16 June 2011

Craft show update

Oh wow, yep, I'm here. It's taken me this long to get here to write this. Been catching up on everything I didn't do while preparing for (and attending) the show (ie. washing and all that stuff). Also been sleeping, man, so tired. I think the last few weeks have caught up with me this week...

Anyway, the craft show, the craft show! 

Just so you know where I'm coming from... 

Hint: War Games. 

Defcon 5Lowest state of readiness - Normal readiness
Defcon 4Increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures
Defcon 3Increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness
Defcon 2Further increase in force readiness, but less than maximum readiness
Defcon 1War is imminent - Maximum readiness

We always start the day at Defcon 5 with a sit down for 10 mins. Just helps everyone relax and get ready for the day. Before that (esp. on the first day) there's always a lot of last minute things to do.  

Monday (the public holiday) 

Defcon 3/4

Monday was a normal day at the show. Lots of talking with/helping customers, answering questions etc etc, restocking shelves if necessary (didn't have a lot of stock left to do that anyway), straightening stuff, time for bathroom breaks if necessary. I demoed stuff and even made a few things. 

If I have time to make a few things, I know it's a normal day. 

Sunday - Defcon 2

Whew, busy all day. More than a usual Sunday. It was like a Saturday at any other show. 

We had customers until 5pm, I've never seen that before. Often too, people come for a last look on their way out and the stand gets busy again. 

Time for bathroom breaks that day and did I make anything? Mmmm, don't think so...I demonstrated all the machines and what nots and usual, but I didn't make anything much. No time. Lots of customer service - do you have this? How do you use that? What is this? Can you show me this? It's what I'm there for and I love answering questions that I know the answers to. I love helping people. 

Most asked question? What's the difference between the Big Shot and the Cuttlebug? 

I'd do my spiel and then talk to them about their needs and we'd decide on the machine for them if they didn't know which one to choose. 

Below you can see the sign above my station - Cuttlebug $89, Big Shot $99. Great prices. The customers thought so too. It felt like we sold a Big Shot every 10 mins.  

The other great sellers were the Martha punches as usual. We love 'em, don't we? I stacked a lot of shelves (hooks) with them on Sunday - sold stacks. Good quality and a good price...good deal! 

Get a load of it.

All borders 20 bucks (even the deep edgers) and the combos were 30.

Yep, good deal.

And here's a lot of the Sizzix, Cuttlebug and Spellbinders stuff.

We love die-cutting and embossing!

I love it and I know you guys do too, or most of you do :o) If you don't, I respect it, but I don't get it, ha ha. Nah, not true, I know everything has their thing....

And here's my station down the end.

I was near the card making stuff, punches, embossing folders and of course, the die-cutting machines.

The registers were up the other end.

We sold the Texture Boutique too (it's the little black and blue one that looks like a purse), which just embosses. A lot of ladies don't want to cut because they have a Cricut or similar, they just want to emboss. I didn't know this, did you? At $39.50 it was the machine for them - it embosses both sizes (A2 and 5 x 7) and takes any brand of folder. Sold.

Saturday - Defcon 1

I've never worked a Defcon 1 before. I don't think any of us had...far out. I didn't know Defcon 1 existed. Do now!

Like I said, we always start the day at Defcon 5 and we were at Defcon 1 by 9:10 am...yep, in ten minutes we'd scaled the ladder of normal readiness to war is imminent.

Not war, as in we're gonna get ya...but war, as in, prepare yourself for battle because it's gonna be a big day. At ten past nine, that was more than obvious.

At 11:30 it was even more than obvious because of this story. A lady came to me at my station at about 9:20 and said she wanted to buy a Big Shot, but she didn't want us to sell out before she got out of her class at 11:30. I said, "We've got about 20, if we sell out in 2 hours, I'd be shocked." She didn't want to miss out, so she bought one and we stashed it under the cupboard for her (this soon became something we couldn't do for everyone).

Guess what? We'd sold out by 11:30 and she was one lucky ducky. We got more in about an hour later, but still, I was amazed. When she came to collect her Big Shot, we had a chat and I told her what had happened. Her eyes widened, she patted herself on the back for buying it earlier and she told me (tongue-in-cheek) she'd guard it with her life. We parted with smiles on our faces, but I also planted both feet firmly on the floor in, you guessed it, maximum readiness for the rest of the day.

The rest of Saturday went as follows:

Lunch? No. Never have lunch at the show. I have a double breakfast, it's just easier.

Bathroom break? No. I did drink water, but my body soaked it up, or sweated it out. We were sweating all day.

You mean you didn't even sit down? Um, no. No time for that. I'd hunker down behind my cabinet to get a drink, hold up my 'can-you-wait-ten-secs?' finger to the lady who was trying to talk to me and then answer her question after I'd taken four gulps.

