Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Summit - and Other Stuff

Well, we're finally home from Sock Summit. What a trip, both figuratively and literally! Let's talk about it, shall we?

But first, more bad news. I just got a call from Mom telling me that my aunt has died. I called my cousin and talked to him for an hour. She had COPD and died peacefully in her sleep at 4:45 a.m. He's looking for her papers to see what her last wishes were. So far, he's found one from 2002 saying that she didn't want any services, just to be cremated and floated out on the Pacific Ocean. I don't know yet if I need to drive up there again or not. I didn't know she was so sick; otherwise, we would have gone to see her while we were visiting my mom. Glenn lives in the town next-door. We had left about two days too early. Glenn had moved her into his house and was using hospice. He was shocked when he found out I lived near Los Angeles. Anyway, I'll post if I need to leave again;

On to the show news.

Rather than rent one of those huge, uncomfortable trucks, we had a ball installed on our truck (it turns out that we had a towing package already installed on it - who knew?) and got a trailer instead. It was a lot less expensive, and Hubster was able to pack everything into it just fine. We bought those Space Bags - the ones you suck all the air out of with a vacuum cleaner - to put all the yarn in (worked like a charm and saved a lot of space), labeled the boxes we put everything else into, and just filled it up. Then we hooked it up to the truck and actually got out of here at a decent time.

We made it up to the Bay Area the first day and visited with my family. It was so nice to see them, and we got to spend a lot of time with the kids. Then it was off to Portland the next day. We made it up there by early evening, checked into our motel, and fell asleep pretty early. The next day, we slept in and then went over to the Convention Center to unload. I had a really difficult time with it. Hubster went over first to get started, and I tried to walk over (he got ready before me and wanted to started). I'm barely able to walk now, so I had to stop every few hundred feet to stop and rest. I finally made it over, and found that he had unloaded everything by that time. We went over so I could see the booth; I realized that we should have gotten twice to amount of space, so I freaked out about that. We were just leaving when I saw a petite, beautiful woman heading towards me. Who was it?


The first of my gang of miscreants had arrived! We slobbered all over each other, gave each other lots of hugs, and checked out each other's goodies. It was SO nice to finally meet her! We made plans to meet up the next day and headed back to our hotels.

The next day, we were at the Center bright and early to set up. This being our first show, we had no idea of what we were doing, but my boothmate, Kate of Spindle Cat Studio (also a show virgin) was there too; between me, her, and Hubster, we were able to get everything set up. I truly saw the need for more space then. Remember how I was so afraid that I wouldn't have enough stuff to fill the booth? Heh. I'll be renting two 10 ft. booths for Stitches West (yes, I'm doing that show). I think the booth looked great. Did I remember my camera? Nope. Did I remember my phone has a camera on it? Nope. Too much to think about. Then the classes let out, and it was show time for the students.

We had a good crowd, but nothing horrible. I figured the next day, we'd have a lot more people. Back to the motel for rest and then to the center the next day to meet the public.

I was shocked to find a huge line stretching down the aisle for my booth. They were there to buy the winning Ravelry yarn. I sold out of them in three minutes flat. Talk about bedlam! Then we got all the people who wanted it and whom we had to turn away (at least for those items). The booth was busy all day, though, and we sold a lot of things. Oh... you remember my using the iPhone as my credit card machine? It worked like a charm.

I heard a lot of vendors complaining about how slow it was, the lack of traffic and sales, and how the projected numbers were way off. What I noticed is that some booths had no business while others were constantly busy. I'm not sure why - there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for it, but it was true. We were truly blessed. In fact, I hardly got out to see any of the other booths. I did get to meet many of the other miscreants in my posse - Mrs. Q, Jen of Woolgirl, and a bunch of other broads (ladies? I think not), so I was a happy broad myself.

On one of the breaks I took, I ran into Ron from Buffalo Gold. After a smoking break conversation, he asked me if I would design socks for them. So now I'm the exclusive sock designer for BG and was sent home with a buffalo/bamboo blend to play with and come up with a design for them. I'll also be going to their ranch in Ft. Worth and to some other huge convention in Denver in February. Too exciting! I'm really looking forward to all this. Now I just have to actually come up with the pattern... I'll be doing lace socks in a very fine gauge for my first pair. I also met Cecil, his dad. They're a wonderful family, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.

Lots of other things happened, but I'll save those for my next post. I do want to say that we took Emma with us, and when Hubster took her out to go potty or just for a walk, he had women running up to him asking if that was Emma. He told them yes, and they went nuts meeting her! I was an afterthought - they asked if I was at the show since Emma was there - and she got more love and attention than she's ever received. I'm glad she was such a hit; she needs the socialization. Being such a loving dog, she was very happy to meet everyone. I kept telling Hubster that we should have said she was a service dog and put a back cover on her with our name and booth number on it. I really would have had good sales then!

I don't know what's considered a good take, but we took in about $6K. For our first show, I was thrilled! I can see why the other vendors were complaining, though - some of our lines sold very well, while others just sat there. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. I'll write more about it in the next installment, along with news of my new tattoo.

Off to work on Mt. Yarnsuvius. It's kind of like Chinese food - the more I take out of the pile to put away, the more it seems to grow.

It just doesn't taste as good.


Laura Neal said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Aunt, you have my deepest sympathy.

Glad to hear you had so much fun at Sock Summit.

I bet Emma was in rare form!

Mrs.Q said...

I'm sorry about your aunt. Sending you big hugs and many warm thoughts.

As for the Summut...Maybe we just assumed it was Emma because we already knew you'd be there?

correspondent said...
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Sharon said...

I was so glad to have met you at the Summit. Hope you are well. I'll keep in touch. Sharon aka StitchJones

Penny said...

Life with the happy comes the sad. I am so sorry to hear the news of your aunt but sooo glad you had a great time at Sock Summit. One day maybe I will get there or to a show you are at and we can meet.
I am glad Emma had a great time. Next time do make her a guide dog. All your friends would love to see her sitting in with your yarns. Me included.