Saving Mardi Gras with Mobile Porch Parade
Hello cheers business listeners. I'm ashley smith vice president of wholesale pharmacy and listener of cheers to business. And i want to tell you about the great company. I work for dr x. Is a family oriented company dedicated to taylor operational solutions for patient. Health and compliance programs that increases the quality and efficiency of patient centered care and always with the mission of the patients. Help i with over ten years of experience helping doctors and their patients with diagnostic tests patient monitoring medical supplies compliance wholesale pharmacy physician dispensing billing a much more doc. Rx is your patient and health compliant solution. Both under one brief to find out. How docker can help you your hospital. Pharmacy physician's offices and you need for your businesses. Please visit us at doc. Rx dot com that doc. Rx dot com d. o. c. r. x. Dot com now. Enjoy the show. I just talked to this float guy. Craig stevens carnival artists and he is renting us foot pieces. And i was like okay. Count me in. When met craig the first time he said you know three days ago i was not sleeping at night. I didn't know how i was going to pay my people. And they're so important to me. I want them to be able to pay their bills. And now this gift is essentially com to say. Here's a bunch of business opportunity. And he was welcomed like you said we was open to opportunity and saying yes. And how can we make this happen. How can we make it work. And they now have over forty houses. They have rented flu pieces to and he's kept busy and we'll be able to pay them through the season. The head is so amazing. That's such a feel good. I went into a retail store down here mardi gras more and he had sold out of most decorations of into to me's and they were busier than they have been in ages. And they're super excited to have all this new business walking the door and allies five and dime. These are all locally owned businesses that this effort has really impacted them immediately. It's great to see when no one is going to let the good times roll with mobiles month-long in citywide mardi gras celebration. It's more than just a city missing a great party. The financial impact this is tens to hundreds of millions of dollars lost tax revenue and hundreds of businesses artists in companies being put into financial jeopardy not to mention their employees. Instead of taking this lying down a couple of very smart mobile revelers have started the mobile portrayed to keep the mardi gras spirit alive in mobile alabama not only that but while in the process and save a ton of jobs creating a new permanent revenue source for desperate float builders for years to come the also uplifting the spirits of old and young during this most best time in our city today in the studio stacey wellborn and she's gonna explain mobile she's gonna talk about in detail till what started and what has been the immediate impact with the community. And how's everyone including you. How can you get involved. How can you be a part of it and be a part of mobile mardi gras. Hey i'm karen. I'm a former. Cpa entrepreneur business consultant with big ideas. Welcome to tears to business today. We have bag. Stacey wellborn otherwise known as lady will born here in mobile alabama. Thank you so much for coming back on. The show. Always love talking with you. Love talking with you. You're so informative. Now we're in covid. We're mardi gras season. And we can't have parades stinks. It really sucks followed it. Isn't that just plain sucks so tell me you know. I've been working a lot lately. So i haven't been watching the news. I've seen so much facebook though about yard guy. Yeah tell me what's going on a friend of mine. An server actually started website mobile porch parade. Gosh two weeks ago tomorrow. So it's been less than two weeks. She sent a note to a group of girls on instagram said. Hey i just started this thing. Check it out and so i did and then i said well. Do you have a facebook page. He goes no. I don't really do facebook us at girl you've got to have a facebook facebook page so She's like well you do. And i was like sure and so. I basically set up a facebook page on wednesday morning and then all of a sudden to become the pr representative for this offer. That's what you do. And i love it and being downtown or living in the old neighborhoods and being a part of this community. I personally was very sad to not be able to participate mardi gras decorate for more to go. I was ready to just to put the christmas away and wait for summer. Yeah we were supposed to ride week before last dolphin allen so my husband and i have been in that organization since two thousand and five and so it sat everywhere i think the financial impact though is the saddest thing of all yes definitely. It's funny when the mayor of new orleans and the mayor mobile get into it about who. We are mardi gras started. We all know it started in mobile. Alabama does why and everybody sees it as a big party By bills a little bit family. Friendlier there are no rules in new orleans right right but if you look past the party somebody interesting. The mobile mask I was reading something he wrote in. He says it's not this year. That were really gonna feel the impact. The restaurants will the mars will Do me mardi gras. Will you buy your throws and your beads in like in places like that. But the costume. Makers yes all right. They're not gonna fill it this year because because everybody pre-ordered and prepaid for this year and they'll just wear them next year. What are they going to do the next year. Getting ready right from there to the stores where they buy their supplies and the trickle down effect on the flight designers and all the artists involved. In that i mean they've as you say they were all set and ready to go for this year and basically put it on hold and they'll just run those next year so those flow designers won't have work for the next year. Will you got the designers. But how about all those people who make all the paper. Michelle on it's hard for me to bill. Sorry for the beer and liquor people because people drinking more now than ever. I think they're okay except the bars and restaurants. Well you know i- adele. I have a friend that works at a downtown restaurant and she mentioned that in the weekend before mardi gras in a three day period they sell hundred thousand dollars worth of bush-whackers all a cow in three days. That's insane that is insane. One that there we drink that much but it's a lot of people that's a huge hit to them