I hadn't seen anything in the class offerings that tempted me, so I arranged my arrival in Saint Charles for late Friday afternoon. Just time enough to check in, try to pick up my market registration (the TNNA desk shut down at 5:15 so no go), get my things unpacked and organize my thoughts in preparation for the market's opening from 7to 9 pm.
I have to laugh at myself for assembling the camera, extra memory card and extra batteries in preparation for a great photographic weekend. I didn't take a single photograph. Everything looked the same as at any other hotel room show. I'm not a natural photographer. I keep looking for the "photographic moment" and it never seems to arrive. Added to that personal drawback, even with extra spotlights, the "living room" area of each suite was very dark. Those without the added lighting were downright spooky. Not exactly ideal photography settings. (The hotel was Embassy Suites, so each "room" was a living room with separate bedroom. Most designers spread their canvases through both rooms and on the bed/s.)
I always pack a broken down cardboard box and roll of package tape in my suitcase for mailing or shipping my purchases. This year I managed to fit all my purchases and pricelists into my suitcase along with my clothes. I was pleasantly surprised at this. Of course, I was especially glad that I packed the canvases in separate plastic bags when I went to get my bag off the baggage carousel and saw about a 9-inch corner of my bathrobe hanging out, waving at everyone. Thank you TSA!
I love going to market. I've been involved in the needlepoint industry for over 35 years so going to market is a little like going to a family reunion. Some designers you can't wait to see; others, you try to avoid like the plague. Sadly there is little interaction among shopowners. We're usually like ships that pass in the night. I don't think it's a competitive feeling, but more not having much opportunity to converse. I tend to socialize with designers because they are who we're (the shopowners) talking to during the day.
To provide some strategy information. Many designers don't think to include pricelists when shipping orders. Therefore, my first purpose at any market is to go through the market completely, picking up pricelists from designers I patronize. I don't take paper from people whose designs don't interest me or my clientele. While in the room (or at the booth at a larger market), I look at the walls and make mental notes of things I want to order. I try to cover the entire show "pricelist-wise" the first day. A hotel room show is easy to shop because you can take things to your room periodically so you're not carrying lots of paper or canvases. TNNA also provides a package check that allows a shop to drop off things. I have a Vera Bradley tote and matching pocketbook that I keep just for market. They are a perky yellow floral and are easy for me to spot after I have put them down in a room (though I usually transfer my wallet and credit cards to the tote and leave my. purse in my room). After I have my pricelists, I'm allowed to start buying or ordering. At this show I placed orders with designers who don't have sales representatives in Florida. The orders were post-dated for either October (the Florida mini-season) or the end of January (the beginning of "the season").
Here are a selection of the canvases I brought home. I'll show more on Saturday. As my husband says, I had a very good time. Many of these canvases were close-outs.
Vero Beach is located in Indian River County which is a major producer of "Indian River Fruit". Locals are always on the lookout for citrus-related designs. This is by Alice Peterson.
This bright, patriotic canvas is from Alice Peterson.
These wonderful flamingos are from Kathy Schenkel Designs. Doorstops are always necessary with Vero's ocean breezes.
This geisha with an outlined kimono design is by Beverly
Churchfield and comes with a stitch guide.
This is one of a pair of Geisha canvases from Melissa Shirley Designs.
And the second of the pair of Geisha canvases from Melissa Shirley Designs
I purchased this Christmas pillow from Strictly Christmas to be a future blog stitching project.