• CELEBRATION AMBASSADORS

    The National Day Calendar® Celebration Ambassadors

  • EARLY BIRD SALE ENDS SOON! CELEBRATION NATION SUMMIT | LAS VEGAS NV

    WHERE INFLUENCERS, ENTREPRENEURS, MARKETING PROFESSIONALS AND PROMOTERS COLLIDE

    Join Celebration Ambassadors, Influencers, Entrepreneurs, Marketing Professionals and Super Fans of National Day Calendar. Hear stories and network with others on how to build authority, drive traffic, and unique ways of using the #1 trending topic of all time, celebrating National Days. Celebration Nation!

    This unmissable event places thousands of influencer, entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and super fans of celebration from across the globe all under one roof, ensuring you leave full of inspiration and ready to take your industry by storm!

    Source All of the Newest Products and Services

    This is an incredible opportunity to come face to face with top suppliers and try, touch and test a multitude of products and services. You can take advantage of free advice and consultations, helping you take your opportunities to the next level!

    Exceptional Keynote Speakers

    Influential individuals are stepping up to deliver keynote sessions, covering everything from leveraging trends, building your online authority and driving traffic and sales! Listen in as top tips and tricks are revealed, providing you with a wealth of new knowledge.

    Inspiring Seminar and Breakout Sessions

    Our seminar sessions are tailored to inspire, educate and open new opportunities.

    The Influencer to Influencers

    Have 3 days of opportunities to interact with The founder of National Day, Mr. Marlo Anderson. Marlo created the #1 trending topic of all time and is often called “The Influencer to Influencers” for providing content that is shared hundreds of millions of times each day.

    Unparalleled Networking Opportunities

    There is no better way to connect with like minded individuals. Whether you want to discuss new ideas and business tips, or find out about sourcing and selling the latest products, the support will be there for you to venture forward confidently, effectively, and fully equipped for the challenge ahead.

    Aug 31 will be proclaimed National Diva Day.

    Be part of the proclamation event (dress like a Diva if you wish), as well as a special One Hour Concert followed by a photo and autograph session.

    This will be something you will remember for your lifetime.

    Amy L

    Who Attends?

    Here are a few groups we feel will benefit significantly from attending.

    • Social Media Influencers
    • Tourism Directors
    • Chamber of Commerce staff
    • Marketing Professionals
    • Podcasters
    • Promoters
    • Event Planners
    • Entrepreneurs
    • National Day Fans
    • Radio Station staff

     

    This is your chance to join others from around the world to see how they Celebrate Every Day.

    Celebration Nation Dates, Location and Ticket Prices.

  • Attend Celebration Nation | Las Vegas, NV | Aug 30 – Sept 1, 2022

    WHERE INFLUENCERS, ENTREPRENEURS, MARKETING PROFESSIONALS AND PROMOTERS COLLIDE

    Join Celebration Ambassadors, Influencers, Entrepreneurs, Marketing Professionals and Super Fans of National Day Calendar. Hear stories and network with others on how to build authority, drive traffic, and unique ways of using the #1 trending topic of all time, celebrating National Days. Celebration Nation!

    This unmissable event places thousands of influences, entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and super fans of celebration from across the globe all under one roof, ensuring you leave full of inspiration and ready to take your industry by storm!

    Source All of the Newest Products and Services

    This is an incredible opportunity to come face to face with top suppliers and try, touch and test a multitude of products and services. You can take advantage of free advice and consultations, helping you take your opportunities to the next level!

    Exceptional Keynote Speakers

    Influential individuals are stepping up to deliver keynote sessions, covering everything from leveraging trends, building your online authority and driving traffic and sales! Listen in as top tips and tricks are revealed, providing you with a wealth of new knowledge.

    Inspiring Seminar and Breakout Sessions

    Our seminar sessions are tailored to inspire, educate and open new opportunities.

    The Influencer to Influencers

    Have 3 days of opportunities to interact with The founder of National Day, Mr. Marlo Anderson. Marlo created the #1 trending topic of all time and is often called “The Influencer to Influencers” for providing content that is shared hundreds of millions of times each day.

    Unparalleled Networking Opportunities

    There is no better way to connect with like minded individuals. Whether you want to discuss new ideas and business tips, or find out about sourcing and selling the latest products, the support will be there for you to venture forward confidently, effectively, and fully equipped for the challenge ahead.

    Aug 31 will be proclaimed National Diva Day.

    Be part of the proclamation event (dress like a Diva if you wish), as well as a special One Hour Concert followed by a photo and autograph session.

    This will be something you will remember for your lifetime.

    Amy L

    Who Attends?

    Here are a few groups we feel will benefit significantly from attending.

    • Social Media Influencers
    • Tourism Directors
    • Chamber of Commerce staff
    • Marketing Professionals
    • Podcasters
    • Promoters
    • Event Planners
    • Entrepreneurs
    • National Day Fans
    • Radio Station staff

     

    This is your chance to join others from around the world to see how they Celebrate Every Day.

    Celebration Nation Dates, Location and Ticket Prices.

  • CELEBRATION NATION | August 30 – September 1, 2022 | Las Vegas, NV

    WHERE INFLUENCERS, ENTREPRENEURS, MARKETING PROFESSIONALS AND PROMOTERS COLLIDE

    Join Celebration Ambassadors, Influencers, Entrepreneurs, Marketing Professionals and Super Fans of National Day Calendar. Hear stories and network with others on how to build authority, drive traffic, and unique ways of using the #1 trending topic of all time, celebrating National Days. Celebration Nation!

    This unmissable event places thousands of influences, entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and super fans of celebration from across the globe all under one roof, ensuring you leave full of inspiration and ready to take your industry by storm!

    Source All of the Newest Products and Services

    This is an incredible opportunity to come face to face with top suppliers and try, touch and test a multitude of products and services. You can take advantage of free advice and consultations, helping you take your opportunities to the next level!

    Exceptional Keynote Speakers

    Influential individuals are stepping up to deliver keynote sessions, covering everything from leveraging trends, building your online authority and driving traffic and sales! Listen in as top tips and tricks are revealed, providing you with a wealth of new knowledge.

    Inspiring Seminar and Breakout Sessions

    Our seminar sessions are tailored to inspire, educate and open new opportunities.

    The Influencer to Influencers

    Have 3 days of opportunities to interact with The founder of National Day, Mr. Marlo Anderson. Marlo created the #1 trending topic of all time and is often called “The Influencer to Influencers” for providing content that is shared hundreds of millions of times each day.

    Unparalleled Networking Opportunities

    There is no better way to connect with like minded individuals. Whether you want to discuss new ideas and business tips, or find out about sourcing and selling the latest products, the support will be there for you to venture forward confidently, effectively, and fully equipped for the challenge ahead.

    Aug 31 will be proclaimed National Diva Day.

    Be part of the proclamation event (dress like a Diva if you wish), as well as a special One Hour Concert followed by a photo and autograph session.

    This will be something you will remember for your lifetime.

    Amy L

    Who Attends?

    Here are a few groups we feel will benefit significantly from attending.

    • Social Media Influencers
    • Tourism Directors
    • Chamber of Commerce staff
    • Marketing Professionals
    • Podcasters
    • Promoters
    • Event Planners
    • Entrepreneurs
    • National Day Fans
    • Radio Station staff

     

    This is your chance to join others from around the world to see how they Celebrate Every Day.

    Celebration Nation Dates, Location and Ticket Prices.

  • CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Wesley Miller Smith

    CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Wesley Miller Smith

    One of National Day Calendar’s newest ambassadors visited with me for the Celebration Spotlight — Wesley Miller Smith. New to the San Diego area, Wesley shared his experiences exploring his new home and what it’s like to Celebrate Every Day.

    Calling San Diego Home

    Michele: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

    Wesley: As you said, Wesley Miller Smith, I am a newer resident to the San Diego area, a first-time Californian as well. I originally grew up in the Midwest went to school at Northwest Missouri State – Go Bearcats! And shortly thereafter, moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and then Chicago and then Atlanta. That’s where I was fortunate enough to meet my husband, well, boyfriend, fiancé, now husband. We were together for a while, and then we got married, went on our honeymoon, and moved to California all in a month. So we’re pretty tired still. It’s only been a few months. Things are great. Life’s good.

    We have two dogs, Barkley and Stella. I love animals. For fun, I am a part of an app where you can go walk dogs or dog sit dogs. Which I love, because going to a very new state, very new city and not getting to know a lot of people or places it’s been fun going around to meet people, meet cool dogs.

    Michele: I have a question about that, so I’m going to interject. Is that like rideshare for dogs?

