Sunday, August 23, 2009
Philadelphia folks are SERIOUS about their beads!
What a trip it's been, and it's not over yet. I still have Sunday at the Expo Hall, and then the madness of packing the remains up in a semi-organized manner when the party ends at 5pm. One more night in the hotel and lastly a non-stop (bliss!) flight home to be reunited with the family - human and furry alike.
My flight here was a breeze...I didn't get lost with my rental car. Thank you Verizon Navigator (GPS)!! I found the mall where I could purchase the cell phone charger I forgot at home, the bed risers I use to raise the table height up that I forgot at home, and a lovely dinner from The Cheesecake Factory. I might have accidentally walked through the Nordstrom's Rack store too, but didn't find anything to buy there. Or maybe I dreamed that part. And I also stopped at a grocery store to grab some Diet Coke which I mainline into my veins as well as general munchies for the show. I'm really glad I did, too, because I've been too busy at the booth to run and get lunch each day. The munchies help me through until my one evening meal.
I spent Thursday putting some last minute kits together. I created two new colorways for Piazza Perline the night before I left that look great, so those kits needed assembly. There were also extra Butterfly Kisses and Hollywood Hula Hoops to make. The extra day in Philly was a bit of an extravagence, but it was nice and I think I used the time well. Originally I'd scheduled myself to get in that early because I was teaching a class on Thursday afternoon, but the Thursday class got cancelled because of low enrollment.
The Friday Piazza Perline class, however, was another story! We ended up with 14 in class, and I think an excellent time was had by all. I know I did! As per usual, I laughed and joked around the entire time. The ladies were great sports and played right along with me. I love a good class with energy!!
So after a solidly busy Friday at the Expo Hall during the day, and the class from 5-8pm, I stopped by the Meet the Teachers Event to talk with some folks for a little while. Why wasn't I showing my kits at Meet the Teachers, you might ask?? In a word, exhaustion. Well, that plus I didn't feel like I had time to get my class ended at 8pm, pull all my kits and samples from the Expo Hall in one hotel to the Meet the Teacher's Ballroom in the other, attached hotel, and set up and be ready to go by 8:30. Additionally the event didn't get done until 11pm, at which time I would have had to do a reverse schlepping of all the materials back to the Expo Hall to open on Saturday morning. I figured it would have ended up being around an 18 hour day in total for me, and honestly I didn't have the energy for it when I was going to be faced with two more days yet in the Expo Hall. Next year, I plan on having Mom with me to help with the booth and logistics so I can participate.
I got the opportunity to catch up with several of the Interweave Magazine editors - Denise Peck from Step by Step Wire, Leslie Rogalski from Step by Step Beads, and Melinda Barta from Beadwork. I've promised some submissions to some of them, and I'll be working on figuring out just the right projects in the next few weeks. It's been quite a while since I did any magazine publication work, and it's well past time.
Saturday's crowds at the Expo were just awesome. I'm so happy to see that in a time of financial crunch, people are still spending on the hobby that gives us all much comfort and peace. Certainly I can see that that they're watching their purchases a little more carefully. Planning. Bringing lists instead of buying everything that takes their fancy. Perhaps buying a pattern instead of the kit. Overall, however, my sales are up significantly over last year, and while I thought I came here better prepared with a larger quanity of kits, I still find myself sold out of several kits and patterns going into the last day. I'm not complaining! I just hate to disappoint anyone who wants to walk away with a certain goody.
I'ts 3:15am now and I'd better get back to bed. I crashed at 8pm Saturday night and slept until 1am. Got up to catch up on email and news and such. I fell asleep earlier to the sound of a lovely rain storm...a sound I haven't heard in many months in Texas. Saturday was the 63rd day this summer of 100+ degree days, and the all time record is only 69 days. Clearly, we'll be breaking it shortly. How I long to feel a cool evening breeze...