By Noah Smith
A little morbid: but don’t forget we have one life, so live it up sometimes. It’s not all about work.
This month has been a whirlwind of work and well, more work. With four or five jobs, I’ve been working morning ’til night on one thing or another. I knew I had to stop and do something fun before I hit empty–which most likely happened a week ago.
I was out distributing some flyers for a job. What ‘s better than swinging by Christopher Elbow Chocolates to check out the latest batch of flavors and talk to the people there? It’s pretty fun to check out the flavors, chat with the people behind the counters and get an awesome piece of chocolate. I had the Tequila Lime, which was really good. Small bit of tequila then solid lemon–and I had a nice chat with the person who checked me out. There’s something about talking to someone who you don’t converse with everyday. Let it be the power of conversation.
A few days later I had to drop off some postcards at Murray’s Ice Cream shop. I naturally had to go on a Thursday and since I was there, so why not get a little treat on such a hot day. The Strawberry Sorbet and Chocolate Flake Fromage was exactly what I needed to help get me through the week. And yes, for me an excellent snack can make or break a day. I would have had a drink at The Rieger but I considered that day drinking whilst working would not be acceptable.
Remember, it’s the little things that can make a day. Don’t forget that as important as work is, life is more important. Don’t over work yourself and have a bad attitude…shake it out, leave it behind. Get out and live a bit. Trust me, your favorite snack or drink may help you beat the funk.
Also, don’t forget to explore the city you live in. I bet it holds a few secret gems. I’m just starting to uncover Kansas City and I’m looking forward to discovering the side street bars or small hidden eateries.
Follow me on Twitter at @N_Smith7 for some KC travels.
By Bob Martin
Christoph Miller builds things; Nancy Miller attends to detail. Together they fuel a passion embodied in the Heartland’s premiere antiques show – Kansas City Antiques Expo running August 1 & 2 at the KCI Expo Center. Built on Christoph’s years of product knowledge honed by collecting and exhibiting at shows himself, Kansas City Antiques Expo is on a growing curve of popularity, bolstered by Nancy’s impeccable customer service and focused marketing savvy.
Make no mistake, this is not your grandparents’ antique show.
With high-end jewelry, watches, traditional antiques, premiere lamps, chrome and car-related items, the offerings, from Classicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco to Modernism, attract collectors of all ages and interests. Christoph began building his affinity for collecting and by association his collection, of fine glass when he was a teenager. At the knee of his mother, he wasn’t bashful about visiting antique shows where he started assembling an array of antique salt dips, investing his allowance on the 25-cent keepsakes. The collection, like his grasp of the antique business, grew. By the time he was out of college, he was buying and selling antiques on a regular basis. His collections grew, but his business interests followed a different blueprint. Driving trucks to help pay for his collecting habit, Miller says he “morphed” into the construction industry, eventually starting and managing his own company…which he sold. And to prove his early business success was no fluke, he did it again.
Ultimately, predictably, he refocused on the world of antiques. Even while constructing homes, he was building his collections. It was during his second metamorphosis out of the construction industry back to the collecting game that he met Nancy. She was a Human Resources professional, with a printing and graphic design pedigree. Boasting 10 years of corporate pragmatism, cubicle politics, and a taste for antiquing herself, she had an itch for change.
“We met in July 2008,” she says, “and got married on September 9, 2009.” “It was a Tuesday,” Christoph adds. They both remember the date — the wedding had to be scheduled around travel plans so the pair could attend an antiques show in Indianapolis. “We were introduced by friends,” he remembers. “She was easy to talk to, organized, smart and not afraid to get her hands dirty,” he says. Such was a perfect foundation for someone stepping into a husband’s journey that ventured to and from 30 antique shows a year, nationwide. “I left the corporate world, its security, its benefits and income,” she says. “We declared: We’re going to make this work. We supported each other.”
To this day, that unconditional support makes the business grow. “We’re not afraid to divide and conquer. I work the front of the house – the tickets, security, customer service, and he helps with the expo’s construction and the ongoing relationships with the dealers. Dealers he’s known for years,” Nancy says. Both are quick to extol the importance the dealers play in the Kansas City Antiques Expo’ success.
“Christoph understands the business from their side of the table; his reputation and business sense attracts national and international dealers that not only trade in the finest quality items, but they themselves draw a far-reaching audience with their reputations and offerings.” That’s not to say the Millers rely solely on the dealers to market their shows (the Lee’s Summit, MO, based business has expanded with expos in Indianapolis and allow that they may look at another location in the distant future).
To be sure, the promotional side of traditional expos offers an opportunity for growth and sophistication – in Kansas City and myriad other antiques shows around the country. “There are a couple (of shows) that does a really good job on the promotional side of the business. We are looking at them and adding our own vision. The promotions of our shows are an area where we are investing resources and placing focused efforts,” Christoph says. Both Millers cite intentions to advance the use of social media, the internet and other information platforms as strategies they will bring to Kansas City, building on its already stellar reputation.
It’s high tech meets high touch as the soul of the business still rests in one-on-one relationships; the ability to hold actual antiques and to have them authenticated on the spot. “There’s still too much to be said for placing, cradling a piece in your hand,” Christoph says. “At its core, Kansas City Antiques Expo offers that with so much more.”