    Take a Walk

    Wesley: Well, yeah. Similarly. So, people can download the app, and if they want their dog walked or sat or boarded, or even training, because you know there are some dogs out there that need a little bit of training, you can request that and go from there.

    Michele: It sounds like a lot of fun. I’m a dog lover, so I love hearing about those types of tools and resources out there. There are a lot of animal holidays on the website, too. Dog holidays are real popular.

    Wesley: I know they are. Anytime that there is a dog holiday, my dogs benefit from it. The latest one was Dog Biscuit Day. My husband Shawn and I made our own organic dog treats to celebrate the day. It was kind of fun.

    Michele: What a great way to incorporate the day into your lifestyle and treat your dogs simultaneously. Of course, that’s what the day is all about. You’ve also shared the national days with your customers at work.

    Customer Appreciation

    Wesley: It was National Customer Recognition Day. We wanted to thank our customers who are loyal to us every single day, every single month, quarter. I work in automotive. I’m a director of marketing for an automotive group. There are 57 dealerships across the nation, and I oversee 7 of those. So working with my team, I said, “Let’s go ahead and surprise our customers. If they come in, let our service advisor write a little note saying, “Thank you, Michele.” “Thank you, Joanie.” “Thank you, whoever, for coming in today.” And putting a coffee card into their cupholder and just making their day a little brighter.

    Then also, celebrating at work has been huge for us and just something to stand us apart from the other competition or dealerships – creating that good morale in the workplace. So we celebrated Fat Tuesday. We got king cakes and beads for everyone. It was really fun. But what I love the most celebrating at work is when we get to celebrate the national holidays like American Heart Month was huge for us this past February. We picked an amazing organization where a family went through a really hard time having a child who had a heart defect, and unfortunately, he passed away but to live on with his legacy, we created this foundation for him. We took that organization in under our wing in February. For every car sold, we donated to the organization.

    ” …just something to stand us apart from the other competition or dealerships – creating that good morale in the workplace.” Wesley Miller Smith

    Michele: Can you share the name of the organization?

    Wesley: The organization is the Ollie Hinkle Foundation. Last year we raised almost $6,000, and even though there is a car shortage out there, we were still able to raise close to four grand this past month. So it’s been really awesome. Another one is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    We have sponsored an organization called Pink Ribbon Girls, which is nationally based out of Ohio. Pink Ribbon Girls is very near and dear to our hearts because those women and volunteers help families going through someone in their family having breast cancer. They will take them to their appointments; they’ll make meals for them clean their homes. Anything they can do to make the person who is going through breast cancer, anything they can do to make them more comfortable, their families more comfortable they do. So we raise funds with them. We’re always looking for new opportunities to raise money and really just take a national month or a national holiday and make the best out of it.

    Michele: That’s a fantastic way to incorporate it with your customers and employees. I love the way you’ve used the calendar and the national days to spread the spirit and make things better for others. As a marketing person, you must have a lot of ideas for other businesses, your own business to incorporate the national days. Do you have some tips or recommendations that you can make?

    Partnerships

    Wesley: One of the easiest ways to really celebrate is…just take National Pizza Day. What we have looked at is every month, my team and I will come together and say, “Alright. Let’s look at the next month and let’s see what we can do to just one promote another business but at the same time also promote us as well.” So one recommendation I would definitely give to a business that wants to have a larger social media following would be to take a couple of those national holidays and, let’s say, National Pizza Day.

    Go find a pizza place that everyone loves. Buy a $50 or $100 gift card. And then do a quick video. Do a like and share event. And say, “Hey, we’re at XYZ Pizza Place, and we all know you guys love it. Like and share this post. Like our page. And we’ll randomly pick a winner. And that person gets to have the gift card.” We’ve seen some phenomenal results promoting local business as well as having a larger following on our social media pages.

    Michele: That’s a fantastic way to create a partnership, too.

    Ok, so this is a little fun moment. I’m going to read off three words. And I want you to pick one. And then my question will follow.

    Kindergarten
    Picnic
    Superhero

    Back to School

    Wesley: Let’s do kindergarten.

    Michele: National Kindergarten Day is April 21st. What do you remember about kindergarten?

    Wesley: Well, it’s actually a crazy fun fact no one really knows, but I was actually held back in kindergarten so my brother and I could be in the same grade together. I basically had kindergarten twice growing up. And I still remember my teacher, Miss Kessler. I don’t know why I still remember that name. Back in the day, we only had half days back in kindergarten.

    I think one of my favorite moments is one of my favorite dolls was a doll my aunt gave me, a little Bart Simpson doll. I still actually have it. So I remember this day vividly because I was so proud of finally having this Bart Simpson doll that I wanted forever and ever, and I took it to my kindergarten show and tell and showed everybody. And then, Bart Simpson even got a sticker for the day. So, that’s what I remember from kindergarten.

    Michele: That’s so fun! Thank you for sharing that with me. It’s interesting. You had Bart Simpson. I had a Raggedy Ann doll.

    What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start celebrating every day?

    Celebrate Every Day

    Wesley: Take it slow. Find those days you can kind of hold on to and just really enjoy. Whether it be doing something for the community or cooking. If it’s National Gumbo Day and gumbo sounds good to you. Why not share a recipe online and share how you made it. Or find something different you haven’t celebrated before or didn’t even know it was a holiday like Random Acts of Kindness Day. That’s a big one for me and how I started looking at those ones where I could help and give back to the community.

    And then I was like, “Well, it’s National Bourbon Day. Why not take part in that.” I think just starting off slow and finding what is your passion and what you love. Whether it be food or drink or giving back or just those random holidays that are out there that you’re like, “Oh! Celebrate everything!” Or even animals as well. There are a lot of national holidays out there. Or if you’re a proud Oklahoman and you want to celebrate National Oklahoma Day, go out and celebrate National Oklahoma Day and enjoy it.

    Michele: There’s something for everyone.

    Wesley: There is. There really is. I just say find your niche and have fun with it.

    Michele: When you tell someone that you celebrate every day, how do they respond?

    Wesley: I think first they look kind of puzzled. And then they’re like, “Are you drunk?” Everyone has their own connotation of what Celebrate Every Day is. So, when I tell people that I’m a National Day Calendar ambassador or that I just love to celebrate every day, I have to explain it to them. But after that, you kind of see that spark almost that yearning that they want to do the same thing. Telling them here’s what I love to do and so many different ways that they can get involved and just enjoy it. I think that’s you know… People have all different types of reactions but once you tell a friend or family member that you’re an ambassador for a phenomenal program, then start getting texts and phone calls and messages every other day asking, “What are we celebrating today?”

    Fondue Party

    Michele: Another fun question, a little goofy. National Cheese Fondue Day is April 11th. If you were to host a fondue party and could invite three historical or famous people, who would they be and why?

    Wesley: Ooh. That’s a good one. You picked a good day because I love cheese. And if it was National Charcuterie Day, it would be even better. But National Fondue Day… I definitely think that there are some historical figures out there that have touched my life. And have had phenomenal stories. Definitely, one would be Harvey Milk. I know Harvey Milk Day [California] is coming up sooner than later. Just because of being a phenomenal advocate for so many communities and people out there. So that’s someone I would invite. Abraham Lincoln would be another. Another strong individual who stuck up for multiple people. And then someone who has always fascinated me, and her stories have fascinated me. You just never know in life. But probably Marilyn Monroe.

    Michele: Three great choices. Why Marilyn?

    Wesley: Just because she was the epitome of class and sass. I just think she’s always been admirable. She seems like the kind of person who would celebrate every day. No matter what people said about her, she rocked whatever she wanted to, and she was just her true self. I truly think that’s one person I would always want to surround myself with is someone who’s accepting and loving of themselves first, and she definitely would be that person.

    Michele: Well, that’s a cheese fondue party I’d want to go to for sure.

    What does Celebrate Every Day mean to you?

    Wesley: It’s a plethora of things. You always hear different phrases out there like, “Live, laugh, love,” but I think one of my favorite phrases in life is “Love to live and live to love.” One of my friends who unfortunately passed away in an accident years ago— that was her favorite phrase in life. I think it means not taking life for granted. We never know when we’re going to be here when we’re not going to be here anymore. It’s one of those things where stress and everything else will come to play. Finding that one thing to hold on to and making your day or even your week a little bit better, I think that is what we can do as individuals.

    Celebrating in the Future

    Michele: How will we be celebrating in 50 years?

    Wesley: I was talking to one of my friends and vendor partners, and she says, “Wouldn’t we just be celebrating in a nursing home.” And I said, “National Oatmeal day!!”

