Quilt Market is an amazing event. Twice a year hundreds of vendors get to meet with thousands of quilt shop owners – and we have a ball! It’s like having a baby – a week later, you remember all of the good stuff – and the hard work and preparation were worth it!
Redwork by P3 Designs
And it is a lot of hard work! Rob, Jim, Jenny and the buyers orchestrate it all – and it would not happen without them! Rob is the king of Excel spreadsheets and has the entire event from start to finish on his laptop. This is the largest to-do list I have ever seen – and everyone has their area of responsibilities.
The buyers set up the entire show in the warehouse. Every square inch of space is accounted for. They even know what new merchandise is going to be delivered to the booth at Market – and leave space for it. Their job is to organize and display as many new products as possible in the allotted space to make your shopping easier.
Block of the Month by P3 Designs
That’s where Jim comes in – he can tell you exactly how many computers will be in the booth, what power is needed to use them, and where the plugs are going to be. He not only knows how many carpet squares are needed to cover our booth, he has them color coded, cleaned and wrapped before we get to Market so that it can be laid in a matter of minutes! Think how much fun it would be to be responsible for a jigsaw puzzle of that magnitude! Every curtain, table, chair, waste basket, display rack and screw driver is listed and accounted for. These people are organizational marvels!
Then there is Jenny – this group definitely needs a Mom – and Jenny is it! She arranges all of those details – flights, meals, hotels, appointments, etc. for everyone. Not only does she arrange the flights, she picks us up from the airport – or arranges shuttles. (I knew I was truly spoiled time when she called me as I departed the plane and told me where to pick up my luggage and which door to exit!) But, her hardest job is buying the snacks and drinks for the booth! We may not care if we are scheduled on the red-eye, but if there are not tootsie rolls or trail mix, she has a revolt on her hands!
Market doesn’t officially open until Friday, but vendors are allowed to start setting up on Wednesday. After all, this is like moving an apartment across the country! Many of the shop owners come in Wednesday to attend the FabShop dinner – the official kick-off of Quilt Market. Then, on Thursday while everyone is attending schoolhouses, the booths are completed! Rita, the buyers, and I are busy running in and out attending schoolhouses so we can be knowledgeable about the latest and greatest our industry has to offer. Rita and I even get to teach a few!
Thursday night before we leave, there is a final walk through. The buyers show everyone the new products being introduced at this show – after all, they need to be educated too! This happens every day of Market – because, like the shop owners, the buyers are there to pick up new products too – and add the latest and greatest!
At this Market we were busier than ever. We released more Creative Grids products than ever – a total of 17! We launched a new logo, a new rack, and new programs – and the response was amazing! We had two demo stations going on at all times – and they were always busy.
That’s me – not Rita – at the demo station…
The new look of Creative Grids!
John Brady and I at the other demo station
We obviously were having a good time….
And, at the other end of the booth, we had 16 authors and designers signing books, demonstrating products, and sharing a wealth of information with our customers! We gave away approximately $20,000 in new products! But that is inconsequential compared to the amount of knowledge that was shared! It was absolutely amazing!
Marci Baker debuting her new book
Oh My Stars!
Where else can you share a corner with Clover, Landauer Corporation and Indygo Junction – but we did – talk about good neighbors!
The Landauer Corporation Booth
The Indygo Junction Booth
Where else could you walk through a booth and see Mark Lipinski signing autographs!
Mark at the Checker Booth
We got to spend three days meeting with all of you! And, by 8:00 that night, the booth was packed, the crates were removed, and there was just a concrete floor where our booth used to be!
And, on Monday morning, while many of us were still traveling, unpacking, etc., we checked our e-mail…..and remember that spreadsheet? Rob had already asked us to send him a list of improvements – and what we could do better at the next Market! And, that is why I love this company – they are constantly looking for ways to better serve you. So, the next time you run into the men and women that make this event happen, give them a pat on the back because they deserve it!