Originally launched at the Downtown Kansas City airport in the 1970s, the show migrated to the Overland Park Trade Center where it was produced for decades, until a move in 2013 to its new home at the KCI Expo Center (near the Kansas City airport) was necessary. “It wasn’t our intention to uproot the show from its prior home, but scheduling conflicts forced us out; we already see this move as a huge step forward,” Christoph says. “It’s clean, well-maintained and plenty big for our expected growth,” Nancy adds. The access to transportation, free and ample parking, coupled with affordable hotel rooms are favorably impacting the show’s intended experience – one built on quality and service.
Quality and service: two things the Millers know more than just a little about.
The Kansas City Antiques Expo (formerly the Overland Park Antique Show) is located at the KCI Expo Center, 11750 NW Ambassador, KC, MO. Aug. 1 & 2. Show Hours: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. This show offers quality merchandise including art glass, silver, porcelain, furniture, jewelry and much more. Experts in nearly all aspects of antiques and collectibles will be on hand to discuss their items.
MEDIA WELCOME TO ATTEND THE SHOW. CALL Alex Greenwood at 913.907.4426 for details.
Get answers to all your questions concerning the Affordable Care Act including:
Hosted by Alex Greenwood and federally certified ACA specialist, Greg Howard
Show music –”Protofunk by Kevin McLeod of Incompetech.”
I absolutely love the field of public relations because there are so many different areas in which to work and be involved in. Today’s interview is on a different “field,” but promises to be World Cup worthy as we interview Kurt Austin of Sporting KC--Brooklyn Lutz
Sports. Everyone loves to watch them and almost everyone wants to work in the industry. Landing one of these highly coveted jobs can be anything but easy, but with the right skills, connections and drive, you could find yourself in the press box at the next World Cup, Stanley Cup or Super Bowl.
I spoke with Kurt Austin, Communications Manager for Sporting KC, to see what working in soccer, especially MLS, is all about.
Me: Working in sports is a busy, but exciting career path. What are your daily responsibilities as press officer for Sporting Kansas City?
Kurt: My daily responsibilities can vary greatly from one week to the next, which is part of the fast-paced nature of professional sports. At a broad level, our communications department is tasked with generating positive and continuous coverage of the club. This means working with local, regional and national media members to facilitate interviews while also maximizing the use of the team’s digital properties to showcase player personalities and promote upcoming events. Of course, there is much more that happens behind-the-scenes in sports PR — especially on gamedays — but ultimately it all serves to foster greater interest and interaction amongst those who follow the team (fans and media alike).
Me: Have you ever been involved in a crisis situation concerning a Sporting KC player or the team? And if so, how do you go about handling them?
Kurt: Being prepared to manage a “crisis situation” is a necessary skill in any public relations setting. Whether it’s the death of a former player or off-the-field incidents with players/coaches, how you handle those moments is extremely important. A great example came just a couple weeks ago in Columbus when a fan was struck by lightning and the match was consequently postponed to the following day. That’s a coordinated but complex process involving stakeholders from numerous parties. Both the Columbus Crew and Major League Soccer should be commended for the timeliness in which their joint statements were distributed to address the matter. Another anecdote came earlier this year when MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. The outpouring of support that the announcement generated from the American soccer community was as immediate as it was genuine.
Me: So it seems that crises in sports can arise at any time and you have to be prepared to handle them immediately. I know that a career in sports is on the mind of almost every public relations student. What advice would you give young students and recent graduates for landing a job in the sports industry?
Kurt: In my opinion, building one’s professional network is the single most important piece in the path toward a career in professional sports. The opportunities are out there — probably much more prevalent than a student might expect — so the key becomes having the contacts who can help identify openings, secure interviews and act as references. Students can and should be strategic when it comes to making new associations that may help them in the short and/or long term. Internships are probably the most common route, though I think there are ample other outlets (such as PRSSA chapters!) to accomplish the same goals.
Me: Speaking about building your professional network, I heard that you just came back from Brazil for the World Cup. First off, what an amazing opportunity! Were you there as part of the media or as a spectator enjoying the amazing soccer being played?
Kurt: It doesn’t get much better for a lifelong soccer fan than being in Brazil for a World Cup. The country’s support for the sport — and specifically their beloved national team — is at a different level than I’ve seen anywhere else in my travels, including Germany in 2006 and South Africa in 2010. While someday I hope to be paid to attend a World Cup in a working capacity like a few of my fellow KC colleagues (see: Grant Wahl for Sports Illustrated, Paul Carr for ESPN, Alex Abnos for U.S. Soccer, Andrew Wiebe for MLSsoccer.com), I was in Brazil strictly as a spectator sitting in the stands for once instead of the press box. Having worked so closely over the years with Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, as well as the superb staff at U.S. Soccer, it was extremely rewarding to be there in person to witness all of their achievements firsthand. Let the planning begin for Russia in 2018 — or perhaps the Women’s World Cup in Canada next year!
Me: Well I know it has always been a dream of mine to attend a World Cup match, so maybe I’ll see you in Canada next year! Lastly, I know you’ve played soccer and obviously work in the industry, but is soccer your favorite sport to watch on TV?
Kurt: Soccer is indeed my sport of choice on television, not surprisingly. And I think this World Cup showed the viewing audience for soccer is continuing to grow at record rates. The USA-Portugal game on ESPN was the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever, across all networks, by averaging more than 18 million viewers. Outside of football, the match was the most-viewed program in ESPN history. Then at the league level, MLS recently announced new TV deals with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes that extend through 2022 and were reported to be worth $720 million. So it seems to me that there is more televised soccer programming available in the United States than ever before and I think that speaks to the demand that networks are seeing from consumers, especially amongst younger generations.
Follow Kurt on Twitter: @KAustin01