as you might suspect, the two weeks that we spend in Houston each Fall for the Quilt Market & Festival are ultra-important for us. Black Friday may fall on the Friday after Thanksgiving for most other businesses, but our Black Friday typically occurs sometime in between these two shows!
Consequently we’ve grown to love our annual 2-week stints in downtown Houston every year. As a matter of fact, I’ve jokingly told my husband that we just may know more about downtown Houston than most people who’ve lived in that area all their lives. So with that said, let me show you some of the highlights from the 2018 version of these two shows!
We planned our 3-day drive a little differently this year, stopping for the night in Mobile, AL and then in Beaumont, TX. That left us with a short little 90-minute hop into Houston on Thursday morning, and plenty of time to load-in all of our supplies and even do a little setting up before dragging all our personal stuff over to the Homewood Suites.
And after a day and a half of setting up, here’s how our booth looked for the opening of the Quilt Market on Saturday. I was pleased with this look and as it turned out, this was literally one of the all-time best Markets we have ever taken part in! The foot-traffic was up and it was such a success that I had to send back home for get more supplies sent down for TWELVE of our products, most notably, the Sling Along and almost all of the notions associated with it.
As is our norm,we had signed up for a Sneek Peek box out in the lobby of the GRB and it payed off BIG time! I’ve learned over time that this is a super way to get our new products out in front of our prospective buyers even before they get into the show and i was thrilled to hear that next year there will also be a Sneek Peek area at the Quilt Festival!
And before we knew it Quilt Market was over and it was time to reset it for Quilt Festival! Can you detect the differences between this, our retail setup and the wholesale version I showed you earlier?
And was I happy that our extra supplies made it to Houston just in time for the Preview Night (Wednesday night)? You bet i was! But here’s the deal!…..
Just as it had been at Quilt Market days earlier, the crowds were AMAZING! After an awesome Preview Night and a spectacularly successful first full day of Festival (Thursday), I knew we would once again run short of the Sling Along pattern and virtually everything associated with it. And here’s the thing, my Sister-in-law had shipped me way more of each item than I had asked for and we STILL ran out on Friday about lunchtime with two & 1/2 more days to go! Needless to say we took a LOT of orders with a promise of free shipping!
So without a doubt… both shows FLEW by (time flies when you’re busy, right?), and now that we’re home, we’ve spent a good deal of time trying to absorb what happened last week, which was only the single best wholesale AND retail shows we’ve ever had, and not by a small margin either! And not only that, our experience was not an isolated occurrence. The majority of the vendors I spoke to ALSO had a similarly successful show!
So… if you were one of the many who stopped by our booth and purchased a pattern or maybe a zipper from us… thank you! And if you were one of the many who wished us well or had a good thought for us as we made our way down to Houston… thank you! And if you were one of the many organizers who didn’t give up and worked hard preparing in advance for these two shows… even though the attendance numbers have been consistently dropping over the past 5 years or so… and even though the pundits have declared our industry to be dying… and even though the critics all said that the Quilt Market business model was flawed, archaic, even DOOMED… THANK YOU! Because based on what I saw last week, the sewing industry is still alive and well in this country and I am certainly encouraged by this and especially by the increased numbers of young people I saw in attendance!
And now…. it’s YOUR turn!
What questions might YOU have about these two shows? And does this make you want to consider coming to Houston yourself to see what all the excitement is about? And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.
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