Did you make anything? What are you serious? I can't believe you asked me that...

Did you demo anything? Yes...the machines, the Ultimate Crafter's Companion, Martha punches, dies, embossing folders...yes, yes, I did.

Did you answer a lot of questions? Yes, about a billion...

You certainly are making it very clear that Saturday was a busy day, why was it so?

A few reasons:

1. The Scrapbook Expo is quickly becoming known as the show for papercrafters. Buses are hired, people travel - it's the kicker in papercrafting and the show to get to. Teena (boss lady) calls it, "The one where we don't get lunch."

2. Saturdays are always the busiest day at any show.

3. Photo Continental always has great specials, which equals a lot of people visiting the stand.

Teena works so hard to make it all happen. If you think she walks around the store at PC and just chooses a few things to throw on the stand, well, you've got another thing coming. A lot of prep and planning goes into the whole thing, let alone the muscle. These things don't take five mins...you know I've said that before.

What's the one question you answered most? I mentioned that before. It was, "What's the difference between the Big Shot and the Cuttlebug?"

It's getting harder to answer because the differences between the machines are becoming more complicated because of the new things coming out on the market...it's getting harder to keep it all clear for the newbies.

Did you stock shelves? Nup, couldn't get near 'em.

What do you mean? Isn't it your job to keep the stock on the shelves? Actually no, but I make it my job because I've got two hands and a heart, so I do it to help out. So yes, it's my job.

So, answer the question, why didn't you stock the shelves? We're talking about Sardine Saturday here, so the stand was chock-a-blockers full of customers the entire day. I couldn't get near the suckers...

At one point some ladies wanted some new Martha combos that we knew we had in boxes, but we had no one free to actually get the boxes down and unpacked. Four of us worked the stand and Stephen, Teena and Kathy were on the registers all day. This is unheard of. I worked my station down the other end and we all did our best. The next morning all three of them said they never saw me all day - I guess Debra's down there somewhere, they all said. They told me they wanted me to wear bunny ears, so they could sight me in the crowd :o)

Anyway, Teena was trying to unpack the new Martha punches and had asked the ladies to wait for a bit. I found the boxes and started to bring them down and those ladies helped me put 'em on the hooks. So lovely. They wanted to see every combo to see if it was the one they wanted, so they were more than happy to help. I stood on the outside of my station and handed them to one lady, who handed them to another, who either put them in her basket or on the shelf....the things you do. Them and us!

(Me) Does that answer your question? Does that explain to you why I didn't get to stock the shelves much? 

(Interviewer) Yes, thanks for that.

(Me) Just a tip for ya? If you wanna interview me about my day at the craft show in the future, maybe you could actually come to the show and see it for yourself, then I wouldn't have to explain everything. I thought that's what interviewers did. You know, got into the mix of it all. We coulda used YOU to stock the shelves! 

Okay, after that outburst, do you have anymore questions?

(Interviewer - who the heck is this interviewer anyway??) Did you get to look around the show at any of the other stands? No, but I didn't really want to (or need to) either. I just went from the car park, to our stand, to the bathroom and that's it.

Do you have any other behind-the-scenes titbits you can tell us? A lotta ladies went home unhappy with themselves because they didn't buy things when they saw them.

"But you had stacks of those Martha Stewart Scoreboards before!"

(In my head - Um, yep, we did, but this is Defcon 1, lady, it ain't normal)

And from another..."I had that punch in my hands this morning, but I put it back and thought I'd get it on the way out. I should've bought it."

(In my head...Yep, you should've. Again, Defcon 1, people, Defcon 1!!)

What was your favourite part of the day? The whole thing because I love being busy, and hate being bored, although I do prefer to work at Defcon 2.

(That's the last time I'm going to say Defcon, okay?)

I also loved 5:15pm when the last person walked out of the stand.

I have more favourites - I loved talking to other crafty people, that's always fun.

I also loved going out to dinner with my husband afterwards. Yay for us.

You said you prepared some things to take to the show - can we see those? Yes, later 'gator!


  1. Ha ha! Sardine Saturday is right! Lucky I was there for the day as I had to have a little sit down after fighting my way through each stand! Good to see you IRL by the way! x

  2. Hi Gail,
    In your condition, I'm not surprised! I can see you having to do that...I'm amazed you were able to fight your way through it all actually. Hope you found some fun things to buy and you enjoyed your day. Good to see you too! Not long until the new babe :o) so gorgeous.

  3. Wow Deb, that sounds like the busiest craft show. Such great specials though, worth it.

  4. Yeah, totally. I'm sure the ladies who bought a machine or whatever else at a great price went home happy.

  5. Matchy Sister SuziJune 21, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    You are such a crack up Deb! Defcon ... hehehe

  6. Pete sniff! What were you doing up at 1am? That time's usually reserved for me!


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