A Kase of Spring New Beginnings AND Perks!

4 04 2010

What a difference a year makes…. it was year ago on April 3, 2009 that I was let go from my old sales job with Arhaus Furniture.  I was yet another causality of the recession.  A year ago I was crushed; I think I was still in the under-the-covers-hiding-from-the-world state.  As I recall I crawled into bed for about three days to cry it out and lick my wounds.  Then I emerged, looked around and began to get my bearings.

It has been an adventure of a year, and there have been sooo many things which have happened, both good and bad, but today I am feeling the gratitude of the experience.  As I have blogged about before,  it was because of this time off that I was able to discover and fall in love with social media.  I simply cannot imagine my life now without twitter, and with my new WORK BlackBerry, I guess I am falling into that ‘crackberry’ category!  Plus I am so grateful for my NEW  job with MedCity News as Senior Sales Executive – I am using many of the social media skills I have gained over the past year!

Probably the most amazing thing about social media is the real people I have met through it.  I feel like there was an ENTIRE world going on around me in Cleveland that I never even saw or was plugged into until I started doing social media – and I was looking for these peeps!  I had spent years in Chicago and was very used to an urban environment with buzz and energy and I finally found like-minded people in Cleveland thanks to social media.  Now my weeks are not only full with the new job, but also networking and other fun after-work activities , plus, the occasional perk!

My most recent perk came in the form of a free massage courtesy of Savvy Avenue and Spa Bellamara in Beachwood.  Stacy from Savvy Avenue (@SavAveCleveland ) asked if I would check out the full body massage and review it in advance of one of their next offers.  Savvy Avenue provides discounted offers to local businesses (consumer bonus) while also providing charity donations to local organizations (good karma bonus) all while promoting local businesses!  (BTW,  Savvy Avenue has their HQ in Chicago, so once again, it’s the Cleveland- Chicago -Kasey connection….) So anyway, heck yeah, I’d love to review a spa massage!

Spa Bellamara is located in the Hamptons Apartments right across from Beachwood Place.  It’s in the retail center there (kind of a round building with a restaurant, the pool and member workout facilities).  The staff at Spa Bellamara have taken a lot of time and energy to transform the space to look a lot like a European hotel, from the “tin ceiling” look to the trompe l’oeil on the wall – quite the surprise – not what I expected to find in that space!

After filling out the state-required health questionnaire, I was taken back into the dimmed massage room by Lana, my masseuse.  There was relaxation music going complete with nature sounds and soft instrumentation.  After I disrobed and got under the sheet (I kept my panties on, my choice) Lana came back into the room and began the hour-long massage.  I got the Deluxe Therapeutic Massage, which was a more intense version of a traditional European or Swedish massage. It was an all-over body massage which started with me laying on my stomach so she could focus a lot of time on my back.  Lana was amazingly strong as she worked hard on getting out some of the knots in my back, neck and shoulders.

I know as I relaxed, I entered into a semi-dreamlike state; I’m sure I’m not the first person to have dozed off during a massage!  I was surprised how quickly the hour flew by – I could have lingered longer.  After I dressed, the staff offered me bottled water, saying I should re-hydrate and cookies, because, hey, who doesn’t want cookies?

If you want a firm, traditional Swedish massage in classic European setting, Spa Bellamara is your place!  A couple of tips:  They have limited scheduled regular hours they are open, but are VERY accommodating to off-hour services; just be sure to schedule in advance.  They also provide facials and other skin care services.  If going for a massage, if you can come in casual loose-fitting clothes, you will be more comfortable afterwards; also, take your makeup off before the massage as there is sometime spent on your face.

As for what happened after I was all relaxed post-massage, see my blog post from 4-1-2010…. it’s a laugh!

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A Kase of Gasoline and Massage Oil….

