On February 20, 2013, four of Cousin Corporation of America's (CCA) Creative Circle Ambassadors (CCCA) traveled to the Tampa Bay Area to visit CCA's headquarters and facility in Largo, Florida.
I was the first to land in Florida and spent hours with Chris White from the Sales Department. We traveled to Clearwater Beach, and spent lunchtime eating sandwiches outside at a local pub.
The rest of the day was spent picking up the other three CCCA's and giving them the tour. We all arrived at our beautiful Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Redington Beach around 4 PM and had a chance to unpack, enjoy the beautiful ocean view from our rooms and prepare for our photo shoot and reception.
Here's Chris heading towards the beach:
After meeting the wonderful team at Cousin, formal photos were taken as the sun was setting.
From the left, Jeff Cousin, Shelly Owen, Lisa Crone, Suzette Bentley, Gail Devoid, and Liz Heggy.
We enjoyed a wonderful reception and met several of the managers and staff from Cousin.
The next day, one of the fabulous things we did at the headquarters was browse the bead library to pick out whatever supplies we wanted to design whatever we could do in one hour. As we had just met the designers, I already had my head spinning with ideas, so I quickly picked out matching beads and findings and got to work.
I started with a bead board and the beads I chose in pink. Here's the necklace that sports a silver sand dollar, which was designed by Theresa Hyatt. In a conversation with Theresa, we learned that we both received inspiration from nature. It was no surprise to me that I loved her designs!
Here's a closeup of the silver sand dollar:
The clasp that Theresa designed was a piece of enameled metal in the shape of coral connecting to a seahorse. Beautiful! Because of a twist designed into the coral side, the clasp is very secure.
I found I had time left to make a pair of matching earrings with the leftovers from my supplies. I have noticed that Cousin gives enough materials in a strand for beaders to make these little extras.
A tour of the factory showed us how Cousin manages to ship so many orders a day, and we enjoyed meeting the oh-so-quick order pullers. All of the office walls at Cousin are decorated with pictures of past themes, jewelry, some of which have the actual jewelry on dress forms in front of the pictures. What an enjoyable visit!
That night I wore my latest design to the excellent dinner the group had at the Salt Rock Grill. The wine room was behind glass walls and doors and very impressive.
I cannot thank the team at Cousin Corporation of America for planning and preparing for our visit, and making it one of the highlights of 2013 for me.