Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The Dominican Republic, United Kingdom and Ireland are places most people would love to spend a couple days on vacation. But there are people in all of those places waiting for the chance to vacation in Newton, Kansas. Some have been waiting for over a year.
Last September, online blogger Meg Duerksen invited ten of her blogger friends to spend a weekend at her home in Newton.
With the exception of Kimberlee Jost, she had never met any of them.
"We were really nervous because we hadn't done that either. What will it be like, what if they don't like us, what if we don't like them. They came and it was immediately just so fun," Duerksen said.
Duerksen, of course, blogged about the weekend. But she says she was shocked when her readers asked if they could come to Newton, too.
"We thought we would just do the one, maybe we never thought that it would be what it is," Duerksen said.
With the help of her now business partner, Jost, they planned a second weekend and put out an open invitation online.
"I don't what happened. We maybe crashed the server. We maybe had it set up wrong, but all the tickets sold within minutes," Kimberlee Jost said.
Not only did all the slots sell out, they instantly had a waiting list of about a hundred women. Ten craft weekends later, that waiting list has grown to more than 900 from all over the United States and beyond.
"We have people on the waiting list from the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland," Jost said.
Now, if you're thinking, 'I don't get it,' you're not alone. Just ask the women who traveled across the country to do crafts in Kansas.
"I screamed to like everybody in my cubicle at work and everybody was like 'what are you talking about that's so weird' and 'OK craft weekend what's that?'" Ali Moll from Salt Lake City, Utah said.
But Duerksen and Jost do get it. Both women balance careers and motherhood and say they know just how important a few days off can be.
"They haven't done anything in a long time for themselves so they get to sit and for several hours work on something they made themselves," Duerksen said.
That's how they came up with the craft weekend structure: some sewing, a little shopping, but mainly a chance for women to hit pause and take time out for themselves.
"Just a weekend to be me. I've been a mom forever and this is a weekend to do something for me and forget about everything that's going on at home and forget about being an empty-nester and just do something for me for once," Moll said.
The business partners already have the next two craft weekends booked. They say as long as there are women in the world who want to take a break in Newton, Kansas, they'll be happy to host them.
Find out more information about Craft Weekend via the link provided.