1 04 2010

Gasoline and massage oil… yeah – how’s that for a headline?  It was the Eau du Kasey Tuesday night… But I’ll get to those details in a minute…

First, a big thanks to the people who have been reading my blog despite the fact I haven’t posted anything in over a month… and what a month it has been!  Here’s a quick re-cap:

The same day as my last post (Fri 2/19/10) I followed up a job lead from a friend (Dan Young @danyoungdxy) and set my resume to MedCity News about a sales job.  The next day the MedCity News President and co-founder asked to join my LinkedIn network (uh, yeah!),  then Monday I got a call from them, Tuesday I had a 2+ hour interview and Thursday they asked for references.  Yes kids, the happy ending here is that after 11 looonng months of unemployment I got a job! *Happy Dance!*

MedCity News is an online publication (www.medcitynews.com) and an industry news service focused on the business side of healthcare.  Plus, we also create custom content for healthcare and other clients. We have been in business 15 months and continue to grow at an impressive rate of 20% per month.  I’m doing ad sales, sales of custom content and some social media.  It’s really a great fit and I’m very excited.  We are a start-up company and with that comes some non-traditional elements (I am split between two offices and my schedule can change on a dime) but that good, because I feel like a animal in a cage when I’m stuck in some silent cubical working the usual M-F 9-5….

So… what about the gasoline and massage oil…  yeah – that was my after work adventure Tuesday.  I had an after work massage which was a ‘gift’ from a social media associate (more details on that in my next blog); the massage was great, I was all relaxed and smelling of essential oils… and then got on the expressway and headed home.  I had to drive from Beachwood Place to my home in Westlake (for you non-Cleveland people, that’s about 35 miles).  I knew my gas tank “empty” light had just gone on, but knowing that my trusty Camry gets about 30mpg on the highway, I calculated that I could make it to my neighborhood & fill up at a gas station where the gas was $2.59/gal.  These days, I’ll save $.15 a gallon whenever I can…

I’m a former math geek so I was literally doing algebraic equations in my head the whole way home, trying to remember when I last filled my tank only half way, how many actual gallons did I put in, how much highway driving had I done and would I have enough gas to make it to the station (if a car is traveling west at 75mph and has 40 miles to go on 1.25 gallons of gas… etc.  Are you having flashbacks to ‘story problems’ from math class.  Yep, this is algebra in real life).  Please note: my car is a 1999 Camry, and it does not have any of the fancy dashboard tricks that do all that calculation for you today!

You know where this is going… I came up just short, and I mean just short…. I ran out of gas on the exit ramp of the stop with the gas station… So there I was in the berm, hazards flashing, looking at the gas station of desire across the street.   Oh well, could be worse; could be snowing, right?  So I didn’t panic – I was a Girl Scout – and I took the little red emergency fill tank from my trunk (thanks to my brother Scott for buying that for me as a gift a few years back) and bought my gallon of gas.  A kind soccer dad at the pump next to me offered to drive me back to my car (BTW, he was filling huge gallon containers of gas to take home as this lower price, so I wasn’t alone in my enthusiasm) and off I went to get my car running again.  Here’s where it got messy…

Apparently these little red plastic rescue tanks don’t dispense the gas into one’s tank very smoothly and it ran all over the side of my car, on my hands and a little on my jeans.  ARGH!  I really HATE the smell of gasoline!  By the time I drove the car over to the gas station, my whole car reeked of gasoline – everything I had touched – door handle, steering wheel, gear shift, all gasoline scented… thought I was going to pass out.  I filled my 16 gallon tank up to 17.35 gallons and went inside to try & wash off the gas smell.

The bathroom inside the GetGo Gas (and food) station was actually very nice and I began to scrub my hands.  As the water got warmer, I started to smell something beside the gasoline… yep, the essential oils from the massage just an hour before were releasing with the hot water.  Suddenly the entire bathroom was filled with this sickly sweet smell and I felt like had been turned into a cheap hooker at a truck stop!  I ran quickly into the evening night, hoping to dissipate the smell in the fresh air….

There’s no great moral to this story – just that it happened, and it took a long, hot shower and half a dozen hand washings before I could get the bizarre gasoline/massage oil smell out from under my nails.  Now, if can only find a nice unscented hand lotion to calm my dried, cracking hands….





