All Done With The Show!!
Well, tear down of a show never takes as long as set up! The girls are just giddy with glee that now 2 days of family time begins. The weekend was a good mix of wonderful stuff and challenges. There is nothing like being at a show to really get a chance to build relationships with the shop owners and fellow designers, to get a much broader perspective of the industry that you see in your city, state/province or country. People help each other, offer advice, exchange ideas etc. in a way that you just can't do via e-mail or in chat rooms.
I've learned so many things this weekend that it almost makes my head spin. I've played with a punchneedle, fondled new fiber colours, been inspired by some of the energy of new designers, helped some exhibitors get the answers they need about coming up to Canada for the show in Toronto and had wonderful chats with lots of old friends.
I've also had moments of trying to explain to my daughter why some shops don't want to carry fantasy designs or wander into our room. She personally thinks that every shop owner should have at least wandered in for a peek (and she might be right because only 2 of the 4 new designs were fantasy). Could I have wished for better sales? The shop owners that attended came to buy and I was very pleased with that, especially since there was less competition from other vendors this year! But if you loose too many exhibitors, shops wonder if they should bother coming, so it becomes a bit of a chicken and egg syndrome.
Many ideas were bandied about for next summer and that seems a long way off right now. Since TNNA has moved the show back to the first part of June, it might be more feasible to try going back to Columbus and I already spoke with one shop owner there to arrange some stuff.
I got to talk to the shop owner in Lakeland that we'll visit with when we are down in Florida for March Break. The stores that brought back the gold coins I handed out in Nashville were thrilled with their treasures. The response to the Evening Dragon chart was priceless, so as soon as I get home I will post the list of which shops attended. The class I taught on the Importance of Cross Crafting was well received and all of the store owners thanked me for helping them think "outside the box"... so all in all, I am glad I came to the show. I'm just a bit tired from the business side of things and looking forward to playing with my girls for a few days!
One of the nicest gifts we received was from a friend of one of our "show neighbour". Their daughter was out with a friend and told them that we were taking the girls to Carowinds tomorrow. She works at the park and is often given comp tickets for working overtime, so sent two FREE tickets to us for the girls. They were so thrilled, they just about hugged her to pieces when she came to help them with teardown this afternoon!
People are what remain at the heart of this industry... and there are some darned cool ones involved!