#83 Shoot for the Moon: Houston Quilt Market – Our third year!

In sticking with the flavor of my blog: shooting for the moon – you might be wondering:

How do I feel about going to market for my third year? 

Well the answer to that is multifaceted.

As far as preparation.. we are much better prepared than the previous two times.We know exactly what to bring and how to get it there cost effectively. We ship all of our show materials to the Hotel. Then we just take it to the convention hall when we arrive. We rent the hall booth poles. I have all of my work mounted on canvas backdrops. We simply thread the canvas cloth over the booth frame and the booth is up.  We carry all the quilts on canvas with us on the plane. This time we have four sales people and a double booth. Traveling with four allows us to carry two pieces of luggage each. So we tell everyone they are limited to one suitcase and we use everyones’ extra suitcase for the quilts. You can pack up to 50 lbs. per suitcase. We take a non-stop to Houston from Baltimore as we feel there is a better chance the checked luggage will not get lost in a transfer. We stay in a Residence in a few block from the Convention Center. It includes a very nice hot breakfast. Our room is a 2 bedroom with will accommodate all of us in one unit, again in trying to control expenses.

As far as mental state….we are much better than the previous years. I am not really nervous at all. I will be giving two school house presentations. One will be our school house with the topic being “How to make Block of the Month Programs Profitable”. The other will be done for The Warm Company on My technique of Raw edge Applique. I am all prepared. My only concern is the attendance. The economy is making shop owners really think twice about going to market. I know one of my favorite shops – Patches in Mt Airy said they are skipping this year because it is just too expensive.

As far as my product line… we are VERY excited about all the new stuff being shown in Houston this year! We will be showing our new Basket Blooms, which is my florals arranged in traditional blocks with bias woven baskets. It is stunning! We also have ALL 50 State in panels and minis. We also are introducing our 2012 BOM program… Holiday Houses. I just finished my first month – October. It is completely done – samples, pattern, instructions and packaging!! It will be a collection of 12 different 12 x 14.5″ hangings – one for each month with a Holiday victorian house or building featured. They are a TON of fun and great for embellishment.

October Holiday House from Zebra Patterns

October Holiday House from Zebra Patterns

Basket Blooms

As far as overall….we are very proud of how far we have come. We have promptly responded to our customers by providing all 50 states and two more BOM programs. We look forward to a good show and new possibilities for the continued growth and success of Zebra Patterns.

Where can you fine us? Booth 2247-49

Hours
Sat., Oct. 29 – 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 30 – 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 31 – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

International Quilt Market/Houston*
October 29-31, 2011
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, Texas
*Trade show only. Not open to the general public.

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