Why Hire Kasey for your PR Job….

19 02 2010

So one of my new great friends/contacts I’ve made though twitter, Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich), is involved with an innovative social media promotion TODAY for HAPPO (Help A PR Pro Out) Day!  In order to be considered for any of these open positions, they want to know on our blogs why they should hire us.  Not from our resume, not from our LinkedIn page, but from our blog.  Cool!  Here it goes….

Here is what I bring to the table:  I believe I can offer the best of both worlds:  an understanding and working knowledge of current social media, balanced with the work experience that can only come with time.  What does that mean?  I’m not a 20-something, but I can speak their language and then some.  Most importantly, I can be an interpreter of social media to ALL persons, from the newbie to the “expert”.  And I never want to stop learning.

My background is varied – years as a talent in radio doing tons of promotions, to years in sales, from the technical (biochemicals) to the whimsical and fun (I was a tour guide on the Conch Train & Trolley in Key West).  In ALL areas, at all times, it has always been about marketing and selling at one level or another…

For me, it’s always been about grabbing peoples’ attention, finding out what they want and need, and then delivering them a product or experience that meets or exceeds their expectations.  I love making people happy; I thrive on relating to people.

In radio, it was about selling the music, the station and me; developing brand loyalty and engaging the listeners and letting them know they matter.  If the audience is there, then putting the right products together for the audience isn’t about selling, it’s a service to listener & advertiser alike.

In B2B sales it wasn’t just about offering the lowest price, it was about setting up relationships of trust.  Really understanding the clients’ needs and very specific requirements.  Watching the details.  Following through.  Being available.  There is no price which can be put on peace of mind.  I like to provide peace of mind; then I (and my company) become invaluable.

And even in what might seem to be strictly entertainment (being a tour guide), there were lots of areas of sales and PR.  Not only did you want to have people take the tour (the obvious sale) but then if you did an exceptional job of engaging them, there was often a nice tip at the end!  More than that, you were the ambassador for a small but thriving community which relies almost entirely on tourism.   It’s to everyone’s benefit for people to be  happy they chose to spend their money in Key West; to make the most of their time there so that not only will they want to come back, they’ll encourage their friends as well.

All of these varied jobs I was able to do without the benefit of social media.  When I think of how much more I could have done if social media was around then; I would have rocked it!

I have embraced social media wholeheartedly.  I went from a place of thinking it was silly and stupid, to where I am now – I can’t imagine my life without it.  What better person to communicate the value of a product to your client than someone who is a “converted sale”.  And social media wasn’t sold to me… it was introduced to me, and I played with it.  It engaged me; I engaged it.  It began working for me, now I’d like to work on its behalf.

If you’d like a fun, energetic, enthusiastic social media PR pro, I’m your gal.  I’m natural networker, and I hope this is just the beginning of our conversation.  @KaseyCrabtree





Three great women moving forward in 2010

14 01 2010

As I mentioned in my last blog, I was inspired by three woman who recently made decisions to follow their true selves and walk through fear as they do it.  Now I have the opportunity to thank them and give them the credit they are due:

Jennifer Ferber – Jenn is someone I have really come to know by taking her Spin classes at Ride+Workout in Lakewood, OH.  www.RideandWorkout.com For those of you who follow me on twitter and Facebook, I will often mention I take her Sunday 4pm class.  Not only does she play a great mix of music (all played LOUD, with the lights dimmed), she talks about the class being an active meditation:  You’ve taken the time to get there, now focus on your intent.  You need to get beautiful from the inside out… if the ‘outsides’ are pretty but the ‘insides’ are nasty, no one’s going to want to be around you anyway!

The other great thing about Jenn is that she started spinning only a little over 2 years ago, as she was going through a very nasty divorce.  She said that the support of the spin class and the process of taking that time for herself got her through some really bad times.  It was a natural progression for her then to start teaching classes and I have seen her grow as an instructor.  She also met her now-fiancé, Scott (a GOOD guy) in spin class and they are going to start teaching a tandem spin class Fridays at 6pm to demonstrate how the energy you get from a good spin partner can really help propel you to keep going, and how the energy can just flow between the two of you.

