More about the business of designing

(This is an attempt to recover one of the missing blog posts!)

Our booth in Nashville 2014 smaller

One of the most fun things about being a designer is when we venture out to trade shows. The weekend of Valentine’s Day was the Nashville Needlearts Market, in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cool Springs just outside Nashville.

Trade shows are the highlight of the year for us. We see all our designer friends, catch up on what’s new over breakfast and in the elevator. But most important, we reconnect with the retailers and find out what’s happening in the shops. Over the years, these connections seem just as important as the interactions with our face to face friends – we email each other, we talk on the phone, we’re Facebook friends as well as business partners.

And we find out if the designs I’ve been nurturing are successful or not. It’s almost like sending children out into the world! I mean, I love my babies but will other people? Just because I think they’re cute doesn’t mean the retailers will like them.

This year we participated in The Great Model Giveaway again. This is a contest where the retailers could win a model of one of the exhibitors’ new designs. Each retailer was given a ticket for the drawing on the last day of market. And each exhibitor who participated¬† took a model down for the drawing. It’s very nerve wracking – like choosing sides for baseball in elementary school. Will I be chosen last? What if no one picks me! Well, I was absolutely thrilled when Royal Garden was chosen by the very first lucky winner!

Royal Garden smWhat an honor! To quote Sally Fields, “you like me, you really like me!”

This year’s Nashville Market was a great success for us in several ways, but the most important is always finding out what’s happening in the shops. We exist to support our local needlework shops; we love our retailers and wish them the greatest success always.

Now it’s back to work until the next market we’ll attend in August (there’s one in between but we won’t be able to go to that market this year). And I’ll be working and wondering if my designs will be well-received. I’ll just do my best!

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