    Michele: What is your favorite National Day?

    Wesley: I was born on one of the best days to celebrate, and that is Cinco De Mayo.

    Michele: What are you going to do this year for your birthday and celebrating Cinco De Mayo?

    Wesley: I don’t know. It’s such a cultural influence here in San Diego. One of the really cool areas that we love to go to is Old Town. It has a lot of Hispanic influence. You can walk by and see the awesome gals making the tortillas. Believe me. We went down there for National Margarita Day, and it was popping. There was not a dry hand…they were enjoying those margaritas. So I think this year, we’ll just head to Old Town and just celebrate with everyone. I’m sure it will be a big party. It will be our first time celebrating Cinco De Mayo in San Diego.

    Michele: You’re new to the area. What types of restaurants, businesses, festivals have you come across that really strike you as something or a place to go to represent the day?

    Wesley: I think it’s all about neighborhoods. We’re so close to Tijuana and Mexico, so not just celebrating here but celebrating abroad. Thinking about the businesses or what’s around us, one would be anything to do with the military. San Diego and this part of California are so saturated with our armed services. Everywhere you go, you see someone in uniform. Your heart melts every time. They’re going out and fighting the good fight for us. Thank them for their service, and we’re going to go for a burger, and they’re behind me, I’m going to pay for their food. I say that being around the armed services is one thing that I’m going to be more cognoscente of and looking at those national days.

    “San Diego and this part of California are so saturated with our armed services. Everywhere you go, you see someone in uniform.
    Your heart melts every time.” ~ Wesley Miller Smith

    Also, I would say the neighborhoods like Old Town, Little Italy. I can’t wait for National Pasta Day because I’m going to go down to Little Italy and eat plates and plates of pasta. I think just taking advantage of the surroundings and the wonderful people we have around us.

    There are wonderful people who protect our country every single day and really cool neighborhoods you wouldn’t get in growing up in southwest Missouri or living in the Midwest sometimes. We’re finally settling in a being able to really enjoy ourselves and find things to do. That’s what we did on Margarita Day. We went and tried a patio at a restaurant in Old Town. Café Coyote, and we fell in love with it. It was really cool. There was a tortilla station right in front of us. So we got to see the woman making tortillas. As soon as one got up, she would flip it and grab it. It was really cool.

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

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  • CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Jennifer Monroe

    CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Jennifer Monroe

    In the Celebration Spotlight, this week one of National Day Calendar’s first ambassadors joins us. Jennifer Monroe is a Texan with a love for life as big as the state where she lives. This week she shares stories of celebration and how she turns strangers into friends.

    National Days

    Jennifer: I’m so excited to be here. I originally reached out to National Day Calendar because I was a speech pathologist in a school system and my speech pathology friends were like, “Do they have a speech pathology day?” And I said, “Let me check. Well, there isn’t a day specifically dedicated to it. Let me ask them.” And they asked, “You can do that?” My response was, “Why couldn’t you?” So I did, and they got back to me and said that it was wrapped up in Better Speech and Hearing Month.

    That’s what speech pathologists celebrate, and while I was talking to them, they said, “You seem rather enthusiastic about celebrating all these National Days.” And I am. I used to use them, I’m retired now, but I used to use them a lot with my students. It’s such a fun thing to talk about every day. It’s just a fun little quirky thing to throw in there. They said, “We’re starting an ambassador program, and we think you’d be perfect.” I said, “Sign me up!” I’m not sure if I was the first ambassador, but I know I was close to being the first one.

    Michele: You were very close to being the first one, if not the first. I don’t remember for sure. But I do remember this conversation, and you are so enthusiastic. It’s not a was thing at all; it’s present tense. You live a Celebrate Every Day lifestyle.

    Living Celebrate Every Day

    Jennifer: I really do. I am a champion of that motto. It’s internal. And life circumstances led me to fully embrace it even more. For example, in my ambassador profile, it talks about my dad. And he is one of the reasons…I get teary-eyed every time. It has been years that my family has dealt with this, but it’s such a beautiful story because it highlights why celebrating every day is personally important.

    So, my dad was a doctor in Dallas and contracted hepatitis through one of his patients. And that was back in the 80s when people didn’t double glove or use a lot of precautions. It was a very scary time for us, and he was going to die unless he had a liver transplant. He got on the liver transplant list, and he had no preferential treatment just because he was a doctor. That transplant list is the way it is. If you’re lucky to get a match, then you are. Really in the nick of time, his doctor told us he probably would have lived three more weeks if the surgery did not happen. So he received a liver from this woman who lived in Brazoria, Texas. We got to meet her family, and they are our heroes to this day.

    “If you’re lucky to get a match, then you are. Really in the nick of time, his doctor told us he probably
    would have lived three more weeks if the surgery did not happen.” ~Jennifer Monroe

    Jennifer Monroe and her Dad
    Jennifer with her father Phil Berry

    But my dad has always been an enthusiastic and optimistic person, and that quadrupled to a million times over for his appreciation for life. And why every moment is precious and why every day you deserve to celebrate. And celebrate doesn’t have to be some huge elaborate party with confetti. It can just be an attitude. And that’s what I think of it. Just so grateful. Waking up and thinking, “We’re here on this planet. We’ve got family; we’re safe.” Just talking about this going on in Russia and Ukraine and how rough that is right now. I’m just thankful for the little tiny things we have to be grateful for. And I’m sure you’re grateful for, too, in these moments of tragedy. Even when things are the toughest and hardest, I think you don’t have to look too far to find one little thing to be grateful for.

    Michele: It can be just a micro-moment that can change the day. That’s why we celebrate every day around here. It’s a lifestyle, a mindset. Sometimes it takes some adjustment for some. I’ve heard stories of people saying this changed their life. So we hear those stories, and that’s what we’re doing, trying to get those stories out there, and you’re one of them. I’m so glad you shared that about your dad. I’m familiar with the transplant process. A family member of ours has gone through it’s like. At that last moment – you said three weeks – that desperation that you almost feel, and then afterward, you feel extremely grateful. It’s powerful.

    Shifting gears just a little bit- back in November, you had some exciting stuff going on. Tell me about what you were doing right before Thanksgiving.

    And the Host of Our Show

    Jennifer: The story starts even before November. Back in April, I saw a casting call for people who are outgoing (check) and who like to tell stories, and as you know, that’s a check. Those were the only two things I knew about it, so I applied. And what it was for was a new game show that was coming out. And when you answer a call like that, it’s very vague because I guess they don’t want you to reveal things too early. So I didn’t know quite what I was getting myself into, and they requested a two-minute recording of me telling my best story—and then telling some quirky fact about myself.

    Well, the National Day Calendar…well, it’s kind of quirky, but it’s also super fun. So that, to me, is always fun to tell people about because it is so different and unique. So, I led with that, and I think to this day is the reason that I got to have the experience I had. So, for the Jay Leno show, You Bet Your Life. It’s a revamp of an old Groucho Marx show. And they chose me, and I got to go on and compete.

    The actual taping was in July, but we had to keep quiet about it until our own show aired. They told us at the time, “We’re not going to be able to tell you when it’s going to air. Be patient.” So, like I said, it started in April and went all the way to the week before Thanksgiving, and then surprise, they emailed me. Your show is coming on tomorrow. I was so excited to finally tell people about it. They loved the National Day Calendar.

    “Your show is coming on tomorrow. I was so excited to finally tell people about it. Jay…they loved the National Day Calendar.” Jennifer Monroe

    Michele: They did! I’ve seen it. He was hilarious, too. He had some fun with it. If you want to watch that episode, it’s episode 73. You can find it on Tubi. That’s where I found it anyway. It’s so fun to watch. He and Kevin Eubanks are on the show, too. It’s really fun to watch. Jay’s humor is on there, but it’s also a game show. And you did pretty well.

    Jennifer: Thank you, thank you. The whole twist of it, and I don’t know that they highlight it so much, but we didn’t know who our partner was going to be until literally five minutes before we walked on that stage. I met the guy as we were walking down the hall. So you don’t know who you’re with, what kind of strengths they have, what kind of trivia knowledge. It’s all such a huge risk, so it’s a lot of fun. They do have a YouTube channel specifically for the show. On that, I think it said it was episode 70. I think it’s called “Bus Racing.” I’m not a bus driver, but…

    Michele: They have two contestants at the beginning of the show, and another set on the second half is another pair, right?

    Jennifer: Yeah, but Jay even said on there, let’s make this National Risk-Taking Day or something like that because there is a big point where we take a risk. It was a lot, a lot of fun. I don’t think I would have been chosen without the National Day Calendar.

