We all know that little girl, the one who dresses in a blue dress, dancing around her playroom or reverently watching the television. She is dreaming of being Cinderella or better still meeting her. Then one magical day her parents take her to DisneyWorld and it happens! They meet!
Maybe it is an unfair comparison to compare Amy Appleton Venu and Ilana Grostern to Cinderella; I mean Cinderella is an easy second! But seriously, as I became aware of the AppleCheeks brand, I became aware of the owners/inventors as well. First it thrilled me when I got a comment or a like from one of them on an AppleCheeks chat board, then came the magical day when they accepted my friend request, I felt so special. I gradually felt I began to get to know them through online interaction, and I began to feel sure they at least knew my name. Then came the astounding day when Ilana asked me to become and official ambassador! I was bowled over and felt so honoured and special! Now I was sure they knew who I was!
Then the fates aligned and we were headed right through Montreal on our way to Ontario. I sent a message and sure enough they were glad to have us visit! I was going to DisneyWorld! I agonized over what we would wear: plain clothes, or risk looking like a pathetic superfan and wear AC gear. DUH! Into the suitcase went all of our AppleCheeks clothes ( along with our entire size 2 stash, we were gone for a while!)
Once the trivial things were settled, I was off! When you drive towards DisneyWorld you are greeted by consecutively larger signs clearly telling you that you have on no uncertain terms arrived at “The Happiest place on earth”. But it is not so for AppleCheeks headquarters. We followed our unfailing GPS (affectionately known as Maggie) to a very unassuming building. I had confirmed the address with Ilana just that morning so I knew we were in the right place. I swear my eyes can spot an AppleCheeks diaper a mile away on a foggy day and sure enough they did again! On one little unassuming window, I spotted a little “AppleCheeks are sold here” sign, which I had previously seen only on retailers doors.
time! I am dying to have one (or two, or six) of my own! I also saw mountains of AppleCheeks just sitting there, which of course set my heart a-flutter!
But seriously, once I got over being start-struck, I have never met such natural, lovely, friendly, kind women. We stayed and chatted ceaselessly for a good hour. Amy had a great conversation with my Father-in-Law, one entrepreneur to another, while Ilana tirelessly pushed Evie around on her ergonomic chair. They were in love with Evie and she loved them back (especially after they fed her fruit!). Even DH got a “thumbs up” of approval on a successful and correct diaper change. My in-laws, who were once passive fans of AppleCheeks, are surely now inspired to become active! My Mother-in-law was inspired to join AppleCheeks Anonymous the very next day.
After the little girl has visited Cinderella, she gathers her wand, plastic “glass slippers” and her memories. She packs them away and treasures them and brings them out on a rainy day to think of and brighten her outlook. I can now think back on what a singularly special time I had in Montreal. I met two ladies of whom I was a great fan; I think I can now be so bold as to call them great friends. AppleCheeks Headquarters may not be DisneyWorld, but I am not convinced it is not “The happiest place on earth” <3
-By Erin Smith