A BIG THANK YOU to my friend, Kelly Hazel of KLH Designs, who was @ B&B all week for classes & a little shopping... she stayed an extra day & helped me out @ my booth. And another BIG THANK YOU to my awesome friend, Kimberly Polka, who showed up & helped me tear my booth down on Sunday!!
Really great bead sales...my acorns & the etched copper leaves, OMG...they cleaned me out!! It was quite awesome! I've always enjoyed watching customers select their acorns... trying to find the one that speaks to them (they all have their own personalities!), but now watching them try to pair an acorn up w/ a copper oak leaf, priceless!! :o)
when I first learned to etch w/ Robin Koza) I knew last year that I wanted to come up w/ some sort of oak leaf element to go w/ my copper & glass acorns... these are what I came up w/ & they are FABULOUS! (if I may say so!) Some designs are from rubber stamps & some are hand-drawn. Alot of the backs I did by hand... some included words, like STRENGTH, BEAUTY, BELIEVE, COURAGE, etc. Robin saw this picture when I posted it on Facebook last month & sent me a message, asking if I would share my source for the stamp I used for the leaf @ the top w/ the bullseyes & wavy lines. I'm always happy to share a source... of course this source is difficult to share, since that is a hand-drawn design. I love it & had a few others that were similar... they all sold, of course! I will definitely do more... it's nice to have pieces that are uniquely mine.
I got a few wholesale orders that hopefully will turn into returning customers. My sweet friend Nicole Valentine of N Valentine Studio came to my booth with an amazing fine silver birdhouse from Christi Anderson of Elemental Adornments... she was looking for a miniature electroformed glass acorn to hang underneath the birdhouse. She found one & a little while later, Christi showed up @ my booth looking for acorns!! My stock was pretty low @ that point, she found some, but I'll be making her more. They're absolutely perfect w/ her pieces. How exciting! I actually met Christi when I first started lampworking @ a show here in the Twin Cities... her work is phenomenal. It will be fun to work w/ her & see some our pieces together!
It was awesome to see & hang out w/ long-distance friends...a fun dinner out w/ Andrea Guarino-Slemmens, Nicole Valentine, Donna Mehnert, Kristi Brokaw, Marion Ogle & a sweet friend of Andrea's from Israel, Ilana Magriso. The Blue Angels were in town & we ran into some of them a few times. A man in uniform... nice... Nicole was quite smitten w/ them & Andrea took the opportunity to put Nicole in the middle of them a time or two w/ a picture w/ a few of them & a phone call. LOL. Quite funny.
I missed out seeing so many people that I would've loved to see since I was on my own @ my booth... what a drag. Thankful that some came & tracked me down!! Wonderful to meet Heather Powers & Erin Prais-Hintz! I wish I had gotten a chance to come visit Heather's booth!
It was fun having customers from last year (my first year) return for more... (some w/ my business card w/ little notes written on the back!) and great to have customers that I've gotten to know through teaching @ the Madison Art Glass & Bead show the last 2 years come by to see me. I really enjoy continuing to build these relationships w/ such wonderful & creative people.
Fantastic feedback about my booth space as well. That makes me happy. :o) It's ridiculously fussy... not necessarily fussy looking, but so many layers...pieces & parts... it takes me forever to set up & tear down. But I love the look! My friends laugh @ me & talk about how I need to pare it down! I'm so thankful that Kim showed up & helped me tear down on Sunday!! I do look wistfully @ the next aisle of well-known & talented bead artists w/ their single artisan tables & watch them show up just a few hours, if even, before the show starts to set up their space (& tear down quickly, too!) & think to myself "Hey, I'm just a glass bead artist, too... why do I have to have not only a full size booth, but why do I find it necessary to have all of the extras... like ribbons, chains, findings, etc... that keep me from quickly setting up & tearing down?" Well... I suppose, for one thing, I don't have the name (yet!) that draws customers directly to my table just because I'm me (& I make fabulous beads!)... so having a booth that draws people in has been helpful... & having the extras helps sell my beads, too. Can't tell you how many people walked away w/ a bead, acorn &/or copper leaf hanging from their necks as they continue on their way to shop the show.... FABULOUS advertising for me. So, for me, it's been worth it. A hassle, yes... but it's working.
Anyway... it was a wonderful experience. An awesome show. Can't wait till next year!!
Till next time...