After the Minneapolis market the number of shops participating in the 2015 Row by Row Experience™ breaks the 2,700 mark! That is crazy right?
20 May 2015 6 Comments
Spring Market was CRAZY from the viewpoint of travel for Gary and I. Here is the wrap up!
We left Wednesday last week at 4pm for a 6pm flight. We got on the plane and sat in the plane with mechanical problems until 9pm! Then everyone had to deplane. Our 6 bags of quilts were still on the plane. That was our entire booth! We were told “they will get to you in MN.” WHAT???? Nothing we could do about it so we went home.
There were no connections at 9pm – so we had to take a 60.00 taxi home only to come back at 4am on Thursday morning. Thursday we drove in at 4am for a 5:30 am plane. We get up at 3 to get this flight. We arrive in MN at 12:30pm. Our 6 bags are sitting in a hallway next to baggage claim. Really? My whole booth and all my samples just sitting unattended???? We got to the convention center around 1pm. We had to attend a schoolhouse at 5. We finally got out and all set up by 9:30 pm.
The show was very good and extremely busy for Zebra for products and for FabricPlates™. Overall the vendor list seemed light to me along with attendance. I made some good connections and got a lot of future planning and partnering done.
I walked the show and my impression was that there was a lot of wool and primitive booths. That may be due to the part of the country – being cold – wool is popular. There was a good amount of modern and a variety of other booths. I did not notice a lot of clothes or aprons as in previous years. I did notice that many booths were smaller than usual. Sewing machine companies and distributors had smaller spaces. It is so expensive to vend at these shows that they almost force vendors to jam into small spaces. There was a lot of open space on the ends of the hall.
Our booth was rocking the entire show! Our best sellers were Skinny Barns/Where Ya Been? and Stamp panels. Holiday Houses are still holding their own. We also had TREMENDOUS interest in Robin the Bobbin. Check out the Robin the Bobbin page on Facebook to see what the country is starting to post. Get in on the fun and get your Robin done now before the 2015 Row by Row Experience ™.
The show ended on Sunday at 4. We broke down and were back in the room by 7. Not bad. We had a 5am flight home Monday. We had taken a super shuttle from airport to the hotel. We paid for a round trip. We schedule our pick up at 3:30am and shuttle arrived on time – YEA! We loaded our huge 6 bags and our 2 small cases. Then the driver says we owe him money for too much luggage. WHAT? He wanted 10.00 for every big bag. That was 60.00 extra! #SCAM – so we told him – we paid for a round trip. He says “there is not enough space for all our luggage” – which is IN HIS VAN. Then he says if we pay an extra 60.00 it will be ok? REALLY? So to make a long ugly story short – everything gets pulled out of the van and we have to call a taxi – for another 40.00!!!! OMG! I am getting out of the cab and I open the door and my computer case strap brushes my ear and pulls out my earring and it falls down a grate in the pavement into the abyss! At that point I yanked the other and just threw it down there too! I figured if anyone ever found them – they might as well have a pair! LOL
We get to the airport and my text boarding pass on my phone is gone! It was there earlier and now gone. So I go back to check in counter downstairs and stand on long line and get a paper pass. Back to security I go with the new paper pass! OK – Finally got through security and to the gate. We boarded the plane and we were on our way. We got up to cruising altitude and it got very cold for the two hour+ flight. We are all in short sleeves. It was freezing! Everyone starts complaining and the flight attendant says the air is stuck. We all freeze for at let 75% of the fight. It had to be 60 degrees! Finally the flight attendant gets it to shut off and then it gets to be like 85 degrees! At this point it is just a bad joke! Finally we arrive in Baltimore. My luck changes and as soon as I get to baggage claim – my bags come off the bag carousel. There is a bell hop right there to help and Gary goes to get the car! YEA! Off comes 5 of my 6 bags of quilts – and the carousel stops! YEP! They lost one bag! REALLY? Over to the claims line I trotted. I waited on the line to make the claim. After 30 minutes I make the claim and start for curb. Announcement – there was a luggage jam for our flight – the luggage is coming up now. So – back to carousel and there it is! Whew! Thank goodness!
We drive home exhausted. It is now about 4pm. We get home and see that out 20 foot Peach tree is snapped off into our pool fence. There is an entire pallet of plastic bags that we use for pattern packaging in the upper driveway soaked through in saggy broken corrugated boxes. 35,000 Bags! The dishwasher tray is broken. The ice maker in the kitchen is jammed. And our 18 year old had senior skip day at our pool with 50 seniors! It was a crazy day. By the time we get everything sorted out – we were ready for bed. We unloaded bags and we transferred the pallet of bags for packaging into new containers. We head upstairs to bed – and NO AC! It was 80+ degrees that day and it was 87 degrees upstairs! REALLY????
Last straw is that I check my email and see my entire email program – Outlook – has corrupted all my email files! I have no email from the past 5 days! I hate OUTLOOK! It is sooooo unstable on a Mac! Luckily I have ways to recoup the FabricPlate™ files – but the rest is gone. We tried everything.
All said and done – Today was a new day! Crazy right? I always get reminded that all of that stuff is just bumpy waters. I know what real troubled waters are – and that was childsplay! Nothing like a dose of cancer to put all these little trials into perspective. #grateful
02 May 2015 1 Comment
SHARE!!!BREAKING NEWS from Row by Row!!!! Be sure your local shop is in it! Share the news! Quilters UNITE!
Can you believe it? 2,500 shops signed up for this summer’s Row by Row Experience™! So exciting! Jim Collins the popular business strategy author talks about creating BHAGs- BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOALS – and we created a BIG ONE – and it is coming to fruition. The best thing about the whole program is that it was founded by Janet Lutz a shop owner in Syracuse. The FabricPlates™ came along a year or so after in NY. Then we did plates in NY and PA. Last year was 34 states and Ontario – and this year is all 50 states and most of Canada!n It is unreal to think when Zebra started plates with an invitation from Janet just a couple of years ago there were less than 100 shops! Last year there were 1,200 shops and today Janet sent an email that said we toped 2,500 and still growing! What a BHAG!!!!! Please spread the word! Copy the graphic – and share! QUILTERS UNITE!!!!
29 Apr 2015 1 Comment
Last month I was interviewed by Schmetz Needles and I will be featured in their monthly e-zine. Here is a sneak Peak!