Saturday, October 10, 2009

International Quilt Market - Day 1 and 2

Hi everyone! I'm Laura, Nancy's youngest daughter. I was just 9 months old when Nancy and Lynda started the business, so I guess you can say I literally grew up in the quilting industry. I am here in Houston, Texas this week, along with Nancy, Lynda, Judy (our buyer, show coordinator and more), and Ashley (our Director of Marketing, author of the weekly update, and more).

(From L to R: Lynda, Nancy, Judy, Laura & Ashley)

We had a fun idea to share with all of our readers just exactly what happens at these wonderful markets. Every fall (for 30 years now), hundreds of quilters and vendors gather in Houston, Texas to attend a wholesale show known as International Quilt Market. It is a time when fabric companies debut brand-new lines, pattern companies show the latest patterns, and designers prepare to show everything they have created new in the past year.

Shop owners come from around the world (literally) to attend this event and stock their shops with new and exciting goodies for customers. We have a unique position at market, as we are both vendors (of Possibilities books and patterns) and buyers (for Great American Quilt Factory). The electricity in the air for the three days of the show is undeniable, and we undoubtedly return to the shop feeling renewed, refreshed and excited to share all of the new ideas with our customers.

But it does take preparation! The booth isn't decorated when we arrive, in fact we ship cartons of quilts, displays, curtains, even carpeting, directly to Houston to "decorate" our booth. There are hundreds of vendors at the event, and each is assigned their booth space. We arrived in Houston on Thursday afternoon, and started setting up our booth on Friday morning.

Nancy and Lynda getting ready to unpack the boxes and set-up the booth (pretty sparse!)

Now there are some poles to hang quilts on, and the tables have been moved:

We're not the only ones getting set up!

Nancy stood on the ladder to hang poles, and cover and wrap the poles in fabric:

I helped a little too!

With the basics of the booth put together, we loaded the quilts in suitcases, and headed to the upstairs floor of the convention center for Schoolhouse. Schoolhouse is a day of 15-30 minute presentations from vendors, designers, companies, basically an information session about new products and good ways to help your customers get the most from a product.

Nancy and Lynda presented a Schoolhouse about their new fabric line, Petals & Paisleys (for Quilting Treasures), and talked about making an "Inspiration Station" in a store:

Shop owners love to hear Nancy and Lynda's ideas!

After Schoolhouse, we return to hang the quilts up in the booth. On Friday morning, they turn on all of the overhead lights, turn on the air-conditioning (a must in humid Texas) and the show is ready to start.

In a few short hours, we turned our booth from bare to stunning, ready for visitors.

Check back soon, we'll post more about all of the other fun stuff to see at Quilt Market!

:) Laura

5 comments:

Debbie Rhodes said...

Thank you for "taking" us along... what fun....

Cut-N-Shoot Quilting Diva said...

I'm soo excited! I'll see y'all there on Friday!

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