The fourth weekend in April we were in Akron at Adventures in Stamping – the first weekend in May we were in Novi (Detroit) at the Great Lakes Mega Meet. In-between, I was on a golf trip in Georgia (and didn’t take a single picture – you’re welcome). Pictures may not be worth a thousand words – but they surely make storytelling easier.
So in reverse order . . .
There was definitely a purple tint to the Novi show – at least in our booth. Rita Barakat from Faber-Castell’s Design Memory Craft design team was dazzling customers at our demo table, and off and on throughout the three days customers would come by and compare their purple locks with hers. This purple-doo happens to belong to the daughter-in-law of Linda Verdier, who was one of our first out-of-state customers when we started doing mail order well over 20 years ago.
Rita has quite the following. She “Periscopes” live from Texas (I know just enough about this to be dangerous – but am considering doing this with the Wednesday Make & Takes in our store to see if there is an audience for it), and was telling me about people she encounters during her travels who have watched her online. No kidding – 1,200 miles from home, three or four customers came running up to her shrieking “I know you . . .”
My view didn’t change much for three days – the only differences were Rita’s outfit and the occupants of the seats across the table from her.
Speaking of outfits, I get a major kick out of the t-shirts (or in cold climates, hoodies). I know the one on the left is out of focus – it says “4 out of 5 lakes prefer Michigan . . . Ohio is just Erie”. And the one on the right makes much more since if you read/sing it to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey . . .
How to keep your demo artist happy when you find out she likes to have a little chocolate around to keep her energy level up during a busy day at a show. Yes, that box on the right is empty – we shared the contents with Rick, Kelley, and Lisa from Our Daily Bread Designs and it was gone in sixty seconds. If you’re not from certain parts of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Florida, you have no idea how good these cakes are. Bill Knapp’s was a regional restaurant chain back in the 70s and 80s – I think the last one closed about 2001. You could get a free cake on your birthday, and they started showing up again at local Kroger stores a couple of years ago. They are every bit as good as the ones I loved as a kid.
The young lady in the picture at left watched Rita’s demo for a while, and when Rita left to get some lunch she sat down and started putting what she had learned on paper – and passed her knowledge on to her demo table neighbor.
We really hadn’t planned for our demo to be a make and take – but some of our customers got creative and turned it into one . . .
My final laugh during teardown – I heard it was courtesy of Chase Richardson from SweetStamps.com – this sign originally said something like “Welcome Scrapbook Vendors Move In”
And a few images from Akron . . .
Our demo tables were swamped – Judy and Donna from our store in Dayton were showing Wink of Stella Markers, and Kristin and Naoko from Faber-Castell were showing their new products. Wow, could they draw a crowd . . .
And I always watch for the gang from Christy’s Main Street Memories in New Concord, OH – they always dress in matching t-shirts, but this is the first time I noticed the handbags, too.