Friday, August 28, 2009

the went...we survived

The anticipation almost killed me!
So many questions, so many worries, so much newness this time.
Baby Tess was coming to NYC for my most important show of the year, the New York International Gift Fair (August edition), not only was it my first time doing a show with a baby, but it was her first time traveling, being in the car for more than an hour or so at a time, even sleeping in a bed other than hers (and by hers, I mean ours).
The questions kept me up at night...
1- how would she manage the drive? (did I mention that our perfect daughter HATES the car?- no?, well, yup!)
2- how would we set up the booth with a needy 5 month old?
3- would she ever sleep?
4- where would I nurse her? (pump?/ nurse? / oh god, the thoughts were killing me!)
5- would we be stuck with take out all week? or would she decide to suddenly love her traveling seat and hang out at restaurants with us for hours on end? (don't forget I was nauseated for 10 months out of the 9 month pregnancy, I am still rejoicing at being able to eat great food again!- this is VERY BIG for me).
6- what would buyers think when they walked into the booth and saw a baby?
7- would the 5 feet I shortened our now 25 ft long booth (and saved a 9 quadrilljiillion dollars) be too small and be all squishy?
8- would Tess' stroller fit into the booth with me and her daddy and all the products?
9- would people think that we are totally poor, pathetic and mean to not bring a nanny with us to the show? (and by nanny, I mean my Mom)
10- would buyers think that I was totally, .....unprofessional? (oh god no! not that!)

and these questions didn't even touch on all the worries I had regarding business...
a- would there be any buyers?
b- would I cover my 6 quadribillion dollar booth and expenses?
c- would we write orders? (trick question, see a)
d- would we get to the booth and find that there was a massive dirty brown shag covered concrete pillar sitting smack dab in the middle of it, with a huge plactic trash can filled with murky dirty NY water teetering on a skinny old unstable pole wobbling on top of it, that the show just conveniently forgot to tell us about? would the nightmares about trying to cover the mess with white duct tape and inkject printer paper come true?

e- would someone crazily important in the gift industry walk into the booth and make me an offer I couldn't refuse? but then, might I realize that I do NOT have enough freaking inventory to ship the damn amazing order? (the first part is more of a dream than a worry, the second part is how I can turn a dream into a worry).
f- would Jonathan Adler, who's fantabulously stylish and chic booth is just a few aisles away from us become completely obsessed and stalkerish towards BlueDogz Design (wait now, how did this get in here?...)

Well long story a teeny bit shorter...WE SURVIVED! (quite swimmingly I might add...see answers to all my very important worried questions below)
but first...drumroll please, Tess decided, right there, in NYC that it was by time she start using her hands and arms to push up on when chillaxing on her tummy (as opposed to her face and toes)... tell me that she is NOT the smartest baby on the entire planet earth!

(check this out...)


1- Interestingly, the drive was not the hightlight of our week. She screamed, well...ALOT...did I mention that when she screams ALOT in the car, I tend to cry?, no?, well I do...(it's just that little perfection rarely cries at all) so to hear the insane shrieks, like some psychopath in the back seat is impaling her is just a little more than I can handle, yep, too much! To make matters just a smidgen worse, the usual 5 hr trek, took just over 7 hrs, due to what came to be known as "tit stops", yes, lots of those interestingly.
2- HA, we ACED this one! We strolled into the Javits Center, with all the commotion, the crappy smells, the dirt and noise and Tess decided to check out...YES...she fell ASLEEP! woo hoo, we are the BEST parents ever!!!
3- Sleeping? (insert high 5) Aced again! As at home, Miss Thing loves her morning slumbers. She spent most mornings snoozing away at the Hotel with Daddy waiting for her to wake up...Once she woke, Daddy washed and dressed her and they rolled into work around noon. Apparently all my worries about the different bed, the new smells, the noisy city etc...were completely unfounded. So happy I wasted all that time on that.
4- In a word- EVERYWHERE! Yes my girl likes her milk at room temperature, straight from the boob and pretty much anywhere. And, that is exactly what she got! We ended up finding a good booth boob spot and it became her own human drive thru!

5- Yes, Take Out is was...ALL WEEK- but let's face it, everything in NYC is no complaints. Plus, Daddy got his Five Napkin Burger early in the week, so all was good.

6- They wanted samples! yes, baby Tess samples!- our answer? sorry, we broke the mould.
Holla Indigo/Chapters buyers- the baby is NOT for sale so you can stop emailing and calling...please. :-)
7- not bad...worth the 9.4 quadramillfequillion dollars I saved!
8- just- so sometimes we kept the stroller a little in the aisle.
A couple of times, when we spotted a really important buyer walking by we would launch the stroller into them in hopes of knocking them over, or just slightly maiming them and then politely offering to help them in the booth, and by help, I mean an order for a dozen or so of each item that we sell (we are thoughtful that way) and of course we happily would offer them free shipping for their trouble and injuries. Of course they would answer- oh no- it would be our pleasure to pay for shipping, we love shipping charges! ...oh sorry, I fell asleep for a minute...I'm back now.
9- We don't have a nanny, I mean, a REAL nanny, heck, we don't even have a fake nanny...nope, no nanny. Let's face it, I miss Tess when she is napping, how would I possibly be able to be without her for hours on end?
As for the Mom thing, well, if she is very very very good, and I mean VERY good, we might consider it for the next good Mama!
10- I am wayyyy too control-y and type A to be considered unprofessional, so if taking my perfect child with me to a trade show is unprofessional, then bring it on, I can handle it, REALLY!

a- YAY! there were buyers, matter of fact, the first 2 days were even busy. Now, this is BIG for the gift industry right now, I mean BIG, so this is great news!
b- OY vey...this one is always the killer...right now, as of today, with every single penny tallied, it is a tight call, and by tight, I mean REALLY tight...but...I some great things in the works, and I am not just SAYING that, so I will keep you posted on this one. On another note, did I mention that Bergdorf Goodman was in?
Holy Crap would I like to sell to them!
c- Y
AY! we wrote orders! some great re-orders, some fab new accounts, some dumb dinky orders that will never re-order because their initial order doesn't make sense (but they don't want to listen, so whatever) and even a few that I had been trying to reel in for a while em!
I even got to meet some awesome bloggers like and that I know via their blogs or twitter and of course it is always beyond exciting to get great Magazines in the booth wanting to snap photos of product (holla
d- NOoooooo not my gals at GLM, Bibi and Randy rock! just a bad dream (I think we call that ANXIETY)...the booth was even better than we could have hoped for. At the last minute, Randy let us know that one end of our booth could be open, because an aisle was going to go there, rather than another booth- YES double exposure, and then, when we arrived at the booth there was approx. a 4-6 booth opening right in front of our booth which over passed to yet another aisle, talk about awesome! we loved it! (and by loved it! we mean DON'T MOVE US, please).
e- Still doing the whole "Secret" thing on this one, c'mon I am picturing it, let's go already!
f- Well we were on our way to filing a restraining order when Mr. Adler decided to push back and relax a bit in terms of his BlueDogz Design stalking...Thanks for understanding Jon-o! It's just that it's very difficult to talk to our clients when you keep grabbing stuff off our shelves and get all like- OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THIS NOW!!!!!! NADINE DID YOU DESIGN THIS????? YOU ARE BRILL!!!!! (and by BRILL, he meant brilliant... I think... it was just that he was so loud that it was hard to make out the words).