Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Time Flies...on a Private, Supersonic Jet

I look at the date of my last post, May 20th, and realize today is June 18th. Nearly a month has passed. In some ways, only a month. And some ways, my last post feels like it was written last year.

For days, days, days on end, my schedule has been to get up, eat breakfast, work.....fourteen hour days (or more). And then go to bed, get up, and do it all again. There have been a couple of weekend days where I didn't work - I really try not to, when I'm not at a festival - but overall it's been exhausting. I headed to Michigan (a ten hour drive) last Thursday, not exactly feeling on top of my game.

And surprise, surprise...I'm NOT on top of my game. I went to the doctor today and got diagnosed with a UTI (bladder infection). Sorry if that's TMI for ya, but it iz what it iz. Far as I can tell, it started Thursday when I left...but there was nothing I could do since I knew I wouldn't be able to see the doctor until today. So I'm a little more run down and tired than normal.

And yet. I feel like I can't rest because there's so much buzzing around in my head. Now I'm going to have some time (my next festival isn't until September) to try to put in place the things I've been trying to put in place for a long time. I've got a list. I've got motivation. I've start working it ASAP, because there is truly no time like the present...and I'm already behind. ~wry smile~ Does *every* small business owner feel this way rather often?

So let me distract myself a bit - because I can't do anything about it tonight - and tell you about Michigan. :)

First, the show is a long way away. And because my husband came with me, we added an extra day as he visited a client on Monday. So it was five hotels in six nights. By the time we were in the fourth hotel, I could barely remember what floor we were on or what our room number was. A lot of shuffling and moving things around.

It's not a big show. It doesn't have a ton of foot traffic - at least, not what I'm used to in some of the bigger festivals in, say, Arizona, or even in Georgia. But sometimes a smaller show can truly be a gem (no pun intended). I exhibited at this festival for the first time last year, and it was, if not exactly solid...well, it seemed to have potential. So I came back this year, a little (only a little!) better prepped with inventory, a little more familiar with the town, a little lighter on my feet because I had help from my husband. Those of you who have never done a festival, from setup to tear down, don't understand how much help it is to have someone with you, to share the load. Especially someone who knows *your* business pretty well. And to help with the (literally) heavy liftting. It made things much easier in some ways.

And the people...oh, you lovely people! The thing I really like about Michiganders is that they're direct. They're not brusque, but they're blunt and to the point, just the way I like my conversation. :)  Nice people who don't bother with any of the "bless your heart"-ish talk that you sometimes hear in the South. They'll tell you how they feel. People recommended other festivals, they were fascinated and interested that we were up "all the way" from Atlanta, and this crowd LOVES gems as much as I do. I sold several special designs that I wasn't quite ready to part with, but I know they went to good homes and will be well loved. I've never seen a group of people so interested in the details about my gems. What fun to talk to a fairly jewelry-educated crowd!

This was the first piece sold on Saturday morning. Brand spankin' new...she loved it and wore it out of the booth. :)

The weather was a *little* warm...but honestly about as perfect as it could be.

So we left town in very good spirits; I've got my list of to-do's to put in place, and all the show crapola is stored away for a little while. I'm looking forward to some long (but not fourteen hour!) days in the studio to build, to push, to stretch my dreams and make them into some fabulous jewelry. "Watch this space", as they used to say, to see what happens next...

Summer's officially here in three days. Let's make it a really, really good one. :)