Sunday, April 26, 2015

My QVC Experience

There's just a little somethin' somethin' I gotta say before we get back to our regularly scheduled program here of sharin' recipes and memories and talkin' about products I love and other stuff, and that's my still unbelievable journey with my first cookbook in a town called West Chester in the state of Pennsylvania on live television.

LIVE television y'all.

After getting up at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday to fly up to Pennsylvania, having a night in a hotel full of excited (and noisy) middle and high school basketball players in town for a tournament, being on QVC, losing my Kindle in Atlanta (and panicking), and finally making it home at 11:30 p.m. Sunday night, following hours in airports and in the air... I was so tired this past week, that I'm absolutely, positively, certain it still hasn't all sunk in yet. I'm floating somewhere up there on cloud number somethin' and thinking "don't pinch me, don't pinch me! I don't wanna wake up."

You see, along with many of my family members, I've been a fan of QVC a looooong time. I. LOVE. QVC. They have everything you need in life just about and well, it's worlds apart from going down to the mall, or a big box store, where you're often having to deal with a clerk who really doesn't want to be there to begin with, much less to deal with whatever it is that you want. QVC carries things for the yard, patio, garden, kitchen, bed and bath, cleaning supplies, home decor, furniture, beds, fashion, personal care, shoes, jewelry and makeup. Oh yeah, and food!

The thing that millions of customers, both men and women, love about QVC is this connection that happens with the hosts when you are a regular viewer. Even though I work from home, I don't sit down all day and watch QVC, but I promise you that in my house, there is almost always at least one television tuned to QVC, pretty much every waking hour. As I go about my day, I occasionally pass through the room, and something will catch my eye and I'll sit down and listen for a bit.

I watch pretty much all of the hosts at some point and though there's not a single one I don't enjoy, some of my favorites include David (of course!), Carolyn, Jayne, Dan Wheeler, Dan Hughes, Jane, Shawn, Kerstin, Jill, Antonella, Mary Beth, Rick, Sharon, Pat and Leah. What's unique about QVC is, as a viewer, you don't feel like you're with a salesman, but more like you're with a friend, hanging out in the backyard chattin' over the fence, about your kids or your husband, or that terrific new entree you made last night out of this brand new cookbook you discovered.

I. Love. QVC. My aunts and cousins and many of my family love QVC. My Mama loved QVC. I can still see her sitting there in the months before she passed, watching QVC with her notebook in hand, writing down the item numbers of the things she saw, so she could figure out what she could buy. I know those purchases brought her joy in the last moments of her life and as I was out the door and on my way up there I said "Mama, you coming?" I mean how could I dare go to QVC without my Mama, even if in spirit?

The facility itself is beautiful and enormous, and I don't mind telling you that as excited as I am about this cookbook, I was just as nervous about the thought of being on live TV. I come from a generation of folks that just didn't call attention to ourselves. We have a strong work ethic and we have worked hard all of our lives, but the "look at me and what I've done" just hasn't been a part of the fabric of our makeup, so it's uncomfortable for someone my age to put themselves out there. Literally everybody at QVC, from the front desk to training to production, behind the scenes, control room, green room staff and, of course, the hosts, made me feel at ease, comfortable and at home.

Because I've been watching David Venable faithfully, every Wednesday and Sunday for what seems forever (and just in case I'm not home for some reason I always record it), meeting him and being on Cookbook Corner myself was the biggest bonus and very surreal for me.

I teasingly say that the reason I bought a new house last year was because I needed a bigger kitchen and pantry for all the QVC stuff I have purchased. I'm only partly kidding, because the bigger kitchen, tons more cabinet and counter space, and a very nice, walk in pantry, as well as a kitchen pantry, were very big selling points for me with this house, and I promptly filled up every inch of the space!

Right now on my kitchen countertop sits my KitchenAid stand mixer, Keurig, FoodSaver, Ninja blender and the new Ninja 4-in-1 cooker, all in cinnamon, all from QVC. In the cabinet above, three colors of Temptations occupy three shelves, as well as a full shelf in the walk-in pantry, next to my cookware, pressure cookers and other small appliances I've purchased. The three drawers below are filled with Lock and Lock, with more in the pantry. Microwave cookware, all from QVC, occupy the cabinet right next to the microwave and there are odds and ends of kitchen gadgets and tools all scattered about in my new kitchen.

I am a fan for sure!

Another big bonus for me was I got to meet some of the folks that I've been buying all of the above from for years in the green room! Tara of Temp-tations fame, Chris of Lock and Lock, kitchen gadget guru MarkCharles, Meredith the Blue Jean Chef and Dawn who you've probably seen with the Rangemate microwave grill pan, were all on-air that day with me and super kind.

All of this to say, I'm first a QVC customer, and second a cookbook author who happened to be lucky enough to appear on QVC, in Cookbook Corner on In the Kitchen with David, with my first cookbook. David, knowing I was nervous from the get-go, made me feel completely comfortable and at ease. I truly felt like I was hanging out in the kitchen with a friend and our time on air literally flew by.

David is the sweetest, kindest person and exactly as he appears on television, and despite how easy he makes it look, you would not believe how hard he works. I honestly do not know how he does it all, what with educating himself so thoroughly about every single person and every single product on his show, as well as jumping from set to set in a flash, and all along having callers and updates and production in his ear,  He is the consummate professional in every way and I adore him. Although I didn't get to see her as much, Mary is every bit as kind and sweet as you think she is.

The entire experience was amazing, and really, made me fall in love with QVC even more. Thank you all for watching, for your kind remarks, for letting me know that you watched (and that you thought I did a great job despite my nerves), and thank you so much for making the cookbook a sell-out! I am truly grateful.

Photo Credits QVC and Mary Foreman