Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Suites at Market Square

One of the many dazzling show rooms at High Point Market
High Point Market (April 21-26) is now behind us, it's Saturday Night and I'm sitting in my bedroom watching a re-run of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. My legs hurt, may bags are still not unpacked, I have four large boxes of all of my show samples in my living room downstairs and my night stand is covered in receipts from diners, lunches, gas stations and dozens of other places I spent funds on this past week while we exhibited our hand-made signs in High Point, North Carolina.

We crammed as many signs as possible into Booth #4038
Just getting there was challenging enough. High Point is only a three hour drive from our studio in Snow Hill, NC. We opted to not rent any trucks or trailers and simply take our own two POVs filled with our samples, our walls to display them on and ourselves (Me, Susan, Greyson & Tate).

Our Beach and Coastal walls had many new signs
All was going well when about an hour into our drive I lost my battery and my alternator and had to leave my truck on the side of the expressway near Cary on Thursday night. We then all climbed into our other truck and went on to High Point with only the booth. After getting my wife and daughter safely in the hotel in Winston-Salem, my son and I drove back to Cary and picked up the samples from my truck and brought them back to High Point. My son and I never slept that night. Then at 8 a.m., we went over to the dock and started unloading and setting up our booth.

This amazing building looks like a ship hull split in half, it has a mote too
High Point is an odd town in that it has a population of just over 100,000 and twice a year it hosts The High Point Market which brings in another 100,000 visitors each time. And it's crazy. You can tell just by walking down the street that everyone is from out of town. They dress different, wearing clothing that you've never seen before, at least not in my little town of Snow Hill. The eye wear, the shoes, they are just fabulous. And every person you see is a character, you can almost see their trade written right on their face and clothes. And they are all here, decorators, architects, designers, business men, blue collar workers, food service folks, artists, salesmen, gift shop keepers and the list goes on and on. There are so many people here at once that all of the hotels are full, many people, including us have to stay in neighboring city's. We stayed in Winston-Salem. As the show winds down you can switch hotels closer to High Point as some folks start to leave.

This guy played jazz guitar in the IHFC lobby every night, he was a true artist!
The first 3 days are the best, lots of parties every evening, outdoor concerts, jazz bands playing in all of the bars, show room girls walking around in sexy outfits, people handing out brochures and flyers to entice you to come to their showroom open houses. There are lots of free drinks after 4 p.m. in the show rooms, lots of free things to do and see. As the week gets longer though, things begin to wind down, people start leaving, the parties get fewer and by the end of the week it's like just going shopping at Target, you go in, you see things you grab lunch and you just go back to your hotel room and do it again the next day. And you start thinking to your self... I really need to get back to my studio, orders are piling up.

New Fresh Crabs Sign from Slippin' Southern
So what did we accomplish at Market Square's six day long market? We picked up many nice new customers, wrote lots of orders, and embarked on some exciting new opportunities with a couple of large retailers that we are really excited about. We also had fun meeting many other great exhibitors including Steve and Donna Hayden, Sabrina's Chair Apron from Grace and London.

Samantha of Grace & London was next door to us at the show
Donna & Steve Hayden brought some awesome signs too y'all.
Want to meet us at our next show? We'll be at the Atlanta Gift Mart (July 11-18).
And this time we are shipping everything... no trucks y'all.

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