Not only is Jenn taking on this new class in 2010, but she has made a big decision for change in her fulltime job.  She recently decided to leave a “safe” position with a company where she had worked for quite a while to take the risk with a new company in Business Development.  She stands to earn more in the long run, but more importantly, she realized it was time for her to challenge herself, and she believes in her ability to accomplish her goals.  If you’d like to reach Jenn (she’s not on twitter – bummer) but you can email her at  SpinGirl1968@yahoo.com.

Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich on twitter) Gini is a truly driven business person. I came to know Gini strictly through twitter (we have since connected twice in person).  I had put out a general question on twitter about Vistage, (the company for which my father has been a Chair of groups of CEOs to improve their business and personal lives), my old college roomie Diane (@ChicagoDiane) said that I had to speak with Gini; that Gini was a Vistage member (and CEO of Arment Dietrich PR).  I inquired with Gini (who is in Chicago) if she might know of anyone possible members for a Cleveland group where my dad was based.  She didn’t, but we began following each other on twitter.

I think our relationship is a healthy example of how to connect on twitter – I don’t really remember how it all evolved, but it seemed to grow very naturally.  That, and Gini would often tweet things that would make me laugh!  But then she did something really brave, she posted a blog about mistakes she had made; it was brutally honest and open.  She was honest about the things she didn’t know, she admitted to crying, she discussed her self-doubt, until she began to see it was ok to fail http://www.spinsucks.com/leadership/mistakes-made-in-growing-a-business .  I was amazed at her candor.  More importantly, I was amazed at how she addressed the failure and turned it around.  The quote that inspired her blog post was from Confucius: “It’s not in that we fail, but in how we pick ourselves up when we do.”  Wow.  That’s one worth posting over my desk.

More recently, Gini has made the decision in going into 2010, that her “PR” firm is no longer going to be a PR firm – it is going to focus strictly on social media and communication.  Gini explains it better here:  http://www.spinsucks.com/spin/arment-dietrich-is-no-longer-a-pr-firm .  Bottom line, Gini is doing what she feels is right to build her business AND for her to be satisfied in her roll as well.  You should follow Gini on twitter @ginidietrich- she recently reached her goal of over 10,000 followers!  Oh yeah, and she spins (the exercise) too!

Heather Acton (@HeatherActon78)  – Heather is a new twitter friend.  I’m not even sure why I had started following her –  she may have been suggested by one of my Chicago connections (Heather is also a Chicago gal), or maybe someone had retweeted something from her I had liked.  We had not connected much on twitter, then late one night just a couple of weeks ago I was scanning my Tweetdeck, contemplating many of the great questions of life (something like ‘what do I do next?’ ‘why me?’,  or ‘I feel lost…’) and though I did not tweet any of those questions, I came across this tweet: VIDEO: Heather Jumps Ship! http://tmogul.com/tweet/bYPjL 12:44 AM Jan 5th.  So I watched this video Heather had just posted.  She discussed her decision to leave her engineering job at Proctor & Gamble so that she could focus on her kids and grow her own home business.

I immediately tweeted back to Heather, giving her my support and telling her of how I had just read Gini’s blog only hours before about her decision to change direction and how I had also just made a big decision to leave WNCX (albeit only part time) to be truer to my ‘personal brand’.  We began frantically DM-ing each other back & forth about how it can be scary but also so invigorating to make big changes and take a risk.

Heather has had her last day at P & G, and is now building her home business of web site development, marketing, and online business development  for individuals, organizations, and businesses.  Check out her website and blog at www.HeatherActon.com.  I definitely plan on connecting with Heather in person on my next trip to Chicago.

So who do you know who is facing fear and taking on new challenges this year?  Are you supporting them? You should!  This is the new economy and how we can grow both personally and professionally.  Let me know of an outstanding individual in your life an I’ll try to feature them in an upcoming blog post.   Remember to keep moving… crawl, walk.. run!