Tis the night before Hali, and I’m quite calm at the moment.

I wanted to write about my “process” when it comes to preparing for a show.  I take my hat off to those who do shows all the time, shipping their booths from venue to venue, the organization, time and energy that must take.

For me, I typically “do” one show a year.  I might do a pop up shop or trunk show locally, but I create and store my wares through my year to sell in one big weekend per year.  This is the one…

I start preparing as soon as the show is done.  Often I have a plan for where I’d like to show the following year.  I then focus my energy on how many pieces I’d like to have with me at the show, and break down how many I’d like to make per week…to get an idea of the year ahead.  I know that sounds SUPER organized, but I do account for energy surges (and lack of), and holidays, when I plan to be away from home.  Once summer arrives, I have a good idea of where I’ll be exhibiting and the size of booth I’ll be assuming for a weekend.  From there the booth gets organized in my thoughts and plans are put into action.  I have re-worked my booth again this year, so spent part of the summer in lumber shops, painting, sawing, and putting together racks with my machinist’s help.  I had him custom-make 60 hooks that we designed.  Someone open to ideas and small jobs like mine is a real godsend.

A couple of weeks before the show, I pull out all my stock and review it to see if I need to revive any pieces marked by storage.  Storing felt hats can be a pain at times.  I use a LOT of recycled plastic bags.  Once priced, we get to the good stuff.  Outfits!

You see, shows for me are FUN.  I bring girlfriends, and we LAUGH a lot of the time.  We do it up, dressing in “Halifax clothes” that we’ve been picking out for the last year.  Fancy and sometimes “out there” outfits that would normally not see the light of day.  Full makeup and accessories.  SUPER girlie stuff.  We are engaged all weekend, making relationships with new customers and visiting with old ones.  It is an amazing thing to witness someone loving a hat, or thinking that they are beautiful.  The energy is incredible.

However, I still get nervous.  Nervous each morning of the show, a bit worried that the booth will work out fine, that we’ll be received by the public.  I think it is good to feel a bit nervy…keeps me on my toes.

I did however send this picture to one of my friends helping me set up tomorrow.  It is a picture of my spinney rack tangled up with the standing racks.  I told her that it will feel like untangling Christmas lights, or a thousand hangers.  Hahaha.  I think she swore under her breath, but is always up for a challenge.

Here’s to a wonderful weekend.