What a wild ride! Surtex is over and I have to say that I am glad to get back to some sort of a normal life. I have been consumed with preparing for this show for the last 6 months and I am happy to say that it was so worth it! I had an amazing time filled with a lot of ups and some downs. So, here is a recap of my life over the last 6 months.
I decided to participate in the 2012 Surtex back in November 2011, I had no idea how much work it would be! In December, I received a message from MHS Licensing telling me that they were interested in representing me. I was thrilled but, at the time I only had my artwork from my Etsy shop, which was just single prints. I needed to create collections and put together a presentation for MHS to show them that I could take my single pieces of art and expand upon them. So, I started creating collections and signed with MHS the end of January. It was around that time that I decided to create a new website and blog and hired Jo Klima of The Darling Tree to design one for me. I was thrilled with how it turned out, Jo Klima is so talented and amazing. I am happy that I decided to work on the website during that time because it really helped me to solidify the look of my brand, bio and profile picture. It also helped me with the look of my booth design. I continued to create new art and collections and product mock-ups up until the end of April. MHS needed all artwork by then, which is good because I needed to stop and work on my booth design, business cards, postcard and giveaway item. I also needed to print everything, stuff my binders and load up my ipad. Oh, and two days before Surtex, I realized that I should have some sort of press package! Ack! What a wild ride! I ended up creating 20 collections for Surtex…crazy!
Surtex time! We drove up on Saturday, I only live an hour and a half away, which saved me a lot of money on shipping. We parked in front of Javits and my husband helped my friend Carol and I unload the car and we got to work on setting up. Luckily, I brought a fan with me because Javits does not turn on the air during set-up. Thank God for that fan! Carol and I set up the booth in a couple of hours and were really tired so, we decided to go back to the hotel order some room service and watched a movie. The show was a little slow on Sunday but great, MHS’s booth was right around the corner from mine and they had appointments set up and were super busy the entire show. Every time I felt nervous about the thin crowd, I peeked around the corner and saw how busy they were and was relieved. I met some great companies and was able to spend time with friends that were also showing and loved meeting new friends too! We went out to dinner that night with my agents, it was great to spend time with them. I loved them before and my feelings were solidified after hanging out with them. They are a great group of people.
Now to Monday…. It was pouring in NYC on Monday morning, Carol and I were leaving the hotel when I received a text from my dear friend Cindy Ann Ganaden, telling me not to panic but, there was a leak at Javits and I needed to get there A.S.A.P!
I looked at the photo she sent me and thought, okay, that’s not too bad. By the time I arrived, it was a different story.
I was devastated and paralyzed. The last 6 months of work flashed before my eyes and I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, my agent, Marty Segelbaum had already taken charge of the situation and my friends Carol Maguire, Melissa Schulz and Cindy Ann Ganaden were in protection mode. Carol started moving my binders and supplies from under the table and Melissa was snapping me out of my state with some much needed comic relief. (still laughing Meliss.) It was then that someone suggested that they move my booth! There was a conference room set up in the next isle across from MHS and within an hour, the walls had been taken down and my booth was moved, piece by piece by the Javit’s laborers and by the Surtex management team! Mike Edson and John Kelly rehung my banners and Penny Sikalis was very helpful and sweet. Mike went above and beyond my expectations and I was so grateful for their quick response and ability to make sweet lemonade out of very sour lemons.
That’s Carol Maguire! She was so helpful and we had so much fun together. My fabric was a little wrinkled and wet and my border was all warped, but no one noticed.
My Floral Fusion for Lenox was on display and helped draw visitors into my booth.
My affirmation giveaway’s were a hit! Everyone loved them.
I was back in business by lunchtime in a better location. It took me a little bit longer to emotionally recover from the water incident but, I was soon distracted by some amazing meetings with new licensing partners and visits from my friends in the industry. By the end of Monday, my heart was full and I was feeling grateful again.
Monday night, was a night out with an amazing group of women from the show.
Tuesday was a bit slower but, still great. More meetings and great opportunities that I am still pinching myself over. Then, it was over. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went by. My husband picked us up and we were home by 9:30 that night.
I have spent the last couple of days getting files together for my agents and catching up on my freelance work. I am so happy that the craziness is over. I have felt so self-consumed these past couple of months and am looking forward to reconnecting with my friends and family. I also have so many ideas and haven’t had time to create in the last month and can’t wait to start painting again. I also need to start preparing for my new fabric collection coming out this Fall with Moda! I need to design some project and quilt ideas and am so excited about it!
My first year at Surtex was challenging, rewarding, fun, hard work, expensive, stressful and worth every lost minute of sleep these past couple of months. I haven’t made up my mind about showing next year, I don’t have to have a booth because my agents are there but, I really enjoyed the experience and loved being able to connect with people and meet the companies that I will be working along side with… oh, decisions, decisions. There is something really special about being there, though. Especially, since I have walked the show for the last eight years and always dreamed of having my own booth. Wow! I really did do it!
I special shout out to my dear friends from Hello Soul, Hello Business, Kathy Davis Studios, Lenox, Pointed Press, Waterford Wedgwood, and Smart Creative Women, for taking the time to visit my booth and give me hugs and well wishes! You made my time there super special, I wish I had more time to spend with you. Love you all!