Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Market Madness

I am not the sort of person you can toss in the pool. And by that I mean that you can't just throw me into a completely unfamiliar situation, give me no guidelines or rules, and expect me to figure out how to keep myself afloat. And that's pretty much what it was like being at Market: the show floor was a huge swimming pool and after they threw me in, I just kind of sank to the bottom and hoped a hot lifeguard would come along and give me mouth-to-mouth.

I had no pre-defined role or job, and so I had no idea what to do. We had a booth, decorated with a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme (complete with a bathtub couch and Cat), where we would hand out free copies of the magazine and try to convince quilt shop owners to buy more to sell in their shops. Thankfully, Steph, Beth, Bev, and many others (Tracy Mooney, Rashida Coleman-Hale, and Jan Peoples, just to name a few) had been recruited to work the booth. (And "work the booth" now sounds dirty to me.) And thank god they were there, because none of them had any problems with walking up to complete strangers and handing them a magazine and convincing them to order several more copies. People see me and immediately ask me all kinds of snippy questions that I can't answer. (Quilt Shop owner: "Why would I want to sell this in my shop when you have an article in here about online stores?" Me: "Um, because all you carry in your shop is Moda?") (And, no, I didn't actually say that to anybody.) They see Bev, who is the sweetest woman on earth and go, "Oh, how nice! Thank you! I can't wait to read this!" I bring out the bitch in everyone.

Jake and Melissa had "appointments" all day every day, and I put that in quotes only because at the time I had no idea what these appointments entailed. Mani/pedis? Lap dances? No idea. And for a while it seemed as though they really didn't want me anywhere near these appointments, though Scott Hansen, our Community Editor, would be at the first one, a breakfast meeting with someone I've had contact with for our blog advertising. So I was trying to figure out why they didn't want me to go, when suddenly I was told I could come! Well, okay, then!

The appointments were, in general, for a representative from a fabric or other quilt-related company to show us their new stuff and for us to show them our magazine, and hopefully they might want to advertise and we might show off their goodies in our pages. Apparently when I didn't regale our first appointment person with my exceedingly foul language, they decided I could come on ALL the appointments if I wanted to. Or I could walk the floor. Or I could hang out in the booth. At one point it was suggested that I should walk the floor and look for new products, since I am in charge of the new products/stuff we love section of the magazine. Finally, direction!

Except, I have never done this before, so I kept getting lost, wandering aimlessly, working up the nerve to talk to people (which I did eventually do, but not enough). The whole time I felt like I was just spinning in place, not getting as much out of it as I should have or putting as much into it as I needed to. It was all I could do to remember my own name.

But, I did get to meet Scott in person for the first time as well, and that was pretty cool.

Did you know Scott Hansen is about eight and a half feet tall? With our hair, we could be twinsies, but obviously neither of my parents were giants.

See what I mean?

That's Jake on the right and Melissa is between me and Stilts. Those are candy cigarettes we're holding, not joints.

The other person I finally got to meet, after a couple years of blog and Facebook stalking, is this hot thang:

I don't think I've ever been hugged so hard in my life. That is Lisa Sipes. She quilted a baby quilt for me as well as the PTB quilt. She's quickly becoming mega-famous and someday she will no longer have time for little old me, but until then, she is my internet crush and my favorite person to send weenie pictures to.

Do you know who else are freakish giants? Amy and David Butler. I couldn't do any ass grabbing because I couldn't actually reach that high. Fortunately, most quilters seem to be tiny homunculi like me, so for the most part I felt pretty comfortable.

There were about four people total who knew who I was and a couple who even sought me out to say hello and that was pretty cool. I'm told that if I had gone to the Modern Meet-Up on Saturday night, there may have been more, but I was still wary of running into some of the certain individuals out there who get all wound up because I make fun of quilting! Gasp! So I spent Saturday evening with my big sister, who was there on a buying trip for the quilt shop she works for. She and I want to start some sort of quilty business together, possibly quilt patterns, and I totally think we should call it Big Sissy Design Co. I guarantee you they will be the most entertaining patterns on the market, hands down.

It's pretty funny to me that I have seen several versions of that picture of the four of us on Facebook, and I am never identified in them. There's also a lot of congratulatory messages to us that mention the other three but not me. And there is a part of me that wants to go, "HEY!" and another that really likes the anonymity.

So, if I am required to go to Market again, I am not sure what I will do to make the experience more fruitful for me and Generation Q. Bring the good camera and take more pictures for one thing. Go on more appointments to get a better sense of the trends, particularly color trends, that will help in designing future issues. Bring a map and a bag of breadcrumbs. And some sort of portable stepladder so I can stop straining my neck when I have to talk to the freakishly tall people.

Oh, and a box of Manic Panic so Lisa can turn me into the purple-haired punk goddess I was so obviously meant to be.

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