How creativity works



Our new door

Our new door

So this is the story of how a little idea turns into a London Phone Booth.

Our building is plain beige and has two doors in the front.

I often have people choose the wrong door even with the arrow posted to show them the way.

So one day I decided to change the color of the door so I could say go to the “green door” or “blue door” or “red door”.

After some discussion we decided on red.  Plain red door, good enough – boom!  Let’s buy the paint and get started.

For those of you that have visited our office you know that plain is just not good enough, so I had to come up with something different.

Something out of the ordinary.

Voila’ why not make it look like a London phone booth.

With the help of Master Imagineer Erica George and spray painter extraordinaire Doug,  this baby was born.

How do you like it?

Have a Flan-tastic day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I love when a creative idea comes to life.  Warms my heart.


100 Day Challenge – Random Acts Of Kindness

Scatter Kindness

Note the semi-hidden hummingbird

Amazing Random Acts of Kindness. 

You are about to embark on an amazing journey through some heartfelt, thoughtful, creative and joyful random acts of kindness.  Each Act will be described by the challenge participant in their own words.  You will be able to feel the joy it brought to both the participant as well and the recipient.

Here is how it started:

On October 15, 2013 I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave myself a 100 Day Challenge. Each day for 100 days I asked a different person to do just one random act of kindness and then tell me about it. Simple enough, right? There were no rule, no expectations, just do something that would bring a smile to someone else.

I asked 16 men and 84 women if they would participate.  For the most part,  I asked only once and did very little follow-up or reminders.   The response was amazing.  I hope you enjoy following this blog to see what Random Acts of Kindness my family, friends and colleagues came up with.

To my surprise, many participants thanked me for including them in this challenge.  The THANK YOU goes to each one of you that took on your own challenge to make a difference.

THANK YOU for making the world a better place!

Today is the last day of this challenge, tomorrow the ripple effect begins. Enjoy! To view all 100 Random Acts click on the archive to the right of this post for January 2014, February 2014, March 2014 and April 2014.

If you would like to follow this journey, check back or subscribe over on the right column to receive email notifications.

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I was not completely comfortable doing this challenge.  I  felt like I was imposing on their busy lives and didn’t want anyone to feel obligated. 


Pardon our construction

Pardon our construction


We do not have a very big reception area so there didn’t seem to be much we could do to remodel except paint, hang some pictures and keep it neat and clean. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I was frustrated with that.  What could we do with a small area that would make it different?  A place that was not like every other business in town.

We did not start with the complete vision, things just began to evolve.

First the wall, then the awnings and then the lamp-post.  It began to take on an outdoor feel indoor.

~~ It takes a village to raise a child. ~~

At Flanagin’s it takes a child to build a village.

Are you with me?

Tomorrow,  the idea comes to life.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I enjoy resale shops and garage sales. 

Strange inspiration


I walked past this piece at the resale shop three times before it hit me.

It was only $25.00 and it was perfect for our vision.

It is one of the focal pieces of the remodel.

What on earth could we be doing with an old mirror? Any ideas?

Do you have any guesses yet on the overall look of the remodel?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  My husband ran over my class ring with a bulldozer by accident when we were dating.  I married him anyway! 🙂

Disney Institute is Alive and Well in a Neighborhood Near You

The Disney Institute is alive and well and coming to Indianapolis on September 28, 2010.  To find out more click here.

Whether you tune into a Disney Institute WebCast, attend a workshop in your city, or immerse yourself in a multi-day program at a Disney Destination, the lessons are rooted in the time-tested visions and ideals of Walt Disney. As you “experience the business behind the magic,” you’ll discover  innovative training methods focused on three key program outcomes: Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application. These outcomes will clearly illustrate ways that you can adapt and apply these lessons into your organization. (excerpt from Disney Institute Website)

There are so many different options that it would be hard to discuss them all here, so I have included some easy links to more information about the Disney Institute Programs.

Disney Institute home page

D.I. Events

D.I. Locations

D.I. Pricing

D.I. Topics

D.I. Formats

If you have a hunger for all things Disney, I urge you to sign up for one of their world-class programs.  You will not be disappointed.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me: I struggle with exercise.

Popcorn in Paradise

2010 Kernel's Kup Award


Follow-up from Disney Institute – 76 Trombones.  2010 Parade them is Popcorn in Paradise.  

For those of you that read my previous post, we are proud to report that we just won the “Kernels Kup” award in the 2010 Valparaiso Popcorn Parade.   Another day of great memories.  

Have a wonder-filled day,  

Donna Flanagin  

Random me:  New York cherry ice cream is my favorite.  

The magic and enthusiasm of the Disney Institute workshop is over, now what? This blog is about exactly that,  for a small bulk mail business in Indiana.

Disney Institute – 76 Trombones

The Blueprint

Excitement is in the air. The street is lined with lawn chairs, blankets, strollers, eager children and everyone is straining to get the first glimpse of the approaching parade.   The scene is the same whether in rural Indiana or Orlando Florida.  Who doesn’t love a parade?

After attending the Disney Institute workshop, I re-evaluated the impact participating in a hometown parade could have on a local business.  How often do you have a captive audience of  thousands of onlookers, all waiting to see “you” ?  There is no question that it requires a commitment of time and money but how can you put a price on creating memories?

In 1979 Valparaiso gave birth to the first Popcorn Festival and Parade inspired by Orville Redenbacher, a Valparaiso native who became a household name with his very own brand of popcorn? 

Fast forward  to 2009, the theme for the parade is “Celebrate Valparaiso”.  It is our third time participating in the parade and we needed a float theme.  While looking through our vacation photos we realized that the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade could be the blueprint.   It was perfect.

With the creative brilliance of my daughter Erica, 7 gallons of colorful paint, carpet padding, carpet roll tubes,  hula hoops, vinyl flooring, cardboard boxes, lamp shades, and of course popcorn, my favorite float, to date, was born.

Our Interpretation

Check out the "centerpiece"

Doug's 1937 !!

We won the 2009  “Kernels Kup ” Award.

Stay tuned to find out if we can win an award for our wacky interpretation of this year’s theme “Popcorn in Paradise”.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random Me: I moved to Valparaiso IN in 1978.

The magic and enthusiasm of the Disney Institute workshop is over, now what? This blog is about exactly that,  for a small bulk mail business in Indiana.

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