Tuesday, May 17, 2011

weekend getaway

The sun is shinning as I type, creeping through my closed office blinds and making my office nice and warm; however, rain is in our forecast all week so I am not too sure how long the sunshine will stay today. We have had a rain deficit in central VA the last few years so rain is a good thing and it is suppose to be out of here by Friday.

This weekend we all drove up to Connecticut to our friends Laurel and Tony's. Laurel, Emma and I had plans to attend the National Stationery Trade Show in NYC on Sunday. I was wishing I had exhibited this year but the cost to have a booth (and do it right) and the economy still not running at 100% worried me. I have been closely monitoring the show attendance over the last few years and all the reports I received from friends that had a booth were less than exciting. Low attendance and people not committing seemed to be the trend. But I was hearing some really positive reports about this year being the turning point so I was feeling torn about not going. So the next best thing to do was to go and walk the show and get inspired and see what new things were coming out.

The show was great. I did see a lot of people walking the show and placing orders. I saw a few new products that caught my eye but what walking the show really did for me was to validate my business. I am so pleased with my products and designs and how wonderful they are. Sometimes when you are the designer, you are your own worst critic, but after seeing what was out there and what Tickle Bellies brings to the marketplace, made me proud. Being with a group of your peers and measuring where you think you fit in can be humbling but I was happy to pat myself on the back with our designs and quality. It was a good feeling.

After the show Laurel, Emma and I went to lunch downtown and then went over to the latest buzz in the city - Dylan's Candy Bar. It's a 3 story candy store. It's the new trendy hot spot for celebs and their kids and I was envisioning Willy Wonka , ompa loompas and fountains of milk chocolate flowing from the ceiling. What a disappointment. Overpriced candy (that you could get at CVS for a fraction of their price), cheap displays and nothing too original. It was getting rather late after that and the rain had started so we took a CRAZY cab ride back to the convention center and headed home. We had lots of laughs and were super silly at one point. It was great to be in the city and the business validation was priceless!

While we were enjoying the big apple, Steve and Ellie were keeping a very busy schedule visiting family and friends. They started early in Massachussetts and ended late in Watertown, Connecticut. They even crashed one surprise birthday party for our friend Eric. They had a great day. Wish I could have been in two places at one time.

On Monday, we were planning on joining Laurel and Tony at the Cape for 2 days but the rain was upgraded to an 80% chance for the rest of the week. We decided to come home and just look forward to our Cape Cod vacation in July...and it better not rain! Are you listening Mother Nature??!! Also, last week Tickle Bellies was featured on Groupon in the Washington DC area and sold 376 vouchers so I am slammed with work this week so it is good to be back home cranking out the orders.

I don't have any photos to share really but here is one of the girls on the way home yesterday sleeping on the same pillow. I love them. :)