Archive | Affiliate Marketing

Wholesale Craft Show Do’s and Don’ts – Tips for Artists

This is a companion piece to my article, “Fine Craft Wholesale Shows: A Review of the Philadelphia Buyer’s Market Visiting Artists Program,” also on this site.

In June, 2006 I attended the Philadelphia Buyer’s Market of American Craft Visiting Artists Program. The presenters offered lots of wisdom and nuts-and-bolts tips on wholesaling for artists just starting out in the wholesale market. Here are a few of the golden nuggets I picked up:

Craft consultant Bruce Baker and gallery owner Nancy Marcoe suggested finding markets not just at craft shows, but also at professional association conventions and special interest shows – anywhere potential customers may be. To keep on top of trends, watch TV commercials and subscribe to three magazines – such as Real Simple, W Magazine, and Vanity Fair – just to look at the pictures: “The trail to the market is through trends.”

Common markup for galleries is 2.2 to 3, especially in higher rent areas. Your wholesale prices should reflect that. Tell customers that if a line doesn’t work for them, they can trade it back. While a grouping of your work might sell well, the last stranded three will likely sit there forever, said Baker. Rather than let those pieces wend their way into the “Sale” basket, why not offer to trade them for fresh inventory with new designs?

Inside your shipping box, pack a list of selling points for the sales staff (along with a couple of chocolate truffles). The staff will get instant sales training tailored to your work when they put your pieces on display.

In a tough economy, artists are smart to have low price points as well as high. To keep artists’ production costs down, lower priced pieces should require very little finishing.

One benefit to wholesaling over retailing is the relative ease with which one can build a national reputation (“The banks will love it, and so will Mom and Dad,” said Baker).

Baker also touched upon key operational strategies – from sourcing inventory (“Play hardball with your suppliers”) to shipping (“Keep all promises”). Merchant card services have phased out the “proforma” method of order taking. Today, all you need to do is take the customer’s credit card number and run it through when you ship.

Good contracts are vital to operations, noted Judie Raiford of Raiford Gallery. “Don’t leave anything to chance.” Fulfilling your responsibilities is paramount: “Deliver on time, and deliver what you promise.” Spread out your work across the country. “Don’t be in two galleries within emotional distance from one another,” said Raiford.

Omit contact information from your “care cards” (the information cards passed out to customers). Gallery owners bristle at the idea of customers using their space as glamorous showrooms for your online store. I heard this message repeatedly during the weekend: If you’re trying to wholesale and you have shopping cart capability on your website, you will be shunned.

Wendy Rosen explained that multiple revenue streams are often a must for artists. Think about selling some production pieces under a separate company name (a la Dale Chihuli’s Portland Press sidelines), writing books, and developing specialized products for narrower markets. For example, at the National Baptist Convention there’s a market just for fancy hats, selling for $1,000 each.

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Tips on Buying Car Insurance

Auto insurers underwrite policies to evaluate the risk given to each insurance applicable. During this process, a person is grouped into a category, such as a high-risk driver, low risk, teenage or elderly. If this risk associated with the applicant is considered too high, the application could be denied coverage alike. After the results are calculated, the insurance carrier then gives a price, which is based on the perceived risk that driver poses.

1. This is also known as rating the driver

Insurers use this rating as a way to measure what it costs to insure a particular person if a claim is made and how likely claims would occur again in the future. This is often referred to as financial responsibility that an insurer takes on. The tip is to maintain a safe driving record and avoid traffic accidents and you will go a long ways towards getting cheaper car insurance.

2. Not all Insurance Companies Rate Drivers the Same

Many providers use the same general metrics but their algorithms that extremely determine rates are quite distinct. One of the largest factors that all insurers use in calculating premiums is the frequency of accidents. When a person files a claim, the insurance kicks in and accidents can cost many thousands of dollars, especially if there is a death involved. The more claims a person files, the riskier he or she is in the eyes of the carrier and more likely to file a future claim. Thus, higher rates are imposed on these at-risk motorist. To keep rates low, avoid incidents and filing claims and you will save a lot of money on auto insurance. If you have had accidents in the past do not worry.