to not and that's just one item on the menu so imagine the the total impact of not having mardi gras this year. All right now the tips for the waitresses their hours cut back and people. Aren't you cut. Fifty percent capacity The economic impact is huge. It's certainly huge this year. But i i'm with you. I think next year it's going to be even worse and So that's why the ports parade has really been such a blessing in one way. We're able to give back so we've been able to encourage residents work with local builders local artists even the retail shops. Go spend your money in those retail shops as locally owned shops specifically and buy some new decorations mean for every Little ball that you put on your front porch. I mean that means something to somebody so even if you spend ten dollars here and ten dollars there that's money that retailer didn't have. Oh yeah and their staff. Yeah bill for the staff to now. I've been saying since the beginning of this crazy stuff. I don't even know what to say. Anymore is look for opportunities. Said this is what this person did Yeah basically. Suzanne was sitting around seeing all this talk and lamenting of no mardi gras and then did see Will say new orleans kind of got started on the crew house floats before we did. He saw that and said whoa heck. We can do that too so she started the mobile porch parade dot com website and encouraging. Anyone everyone to decorate their front porch their front door their yard the house or business. Whatever it is doesn't matter just decorate and so that when you're riding around town you get the spirit of mardi gras and what i love about. It is. It's not just margaret downtown. Mobile or daphne. Or wherever or dauphin island it's everywhere it is everywhere you know so now you ride through. I'll tell you we have over. Three hundred houses have registered stacey. If i want to do this can. I still register technically no. We closed registration on sunday. January twenty four th but really so that we could get everyone on the map and distributed. But that shouldn't stop you from participating. We want everybody to participate whether you're on the map or not. It doesn't matter you know we did that. Really just to show the scale and then allow people to create their own driving or walking or biking tours self guided tours so we while we are not necessarily taking reservations or registrations. We certainly encourage more people. Anybody everybody please decorate from autograph. Because the more we do the more happy everyone will be. You know what you just did. Was that you provided a great example of managing and business. Oh thank you you know. This is a business show. Yes all right. So i was so excited about you. Coming on is one the financial impact of not having something but then finding other ways to do it I've been all about that all year long. And i'm talking twelve months. Not three weeks. The impact of looking at things another way and doing them another way and still making people spa and they might be able to pay their power bill. Well i'll tell you when this all started A neighbor of mine called and said. Hey i just talked to this guy and he is willing to consider Renting flu pieces. And i was like okay. Count me in. And so i connected and when i met craig the first time he said you know three days ago i was not sleeping at night. I didn't know how i was gonna pay my people and they're so important to me. I need. I want them to be able to pay their bills and now this gift has essentially come to say here. Here's a bunch of business an opportunity and he was welcomed like you said we was to opportunity and open to saying yes. And how can we make this happen. How can we make it work. And they now i believe have over forty houses that they have rented flute pieces to and he's kept his people busy and we'll be able to pay them through the system. That is so amazing. That's such a feel good Isn't it strange that every time you fulfill a need and it creates happiness. It's successful I don't think there's a coincidence to that. Now i agree had other artists the same Who have said you know. I didn't have any business this season. And now i'm We had another designer I won't say his name. I've heard the second hand but just said that he typically contracts is time to one organization and that organization didn't need him right and as a result he's busier than ever because he's able to now help multiple people and actually doing better this season than he has in seasons past. I love it. I absolutely love it. The doors that are shlaim them people's faces opening up markets and ideas and creativity and pocket. Books yeah. I went into a retail store down here. Mardi gras more and he had sold out of his decorations have been to me's and they were busier than they have been in ages and they're super excited to have all this new business walking in the door and allies five and dime. Haven't been robert moore yet but these are all locally owned businesses that this effort has really impacted the Immediately you know it's great to see. I'm thinking people's mental health to you know like you guys couldn't sleep. You know the toll that it takes a wondering if you're gonna be able to survive and are have to let people go and they can't get a job and feed their kids The toll of that happiness in that ingrained small the just automatically comes out that you don't think about You find yourself smiling. I think that that is probably curing more mental anguish than anything else right now. I'm just so glad to see so. Many people excited about this idea and decorating their homes. When i we're putting out a map mobile porch parade will put out a google map on february. I will put the link out. And i'll share it with you but i've seen preliminaries of it and there are houses registered as far west. As cody rhodes so pass the airport I think there some down your way that have registered and then all the way up into set suma and creole And we even had people out of state register. We're like okay. Well we're probably not gonna put those on the map but that's how wide spread and big. This has gotten so. It's it's when you see the map you'll be so impressed by my billion. I'm impressed already just even hearing about it to drive through my neighborhood. There's probably fifty house decorated in the oakley neighborhood. Right now you have got. I wanna take the grandkids. Yes yeah. I was going. I was leaving downtown last week. It was going down dolphins straight or government straight. And i saw one and it just made me smile. Doesn't it and i'll let you smile