Shoot for the Moon #27

COUNTDOWN! to Houston

I am so tired! I have been going flat out getting ready for Houston. For those of you who know me – you might be surprised to hear this – but I am spent! Gary just left with a pallet of patterns and booth supplies to be trucked to Houston. I just folded over 300 printed panels and stuffed them in packaging.

How hard was getting ready for Houston – compared to getting ready for Spring market? Ahhh – 10 times as hard! Of course since spring market – only 6 months ago I have added 12 new products! That is nuts! It was so much easier going to Pittsburgh. We were able to load everything in the car. We had the van in Pittsburgh. Now we have to fly down. We have to rent a car. We have to ship all the booth and patterns. We have arranged for some great friends to help out in the booth. I will be there for 11 days. 3 days of market will be followed by 5 days of festival. I spoke with a customer today about Festival – she said to expect to sell 10x as much in Houston than you do at a regular show. That is nuts! We will see.

What can I say at this point about going National – as a pattern maker? It is a TON of work, physically and mentally. It is a HUGE investment. Easily it is a $10,000.00 venture to get enough product, advertise, pay expenses and get everything in place to start to handle volume on a national level. The toughest part is that you need to have enough patterns to be viable nationally, yet not so much product that you go broke. It is a delicate balancing act with no instructions or handbook. I need to take a break and refuel and go back at it in the morning.

Am I having any doubts? While I am generally optimistic and positive, it is very scary to have invested so much time effort and money. I am sure this is what every entrepreneur goes through when starting a business.I think right now I am so tired that I cannot even think too much about all the doubts. It is time to breath and refocus and balance to get ready mentally for the show.

How’s the Barn/Studio?
They are installing the sinks and have fixed the torn up yard and seeded. The carpenter installed hinges and doorknobs after giving the doors their final painting. I have been so busy that it has been hard to even get out there each day to see what progress has been made.

Homepage/New Patterns and Quilting Arts Article If you have not seen my home page – check it out. http://www.zebrapatterns.com. You will see all my new patterns and printed panels. There is now a wholesale ordering page and my latest article is out in Quilting Arts! If you do not get that magazine there is a pdf of the article on my homepage below the new product – check it out!

How is the Keepsake Catalog order doing? They have reordered two of my four patterns and Houston should really boost the sales by continuing to introduce Zebra to the market.

How is the family doing? My oldest, Brooks, Has been to SC, FL and tonight he is going to Notre Dame on swim recruiting trips. He is finding out that traveling to school via airplane is not quite as much fun as he thought it would be! He is exhausted. My middle and youngest (Austin and Cole) ran their fist ever triathlon and they both came in first place! They loved it and plan to try it again! Austin is LOVING every minute of High School. Cole is doing great in 7th grade and is very happy that basketball is cranking up again. He has been playing soccer since August. Gary has been working hard at his job and enjoying watching the barn being built. I just got back from a speaking engagement in NY with my sister on Cancer. We also has a Quilt show this past weekend that we were vended at. It was the debut of the printed panels – Everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED them!

Whats on the agenda? My list for the last few days before the show in Houston is as follows:

1. Finish 6 panels – quilting, embellishing and binding.

2. Finish 3 Stamps (MD, America, TX) – quilting and Binding

3. Make three catalogs of all the product line into a laminated book for show.

4. Pack and get all small details for show rapped up.

5. Possibly make sample of California Stamp – which is done – just not made up.

6. Possibly make the secret pouch I have been working on since spring  – I already have orders for it!

7. If I have time – take a big nap!

(Of course that is the agenda – bag lunches still need to be made, we have soccer and swimming, dinners and all the other daily life stuff!)

Keep tuned – Might write again before Market!

If you are reading this and are coming to market –

we are at BOOTH 2031! Come see us!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Linda S
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 18:12:58

    A great big virtual hug for you, Deb!! Hand in there — and remember what I said about financing.

    🙂 Linda

    Reply

  2. zebrapatterns
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 19:06:56

    Thanks Linda!

    Reply

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