What can I say - my First Market is over and I had a blast. You think this is fun -OK - so it is, but the fun comes with a price. Setting up a booth, tearing down a booth and all the walking. The walking would kill you. I keep forgetting to look at my FitBit at the end of the day but I am sure the numbers are high.
I started the day off with a class from Prym on Espadrilles. The kit they offered was packed with Prym supplies. Everything was there. These early morning classes are so worth the $10. I've made new friends while I was here and of course saw some shop owners from back home. I walk into the class room and there is Sue from Thimbles and Things (existing friend) and Joyce and Gina ( new friends). We all sat together at the back of the room. The espadrilles are a neat concept - they only gave us size 7 soles. They thought that was a normal size. I don't think so - we all wanted 8s or 9s!
While Gina and Joyce actually sewed their espadrille together - Sue and I took notes and chatted. I didn't want a half finished shoe to take home. But I think Thimbles and Things might bring in the soles - anyway - I will find someone who will bring in the soles or I'll buy it wholesale. They were cute and pretty easy to put together. Again - I took a sewing kit (as instructed) but didn't need it for any of the classes I was taking.
Back to the booth and onto the floor. I had one meeting all day, but stopped to visit many booths. Cards would get dropped off in the booth of people who wanted to ask questions and I'd zip over to see them. I don't think that I ever did get down all the aisles - there were so many of them. And the quilt exhibits????? Didn't even see any although I did nip in through the exhibits on my way to the floor. That is for preview night on Wednesday.
I saw some great designs, some great patterns and am so inspired that I need to get home NOW so I can sew. I suppose I could whip out my EQ7 on my laptop and cut and paste fabric and design that way. A lot of great talent for sure. Some of the designers get it and some don't.
I also saw the most amazing fabric that I want. I have to remember to get to her booth when Festival opens because I think it will go fast. Should I tell you???? Come on - not hard to guess. Yup orange bicycle fabric. And so darn cute. This one is actually available NOW.
I think I did pretty well with Market - I only used my credit card ONCE and I still have cash in my pocket. Now granted - most of the vendors did not sell retail. They were here to sell to stores, but I did pick up a few exciting goodies. So hard to take picture of everything to post - so will try and do that when I get home.
Susan asked me that if I saw Alex Anderson to stop and talk to her, get an autograph or whatever. I knew that Alex is promoting Floriani products. A line of fusibles, stabilizers and battings. Hmmmmm as I was zipping around - is that Alex??? I was trying to inconspicuously check her name tag, but it was hidden in her jacket. Crap- then they asked me if I wanted a demo of the products. And I asked if she was Alex. Oh yes - I'm NOT a celebrity spotter!!! Yes - it was Alex. Well - I asked for a picture with the two of us which she did no problem and then I said I would go back because I had an appointment at the booth. I did go back and Alex herself gave me a demo of the new products. Also got samples for my quilt stores back home. I rather like the new products - I had purchased some of them while doing Row by Row this past summer. Now I must dig them out and use them.
I think I am going to have to give up teaching (wait!!!) -- I really need some time to explore all these new concepts and ideas and well you know that time is limited so it is hard to find time to explore. No - I can't give up teaching - whatever possessed me to say that. Well - I will find a way to incorporate it into my day job. Using these products with Northcott fabrics. But it is time to STOP hoarding this new stuff. I won't be able to grow if I stay in a rut.
I saw Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket but I didn't chat to her. So many people and designers - I can't even begin to mention them all.
Then comes tear down. Oh boy - what a huge job, but we had 15 people to help - I didn't count, but that is what I heard. It took us two hours to tear down and two hours to pack the crates. That place is a zoo when tear down happens. They did not roll up the carpet, so when the crates started being brought back out - the forklifts went right over the carpet. Didn't seem to damage it. Of course - the crew was bringing out every other company's crate but not ours. The last thing we wanted was to have everything taken down and no crates to pack. Just as we were finishing the tearing down, the crates arrived. The timing could not have been more perfect.
It is a huge job - a physical job and I am so thankful for all the sales reps who stayed behind to help us out.
Having a crate to ship stuff home is a great thing. I had amassed a big pile of paper and stuff and there was no way I was taking that on the plane. I found a box and filled the box - taped it up and loaded it on the crate. So I just have to take home whatever I find at Market and since Rich is going to be walking the floor with me and we have ONE DAY - I won't be buying much. Of course - our badges are good for Thursday and I still have Friday here so I might pay the price for a single day and come back. But most good stuff will be gone by then so that is a good thing!!!!
When I went back to the AQS booth to pay for and pick up my new books, someone had walked off with one of them. I paid for it and they will ship it to me.
Let's just say that it's a good thing they don't allow pets at the show. Why you ask??? Well as we were packing up - there was a booth beside us and for some reason they had a beautiful bouquet of red roses. The red roses got left on the table after they left. Some asked me if I wanted the roses for my room since I was staying here. Why not - so I brought the roses to the hotel, got a water jug from the restaurant and now I have a beautiful bouquet in my room. I brought back all the leftover snacks - there were not many so I have some munchies for the evenings and there was a pashmina hanging around our booth. Of course - it was still there when we were packing. I checked it out. I thought someone had left it in our booth and we were waiting for them to come back. NO - turns out that someone dropped it while walking past our booth. So technically - it should have went to the lost and found. So I came home with that as well. Too late to take to Lost and Found. So yes - it was a good thing there were no lost puppies because I would have brought it home as well.
It was great fun meeting all the sales reps. Oh boy - some of them are quite the characters. I won't mention any names to protect their innocence, but they know who they are. It was great fun and thanks so much all your wit (Shirley!) Just way more fun to know who you are talking to on the phone or e-mail.
One thing I noticed is that there are NO security guards at the convention center. This seems a bit strange since the place is massive. Nope - they have real POLICE patrolling the place. Seriously - we saw the Sheriff or perhaps the person was from the Sheriff's office, but there are full fledged Houston police officers. When we got back from packing up the crates, we all had dinner together in the restaurant. Towards the end of the dinner, Debbie gets the giggles and well - it is quite the giggle. I had noticed that there were two police officers in the bar area. Of course - they were off duty - we can't have officers of the law drinking on the job or perhaps they were drinking water. Anyway - when Debbie starts laughing and we were all having a fit ourselves, one of the officer comes into the restaurant to see what the commotion was about. Oh yes - it was a very funny moment!!!
I think that is enough rambling for today. Today is going to be so darned quiet - I won't know what to do with myself.
But I better get my butt in gear and get over to the convention center.
Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!