bucket list of places to visit.

So when I heard that the next Fusion Merchant Conference was going to be held there, I was so excited! Now I could go and count it as a work trip 🙂

I’ve heard some people say that they Falls are overrated . . . But I completely disagree. I found them absolutely mesmerizing.

Listening to the sound and just staring at the steady downpour of water flowing over them…I could have stood for hours and hours.

It’s the perfect place for a long weekend trip.

I would love to go back and take my family, and just enjoy wandering around the National Park and doing some of the behind-the-scenes activities.

There’s a lot of press too about how the Canadian side is better than the American side . . . and honestly, I loved experiencing them both.

If you’re able to cross over to the Canadian side, then I think it’s a great plan to spend one day on each side.

On the US side, you get to visit the gorgeous National Park and get really close to the falls. I loved that part!

The Canadian side is where you get the expansive view of the whole thing.  So if possible, do both!

Here are some views from the US side and the National Park area.

Being a Texas girl who generally doesn’t get to see any pretty fall leaves, I was enamored with the fall leaf color.

Look closely at the middle of this next photo . . . see the 2 ducks there?

I thought that was so funny that they were just hanging out on the verge of this gigantic waterfall.

They’re getting a view we never could get!

I did take the obligatory “In front of the Falls” picture too 🙂

Another thing that amazed me was the mist the falls made.

While I was driving in from Buffalo, crossing the bridge over the Niagara River a few miles upstream, I could see the mist billowing into the air from that far away.

It looked like giant clouds of smoke, almost like there was a big fire!

And yes, I did ride on the boat that goes into the mist!

It was about 35 degrees the morning we went, so it was not a warm and cozy experience.

It was so fun though and I’m glad I did it, even though I thought I might turn into a popsicle on the bow of the boat.

Unfortunately, I didn’t ever get my camera out and take any photos at the actual Merchants’ Retreat, so I’m sorry I don’t have more to share from that experience!

It was my first time though to meet, in-person, so many of the people I’ve gotten to know online over these past 4 years as I’ve been a merchant for Fusion.

It was so fun to finally talk in person to so many of my online friends.

If you ever get the chance to attend an event where you can meet people in person you’ve only known online, go!

I was honored to be included in a few panel discussions, including a “Retailer Success Panel.”

Complete honesty–I felt totally out of my league.

The other retailers in this panel were Heavy Hitters–interior designers, brick-and-mortar shop owners with legit businesses . . . and here I was, with my blog and 2 rented booth spaces.

If you can’t tell, I can sometimes have a little bit of an inferiority complex 🙂

But I made myself participate and share my thoughts, and here’s what I learned:

There are a million different ways to run a successful business!

Yes, most of my business runs out of my home and it may not look impressive on the outside, but it works.

It sells paint, and a lot of it!

Enough, in fact, to be included with other, much bigger and more established stores.

I’m not trying to boastful sharing that, but rather encourage those of you who may be trying to run a business out of your home, or maybe are booth sellers (you know I love booth sellers!).

Have you ever felt that your business has to look a certain way to be legit?

I have!  I am living proof that it’s a lie–you can run a successful, profitable business that is outside the box.

If you have ever felt that way and you wanna talk more–shoot me an email.  Let’s chat.

I have some opportunities coming up in the new year that I think can help.

So my two big takeaways from my trip to the Falls:

  1. The Falls are awesome and everyone should go.
  2. Stop telling myself that my business is less-than because I don’t have a physical storefront.

I’ll leave you today with a short video from the edge of the falls . . .  I hope you can get some of the feeling that I got while I was there.

Enjoy!

 

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