I haven't blogged for a while because...well...it's summer and I have kids running in 10 different directions (even though I only have 5 kids, it feels like 10 different directions). Anyway, I wanted to share about the trade show I just did last weekend.
I was scheduled to travel to Tulsa, OK on Thursday and do a 3 day show that ended on Sunday. Originally my husband and I were going to do it together however, our 8 year old was going to camp that same weekend for the first time and we didn't want both of us to leave town in case she needed us. (You never know how brave they'll actually be at this age.) We decided that I'd ask a friend to come with me so my husband could stay with the girls.
My husband found out days before the trade show that a meeting was scheduled for his job 5 hours from Kansas City and it was a meeting he had to attend and he had no control over the date and time. First obvious blessing was that I already had a friend planning on coming while he got called out of town, second obvious blessing was my in-laws who are so generous with their time will take our kiddos for the night when we have a need.
First day of the show was Friday 9:00-6:00. It was a great day, so great I was already running out of product with 2 show days left to go. I have never done a show where I have run out of product and certainly not on the first day. Everyone says, "That's a good problem to have!", well to me it's still a problem, it didn't feel good and I was doing my best not to panic and quickly problem solve while continuing to work the show that day. I was 4 hours from KC, my husband was driving back 5 hours to KC and we were considering meeting halfway. I was already tired from working, still had 2 show days left and the thought of driving 2 hours there and back to the hotel sounded awful and I felt horrible even asking him to drive another 4 hours that day after already driving 5 hours. We decided it would be worth the cost to overnight product to my hotel. He made it to the store with minutes to spare to get it shipped. Obvious blessing #3.
I beat myself up a quite bit for not bringing enough product in the first place. What if I spent the money to have it shipped and the last 2 show days are awful and we have to lug it all back home? Why didn't I bring extra product even though I had room in the car? I really don't know why we sold so much other than it was just a great first day. We were expecting the box to arrive by noon at the hotel which meant we'd start the show with only 2 HOLSTRs left of this particular fabric and also I was going to have to leave the show at noon on a Saturday which is the busiest show day while my sweet friend worked the booth alone. I told my friend that morning that I was trying not to worry about all the logistics of that day and I was excited to see how God was going to work. At 8:15 am, after breakfast at the hotel, we were walking to the elevators to grab our things and head out for the show when I spotted a FedEx truck outside the front entrance. I looked at my friend with wide eyes, (not wanting to get my hopes up as I thought my husband shipped the product UPS), went to the front desk and asked if that box on the counter was for Tamra Johnson. It was! The products not only arrived early but right before we were getting ready to leave for the show. Major problem of the day solved and obvious blessing #4.
We restocked the baskets at the show when we arrived and buckled down for what was an amazing show! I estimate for each show what I think we should sell and we almost tripled that number. Not only did these obvious blessings make for a great show but once again we met great people. People who are just...neat people, people who make us laugh, people who tear up as I'm sharing the brief story of why I created the product and I know...they just know.
Trade shows are hard work. We don't sit much, there can be those people who are awkward or a little rude, we don't eat very much during the show and we're so tired at the end of the day that take out and bed are all that sound good but each show I do, I do with eager anticipation to see how God is going to show Himself and I'm never disappointed!!