Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Market Hangover

If you can imagine building a store from the ground up, stocking it, staffing it and displaying it down to the last detail and then ripping it all apart a mere 3 days later, all while your competition does exactly the same thing just inches away, you have the basic idea of Quilt Market. I creted a little video that shows from the start of set up in the Timeless booth to the final prep before the shop owners arrive, but I'm having a hard time getting it to load. (maybe later?). It is unbelievable when you think of the amount of work that goes into each and every booth space.

In addition to working the sales floor and shopping for new items, we have the opportunity to attend Schoolhouse the day before Market opens. This is an all day event where you have about a dozen different presentations to choose from every 15-30 minutes from the top names in the industry.

Although most of my day is taken up presenting those sessions for Timeless I usually try to squeeze into at least a few of the other offerings. Amy Butler offered information on items from her upcoming home decorating line and some fashion patterns for her clothing line. Her product and lifestyle will be featured in everything from European Vogue to Better Homes and Gardens in the next several months. She is red hot right now, especially with the younger set. My 17 year old was extremely impressed when she found out that I've met her in person. Apparently knowing Amy elevates my "cool" factor as a Mom! Although Amy is very nice, my favorite compliment was after my talk on marketing a group of owners stayed to tell me that I was better than Mark Lipinski. Although we have absolutely nothing in common, for some reason Mr. Lipinski is considered a heavy hitter in the quilt world, so I guess that' saying something.

I also sat in on Terry Atkinson's session on her new book "Let's Do Lunch". I have a love hate relationship with Terry. I love her books (and most of my customers do too). They are simple, well organized and professionally done. I also "hate" the fact that they are so simple from a "why didn't I think of that" perspective. As a shop owner I can tell you right now that "Let's Do Lunch" will be on the top 10 best seller list in a matter of weeks, it's THAT good.

One of the best parts of Market is that there are amazing quilts EVERYWHERE. Sometimes they are so crammed together that you cant possibly appreciate each and everyone of them. These photos are of the Hoffman booth. Check out that Mariners Compass Lone Star that is made from batiks. The photo does not do it justice. The other photo is one small section of the rest of their booth and there are several hundred booths!

The absolute WORST part of Market is the return home. We refer to it as "market hangover". Drinking need not be involved. Adjusting to a new time zone, decompressing from the hectic schedule and all that visual stimulation along with sorting through the paperwork for what you bought or didn't buy is enough to deal with.

I was thinking that in the next few days I could take the time to get back into my regular routine when a package arrived with strike-offs for the fabrics that they are considering for NEXT market. I started to complain to my husband when he pointed out that this IS my regular routine. He's right and I love every minute of it!


Anonymous said...

Karen ~ I couldn't want to read your blog after your return from Market. True to form you've whetted our appetite for what will be showing up at the shop. THANK YOU for doing what you do and making your shop a favorite place. You may love what you do ... WE love that you love your job!

Mabel said...

I was enjoying your ramblings about Spring Market until I read your statement about Mark Lipinski.

I found it a bit odd. Why would you consider that statement a compliment when it's like comparing apples to oranges? Everyone has their styles and frankly, no one can be compared to Mark.
Why would those shop owners stay behind just to tell you that? That's just plain wierd.

You both do your own thing and that's perfectly fine.

Karen said...

Mabel - I probably should have mentioned that between my sessions, which are scheduled at the end of the day, while I am waiting for the people to fill in, I always ask the crowd about the best presentation that they have heard that day. Normally they share a variety of ideas. This session a smattering of people shouted out M.L.'s name an nothing else, indicating that up until then nobody could come close to his presentation. The goal of Schoolhouse is to provide quality information, inspiration and get people excited for the Market experience. To me, their comments after my talk meant "job well done" and that I had given them what they needed.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that Mark and I have different styles and I am quite happy to let him do his thing.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful website, you and your artistic and business ventures prove your success. However, I do agree w/Mabel's comments. When it comes to quilting, let's leave out the "oneupmanship" - there is room for both of you at the top. Let's save the preening and horn-tootin to those w/hungry egos.