Whew! What a wild ride the International Home & Housewares Show was this year!
It started out with catastrophe and went from there. Our kids got sick (I mean fevers and puking!) so my husband had to stay home with them and I was left to drive down with a truck of stuff to Chicago alone, only to arrive just as the forklift guys went on lunch break. Waiting around took a bit, and then I was finally loaded in.
It’s always a bit daunting to get my booth up – every year I think I’m prepared, and I pack better and lighter, but this year was extra tricky as I was alone. Thankfully, the amazing couple with @nesthomeware helped put together furniture. (The people at the show who have booth space near me are the BEST – we are a big family!) However…as I was packing up to go, I smashed my head into an iron tinsmith stake and unwittingly gave myself a concussion!
This means the next day, I could barely stand up straight and felt dizzy and nauseous, so I had to leave my booth unmanned and go home and rest. Again, the wonderful people around my booth helped to hand out stuff in my absence. How lucky am I?!?! Lucky.
One of the people in the booth across from me was a Doctor, and so Jim from JAZ Innovations made sure I wouldn’t have any concussion issues. Some of the guys from Dawn’s Light came in from Washington DC to help network and build relationships, have working dinners (it was one of the guys’ birthday!) and lots of people stopped by from previous years to say hello. We made some very nice international connections – we’ll see what pans out!
There were conversations about future plans, hugs with distributors, chats about thermal conductivity, and the sharing of coffee and beer. I definitely loved my booth visits (and scotch sharing) with the owner of the upcoming @fearlesscooking store in Chicago. There were some wonderful conversations with Henry Lodge (yes, that Lodge), and great laughs with the kind and supportive guys from Patisse.
And breakfast with the beautiful and amazing Beth of @entertainingwithbeth? An annual delight!
And I can’t forget the amazing people (Keith and Carma!) at Max Burton who helped me load up my booth and carry out boxes at the end of the show.
So while I didn’t write tons of orders or make much money at all, I did have a really special time that cannot be replicated, and it really comes down to the people. And isn’t that what it’s all about? The relationships…and that makes it worth all the hard work!