3. Main Contributing Factors that Affect Auto Insurance Rates

* Driving Record: Auto Insurers will take a close look at how many citations and accidents you have been involved in.

Keep up a good driving record and watch your rates go down.

* The Location you live: If you live in the city, you can expect to pay more than if you live in a rural location with much less traffic.

* The Car you Drive: This is a very large factor that makes up rates. New and expensive luxury or sports cars have some of the highest insurance rates. On the other hand, used cars that are safe and cheap to repair have some of the lowest coverage costs. Get a boring used car and save on coverage.

* Marriage Status: Married people pay less for car ins because they are considered more responsible.

* Your Age: Drivers that are under 25 can expect to pay about double for auto ins. The sweet sport for the lowest rates is between 32 and 62 years of age.

4. Apply for all the discounts you can

A great and smart way to save on vehicle insurance is to apply for multiple discounts. If you have more than one vehicle, consider getting a bundled or multi-vehicle discount. You can also take a safe driver course and save about 5%. Other popular discounts are good student, military, and even teacher.

5. Shop Direct on the Web for the Cheapest Rates

The internet has literally taken over the world. It has also saved millions of people money on car insurance. Buying car insurance online is smart because you can find direct rate pricing that most brokers can not match.

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Marketing at The App Store

It is always nice when you got several million dollars to spend it all in a big marketing budget. You can do traditional advertising, a little TV ad perhaps. Unfortunately most app developers are not in that situation and usually it's a shoestring budget and sometimes with no money at all to spend on marketing their app.

So what they depend on is, what sort of traffic can they generate on the stores? You have to look very carefully at how the store is structured to run a series of experiments. Be willing to run several experiments and see what works best. Try it for about a week and see how it goes and will be to change it which means you need to be watching very carefully how the traffic is working, and how many people are downloading or using your app.

A lot of developers are making mistakes of changing things of several things at the same time which we do not recommend because you will not be able to tell which one one is actually working and which one is not. So one at a time, you can try strategies and then if it does not work go and try another one and see how it goes. So be willing to experiment and make sure that they are carefully controlled experiments and make sure that they are controlled the right way.

Second, is to look at the structure of the site and think about the process by which a customer is coming to you in deciding to get your application. Think of it kind of as though, people are standing in line for a movie and that you are always losing people out of the line. Maybe, they are vaguely interested at the start, but now it is not moving fast enough and they are going to drift off or get out of the line. And every point in time you will be shedding customers.

So you have to think of ways how to reduce that process by which you are shedding customers. How do you suck them in as quickly as possible? How do you keep them standing in line? How do you get them in lobby and make them sit as quickly as possible so that they can buy your popcorn?

Understanding how the users search for an app, that is gonna get you to a list. Make sure you are high on that particular list. So understanding the standard keywords that your users are likely to use for a search.

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Content Marketing – Make Sure You Avoid These 11 Mistakes

In the near-limitless universe of the Internet, the art of marketing content can be a tricky one. You've got to know your target audience and what they want, and always be one step ahead of the competition. Add to that the constantly emerging new channels for your content, and you have quite a challenging task ahead of you.

However, before you jump into this war of words, here are 11 pitfalls to watch out for:

1. Not doing your groundwork

You can not construct a skyscraper without laying the foundation. What is the purpose of your content? Who are you targeting it to? Is it in line with your brand personality? If you do not brainstorm on these questions and build a concrete plan, you might fail before you even start. It also helps to double-check your content and see what you can do differently from the competition.

2. Not having a clear take-away

Humorous fluff pieces are fun to read on the Internet, but do not let their popularity sway you. Good content needs a solid take-away – a message previously unavailable to your readers. Give them something new through your content, and they'll be hooked on to your every word.

3. Not having a Call-To-Action

An ending paragraph is strong, but a Call-To-Action (CTA) is stronger. Every piece of content needs to arose something in the reader by the end – be it curiosity, happiness, or even fear. Give your reader an action to perform after they have read your content – it could be liking, sharing, commenting, or accessing your hotline or website to know more about your product. Whatever you do, just do not leave the reader hanging at the end of your piece.