    Michele: I love that bit of notation there. It might have been the oomph to get you select.

    Calendar Girl

    Jennifer: I think it was. They kept calling me the calendar girl when I got there. They’d say, “Oh, there’s the calendar girl.” I’m like, “Okay, I’ll take it!”

    Michele: I would, too! Sure, why not. Jay Leno isn’t the only talk show host you have a little bit of experience with, is it?

    Jennifer: I’ve done some crazy things in my life. That’s another Celebrate Every Day philosophy and attitude I have. I always think, “Why not try. Why not ask.”

    Michele: In your profile on our website, you talk about backstage with David Letterman and striking up a conversation with a stranger.

    Jennifer: Yes! So there’s that, and I was on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Regis Philbin. The David Letterman story is my sisters, and I went to that show, and Lance Armstrong happened to be a guest on there. It was after his first Tour de France victory. He’s from Texas, and we are. I kind of paid attention to that. I used to do scrapbooks professionally. So, I was a professional archivist. I started thinking, “I bet he has a ton of really cool things he would like to have archived.” After the show, I worked my way backstage and met him and his wife and said, “I think maybe I can help you.” They said, “Sure!” And that turned into a whole other opportunity by making scrapbooks for them. It was a lot of fun. It was a great experience.

    Seize the Day

    Michele: Seizing the moment. That’s what you were doing.

    Jennifer: Seizing the moment for sure.

    Michele: I think you do that a lot. It’s a fun way to live and approach life. You’ve probably met a lot of strangers in your life. Is there anything unique or unusual that you’ve experienced because of that?

    Jennifer: Well, I use it as a jumping-off point to start a conversation. Sometimes people are scared to do things because they’re not sure what to say. But, my life took a whole turn after I retired from being a speech pathologist. It was a wonderful 25-year career I had. I embraced it and loved it. Loved my students; loved my parents; everybody I worked with was wonderful. But my husband and I were sitting around during Covid like everybody else. He’s still working and has a few more months left before he retires.

    On the set of 1883
    On the set of 1883

    And I thought, “What am I going to with glorious, luxurious gift of time?” So, I started answering more of those casting calls. Now I’ve been doing background work, they call us background artists, doing some commercials and things like that. It’s been so much fun. So when I’ve been on set, I use that (national days) to talk to people. “Hey, did you know it’s National Banana Bread Day? Did you know it was National whatever…” I’ve talked to Sam Eliot and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and…

    Making Magic

    Michele: Oh, wow!

    Jennifer: National Day Calendar is a great conversation starter.

    Michele: So when you start conversations with the name dropping you just did here with Tim McGraw…What days did you celebrate with them or talk to them about?

    Jennifer: I get very star-struck, and even though I never run out of words, I was whatever day that was being celebrated. So, I was so lucky that I got to be on 1883, the Yellowstone prequel. They filmed it in Fort Worth, which is really close to my home. I loved it, and we were there for three weeks, so whatever day it was, I would look at that day and mention it.

    Michele: That must have been an exciting time. The show was a hit first off.

    Jennifer: The show was amazing. The detail, let me tell you. I was walking around in the background by the train by Faith Hill. We had to go fitted for all those 1800s costumes. Every single person is meticulously fitted. And when you walked out on the set, it was like magic, magic! Everywhere there are horses and carriages, and it just took you to a whole other world. It was just easy to imagine you were part of that time.

    Michele: So you were an extra or…

    Jennifer: Yes. In the first episode, I think I’m in there about 11 different times.

    “Everywhere there are horses and carriages, and it just took you to a whole other world.
    It was just easy to imagine you were part of that time.” Jennifer Monroe

    Michele: I’m going to have to go back and watch it again.

    Jennifer: Let me tell you when I say it’s like a split second. There’s one time where you can probably see my face the most. Now, remember, my hair’s all slicked back, bonnet on, no makeup, I look very different. Even my family didn’t recognize me. When Tim McGraw first comes into the town and he’s driving the wagon, and he looks to his right, and he sees the place of ill repute. Across the street from that, he turns the corner, and he looks left, and a friend of mine named Delilah and I are there, and he looks at us for a minute, and so that was my big moment.

    Michele: That had to be so fun. You’ll never forget that, that’s for sure.

    Jennifer: Never. I read they are renewing it for a second season, but there’s a little bit of talk about it being called 1932, and they’re going to progress the timeline a little bit. Anybody listening, if you have any interest at all, it’s not hard to do. Listen to your local news, and they’ll say, “Hey, if you want to do this, sign up.” It’s a blast. It’s really, really cool to see behind the scenes and how much goes on. I have so much respect for how hard they work.

    Michele: I have a friend in Ohio who, when they were filming A League of Their Own in Indiana, and he was an extra. His bit got cut, but he was an extra in of the stand scenes where you see all the fans in the background, and he said it was a fabulous experience. I can’t imagine it being any different for you. And then working with such a popular show, too.

    Jennifer: It was fun. There is one coming up next week with Renee Zellweger. She has a new series out called The Thing About Pam. It’s a murder mystery. It was on NBC’s Dateline, and it got so much response that they did a script about it. And she listened to it, and she said that she wanted to play that main character. And she filmed it in Louisiana.

    Hokey Pokey with Renee Zellweger
    Hokey Pokey with Renee Zellweger

    I convinced my sister to seize the day. My sister and my daughter went with me, drove down to New Orleans just for the day, just to do this because it’s so much fun, and I told them, I promise them. We got chosen to do the hokey pokey in a wedding scene with Rene Zellweger. So, she was the sweetest, nicest, most genuine human being. So precious. And that’s always nice when your heroes and these people you have these ideas about live up to your expectations. It comes on March 8th. And super-duper excited about that. We’ll be in that first scene with the hokey pokey with her.

    Pick One

    Michele: So many fun stories for you to tell. No wonder you’re such a storyteller. I’m going to switch gears again, just a little bit. I’m going to give you a choice of three things. First contact. Name yourself. Or look alike.

    Jennifer: Hmmm. Let’s do look alike.

    Michele: April 20th is National Look Alike Day. Who do you look like?

    Jennifer: Oh my goodness. It would be hard for me to pick, but the two I get the most are Giada De Laurentiis, who is a beautiful celebrity chef. It’s a very big compliment to me, but the irony is I don’t cook at all. And I’m trying to think. There are others people have said before, but Giada De Laurentiis, I would say I’m happy to look like her.

    Celebrate Every Day

    Michele: Very simply, what does Celebrate Every Day mean to you?

    Jennifer: So, what it means to mean is a way of life. It’s an attitude, a philosophy. It’s how you’re going to choose each day. Because you can choose. Every morning you get up, you have a choice. Is this going to be a positive kind of day, or is it going to be a negative kind of day? I’m always going to err on the side of positive.

    I’m not saying it’s easy because it’s not. I mean, you’re not naturally always going to have a…things go wrong. Things happen all the time, but there’s always a silver lining in that. And if you can just make that little switch and look around, there has to be something I’m grateful for today. And that’s it. That’s one reason National Day Calendar is so much fun. Because they have a gamut of really little fun quirky things and these huge serious things. I think it’s so wonderful that the National Day Calendar includes serious topics. They deserve so much recognition and so much thought. And it’s kind of hard to go, “Happy National…” and then have a hard topic attached to it. It’s so much more meaningful, and I love that the National Day Calendar does not shy away from very big important issues.

    “Every morning you get up, you have a choice. Is this going to be a positive kind of day, or is it going to be a negative kind of day? I’m always going to err on the side of positive.” ~ Jennifer Monroe

    Michele: We provide educational information and links to find support, and I think that’s very valuable. It’s a strong part of our mission, and I’m glad you pointed that out.

    What advice would you give to somebody who wanted to start Celebrating Every Day?

    Jennifer: Gosh. It’s not hard to do. Just jump in and do it. You don’t have to overthink any of it. Look around. Find something you’re excited about and just celebrate it. It doesn’t even have to be the official national day of that, but it is fun. You just take a minute and go to the National Day Calendar website. I love clicking on Today’s National Day. What’s coming up. I’m a person who likes to plan ahead. Always be excited about the future. If you feel a national day is a bit too much, there are national weeks national months. You can pick one thing for the whole month and celebrate that. I promise you there is something for everyone.

    Michele: There is something for everyone on the website. You don’t have to be a foodie or somebody who cooks a lot. You could be somebody with an outdoor interest and find something that will be worthy of celebrating.

    More locally, you’re a Texan. Are there festivals or something you’d recommend people check out?

