Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Hot New Thing!

As if by magic the convention center goes from a huge empty hall to this!
If you walk down the blue carpet starting at the lower left corner of the photo and make a left at the second corner you would be in our booth. If you made a right, you would be in the Timeless Treasures booth. Keep in mind that this photo only shows a portion of the sales floor!

At every Quilt Market there is always a buzz on the convention floor that starts sometime after lunch on the first day. Shop owners that are struggling to cover 26 aisles of merchandise start talking or asking each other about "the hot new thing". It can be anything from a new notion to a special buy on fabric to a technique that has been reinvented in a way that will inspire customers. There always seems to be something that everyone is talking about and there is no real way to predict what it might be.

We had an amazing first day in our booth. Standard procedure for shop owners is to walk the floor on day one without buying anything. Then after they have seen everything they formulate a plan and start to shop. At least that is the plan. I know it never works for us! Sometime on day one we begin to realize that if we want it, we want it. There is no reason to come back, we just get it when we see it. Many shop owners seem to feel the same way. Our pattern sales on day one far exceeded our expectations and people started to show up at the booth telling us that someone had sent them to check us out. Let the buzz begin!

By the end of day one, Debby looked at me and said "I think WE are the hot new thing!" and I think she was right! This was the first Market that we offered our full line of Button Pillow Patterns to the rest of the world. We sell tons of them here in the shop and we wholesale them on a very low key basis. We know they are wonderful, but it was very gratifying to find out that the rest of the world thinks so too! The small size, easy to accomplish patterns and the opportunity to try a little something new on a small project has a lot to do with their appeal. The thing that pushes them over the top is that we include all of the embellishments right inside the pattern. Buttons, beads, ribbon, whatever you need, it comes packed in the pattern. All for just $10 retail. The only thing you add is fabric!

We have 11 pillows in the series. If you want to check them out, you can see them all under the Button Pillow tab on our website at .

By the end of day two we had spoken to a magazine editor that ask me to design a pillow just for them. Several Media writers had stopped by to see what all the talk was about and Timeless informed me that they were going to have to air in additional fabric to handle the demand.

Please don't be concerned that all this popularity will go to my head. The world has a way of keeping me grounded. For example: Bernie, Debby and I stopped by the Quilts Inc Education Office to check on the location of my lecture. The Director of Education took one look at Bernie and said "I was in your store yesterday". Bernie, my friend from Florida replied "No, you were in Karen's store" and pointed to me. I had greeted this woman when she walked in the door. She looked me head to toe and said, "No, if you were there I don't remember you". Proving that I have no need for dark glasses.

Day three is always a slow day on the Market floor. People start to head home. It is the perfect time for buyers to visit and negotiate with vendors. It is also a great time to catch up with old friends in the industry. It was also the first time that Debby and I had a chance to sit and place fabric orders. I also snuck out to lunch with the other members of the My Quilt Village so that we could plan the next several months. There are going to be some interesting changes and some great offerings. Keep an eye on this blog for announcements.

Now that all the whoopla is over we are doing our best to catch up on our sleep and get back to the normal level of chaos around here. We have tons of orders to ship. I have lots of designing to do. I just booked my flight to New York to plan for October. Another week or two and we start this craziness all over again!

To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way!

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