This week was supposed to be amazing! Going on my third year of selling Chalk Paint®, this was going to be my first trek to the Annie Sloan Stockist Conference in New Orleans.
There she is, Annie Sloan herself and there I'm not!
Michelle Black and I trekked out of the house at 4:30 am on Monday morning to make our way to LAX, board a plane and head to New Orleans, the city where Annie Sloan Unfolded is located.
We had an 8:00 am flight which was going to get us into New Orleans just after 3:00 pm local time.
But...the pilot didn't show. Another plane had mechanical issues. Our flight was delayed 30 minutes...then 60 minutes...then two hours...then three hours. Finally, four hours later at 12:00 pm they allowed us to board a plane. But wait, we sat there...for two. more. hours.
At this point, we had already missed our connecting flight in Dallas plus two additional connecting flights that had been re-scheduled on our behalf.
We finally land in Dallas to head to our connecting flight terminal that was scheduled to leave at 6:30. But, that was delayed to 8:10. With 44 people on the flight stand by list, we decided to wait in line just to make sure we had seats on the plane. 45 minutes later and at the front of the line, the flight was cancelled. Cancelled I tell ya! Next flight out; 5:00 pm on Tuesday. Oh, and by the way, all of the airport hotels are booked.
The real question was, do we wait in the airport for another 18+ hours to catch a flight on Tuesday night in hopes that it will in fact leave at said time, arrive to New Orleans to attend the conference for just one day (because I already had to cut the last day short to return home) OR do we try and head home.
I think you can guess what we did...
Back to LA at 9:30 pm...errr....11:05 pm...just kidding, 12:15 am.
Michelle and I did make some use of our time in the hours of idly sitting by.
We worked on some marketing materials. We did some planning on launching our rental line. We talked about opening another store. But, we didn't go to the Annie Sloan Conference for which I am completely and totally bummed out. Finally, at 2:37 am I pulled into my driveway...just 1.5 hours later and it would have been a full, 24 hour day.
While I have my week completely open (which NEVER happens), I am catching up on some big initiatives. One of which is meeting with some leasing agents and potential landlords for a new and second location in Claremont. So far, I haven't been successful in sealing the deal for a Claremont store, but I am being picky and figure I have all the time in the world to find the right place, at the right time, for the right price.
I toured several available store fronts in the Old Schoolhouse in Claremont this morning. It's a beautiful building in a gorgeous location so we'll see what comes of it.
As for the rest of my week, I have a birthday party for my daughter to plan which will be fun to photograph and some sleep to catch up on. Plus, the June BAZAAR in a couple of weeks and the end of school. Isn't it amazing how quickly and open calendar can fill up?
BTW, in case you are wondering, we were flying American Airlines. They told me I wouldn't get a refund. They haven't heard the last of me!
I'm on the cusp of recovering from a crazy, busy weekend. Sometimes I think I am suffocating myself with my own ambition. Coming out of planning and participating in the BAZAAR, attending (and helping to coordinate a booth) at the school Carnival, hosting a Moms group I participate in...plus a business networking event, AWANA awards (this was all just Wednesday to Saturday)...we hit up one of my favorite, junky bi-annual flea markets nearly two hours away in the desert...on Sunday. Such is the life of business owner, mom, friend, wife, etc. etc. etc... I know I'm not the only one that is crazy! All that to say that despite my lack of sleep, I had great fun picking my way through and over-priced (admission and parking costs) and poorly coordinated flea market near where my sister lives. I scored a large vintage fan at the very first booth.
This mid-century (I'm guessing early 1960's) dresser with some fabulous detailing. This piece is screaming for some Florence Chalk Paint® and was so cheap that my sister said it's probably haunted.
A gorgeous twin headboard that is pretty as-is or will look nice painted. I'm going to freshen it up with some hemp oil and see if someone will appreciate the natural wood.
An antique dresser and mirror. Classic and simple. I can't wait to paint it and refinish the top.
And, this cool little chest opens up to a cabinet on the right side and a bank of narrow drawers on the left. Milk Paint will go on this piece for sure!
This cute scalloped table has a heavy duty iron base and awesome details.
And, of course little things here and there.
When it was all said and done, we made a side trip to the poppy fields to catch butterflies.
I can't be the only one having all the fun, afterall! Stop by the shop to scope out the new goodies along with a table of old goodies that are marked down 70% off! Now I'm off to bed to recover from my crazy life.
About a month ago, I was sitting in Allure having my hair cut and Tim walks in the door passing out weekly menus for My Secret Chef. He explained that they were running out of the Village Kitchen Shoppe and preparing a weekly menu, complete with healthy meals that they would deliver. Yes Please! Since then, Tim faithfully delivers the weekly menu to the shop. And, the food is delicious!
Two weeks ago, when Tim brought the menu I had a revelation. "THIS WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THE BAZAAR!" My Secret Chef signed up for a spot and will be the only on-site food vendor!
The owner and founder of My Secret Chef, Julie Bolton had this vision of creating healthy gourmet lunches and dinners to for the active person. It started many years ago when she wanted to change her eating habits and starting eating “clean” without the processed food and chemicals. She found that her energy was so much better, she felt great and wanted to spread this to those around her. A couple of years back, a neighbor who had a recent surgery needed meals and the business was developed.
For the same price as fast food, why not have a healthy hearty meal that is made 100% from scratch with all of the finest ingredients. She also wanted variety so she changes the menu every week to give you the opportunity to not get tired of the same old menu items.