4. Choosing quantity over quality (or vice versa)

Content marketers today still grapple with this question – produce more content faster, or deliver comprehensive content less frequently? In our experience, a healthy mix of the two is the best long-term strategy for content marketing. Do not be pressured by the speed and frequency of new posts on the Internet; Just produce the best and most timely content that your marketing plan allows.

5. Not optimizing your content (SEO)

Do you want your content to be the first thing netizens see in a quick Google search? Then do not let search engine optimization (SEO) be an afterthought in your content marketing plan. Come up with some strong keywords, and strategically sprinkle them through your content. Do this right, and watch your content shoot straight up the search results list.

6. Writing long paragraphs

Let's face it – the online reader's attention span has taken a nose-dive in recent years. Long paragraphs are a chore to read through. On the other hand, breaking up your content into shorter paragraphs or bullet points boosts the readability of your piece. Each paragraph and point also acts like a place-holder in the readers' minds, which they can refer to at any time.

7. No internal or external links

Do not you want a visitor to your website to stay and know more about your product? Internal links to older content are a good way to ensure audience retention, greater interest in your brand, and better optimization for search engines. External links to related topics also add ranking power to your content since Google's search spiders read them as 'third-party votes' for your piece.

8. Not using relevant images

Your post's featured image is the first thing a viewer will see on social media. Relevant images and infographics make people want to read your blogs. After all, no one likes to read a continuous stream of text. Content is getting more and more visual by the day to keep readers hooked, and you should follow suit.

9. Overly promotional content

The online audience wants entertaining and engaging content, and also does not want to be marked to all the time. You are not going to achieve the latter by producing overtly promotional content, with words such as 'buy', 'sell', 'exchange' at the forefront. Creative, engaging content with out-of-the-box visuals are today's gold standard in marketing.

10. Distributing content haphazardly

Simply sharing your content on every social media platform out there might sound like a good idea at first. However, unless you share it on the right platforms frequented by your target audience, all your efforts might go in vain. Base the online distribution of your content on the social media habits of your audience, as well as the nature of your product.

11. Ignoring content metrics

Content marketing is not an open-and-shut case; There's always more to learn from your existing work. To simplify, there are four metrics by which you can analyze the success or failure of your content so far – consumption, sharing, leads generated, and sales and revenue. You can then tweak your future content or strategy depending on these results.

Marketing your brand through online content need not be rocket science – if you do your homework right, Work with a communications agency that can get your brand the attention it describes!

Do you know of any other content marketing gaffes? If so, leave a comment,

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Apology Letter To Help Restore Your Marriage

Marriage has its ups and downs, and on occasion you might need to restore your marriage. I know you can’t turn back the clock and undo a mistake that you made that has caused pain and frustration in your marriage. However, you might consider writing an apology letter and mailing it to your spouse. Listed below is an example letter from a husband to his wife.

Hello love of my life,

“I just wanted to write you this letter to apologize for the mistakes that I have made over the last few years. I have hurt and embarrassed you and for doing so I’m deeply sorry. I know that you have given your heart and soul to make our marriage work and I have taken your love for granted.

I’m guilty of not being the man I’m supposed to be and the husband that you deserve. I wouldn’t blame you if you packed up and left me but I hope you will give me a chance to restore your trust and love and affection for me and our marriage.

I have no excuses for the wrongs that I have done and the way I have treated you. I would give anything if I could undo what I did so that you wouldn’t have to go through the pain, frustration and disappointment that you have gone through.

I realize that my words have no meaning unless they are backed up by my actions. I hope you can find it in your heart to allow me to prove my love to you. I will give 150 percent effort to be the husband you deserve and desire.

I know it will not be easy for you to trust that I will do right by you because I have broken promises I made to you before. My heart is broken and I’m certain that I will not make the same mistakes again. All I ask is one more opportunity to restore our marriage and your love for me.”

Love always and forever, your love bucket “

There is power in written words and if only you can write such a letter from your heart and really mean it you might get a chance to restore your marriage. The key is to get your spouse to understand that you are serious about restoring your marriage.

If you can find a way to admit to some specific problems you can take responsibility for it will make your apology more effective.

Obviously, what you are looking to do is open the door to restore your marriage. Once you get your foot in the door it’s up to you to back up your apology with your words and actions.

