I just returned home from 3 weeks on the road where I was a vendor at 3 major quilt shows. I never envisioned myself as a traveling salesperson, but that all changed when I gave birth to Curvalicious. This year is going to be the year of the QuiLt Show. There will be 7 in all. I thought it might be interesting to share a sneak peak about life behind my demos.
After spending 6 weeks in Key West, we loaded up the car and headed to Savannah.
We always keep our fingers crossed that everything will fit. This year we purchased this cargo carrier that holds 3 good sized bins. We needed every single square inch of space.
We drove to Savannah where we had rented a house through VRBO. Why a house? Her name is Bailey. She can't be left alone in a hotel room all day because she would bark and the hotel management does not appreciate that. But it is nice to have a house with a kitchen and living room and yard. So in each location we had a house.
The day before the show is set up day. We always enter via the loading dock. Everyone is trying to get their stuff out of their vehicle and onto the show floor at the same time. I was doing the same thing and neglected to take a photo. This is my early morning entry. We have always been lucky and our booth is usually convenient to the door.
I try to be organized when I load out and load in, in theory. Like I said, I try. It would help when I set up from show to show. The three shows we did were Quiltcon in Savannah, GA then the AQS show in Daytona, FL and then the Original Sewing &Quilt Expo in Atlanta, GA. And yes, if you're thinking about the trip in your head, we headed North from Key West to Savannah and then south to Daytona and then North again to Atlanta. It was a lot of hours on the road.
We are given name badges wherever we are that allows us access to the show.
I can relax a bit when my booth is finally set up.
It's amazing how the show floor looks when all the booths are set up.
Some of the shows have more quilts than others.
I spend most of the day demoing.
Behind my demo table is the place I stash my food and drink.
I try to get to the convention center an hour before the show opens. That gives me a chance to tidy and replenish my booth and to walk around. It's really the only time I have to shop or see the quilts.
At the end of the show, it's time to pack up and drive to the next show!
At some of the shows I get to reconnect with friends, like Calista of Winderfil Specialty Threads
Or connect with Instagram friends, like Ali @mumbird, who was my swap partner at Quiltcon.
The less glamorous moments are:
Prepping for my class in the hotel
Walking Bailey in the dark
And the haute cuisine!
The highlights are meeting so many wonderful quilters, seeing amazing quilts like this one by Lenore Crawford,
getting to take Bailey to a workshop with me for the All Star Quilters Guild of Jacksonville,
seeing a beautiful ocean sunrise
And filling out the sales tax form, NOT !
At the end of it all, it was time to head home.
Three weeks on the road was a wonderful and exhausting experience. Curvalicious had an amazing reception that lifted my spirits and kept me going with a smile on my face and an ache in my feet.
Until next time in Paducah!