My Secret Chef works out of the Village Kitchen Shop on Glendora Avenue. They are open Monday thru Thursday from 11:00 to 5:00. Just call in your order for lunch and it will be available in a few minutes. They offer hot sandwiches, soups, wraps and other special lunch items each day as well as two unique dinners each week.
My Secret Chef has prepared a special menu just for the BAZAAR.
Breakfast and Lunch...coffee and Diet Coke for us soda addicts!
Plus, vendors will receive a special 10% discount.
I will never forget the feeling of my first half marathon. I remember standing at the starting line minutes before the race was about to start, almost in tears from anxiety about what was before me. This was last January. Just a month prior to the race, I had severely rolled my ankle. It was bruised from my pinkie toe to my heel and all around my foot. My ankle was about the size of a tennis ball. I couldn't walk on it for two days and wasn't able to run for three weeks. The weekend before race day, I put in a 10.5 mile run with my running partner Stephanie at which time I was verging on puking, pooping and crying all at the same time (TMI???). There was no way. NO WAY I was going to be able to run 13.1 miles in a week.
Race day arrived, I had a professional grade brace on my foot and mentally prepared for the fact that I might have to walk some of it.
We ran the whole thing. Finished the race in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 59 seconds.
By now, you're wondering why I'm writing about my running journey. Call it inspiration from some of my customers. I've talked to a lot of our BAZAAR vendors over the past week about their personal anxiety over selling in a public forum. "What if my stuff isn't good enough?" "What if nothing sells?" "What if I don't have enough stuff?" I see a parallel between my running journey over the past year to the painting journey of some vendors.
Every artist starts with their first piece. Every runner starts with their first mile.
My husband and I started running 5k's a little over a year ago. We did our first one together in about 45 minutes. Mainly because there were so many people that the course bottle necked all over the place and we were forced to walk.
We ran three subsequent 5k's over the course of the next six months.
Then I started running more consistently with my neighbor and dear friend Stephanie. I won't ever forget the first time she said, "let's run four miles today." Madness I tell ya!
We ran our first half marathon in January and immediately signed up for another one so that we would stay on a consistent fitness tract.
Destination San Luis Obispo. Rolling hills and beautiful vineyards.
Our 2nd half marathon was last weekend.
My cousin, Kelly signed up for the race with us and we were killing time taking selfies at 5 am.
Stephanie and I trained for this race. We did progression runs for three months, established hilly courses around town to strengthen our hill running and even managed some strength training. The goal was to best our first race time. I didn't think we would do it. This was a much harder course. And, I rolled my ankle...twice the week prior to the race.
We finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 10 seconds, besting our time by over five minutes!
Hosting the BAZAAR has provided me a unique opportunity to talk to many people about their artistic journey; the reservations some of them have about putting their work on public display. Just as one doesn't decide to run a marathon without training, one doesn't just start selling in a 10x20 booth at the Rose Bowl Swap Meet, or open a retail shop having never sold an item. It all starts with that first finished piece...that first sale...that first mile and that first race. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and take a risk and "go for it!"
The April BAZAAR was overwhelmingly rewarding for me as I witnessed first hand individuals who didn't think they had what it would take set up a great booth and others who have grown their home based businesses ten fold since our last BAZAAR. I observed success, both mental and financial in a short eight hours during the event. Some of these individuals started a year ago with nothing more than a single painting workshop or a simple vision for their business.
It's not that different from my running journey. It started with a pain-staking mile, worked up to 3.2, ran faster for 4, experienced set backs from injuries or busy schedules over the months in between, yet perservered despite my reservations to finish 13.1.
(And, for the record, I will not be running a full marathon...ever...ever, ever. Remind me of this if I ever say, "I'm gonna run a marathon.")
So, maybe it's time for you to take the plunge and put your work on public display. If it's too late for May, we still have the June BAZAAR! It just might be the perfect place to test the waters and improve for next year's spring event.
If you live in Glendora, shop in Glendora or work in Glendora, it's more than likely that you have run into Barbara and Dennis Hart. I first met the Hart's when Dennis took one of our Chalk Paint® Workshops. I still remember the chair he painted with a bold two-color distressed finish layering Greek Blue and Provence. It was awesome when he finished it!
Dennis and Barbara have a double-wide booth at this Saturday's BAZAAR and their set-up is a must see!
Barbara and Dennis fall into the shabby cottage flavor of shabby chic home decor. She loves florals in the home and masses of blooms in the garden. And, at the BAZAAR on Saturday, you will find a wealth of home and garden accents in addition to Barbara's beautiful quilts.
Like so many artisans, Barbara and Dennis have been crafting and creating for as long as they can remember. While Dennis calls Barb's quilting, "buying fabric, cutting it in to small pieces and sewing it together again," he is as supportive as a husband as anyone could ask for. Dennis helps Barb match colors and designs and (pay attention men!), even helps iron material.
Barbara says the most challenging aspect of quilting is getting colors and patterns pleasing to the eye. She loves moving outside of her comfort zone to try new things and work with new colors. If it doesn't quite work out as planned, well "perfection is over-rated" she says!
Remember to stop by Dennis and Barbara's booth this Saturday, May 3rd. They will be in Space 2 & 3!
The knot too shabby BAZAAR is this Saturday, May 3rd from 7:00-3:00 pm on the corner of Glendora Ave. and Bennet Ave. in the Glendora Village.
...with more scheduled to sell at the May 3rd event.
There are still vendor spaces available for both the May 3rd and June 7th event. If you create shabby chic and vintage style home decor, collect vintage clothing or make unique items with vintage flair, this just might be the event for you!