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Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It

At a glance:

  • Implicit media endorsements make you stand out from the competition.
  • It’s not advertising; it’s building credibility.
  • Maximize your exposure by posting it on your Web site and sharing it via social media.

A colleague of mine, who’s a former newspaper reporter, tells a story about a savvy attorney she knew. He’d tip her off whenever he had a particularly juicy case if she promised to include his name alongside that of his client in her story. Whether he won the case or lost it, people remembered his name and associated him with high-profile cases. He’d figured out that having his name in the paper bought him something no amount of advertising could: credibility.

For anyone trying to build a business, sell a product or get their book into the hands of more consumers, the implicit endorsement that comes from being interviewed by the media is what I call “marketing gold.”

Let me explain. Thanks to the Internet, you and every competitor you have, big or small, have the same chance to reach your potential consumers. So, what makes one business, one product or book more appealing than another? It’s endorsements from the media that make you stand out. Let’s face it – if USA Today has chosen to review your book, or refer to it in an article, it gives reason to believe there’s something special about it. If a doctor is quoted in the news about solutions to a particular health issue you’re dealing with – your instinct will be to check out him and his product first, because the media must consider him an authority to have quoted him.

When the media recognizes that you have something important to say, you gain credibility. This is the marketing gold I’m referring to: the endorsements from TV and radio show hosts, the editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines – and now, bloggers, news Web sites and followers on social media too. All these forms of recognition give others confidence you’re as good as you say you are. But, it’s upon you to use this “gold” as a critical part of your marketing to let people know these endorsements exist.

The return on investment usually isn’t immediate, which can be frustrating to people who expect a surge in business or a spike in sales with every media interview. That used to happen more often in the old days – I’m talking way back in the ’90s – when a radio talk show host might chat with you for 30 or 60 minutes and newspapers had twice as many pages to fill. It became apparent that when a client’s message clearly addressed an urgent public problem, along with their expertise and solution-oriented content, they could hit the jackpot.

From January to April, an IRS expert who spoke of resolutions to IRS problems or gave on-air tips on how to prevent IRS abuses would always see a huge jump in book sales. Or, the health expert, who got on the air during flu season and explained why his health program would make them feel better faster would sell a ton of product.

But the old days are gone and here we are in 2012. Today’s talk radio interviews are brief – 7 to 10 minutes in the larger markets – and newspapers have no space for full feature stories on interesting entrepreneurs and writers. There are far fewer opportunities to grab an audience for a significant length of time.

So how do you grow your investment in PR? Marketing your media exposure is a strategy that pays big dividends over time – but requires an effort from you.

  • Your Web site should prominently display your endorsements: “As seen on CBS,” “featured in the Louisville Gazette,” “heard on WFLA radio.”
  • Don’t forget to mention the media coverage to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, too. The third-party endorsement will help you build more contacts, because people like knowing who the experts are and following them.
  • Use the media you’ve obtained to help you gain more TV, radio and print exposure. It serves as credibility for journalists as well and they will be more likely to want to interview you if you’ve already been vetted by other media professionals.
  • Let your personality shine online and respond to journalists and followers alike with interesting commentary and insights – not pleas to buy your book or product.

Yes, it takes work, a strong theme and a message that resonates. But if you invest wisely, you’ll grow rich in marketing gold.

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Smartphone Tips for Winter Survival

Smartphones are essential in today's world as they add up to the digital lifestyle of a consumer. For this very reason, it is essential to keep it up and running. However often due to weather extremes and sudden drop in temperature, your Smartphone may give you troubles. No matter which Smartphone you are using iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, Sony or any other these are sensitive to weather changes and surrounding environment. Now that the winters have set in with its chill and the snowfall, it is more likely to cause damage to your device.

Given here are a few tips that will help you protect your precious Smartphone during this cold season:

Why is chilly weather harmful for your Smartphone?
You might still not be aware about the most technical aspects of your Smartphone. Often manufacturers specify the optimum temperature range for a given gadget in technical specs. For example, if you are using an iPhone 5S then the ideal temperature range for this phone would be-4 ° to 113 ° Fahrenheit. This temperature would be at the time when it is not in use and powered down. When your iPhone is powered on then the range of temperature is narrow, Apple gives a suggestion of maintaining 32 ° Fahrenheit. If you are using some other brand then the temperature range can be -4 ° Fahrenheit.

