Yesterday went by far too quickly. I don’t know how or why time seems to go by so fast, but it does. I see more and more grass through the banks of piled snow and you can just feel the air changing again. Winter is nearly over (now that wasn’t so bad, was it?) and we are definitely moving in the direction of Spring.
Soon we will be getting to my least favorite part of the year – that muddy, dirty transition between winter snow and spring. This year though, I don’t think I will notice it much. Too much else is going on. Although it was nice to go for my night walk without freezing my butt off. It was quiet and the air was still and although there was cloud cover and no moon at all, it was quite peaceful and beautiful out. The people on the end of the road have taken to leaving their five horses out after dark. Maybe they always did, but I recently noticed them near the fence that is close to the road. Seeing their quiet silhouettes in the darkness strikes me as rather pretty. Something about it makes me feel very serene and comfortable.
Our evening walks have turned into mobile business meetings. My partner and I have taken to making plans and discussing our trip almost every evening. It makes the walk interesting and it is fun to plan with little distraction. As time gets closer, it is good to check things off the mental lists we make and get things in order. There seems so much to do and so little time to do it in. (Again the time thing!)
We are getting things done and prepared though, and there are still almost five weeks yet to have everything prepared and ready to go. We both know that the days will slip by quickly, and if we don’t start getting things in order now, we will be rushing at the end. That just isn’t going to happen.
Yesterday we spent a couple of hours preparing the scroll saw blade samples to hand out at the show. We received them from Tom at Olson the other day and it absolutely floored me at the amount of blades he sent me. I had listed about 6-7 of my favorites that I use daily and he sent quantities of those as well as 200 blister packs of a dozen of their newer Mach blades. I had been given a dozen of them to try from the kind gentleman at Busy Bee Tools in Dartmouth last summer and I did use and like them.
The blades come wire-wrapped by the dozen and although I would love to give them out a dozen at a time, it just wouldn’t be prudent to do so at a show this size. What we decided to do was print out cards on card stock and tape two blades of three different sizes to hand out. That way we can reach a large amount of people and they will also have the opportunity to try a variety of sizes. Of course we will also be handing out blade charts and other written matter on the blades too. I think this will work fine and be nice samples for people to try.
It took a couple of hours however to prepare these samples, as the blades are the size of a small wire and getting them into place was rather tedious. But they are all done now and it is another thing to check off the list.
Initially, I was thinking of passing them out during the class. In the ‘old days’ that would have been what I would have done. But the ‘new me’ who is thinking with my new head that thinks in a more business like manner, I think that it is better to pass them out at my booth. That way it will bring people to at least see what I have to offer and perhaps help sales. In the old days, I wouldn’t have thought like that but I think I am getting better.
I am going to have some show specials that I will be offering too. I think it is important to reward those who take the time and expense to come to a show by offering them a little something ‘extra’. I remember my first trade shows and how I would have so much reading material and samples and fun stuff that by the end of the show I could barely carry it. I couldn’t wait to get home and pour over all the information and catalogs I picked up and dream of making projects and getting supplies and all the fun stuff that goes with attending the show. That was what it was all about.
I received a notice yesterday with an invitation to attend a luncheon on the Saturday of the show with other presenters and guests. It looked pretty fancy, and once again brought me back to the reality that I was one of the main speakers there. (yikes!) It also made me realize that on Saturday at least, I will only have a short time to spend at the booth, as most of my responsibilities will be with my classes.
My classes run from 10:30 – 12 and from 3 – 4:30. Lunch is from 12 – 1:30. It certainly doesn’t give me a load of time to demonstrate on the saw at my table and talk to people. I hope that I will at least get a chance to say ‘hi’ to everyone and get to meet people. Thank goodness for my partner and the others that have so generously offered to give me a hand at the booth. I suppose Keith, my partner is going to get a real taste of what doing a show is all about!
By his own self-description, he is the type of person that likes to remain in the background a bit. He he very happy (and says he prefers) that I am the one who does all the “PR” type of stuff. Coming to this show with me and meeting all of these people that I have been talking to and about is, I believe, somewhat intimidating for him. He has never been in this type of situation before, and has stated his trepidation about it in the past. But as time goes on and we are preparing for things, I can see his apprehension turn to excitement. Over the past two years since I have known him, he has developed into an excellent scroller and woodworker in his own rite. His level of work is amazing and he has helped me and the company grow a great deal. He is a partner in every sense of the word, and I am very excited about this opportunity for him to meet everyone and make his own name in the industry.
I think it will be a great opportunity for him to “mind the store” on his own, as it will help him carve his own space in the woodworking world and meet all the wonderful people that are involved. Jeannie (who initially got me involved in the show and is one of the show organizers) said she has me set up next to her scrollsawing group on one side and with Creative Woodworks and Crafts group on the other so there will be lots of fellowship and friendship and we will all be there to assist each other as necessary. I am truly not worried.
So for today, I will try again to work on my next design. I still have to glue up the most recent candle tray and I want to have pictures of it there for you tomorrow. There was so much else to attend to with orders and correspondence and planning that I just didn’t get to it yesterday.
It is Saturday and sunny and everything is melting today. A beautiful reminder that Spring is on its way and the show is right around the corner. It will be here in a wink of the eye. But we’ll be ready!
Have a great one!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"