I’m on my way to Atlanta…literally on the plane with my laptop open typing away. The Atlanta Gift Show starts on Friday so I’ll be setting up my booth tomorrow afternoon. Come Friday 9AM I’ll be ready with cards in the racks, catalogs in a basket and order sheets in hand! Sadly Emily won’t be there with me this time but thankfully my good friend Nancy (best friends in 8th grade)who is not only hosting me also said she’d come help over the weekend. How lucky can a girl get?!?
The Atlanta show is a grueling 5 day marathon. It ends on Tuesday the 17th. From there I’ll be catching a flight to Indiana. I’m lucky enough to have one of my other best friends from High School, Trudy, pick me up and take me to Lafayette. I’m looking forward to being “home” and just being with my Mom for 2 days. From there, I get on the train early Friday morning for the 3 hour trip to Chicago.
I can’t wait to walk back into the Merchandise Mart in Chicago! Instead of going to the Mart for Neocon (which was/is the biggest event for the Office Furniture/Commercial Carpet Industries each June), I’ll be walking up to the Gift Show floors to hang out with my rep group, Sarm & Nastovski, for the Chicago Gift Show. I’m going to be doing a watercolor demo on Saturday afternoon which should be fun but more important, I think, is the chance to meet the reps that have helped me gain so much confidence as they have written so many wonderful orders since coming on board last fall.
In addition to all that, this year started out the gate with a BANG! I called on St. Mary’s Cathedral (Catholic) Gift Shop because of the success I’ve had with Grace Cathedral (Episcopal) Gift Shop. The Mgr at the Catholic Shop is an entrepreneur himself. In addition to running the shop, he sells (wholesale) other products to Catholic Churches around the country. He asked me if I would be wiling to let him represent me to his other accounts! Yesterday, when I went to deliver the order, he asked about Guam and the Philippines! He’s got connections overseas…I laughed, turned my brochure over while pointing to my World icon and said, “You are going to help me achieve my dream of getting Words and Watercolors around the world!?!”. So not only did I get a nice order, I’m getting additional distribution!
I continue to feel the energy of this business GROW. I have a sense that I’m going to be meeting many wonderful people in ATL/Chicago. I can’t wait to see what opportunities avail themselves to me over the next 2 weeks….stay tuned!