Another thing that you bought to remember is that when batteries that are lithium-ion based are affected by sudden temperature changes. This often has an adverse effect upon the battery performance. During the cold seasons the battery drains faster.

Surviving Cold Weather
We all carry touch sensitive phones that require proper care during the winter season. Even though you try hard still when you are out in the cold weather you can not access your touch screen. Even opting for special gloves is not going to prevent your device from damage. For those who are still using woolen gloves will not be able to access their device. Think about protecting your device as why your device should be left out in cold to bear that temperature drop, it is a device with delicate components that are sensitive to environmental changes.
The best option here seems to be the Stylus. This comes handy for performing better functions as well as typing when you are out in the cold if you so need to do it.

Quick Tips
After knowing exactly why your Smartphone is behaving erratically during this chilly season you need to check upon some quick tips that will help you pull through the winters:
• Avoid leaving your phone out in the cold or in a chill zone. For example, leaving your phone out in the parked car during winter season is not a good idea. It is advisable to carry your phone in your jacket pocket and close to your body so that your body heat can keep your Smartphone warm.

• If you need to leave your phone behind then it is better to switch it off rather than leaving it on sleep mode. This way not only will you save on battery power but also the performance of your phone will be multiplied.

• Always purchase cases for your Smartphone that are manufactured by the equipment maker. For example if you are purchasing an iPhone then it is better to purchase cases from Apple instead of going in for some local company. Good cases help in regulating the temperature of your phone and this is why it is advised to purchase from OEMs only.

• Carrying extra battery for your phone is yet another good option especially when you are traveling in cold environment or places where it snows a lot.

All the above given tips are simple and easy but worth keeping in mind when you next travel to a cold country or face winters. Your Smartphone will perform better and the battery will last longer if you keep it protected from weather extremities.

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How to Plan For a Surprise Picnic Party

Planning a surprise party could be really challenging but setting up a surprise picnic party would be even more taxing since the activity will be held outdoors. No dimming of lights, no doors, and definitely no tables and rooms to hide yourself and the guests into. But a surprise picnic party would be a success if everything has been planned and taken cared of.

First, you need to make sure that the celebrant is appreciative of surprises and is willing to be caught off guard. Next, a date and venue should be selected. Ensure that the celebrant is available on the selected date and the venue is accessible to most visitors. Assign someone to invite the celebrant or plan a fake engagement so that the guest of honor would really be able to attend the surprise party.

Prepare the invitations and ensure that you give a clear instruction that the picnic party is a surprise. Indicate at least a 20-minute earlier meeting time so that the party guests will arrive earlier than the guest of honor. Designate a dress code so visitors would arrive in the perfect attire, especially because the party will be held outdoors and in the form of a picnic.

Arrive early and set-up the picnic area. Lay picnic sheets and prepare the food table, the barbeque grill, utensils and food. If you can decorate the trees with ribbons or lights, then it would be better. But since it will be an outdoor party, focus more on the food and activities rather than the décor and overall ambiance. The outdoor venue already has its natural beauty so you can altogether skip the decorating.

It is very important that you pack your picnic baskets with lots of food. You can share food too by asking the visitors to bring even a small basket of fruits. It is also important that you pack your picnic baskets with all the picnic essentials. Because you will be hosting a party for quite a large group, ensure that you do not forget to bring the food, utensils, cooking and cleaning materials, and the things you’ll need for the games. This ensures that everyone will have fun and the guest of honor and his or her visitors will enjoy the party.

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Top Five Women Tennis Players of All Time

Over the years WTA Rankings have earned the ire of the critics and many termed them absurd. According to them these rankings do not justify the efforts of players and bring forth a cryptic picture as many players have become World No. 2. 1 without winning a single Major title. It is because of the contributions of some legendary tennis players that this individual game has earned fundamental following all across the globe. Let's take a look at top five women tennis players of all time.