    McKinney, Texas

    Jennifer: Oh my gosh, yes. I live in this darling, charming historic town called McKinney, Texas. It’s a little bit north of Dallas with an idyllic town square. Anyone who comes to visit says this is like you’re living in a Hallmark movie. People are so kind, so nice. And they are very active in all their celebrations. They just did; it’s so cute. They called it Krewe of Barkus. It’s a dog parade.

    And then they have Arts in Bloom which is a really neat celebration of all our local artists, but it’s tied into spring. They do a St. Patrick’s Day walk, and they do a Valentine’s Walk where they do chocolates and wine. It’s a very active, vibrant community.

    They do Home for the Holidays, a huge Christmas theme, and our home was chosen to be on the Home Tour this past Christmas, which was wonderful in theory. I was so excited about it, and then it dawned on me, “Oh my gosh, we have to get this house ready for people to walk through it.” But it was fun. We upped our decorating game. Our community is really big on celebrating, which makes it really fun.

    Michele: It sounds like a great place to visit and explore. Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you wished I had?

    Meeting Strangers

    Jennifer: No, but I think there is something I’d like to share. This goes back to one of my storytelling things, and I’ll try to be listener-friendly. I read a book called Unbroken back when it came out. And it was a national bestseller. I’m a huge reader, but this isn’t a normal genre I’d read, but because there was so much buzz about it, I read it. It was about this wonderful, amazing man. He was a veteran of World War II. There were just so many things about him that I was inspired by, and I thought, “Man, I’d love to meet him.” And so I called him. He was a 94-year-old man at the time, and he was so gracious and kind.

    Jennifer and Louis Zamperini
    Jennifer and Louis Zamperini

    I told him I was so amazed by his story, amazed by his philosophy, by his attitude in life. And he said, “Thank you.” Before we hung up, I said, “You know, our birthdays are one day apart. I think we should celebrate our birthdays together.” He said, “Yes.” So I flew out to Los Angeles to meet him in person. And we spent a whole afternoon together. He was also an Olympic champion as well, so he had carried the torch in the Olympics. At his home, he has all of these torches.

    So I got to hold all those, take pictures with them. His story is amazing. Angelina Jolie did a movie about him. And he lived to be 96 years old. And we became really good friends. Every week we’d talk on the phone. That’s the best example of why you should not overthink things. He could have not answered the phone. He could have told me no, which would have been fine, and I would have respected it. But look what happened? He said yes.

    Michele: It’s a way of making connections, making friendships where you wouldn’t expect to. I expect that’s something you do a lot. You’ve enriched your life with new friends everywhere you go by talking to strangers Celebrating Every Day, and telling your story as well.

    Jennifer: It’s a natural thing for me and my family. Life’s precious. Enjoy it. Embrace it. And share that joy with other people.

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

  • CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Gia Reynolds

    CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Gia Reynolds

    Interviewing Gia Reynolds for the Celebration Spotlight is like interviewing a good friend or a beloved family member. Maybe that’s why her friends call her Mama Gia; we can always turn to her and count on a good meal in the process. Gia is the founder of The Houseshoe Hostess. She and I visited in February about food, family, friendship, and how she loves to keep things positive.

    Learning to be a Hostess

    Michele: Can you tell everybody the story of The Houseshoe Hostess?

    Gia: I’d be more than happy to. I was raised to be a hostess. My grandmother was the best hostess, and she raised me. I helped her set up Yahtzee parties and Tupperware parties. I was young when I was helping her set those up, so I think that’s where I got the hostess bug. So, she would cook and invite everyone over on Friday and Saturdays and have a big girlfriends’ party every weekend.

    Michele: What kind of things did your grandmother cook?

    Gia: Comfort food. And that’s where my love for comfort food came from. Back then, it wasn’t as healthy, so I try to create comfort food so you can still indulge but a little bit on the healthier side.

    Michele: You take away a little bit of the guilt.

    Gia: Yes. But then you feel guilty because you want to eat more.

    Soirees and House Shoes

    Michele: So your story about the Houseshoe Hostess – how did that come about, and what is that story?

    Gia: I have been in banking for 23 years, and I had a back injury. I headed to work one day, and I slipped and fell. I had disc issues. At that time, I was catering and doing banking. And when I fell and during my recovery, all I could think about…I wasn’t thinking about banking…all I could think about was, “I’m not going to be able to throw parties anymore. I’m not going to be able to stand and cook. It’s nothing like having a roast in the oven and perfuming the whole home.

    And that’s all I kept thinking about. It was a three or four-month recovery period. I just wrote recipes and planned parties and all of that. A few years before that I started to do a blog. But I was working too many hours, and it never really took off. It was called Soirees and Slippers. Well, no one could pronounce “soiree,” and so it just didn’t stick.

    Michele: I could pronounce it, but I’m not sure I could spell it.

    “I just wrote recipes and planned parties and all of that.” ~Gia Reynolds

    Gia: Yeah. So it didn’t stick with me. I always keep my house a little chillier than most, so when friends would come over they would say my house is cold. So I would always have house shoes and blankets and snuggies for friends that visited often. So that’s where the name Houseshoe Hostess came from. At first, they would come over and be dressed up for a party and I’m like, “This isn’t me. When you come over, wear some yoga pants or sweats.

    Michele: Come as you are.

    Gia: Yes. And we eat good food and watch TV and just talk and socialize. My friends say, “You’re the best hostess,” and the house shoe just came along with it.

    Michele: It fits together, and there’s a story behind it. It makes people ask you, “Where did you get this idea?”

    Gia: A lot of people are drawn to the name. And I’ve gotten a lot of followers just by people asking, “Where did this name come from?”

    Michele: It makes people curious. I know it did me. I love hearing you tell the story both on your social media channels and in person, too.

    Connections

    Gia: I love it. It’s one of those things…you know how you start out, and you want something to connect you to other people? I think everybody can connect to good food and relaxing. Especially nowadays. Stress-free.

    Michele: I’ve talked to a few people about how it’s their love language to cook good food for people and I think you fit that description quite well. What are some of your favorite things to make?

    Gia: I love a good roast. Roast chicken, beef roast, pork roast, anything like that. Like I mentioned before, something you just put together, and when people come in, they’re like, “What is that you’re cooking?” Recently someone delivered something to me and he stuck his whole head in my apartment and said, “What is that you’re making?” You want people to start eating with their eyes and their nose first. I love that. You can’t get past a good steak and potato and stuff like that, too.

    “You want people to start eating with their eyes and their nose first. I love that.” ~ Gia Reynolds

    Michele: On Instagram, you make beautiful arrangements of your food and just an amazing colorful setting. So, yes, I’m sure people are eating with their eyes when they’re sitting down as well as their nose because you’ve made it beautiful.

    Gia: Thank you. And you know, for a long time…I have a lot of friends who are bakers, and I’ve always said, “Bakers just create the most beautiful things.” I just put salt and pepper on stuff. It’s not like making a creation. Just recently, I’ve kind of accepted that people…you know how you get a compliment and like, “Do I deserve that?” So now, with a lot of people complimenting me like you did, I think, “Maybe it is more than salt and pepper.”

    Michele: And a little bit of love. You know, I know how you feel when you think you didn’t do much or you don’t think you did. Just say, “Thank you.” That’s what my momma always said. If you get a compliment, just say thank you. And then you know you’ve acknowledged their compliment.

    I know, too, that you’re trying new things. What advice would you give someone who wants to try new things?

    Life Happens

    Gia: Actually. Life. Life happened. The pandemic happened. I have just seen so many changes and not all great changes. And I just thought, what better time to do it than now. I kind of hesitated a little because you think, “What if this doesn’t go right,” and “What if this…” But now I’m to the point where everyone started out new at some point. And everyone always tells me that I give the best advice, but I don’t take my own advice.

    Michele: I do that.

    Gia: And so this year, I decided I’m going to treat myself like I would treat a friend. I would encourage a friend and no limits! You need to do that for yourself, and that’s what started me getting out of my comfort zone.

    Michele: You’ve been baking, too, right?

    “And so this year, I decided I’m going to treat myself like I would treat a friend.” Gia Reynolds

    Gia: I have.

    Michele: Is that not your normal thing to do?

    Gia: I bake easy stuff. I should say, easy to me. My grandmother liked pound cakes, zucchini bread, banana bread, and stuff like that. But I’m challenging myself to start baking more.

    Make Mistakes

    Michele: I’ve seen some posts on your social media where it seems like you’re not afraid to put your mistakes out there; let everyone see where you messed up and try again. And that’s one thing that I really take from your posts as inspiring and shows you’re not afraid. “Yep, this is where I went wrong. But here’s my success.”

