Shoot for the Moon #26

Update on Progress for Houston

CRAZY! We are going crazy getting ready for Houston. Not only do we need to have everything ready to ship by Sept 30 (boxed and palleted) but I need to get as many new patterns done as possible. Today I am finally finishing the samples of America and Texas. I hope to get California and Maryland cut out and finalize the patterns to send off for printing. Don’t know if I mentioned this before or not but we are also rolling out a new product – pre-printed panels! They look awesome and are an excellent solution to letting beginner quilters get in on the “stamp” craze! I have my first shipment coming this week. Along with all this prep we have been getting help lined up for Houston. My good friend Dee (who owned Main Street Quilt Shop in Elkridge) is coming down with us and will help out for both festival and market). The coolest thing happened on facebook – my long time best childhood friend Peg lives in Houston and will be helping as well. How cool is that – that I met up with her on facebook! I just made a facebook account because I wanted to spy on my kids. Who knew I would reconnect to so many old friends? And if that is not enough I  have a friend of Gary’s coming from TN (Sandy) who will also lend a hand. That is great because with all the help it will afford me the time to see market as well.

Feelings about my first time at Houston

So what does it feel like to be going to Houston. It is certainly exciting but also nerve racking. When I went to Pittsburgh we had total control. We had our booth. all our patterns,  our rug, and everything else we needed in our hands. We drove. This time it is a 20+ hour drive so we have to fly. That means I have to ship everything, I have to rent booth supports for my walls, I have to rent a car etc… SO MUCH more complicated plus – expensive! Then it does not end with three days of market, five days of festival open to the general public follows. So that creates the question – how many patterns of each do we send? What should we ship and what should we carry on? YIKES! Gary has taken care of most of the logistics. Thank GOD! I am feeling okay about the experience of showing at market. Having the experience in Pittsburgh makes me know what to expect. The festival part is a bit overwhelming. We had to solve the problem of accepting credit cards. Do you know to buy a credit card terminal it costs upward of 1,000 dollars plus a large monthly fee? With much research Gary found a way to bypass the expensive route and get a great alternative for a fraction of the cost. It is hard to keep up with everything that is happening in today’s world.  Business is changing rapidly due to the crazy speed at which the internet and computers are restructuring how we all do things. It has been interesting starting a business in this whirlwind of transition. Luckily Gary and I are both proud Geeks! My website is so cool – you would not believe it. We just launched a wholesale ordering link! It is pass worded and automated. My site is very fast and comprehensive. It is really meant to be an online catalog for all customers and vendors. I am trying to breath deeply and keep moving forward.

I now know why there are so many pattern designers that must just fall by the wayside. Along with having a creative and diverse line you have to have substantial financial resources as well as a great deal of physical stamina. I often think – can I really make a good living selling patterns? I hope so – and I am going to give it everything I have to make it happen.

So what would going to Houston be without throwing in a few monkey wrenches? This weekend we have a local quilt show! Fri-Sunday in Anne Arundal County. On Friday my oldest son is flying off to Florida for a college recruiting trip. Sunday I have to drive to NY and leave my hubby at the booth alone to give a Cancer talk in NY with my sister. Now throw in that my two sons that will be home are competing in their first triathalon on Sunday morning – plus throw in a soccer game and a basketball game. I think this is called “Insanity”. LOL

The Barn

Sometimes I look out of my current studio and can not believe that I have a new beautiful studio almost done! It is crazy. Yesterday the painted the final coat of white on the walls and ceilings and they started the accent lime green on the end walls. It is always a bit scary to see the color you picked on a tiny little paint chip painted on huge spans of wall. I “think” it looks great! I will re evaluate tonight after the are done. I guess the floors are coming soon! Today we picked door handles and light fixtures. The Barn will be a great thing to return to after Houston – right now I have to work work work!

Metrothreads

This past weekend was our Metrothreads meeting. It is a regional group of close to 80 participants who get together quarterly for a art quilt show and tell. We had about 20 people show and it was an awesome meeting. Next meeting will be Jan 9, 2010 at my barn for a studio tour and meeting. Isn’t that cool?

Okay – better get back at it! Until next time. . .  Sorry no pix this time – just type.

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