1. Steffi Graf – 22 Majors, 107 titles: On first position we have the queen of titles, Steffi Graf who welcomed aggression and agility to the game and thoroughly rule the tennis landscape for more than five years – she did all the right things on Court to augment the popularity of tennis. Graf won 25 out of 30 tournaments in 1988 and 1989 – including seven of eight Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. She was World No. 1 for a record 337 weeks. In total, Graf won 11 Grand Slams.

2. Martina Navratilova – 18 Majors, 167 titles: When it comes to consistency, Martina Navratilova is certainly the greatest of all times. Navratilova finished her career with mind-boggling stats: 1,442 wins, 167 titles with a 74-match win streak. She also played in 23 consecutive singles finals, won 18 singles titles at Grand Slams, 59 total titles at the Slams with nine victories at Wimbledon.

3. Chris Evert – 18 Majors, 157 titles: Chis Evert dominated the era, when tennis was spreading its reach through the globe. She had her tough times on the court, but with sheer resilience and determination, Evert made an impact in a big-hitting era. Evert made into the semifinals of her first 34 Grand Slams. Evert graduated became a household name in all the nations, which were promoting tennis at that point of time.

4. Margaret Court – 24 Majors, 92 titles: Margaret Court played in both the amateur and Open eras. She became the second woman ever to win the Grand Slam. She won 21 tournaments and posted a fabulous 104-6 record.

5. Serena Williams – 13 Majors, 37 titles: Serena Williams became a force to be reckoned with in the modern era of tennis. The younger Williams sister won 13 Slams and she can add a few more – provided she would stay fit at this joke of her career. Williams just need a few good victorious under her belt to get back her destructive form.

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Fruit Cake

Are you the fruit cake in your family? Before you raise your eyebrow, I would suggest you read on to know what I mean.

The fruit cake has tantalized the world for centuries. When you take a lip smacking bite, you will experience the taste of culture and valuable traditions. The fruit cake which I would love to offer you will be an ideal one, with a high content of fruits and nuts in proportion to the batter. You will taste the rich content of French cherries, almonds, California nuts, pineapple, orange peel and lemon. To make it more mouthwatering how about a dash of brand and liquor added to it … hmmm, expensive and irresistible, is not it?

If you want to go for a stronger aroma and sharper flavor, then relish the darker version of the fruit cake. The dark fruit cake contains prunes, dates, cherries, walnuts, brown sugar and molasses.

If you love the subtle taste, then you can go for the light fruit cake. The delicate taste is attributed to the presence of granulated sugar, golden raisins, pineapple, apricots and light corn syrup.

When you go for your treks and campaigns, tuck in a pack of fruit cakes. Your friends will love you for this. The best thing about the fruit cake is that it has a tendency to last for months and still retain its intrinsic flavor. You will be pleased to know that the fruit cake has a tendency to freeze very well. However it is ideal to have a time gap of a month before freezing.

Enough of preaching about it. Now let me treat you with a fruit cake.

Who said said 'take your own sweet time' must have said it with reference to the fruit cake. First I will prepare the nuts and fruits. Then I will pour the liquor to be used over them. Let me keep the mixture well covered for two or three days. Sorry to keep you waiting, but then if you want it sweet and nice; You will have to kill time. Okay then, I will prepare the batter and bake your cake. I need to remember that the fruit cake should be baked at a low temperature. I will coat the pan with waxed paper so that the sides of the cake do not get burned. You see the fruit cake involves long baking time. When I am done, you can take the cake tester and insert it in the center of the cake. If you see that it is moist and not doughy, then you are ready to pop a piece into your mouth.

You may think of the fruit cake as a typical Christmas dish. But as I told you before, the fruit cake has a centuries old tradition behind it. Did you know that during the 13th century, dried fruit began to arrive to England from Portugal and the east Mediterranean? During the later half of 1700s, England distributed fruit cake slices to women who sang Christmas carols. The fruit cakes were frequently used in celebrations from the turn of the 18th century. It remains a custom in England for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of dark fruitcake under their pillow at night so they could dream of the person they will marry.

If you want to know the oldest fruit cake company in the United States, then I would suggest you visit the Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana, Texas. It was set up in the year 1896. So much has been the impact of the fruit cake through out the years, that the oldest family in the household is called the fruit cake.

So now you decide, who is the lovable and responsive fruit cake in your home?

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