    Gia: I actually have a whole highlight reel on my Instagram. I don’t want people to look at this and think, “Ooh, she’s perfect.” Because it’s not that way at all, but I also don’t want someone new into cooking or baking to get discouraged if things don’t turn out right. So, I do show all of them.

    Michele: She does, people. She really does. Your mouth will water, even the bad stuff she posts where she made a mistake.

    Gia: When we were catering, one of my all-time favorite mistakes was…I remember one summer we had a person who wanted like 50 or 60 crème brûlées. And I’m like, “That’s a lot!” So, I tried to make crème brûlée bars. It’s easier to turn everything into a bar when you have to make large quantities. So, it didn’t turn out right. I went back and had to try something else, and my family had devoured it. And they wanted to know, “What is this?” We didn’t even have a name for it because it was a mistake.

    “It’s easier to turn everything into a bar when you had to make large quantities.” ~ Gia Reynolds

    That’s one recipe I kind of keep to myself. You won’t see that on my blog or Instagram or anything like that. However, if I talk to you and you and I are having a good day, I will definitely bring you some of those. I share them with love. I just don’t share that recipe online.

    Michele: Gia’s little secret treat.

    Gia: At first, I made them so much because everyone loved them that I was just, “Ok. I’m done.” I boycotted them for years. I was literally making them no stop. I always forget how delicious they are because I made them so often.

    Celebration Ambassador

    Michele: You’re a Celebration Nation Ambassador for National Day Calendar, and you’ve been at this for a year.

    Gia: I have been even before I met you guys.

    Michele: Right. A lot of ambassadors are before they become ambassadors. How did you find us? What do you enjoy about being an ambassador?

    Gia: I love it! I think that it’s what everyone needs. It’s a selfless act, and it makes you feel good, and it makes other people feel good. Even if I’m not having a great day, I can look through the calendar of what’s coming up and instantly feel better.

    Michele: That’s that ripple effect right there.

    Gia: Exactly. I don’t know how I stumbled across your calendar, but I’ve been looking at it for quite some time. I always look on the calendar, and at work, people are always asking me, “What’s coming up?” And I give the calendars out as gifts. I call it the feel-good ambassador because you can’t be unhappy by looking at the days. And some of the days are not as fun as other ones. There are some serious days out there.

    Michele: Awareness days and things like that that make you think.

    Gia: You appreciate those even more.

    Michele: Everyone can learn something from one of the days. There’s always something there to learn.

    Awareness & Heroes

    Gia: I had a girlfriend whose mom passed away several years ago from scleroderma. And at that time, we had no idea what it was. Even the doctors didn’t know. We’re talking 18 years ago or so. It’s on the calendar, and I told her about that. We had a moment. It’s good that it’s bringing awareness because, for months, the doctors didn’t know what it was.

    Michele: There’s a lot of those rare conditions to bring awareness. What are some of your favorite holidays?

    Gia: I am all about girlfriends. National Girlfriends Day is one of my favorites. Galentine’s Day is another. Ninety percent of the food holidays. All the superhero days.

    Michele: Those are fun, too. Do your grandchildren like those days, too?

    Gia: Yes. We’ve always celebrated those days. When new superhero movies come out and things like that. I was never into superhero movies until I had boys, and now when a new superhero movie comes out, I want to know if we’re going to see it.

    And we’ll go out as a family to see if we can. Luckily we’re in the same area. My son was in the military, but now he’s back home.

    Michele: My son was in the military, too, and he’s back home now, too. So I know the feeling about having him back.

    Gia: Thank him for his service.

    Michele: You do the same for your son.

    Gia: My son, when he was in the 8th grade, four or five of his friends, they all decided – they were in ROTC – and they all decided they were going into the military. All of them went except one because he got a football scholarship.

    Celebrate Every Day

    Michele: What does Celebrate Every Day mean to do?

    Gia: That no matter what you’re going through, you can find something to be happy about and celebrate. That was just recently brought to my attention. I was thinking about something in a negative way, and I was surprised because I will cut a negative thought off in a second. I recently just lost my mom.

    I made mistake and played a voicemail she had left on my phone. I was very sad, and it took me back. So, I was telling a friend about it, and he said, “You know, I wish I had a message from my grandmother, that way, I could hear her voice because I don’t have anything.” And I realized I should be happy about that. So, you celebrate even when you don’t want to celebrate. Just by him mentioning that, it turned my whole thoughts around, and Celebrate Every Day is like that. A lot of people now are struggling to even put a smile on their face. Covid has touched everyone. And so, I think if you can think about a celebration, it might not replace it, but lighten it a little bit and put a smile on your face.

    Michele: That’s a wonderful perspective. What are you celebrating this week?

    Black History Month

    Gia: For Black History Month…I was able to find a copy of Rosa Parks‘ Peanut Butter Pancakes. It was handwritten on an envelope. I became emotional making them. I just remember my grandma; when a recipe came to her, she wrote it down on whatever. So, the HuffPost posted it a few years ago. And I made it for Black History Month. Her birthday was February 4th. It was pretty important to me. I like my own recipes but honoring other people because I know how hard it is to formulate a recipe.

    Michele: What a fun and unique way to honor her and also to connect with her through food.

    Gia: So I asked other foodies to join in the collaboration, and we all made food that was special for Black History Month. It was very nice. And when you’re talking about good food…there was very good food there.

    “I just remember my grandma, when a recipe came to her, she wrote it down on whatever.” ~ Gia Reynolds

    Michele: What else was made?

    Gia: A lot of smothered food. Smother chicken, smothered pork chops. Someone made some cheddar biscuits with a sausage gravy. It was just really good food. Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes soufflés and sweet potato buttered biscuits. Pot roast. It was a little bit of everything. It was just nice that we could all come together and honor her on her birthday and Black History Month.

    Michele: Have you done collaborations like this before?

    Gia: All last year, it was one collab one after another.

    You know, I’ve met so many people who’ve touched my heart that I’ve never met in person. I’ve made lifelong friends that I have never even given a hug to. I’ve also met foodie friends where we’ve connected, whether it be through National Day Calendar or through food or just anything, and we’ve traveled to meet each other. I went to Chicago this summer and met up with a foodie friend. And another foodie friend from Maryland who flew out for my birthday. So It’s good to just step outside the box and meet people you’ve never known through a platform like this.

    “I’ve made lifelong friends that I have never even given a hug to.” ~ Gia Reynolds

    Michele: It’s a common theme. You’re meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet and talking about subjects you might not normally talk about. Or things you both have an interest in. It’s a way to expand your horizons. What’s wrong with that?

    Gia: That’s one thing we all have in common is food. We’re all connected that way.

    Michele: When we gather, there’s always some food element to it.

    Gia: No matter what the nationality is.

    Michele: That’s right. Where ever you go, somebody is going to be putting food on the table when people come together. Even when we’re mourning someone we’ve lost. We bring food to the table; we feed our souls. It’s no surprise to me that there are more food days on the calendar than any other holidays.

    I always enjoy our conversations, Gia. You always brighten my day when we talk and make me feel my day was worth it.

    Gia: It’s not often that we have a connection with somebody right off, and I felt that with you.

  • CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Jesse Freitas

    CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHT – Jesse Freitas

    As part of National Sticker Day on January 13th, Celebration Spotlight visited with Jesse Freitas, Senior Director of Growth and Product at Sticker Giant. We talk about National Sticker Day, stickers, and a World Record sticker ball.

    Getting the Ball Rolling

    Michele: Can you tell me about yourself and Sticker Giant?

    Jesse: Yeah, I’ve been with Sticker Giant about seven years now. I joined Sticker Giant in February 2015, and I’ve been here since we came up with National Sticker Day. I was the founder and submitted that project that you got to work on. As part of that, we also set a Guinness World Record for the largest sticker ball named Saul that we built as a company. So [there are] a lot of fun stories about that that we can dive into. I head up marketing and development projects at Sticker Giant, and today I’m the senior director of growth and product all these years later. We’ve been a fast-growth business selling stickers online through stickergiant.com to anyone who wants them. It’s custom printing, so [it’s] a pretty fun thing we do, providing stickers all over the world.

    Michele: Tell me about Saul. How did you come up with the idea for Saul?

    Jesse: National Sticker Day ties so closely to Saul’s creation. To give the backdrop, when I took on my role at Sticker Giant, I was doing a lot of the content creation and the content calendars, so National Days were big and still are a big part of our strategy in looking at what days are happening and what stickers are being printed that are related to it. Like National Doughnut Day is a fun one. You can always find a doughnut sticker. And I remember looking and wondering one day, “When is National Sticker Day?” That’s when I realized there wasn’t a National Sticker Day, which kind of blew me away.