people. You smiled your family. You know laugh at stupid stuff on tv or movie. Maybe but i truly genuinely smiled at just driving down. The street is surprising smile. It right elbow heart grew a little bit. Yeah yeah so sure. We were out on our front yard on saturday adding to art porch decorations. And i was probably out there about four or five hours and it was a constant stream of people. There was a group of about fifteen ladies and their dogs. Were out walking the neighborhood and then tons of families walking kids just love it because a lot of the decorations are children's books so minds where the wild things are. How my neighbors paw patrol. They have a twelve foot dog in front yard so it was all the stuff coming from pass. Mortar goff life. It is yes. Most of us have engaged with a gentleman named craig stevens with carnival artists and he had to three warehouses full of mardi gras flute sculpture. And basically walk through and pick something where you winning so you rent them yes so they may a way to make money. They did so. This was all just junk sending in warehouse not junk. I shouldn't say that. No it's awesome like to get to go through the warehouses actually really great experience He's on south. Houston willie And there's some others around But he's been the one that really embraced this idea as you say find opportunity. Let's run with it. And i'm not looking for exact prices but is it expensive. It can get expensive from a few hundred to the most. I've heard anybody. Spending is twelve to fifteen hundred dollars. And but you know for sure throws i'd be that's nothing to spend arthritis. I have to tell you. I really thought that johnny was gonna be upset with me over this. That was spending this money. And then my mind i just had all my logic ready to be okay this but this and really he and i would spend easily spend that kind of money on throws absolutely between us and i thought okay. Well let's do this. We're helping this artist We're growing community. We're doing something fun for our neighborhood and our our city. So let's do it. And i just had pulled the trigger and then not only did he not give me any grief for it. He totally bought in and went and spent more money on like lights and decorations. And all these things so now we just have this massive art piece on our front porch. It's really quite amazing. It is amazing. And i have johnny puts a picture in it when he posts this page. So just people can see what's going on. You're born and raised here like me. Mardi gras is ingrained in you I missed out on a lot being a cpa for twenty five years but still always had my day or you found an night to take the kids to a ninth grade downtown and you know who can enjoy mardi gras ball. Oh yeah and i would think that togetherness is bring into the communities as well it really is and even my neighborhood Neighborhood association has not traditionally done this but now because of all of this is going to hire a couple of brass bands on a couple different days that weekend and have them just walk around the neighborhood so that families can just sit on the porch and get a sense of the music right. I mean that's the way we haven't really talked about is the musician. Yeah yeah so you have the brass band. Just walk through the neighborhood and let people be out and celebrating mardi gras safely and your pod if you need but Still get that the joy of the sounds of mardi gras swell well down. Well if we ever it's hard to get people to come down there but there was a bow wherever monica operate in called ore are and so we're all you know. One of the neighbors put out that he's on the corner and that's where we all gather and he said no prayed. I'm so sad. I said well. Can we come down through the cul de sac. you know just had. The grandkids are kids. Llandough with is just you know we have throws. I'd say you said has a ton forty houses that are doing this. So is there a day. That's more encouraged to come out at others like mardi gras day. Well great question and we do have a private group for all the folks who've registered and they're currently voting and i think what we're gonna do is Encourage folks to do tours. On saturday february thirteenth and or mardi gras day Some people don't have mardi gras day off some do and so that would be a great day to participate. So either saturday the thirteenth or tuesday the sixteenth. I just had this mental picture of may be in the back of my husband's truck with the grandkids and we're throwing out throws that we didn't get to use the homeowners. Who did this but then it hit me slap in the face. I was listening to one. Oh six point. Five this morning with dan and dalton and josh woods was on the grounds And i'd seen his cow picture on facebook. He's got a cow is afloat though the calendar and doesn't everybody have one and so what they're doing is they're taking. You can nominate your neighborhood. And this morning. He said they're going to pick two to three. They have never had a marching band. Wow they have. I don't know how many floats all socially distance but you walk out in your yard and they're gonna to. They said secretly notify the neighbourhood said impact up. Somebody will come out of their houses. Their floats go when they're going to be doing throws off of it. I'm went josh. would you were just. It's a brilliant idea. I could say like it said on the ankle. Henry show george woods. Well it's just another example of being creative and bringing gras to the people vs the people to mardi gras. I love mobile due to all right. So how does somebody find out more information the map. Where do they go on the web. So our website is mobile. Porch parade dot com. We're also on facebook and instagram. And we encourage people to tag us or use the hashtag mobile porch parade in any photos that they posted. That's what they what they search. Is bill torrey. All right guys you heard it will also put it in the links to the show for you and i wanna go ahead do much years early all right. Let's cheers to people like you. Stacey that are creative and just want to reach out create happiness and cheers to mobile changed. Mobile mardi gras. I agree with you cheers. Thank you so much for coming back on the show. Thank you for having me. I always enjoy it good times. Good times happy. Mardi gras everybody. Please be sure to subscribe to cheers to business. Podcast on itunes or anywhere else that you get your podcast visit our facebook and be sure to give us a like and if you have any questions or topics you'd like us to discuss. Shoot us and from the website cheers to business dot com.