The weather may not have been warm, but the crowd was hot in Clearwater last weekend. By the time I made my way out to pass out flyers and greet the attendees, the lobby was sardine-can full and the line stretched way out into the parking lot.
See the pretty pink flyers? Yep – that’s a personal invitation to stop by our booth.
To get into StampFest in Clearwater or Orlando, you have to get past the sheriffs. Jim Drabik is on the left – his daughter Debby and son-in-law Rick are the show promoters and also own Just for Fun. And Bill Mielke needs something to do while his wife Dee shops and visits. Dee knows everyone – she and I first crossed paths years ago. I told her she reminded me of my favorite aunt, who had died a few years before. So she adopted me, and has been Aunt Dolores ever since.
This shot is blurry because these people are almost running into the hall as Debby announces that the show is open . . .
This is not the giveaway crowd – this is the line waiting to get to my cash register. In the background of the left picture, you can see part of the line to Karen’s register. It was this way until mid-afternoon – I took these pictures long after we had gone through the freebie packs we gave out to the first 100 customers who spent $10 or more in our booth.
I first got a picture from the angle at left, and then scooted around to see what the nice lady in the background was seeing through her viewfinder. Yep – the obligatory Sue Rothamel shot . . .
Two more very talented demo artists were inside the booth. At left is Anna Ely – Sue introduced her to us about 12 years ago and she has demoed for us in Florida (and sometimes elsewhere) ever since. And Andrea Cloutier volunteered to help us with setup and teardown a long time ago, and was quickly promoted to the demo table. The blue sweater in the background is Anna’s mom, Madelyn – she helped customers and ran errands all day. We couldn’t have survived the day without her.
This is the giveaway crowd – filled the lobby and waaaaaay through the doorway back into the main room. I considered moving everything outside, but by then the weather was so nice that I was afraid they wouldn’t go back inside. We appreciate everyone shopping in our booth, but I always encourage them to visit the other vendors as well. There was only one problem – the folks on the other side of the doorway couldn’t hear me. If you look really close, you’ll see Karen’s head just to the right of the lady in pink in the middle of the doorway. Karen (and several other people) were repeating the numbers after I read them. Sounded like an echo . . .
And this was the surprise of the day – some of our “family” came to visit. Jon Gompf is on the left – a lot of you have talked with him, because he spent several years taking and filling phone orders in our mail center. He and his wife Bobbi moved to Florida about a year ago – I showed this picture to his mom (Patti works in our mail center, too), and she said this is the first picture of Jon she has seen since he moved. Apparently he sends pictures, but he always takes them. And Joel Allen (he and his wife are in red) is also a local kid – his mom worked with us for a while and helped make the coverings for our demo tables.
It took me until today to realize why it didn’t matter to us that it was chilly in Florida – the sun was shining. The sun never shines in Ohio in the winter. But we do see some unusual sights at times . . .
Seagulls may not seem like a big deal, but I took this shot as I was parking at our local YMCA yesterday morning. I assume that the nasty weather north of us forced them to head away from Lake Erie – we don’t normally see them more than 200 miles from the lake.