    World Record Saul the (Giant) Sticker Ball

    So when we approached creating a National Day from a business standpoint and investing time and money into all of this, we, and our founder John Fisher, at the time he and I were discussing how do we make this worth our while? It can’t just be a social post, so we came up with this idea of a Guinness World Record, and when I was looking into that, no one had set this record for the largest ball of stickers.

    We were about a 35 person company at the time, so I came to one of our weekly company huddles that we do on Tuesday and asked everyone, “Hey. We’re thinking about registering this National Day, and we’d like to set a Guinness World Record for the largest ball of stickers. What do you all think about that?” And there was a lot of excitement. Not going to lie—there were a couple of naysayers, too. Some people just want to work.

    But we got the ball rolling after that meeting, quite literally. Todd on our manufacturing floor started creating the ball with our manufacturing director at the time. He called it Saul. It was around the time of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul was coming out. So he is kind of loosely pop culture associated, too. The name rang, too. Saul the Sticker Ball. He was born November 8, 2015, and we celebrated the first National Sticker Day on January 13, 2016. So between those time periods was our goal for getting Saul the Sticker Ball big enough to set that Guinness World Record. And we did. On the first-ever National Sticker Day, we did a public weigh-in at Wibby Brewery in Longmont, Colorado, where we’re based. That’s how Saul was born.

    Team-Building and Publicity

    Michele: And we interviewed you that day, too, if I remember correctly. And I got to see some video of Saul in the flesh, so to speak. It was a fun project you guys executed there, and he continues to grow, too. Doesn’t he?

    Jesse: He does. Yeah, Saul’s journey is pretty incredible. I call it one of the best team-building projects ever, referencing the employees and the buy-in. It took everyone.

    Stickers weigh nothing. You can’t even get them to register on a scale if it’s just a single sticker. So, it took a lot of teamwork to make that happen and was very challenging. He only put on eight pounds in the first two weeks, maybe 10 pounds. So I realized we had to do more than we were doing. So, the team got really creative to solve that problem. He was 231 pounds when we set the record.

    We had a lot of fun press out of that, too. All the way to getting a mention on the Late Night with Seth Meyers, and then ABC did a feature on us. We ended up getting a featured record in the Guinness World Record Book in late 2017 into 2018. So Saul has really become a mascot for our business. Andrew, who I work with, got Saul on Roadside America, so we’ve listed Saul for a Roadside Attraction. We’ve done tours of Sticker Giant, including Saul, over the years. And today, we are doing what we call Sticker Friends, which is really Saul and friends. So Saul the Sticker Ball and these other characters, our business and our brand…it kind of showcases what we offer as a business.

    Michele: And Saul is located in Colorado on sight, right at the Sticker Giant location, correct?

    Jesse: Yeah. He’s located right in our building. We take him to events sometimes. We did do a wacky road trip in 2018 or 2019. So, we took him to California for an event, too. So, we hit the road with him a few times.

    Celebrate Every Day Storytelling

    Michele: Saul on tour, it sounds like. So besides a Giant Sticker Ball named Saul, how else does Sticker Giant celebrate National Sticker Day?

    Jesse: It’s something we have to ask ourselves every year. When you print stickers every day of the year… “Every sticker has a story” is our tagline, and we take that pretty seriously in all the content we do. The impact we have on the world is helping entrepreneurs and business people, and creative folks share their stories through stickers. So a lot of it comes back to that storytelling.

    Two years ago, we did the Top Ten Stickers of All Time. Which was a little bigger than just us, right? That was about the history. National Sticker Day is really rooted in the history. It’s in honor of the birthday of R. Stanton Avery, who is the original inventor of the peel-off label adhesive. So the history was a big part of the day when we founded it.

    “‘Every sticker has a story,’ is our tagline and we take that pretty seriously…” Jesse Freitas – Sticker Giant

    Doing the Top Ten Stickers of All Time was fun. Talk about political stickers and the “I Like Ike” sticker. When you start digging into some of this stuff, it’s pretty wild. What really has influenced culture with stickers? Because today you still have [that influence] whether it’s skateboarding or just seeing a sticker collection on a brewery wall…stickers are literally everywhere.

    There are lots of unique ways to celebrate. Last year we did a Saul and Friends activity page, coloring books. Acknowledging the moment of being in a pandemic and everyone is virtual. Especially this time last year, a lot of people were stuck at home with children and not able to go to school, so we thought of something that would give back to the community, and that would let people do coloring books, and that kind of thing was fun. We’ve always done different things. We did “Stick It To Cancer” the second year, where we did a charity fundraising with one of our hospitals here in Denver—always looking for creative ways to showcase stickers and celebrate them.

    Art and Entreprenures

    Michele: When I review National Sticker Day, I think about how stickers have a purpose. They’re an art form, yes, but they’re also useful, purposeful; they send a message. Every sticker has a story. Are there some stories you can tell about some sticker evolution at Sticker Giant?

    Jesse: Yeah. Stickers are promotional. They’re also for causes. Some of the most fun stickers are the pop culture ones because you can parody safely with design and art. You know, Star Wars stickers, The Office. I can’t tell you how many stickers we see where people are just having fun.

    Or maybe it ties to something culturally. I’ve seen a lot of employee culture stickers. I’ll share my wife’s company Team Snap. They’ve always done an annual summit and print up different themes every year for that coming together of their employees to have that sticker for that moment. So every year as an employee you can collect those stickers and put them on your laptop. It’s commemorative, a milestone of a journey of part of your culture. We see a lot of things like that.

    The ones that are the most telling (it’s hard for me to single out any specific business because there are so many) from breweries to CBD oils to lotions. I think back to 2020 a lot because the stories coming out are so important around health and safety and wearing masks and hand sanitizer labels that we were doing— that entrepreneurial story and the need to make a product and maybe label it and promote it. Those are the ones that get me excited to wake up every day promoting what we do. Because that’s making someone’s livelihood, that’s the start of something that might go on for a hundred years, but we don’t know. We just get that little piece of it on a sticker or a label.

    The Business of Stickers

    Michele: People come to you for stickers. What’s the process, and how do they go about designing them?

    Jesse: It’s different for everyone; some people already have a logo and just want a logo sticker. And that’s one of the most powerful stickers you can make. It’s your brand, and that’s getting your brand out there. So people know we are a printer. We don’t do design work per se. We get artwork print-ready. We’ll touch it up and make sure it gets cut in the fun customer shape that you need for your sticker.

    We do a lot of content creation and showcasing sticker types like sticker sheets, for example. That’s one of the more powerful ways to make a sticker when it has many cuts on a sheet. A lot of people don’t actually think about that, but those are some of the most fun ones—especially National Days. You can put National Day text on there and do all sorts of designs and fun things.

    Michele: National Day Calendar has a sticker in its product line as well. It says, “Today is National ________Day,” and you just write in the day. People love those. We have ambassadors who will wear them for their podcasts or their lives or stories they’re telling. How do you suggest people celebrate National Sticker Day?

    Jesse: I hope people out there have your stickers already. I’d encourage you to use them to promote your business. Drop them in orders. Whatever your business does, stickers are such an easy, relatively inexpensive way to promote your business. People are so passionate about so many things, and we all get on social and want to say something. A really powerful way to do that is with stickers. I encourage people to share their favorite stickers. Tag #NationalStickerDay and tag National Day Calendar. And talk about your story behind that sticker and what you’re trying to do. It’s a great way to amplify what you’re trying to share with the world.

    Stickers, Stickers, and More Stickers

    Michele: You mentioned Star Wars earlier, and National Star Wars Day is on May 4th. Do you get a lot of requests for Star Wars stickers?

    Jesse: Oh yeah. Star Wars, Star Trek. There’s a whole debate there for people. I actually have some on my computer right now. This whole collective—it’s called the Falcon with the Millennium Falcon and Red Squadron and Tauntaun Hoth and Baby Yoda or Grogu when he came out on Mandalorian. My goodness. The number of stickers that were parodies of that was pretty incredible.

    Michele: If you had to pick a sticker design for National Sticker Day 2022, what would it be?

    Jesse: The one we did choose is a little plane with our sticker characters. Saul is actually strapped in the back of an old-time plane holding the banner flying out the back that says, “National Sicker Day, January 13, 2022” on it. It’s called Fireball 1 because we have a fireball logo. A moose character is the pilot and Saul in the back with goggles. That is our sticker this month going out in orders for National Sticker Day 2022.

    Sticker Giant and Sticker Making History

    Michele: How long has Sticker Giant been around?

