Blessed, Hopeful & A Little Bit Redneck . . .
A small sampling of some of the amazing things our vendors brought to this show . . .
Sure, we still had the occasional post from people who don’t like to pay admission (not sure how to make them understand the thousands and thousands spent on putting on a show, renting a venue, doing tons of advertising, buying insurance and do all the incidentals from traffic cones, to signs, to decor, etc.) but we have always had and will always have those that want everything for free. We spend countless hours finding and jurying our vendors, communicating with vendors, designing our ads, posters, postcards, getting it all printed, distributing it all, designing, repairing and maintaining our website and facebook page and event pages, meeting with TV account executives and their creative team, figuring out all the details of the venue and working with their crew, hiring and preparing our own crew and so many more things I am sure I am forgetting. These shows don’t just “happen.”
But that complaint has always been the case and always be the case. Of course we all want something for nothing. But that is not reality. Probably the only thing about those complaints that annoys me is the fact that ALL of our advertising lists the price. So they know before coming that they will be needing to pay admission, yet still they complain. I always wonder, if this is an issue for them, why they chose to come. But anyway . . . that is just life and always will be. I have accepted that no matter how fair we think our prices are, (and that if we didn’t charge admission we would LOSE money) someone will always take issue with it. So I choose to not let it have power and instead to look at the positive. And my goodness, is there a lot of positive!!
As I mentioned earlier, our vendors were fantastic. They all got along and many became quick friends with their neighboring booths. They smiled and laughed. They showered us with compliments. My fear of man lessoned a bit. I began once again to believe in the goodness of people.
Our crew too, was amazing. We had gals handling the admission area, another covering our booth, three people in loadout and holding, another handing out postcards as people left, and a runner who did everything from decorating to filling in for lunch breaks, to just being our “right hand woman.” And at take down, these busy bees made our job a breeze. All these amazing people did a fabulous job and it ran like clockwork. And they did it all with a smile.
And to our shoppers . . . 99.9% of you were wonderful. You were not the complainers I mentioned earlier . . . you came with a spirit of fun and excitement and enjoyed just living in the moment with friends and family as you went from fabulous booth to booth. You smiled at us, you complimented us, you encouraged us. You praised our vendors, you thanked our staff. You are the heart and soul of our business and we are grateful beyond words. We truly love you and thank you for allowing us into your world.
This week, as we dealt with all the aftermath of the show, which involves everything from banking and paying for our promotions and other expenses, to unloading our car and van and resetting up our shop in the barn, I reflected on the life I live. By many standards it is a weird life. Never the same. Never 9 to 5. There is a lot of time spent on the computer, but also a lot of time spent being creative. I rarely have a day where my fingernails don’t have paint under them and I usually lose about 3 pounds every show, just because of all the running around we do. But I also thought of how blessed I am. How I get to choose my life. My husband also gets to choose. He chose to leave the high pressure corporate world of EMS management this year. His stress and health are ten times better for it. I get to choose to work 18 hours some days and 3 hours others. I average more than full time hours, but I love what I do. I meet the most amazing creative people and have made some incredible friends. Just yesterday, I needed to exchange a shirt I had bought from a vendor that ended up being too big for me. We met at the local McDonald’s parking lot to do an exchange. We chatted and acted just like any old friends do. I marvel at the personalness of it all. I have vendors tell me they are praying for me. I have vendors give me gifts and send me cards. I get lots of hugs. When I am struggling, there is always someone who prods me on and believes in me.
When, we had a sudden personal emergency in January, dealing with Ron’s aging parents, we were able to stop and deal with them and our vendors gave us the grace to take a break. I felt a sense of panic as we didn’t get as many postcards and posters placed as we wanted, but our attendance numbers still increased. At one point, as panic threatened to overtake me, I simply prayed for God to bless our efforts, even if all we could do was less than we had planned. He did just that . . . by 1300 more in attendance than our last show!
So now, to change my post from a post of gratitude and instead throw in a dash of “redneck”, here is the redneck beauty secret I promised to share. It is actually a bit embarrassing, but as those of you who know me and have followed my blog have come to know, I am almost always transparent.
So here goes (cringing a little, as I admit this) . . . I have many people compliment me on looking young for my age (I will be 54 in a month!), of not having a lot of wrinkles and not being all “puffy faced.” . . . While I know I am no beauty queen and certainly don’t profess to be, one thing that has helped tremendously with this is . . . drumroll on a redneck kettle please . . . Preparation H!
Stay with me here, before you write me off as insane. The purpose of Preparation H is to remove inflammation of tissue . . . in this case for hemorrhoids . . . but it is made to be extra gentle, because of the nature of where it is used, and it DOES remove inflammation. There are two types of Preparation H . . . cream or ointment. I use the cream, because I typically put this on a few minutes before my foundation. The ointment would leave my skin too oily to apply foundation. If you were spending the day at home, to let your face soak in the ointment, would also be great.
So there you go. Not sure if you have now declared me insane, but the truth needed to be spoken. Typically I put it on, especially around my eyes and mouth and where ever my wrinkles seem to want attention, and I then brush my teeth and then do my hair, letting it just sit and soak in. After that I can easily put on my makeup . . . the cream has been fully absorbed and my skin feels wonderfully soft. I have more redneck beauty treatments too . . . but I will save that for another day . . . before you all decide I am completely insane and stop following my blog.
So I leave you feeling blessed, hopeful and a little bit redneck and wishing you the same . . . after all, a little redneck is good for all of us!
Tonight I just got home after setting up for our latest show, “Pickin’ Christmas”, which will take place at the Greyhound Event Center in Post Falls Idaho this coming weekend, December 3 and 4. We have the spots all marked off, the placement figured out for everything from decor to ticket booths . . . and my booth is done. I am pleased with how simple it came together and how nice I think it will display. But still tonight finds me anxious and stressed.