    Jesse: Believe it or not, we’ve been around 21 years. We have quite the origin story. Our founder, John Fisher, started the business in 2000. He founded it right when there was an election happening, and we didn’t know who the president was. John had this idea for a sticker: “He’s not my president.” Now, it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on. It spoke to the moment when we had three weeks of no president because they were doing the recount. John sold 30 thousand of those stickers online.

    Now, this wasn’t “Sticker Giant,” but that’s when he had the idea of “Hey, we can sell stickers online.” It was the dot-com boom, lots of businesses popping up, and no one was selling stickers online. So sticker Giant was created as a retail store online. Just like Amazon started as a retail store for books, we sold all sorts of pop culture stickers, sports teams; you name it. And that is what Sticker Giant was for the first seven years of existence.

    “Whatever you want to call it, we print sticky things that go on products or whatever you want for promotion.” Jesse Freitas – Sticker Giant

    Then in 2007, people were calling and asking, “Could you print my logo or my sticker design?” The business started to transform. Around 2011, we started buying machines and setting ourselves up as a manufacturer. From 2011 to now has been our evolution into custom printing. That’s all we are today. The retail side of the business was sunsetted in 2012. Now we make custom stickers and product labels. People debate, sticker or label. They’re pretty similar. One’s for indoor; one’s for outdoor. People call them decals. Kids on Instagram call them slaps sometimes. Whatever you want to call it, we print sticky things that go on products or whatever you want for promotion.

    “Technology is enabling the ease of creation…” Jesse Freitas – Sticker Giant

    Michele: How has sticker making evolved?

    Jesse: One of the ways that sticker giant innovated is that we use laser cutting technology to cut out stickers. Traditionally it’s metal dies that cut out things. For example, if you wanted a tree-shaped sticker, you’d have to wait for a few days for that tree metal die to get created, and then you could create the stickers. But lasers took that whole step out of the equation. We’ve utilized laser technology to make our stickers and our labels. That technology specifically keeps getting better. We’ve adapted with it, and it’s getting better, and we’re buying better machines to do it quicker.

    Really, the focus is on doing it quickly. We offer a 1-2 day turnaround. Technology is enabling the ease of creation and artwork also. I mentioned artwork and designers—there are tools and systems we’re working hard on and some that we have and our competitors too that are making it easier for anyone to make a sticker. That’s something I’m most proud of at Sticker Giant is that we’ve made it accessible for everyone to get stickers and labels. In the past, you had to know how to get something manufactured and created. You had to know the art and all these hoops to jump through. I think that’s the biggest change that’s happening and continuing to happen—just making it easier for people to get stickers quickly.

    Final Words

    Michele: When you were a kid, did you ever think you’d be working for a sticker company?

    Jesse: No way. When this opportunity came up, I was like, “You’re telling me I get to advertise stickers? That sounds really rough. My inner child has been happy for seven years.

    Michele: Did you have a sticker collection growing up?

    Jesse: Yeah. It comes down to that accessibility. I don’t remember them being as around, but definitely sticker sheets, and in school, you got stickers on your papers. Star stickers were on all your papers, especially in younger years. One point a couple of years ago, I printed up gold star stickers. I was like, “Let’s get some gold star stickers around here to say, ‘Hey, that was awesome!’”

    Michele: We have a classroom on the website, too, and I always think about the students getting stickers on National Sticker Day. I’m looking forward to National Sticker Day 2022.

    Jesse: Thank you for having me, and thank you for promoting National Days. They’re all fun. It is a celebration, and we need more of that.

    (more…)

  • NATIONAL WOMEN’S SMALL BUSINESS MONTH – October

    NATIONAL WOMEN’S SMALL BUSINESS MONTH

    In October, National Women’s Small Business Month highlights the benefits and industry women bring to communities when they own a small business. With over 11 million (and growing!) women owning small businesses in the United States, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved.

    Benefits of Women-Owned Small Businesses

    Throughout the month, organizations, businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs share resources and advice that support women-owned businesses. Like any small business, the benefits to a community are enormous. Locally owned small businesses bring revenue to communities. Small companies are more likely to support local organizations, schools and projects. They also provide a tremendous number of jobs, keeping local economies going and growing.

    When you include women in the small business factor, you increase business diversity. Did you know that 50 percent of women small business owners are women of color? Supporting women in small businesses also inspires young women in powerful ways. When they see other women succeeding, they’re motivated to succeed, too! In 2012, 44 percent of women small business owners also had children under the age of 18 in their household. That means, by supporting women-owned businesses, you’re also supporting families.

    Businesses owned by women come in all varieties, too. They pursue business in STEM fields, creative and consumer domains, and service-oriented professions. There’s really no limit to the opportunities available.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WomensSmallBusinessMonth

    Whether you own a small business or are considering starting one, there are several ways to participate all month long.

    Attend or host an event

    Whether it’s a seminar, webinar, interview or workshop, these events promote healthy small businesses. They provide a wealth of information all business owners need to know. These events also offer resources specific to women-owned enterprises.

    Be a mentor to other women

    If you’ve already overcome the stumbling blocks of ownership, you’re one of the most valuable resources available to beginning business owners. Your experiences not only help pave the way for others, but your insight brings clarity and confidence to others.

    Sharpen your skills

    Any business person knows that it’s vital to keep learning and discovering. Whether it’s a new technology, legislation, or financial news, the business world is always changing. It demands we stay focused and aware of the changing business world. Improving our skills also provides us with more opportunities. Whether driving business into new areas or changing direction, growing our tools help us create a brighter future for our businesses.

    Join an organization

    Numerous organizations around the country support small businesses. By networking with other like-minded women, you’re not only able to learn about growing your business but you can also share your experiences and be a voice for others. Some organizations you may find helpful include the National Association of Women Business Owners, your local Chamber of Commerce, and the American Business Women’s Association. If local organizations are lacking in your area, help start one. Bring a chapter to your community and let the leadership begin!

    Discover other resources

    For example, the U.S. Small Business Administration includes an Office of Women’s Business Ownership that serves not only as a guide, but advocates for women business owners, too.

    Support a Woman-Owned Small Business

    Explore your community and shop at women-owned small businesses. You can even explore the small-businesses who Celebrate Every Day! For example:

    One of the most significant ways you can celebrate is by share information on social media, including this article. Use #WomensSmallBusinessMonth to post on social media.

    NATIONAL WOMEN’S SMALL BUSINESS MONTH HISTORY

    Since 2012, the Small Business Administration has be been supporting National Women’s Small Business Month by promoting events, webinars and giving a voice to women business owners. Each year, the organization hosts a variety of events recognizing women in small businesses.

     

  • About Us

    National Day Calendar® is the original and authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we have been tracking the National Days, National Weeks, National Months, and International Days. We became the first calendar of its kind to curate the days all in one place and tell their stories, too! Here at National Day Calendar, we are on a mission to Celebrate Every Day with you!  And by you, we mean families, businesses, educators, and strangers we meet on the street. There’s more than one day for everyone.

    At National Day Calendar, we’ve found the National Days have a way of inspiring us. We’re honored to tell the stories behind the days and provide you with informational ways to incorporate the National Days into your business, family, schools, and home!

    Our Team

    Marlo Anderson

    Marlo Anderson

    Founder, CRO

    The founder of National Day Calendar is a serial entrepreneur who takes the National Days seriously. No matter where Marlo is, he Celebrates Every Day to the fullest and brings with him a passion and energy for new ideas.

    About me

    Alice Anderson

    Co-founder, CFO

    The Registrar and co-founder of National Day Calendar, Alice brings a wealth of knowledge to our pages. Her fabulous taste and cooking skills also make sure no one misses a food holiday.

    Average Amy Monette-LaVallie

    CEO

    Despite her name, Amy possesses superior organizational skills and keeps us all going in the right direction. Her ability to do it with a smile makes you wonder what she’s thinking, too.

    Beau Hastings

    Systems Programmer

    Despite being a world traveler, our Coding Genius keeps the National Day Calendar website running smoothly so you never miss a celebration!

    Doug Dirt

    Snoop Doug Philip

    Social Media Specialist & Web Administrator

    Doug simply enjoys the opportunity to contribute to National Day Calendar while focusing on social media, as well as being one of the staff!

    Chris VandeVenter

    Media Assistant

    Chris is the “Self-proclaimed King of the Internet” and an occasional Silent Bob impersonator. He maintains the National Day Calendar Radio listing and schedules our social media events.

    Kris Haug

    Administrative Assistant

    Kris was born and raised in Mandan, ND, and is married with 2 adult-ish children and an amazing granddaughter. She works with the Celebration Nation Ambassadors, organizes fundraisers, and has a grateful heart every day.