Week 6 at the Knitwhits studio was spent organizing and packing for the Northwest Needle Market in Seattle. It was difficult deciding what to take, and what not to take. We only had so much room, and we wanted to make the most of it. Tina put me in charge of merchandising the room, therefore I had to plan what samples to bring, what props I would need to set the kits up with and what tools I needed in order to display visuals properly. I was completely stressed out by the time Friday rolled around; I could barely function and pack my personal belongings. I realized when going through security that my carryon bag contained all of my toiletries. What an idiot I was thinking I could carry on more than 3 ounces worth of liquid on the plane with me. Next thing I know I was running through the airport trying to check in my carryon bag, make through security again, in order to catch my flight in 20 minutes. Needless to say I made it, and I was never so happy to be on that airplane.
This year the tradeshow was slower than we would have liked it to be.
(ETA – yes, a lot of the bigger and the regular accounts from that area went to TNNA or are waiting till the season really kicks in to place their orders – we didn’t see the stores from Alaska, Canada and US states further a field such as Utah and Montana that have attended this show in previous years.)
The number of retail shops visiting was just slightly down from the previous year. Customers were definitely there for the cash & carry aspect of the show, so saving themselves some money and were less interested in placing any orders. I have to wonder if the current price of gas had anything to do with it! However, we did get some complements on our displays, which leads me to believe I did something right. One interesting fact regarding this show was that it was all new customers that made the purchases. That speaks volumes for Tina, because interest in her designs continues to generate new accounts.
Tina and I took some time to do a little exploring while in Seattle, so we journeyed to the Grand Re-opening of the Westfield Mall in Tukwila. I was amazed to see the number of people shopping, and the line to check out in some of these stores was unreal. It makes it hard to believe that the recession we are experiencing with our economy is having any negative effect on the consumers in this area. My favorite discovery was a store called Gilly Hicks. This is a collection of intimates and loungewear for girls and boys. It is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch, and I assume they are trying to target males and females in their teens and early 20’s. As of right now they are 1 of 8 stores to make it into the malls, so they are trying to test the market right now.
(ETA – My favorite was “Buckle” (how cool are these T-shirts?? – I need to get out more.. – and I’m also now in love with Ed Hardy Shirts – but yowza.. pricey…. )
I am extremely excited about our latest promotion we are doing with the Purl Packs. I am a team captain for the Light the Night Walk in Cleveland in honor of my Mother. It is a fundraiser that The Leukemia Lymphoma Society puts on for cancer research. Tina is donating $5 for every Purl Pack that is purchased by retail stores now until the day of the walk on September 27th. This is a great opportunity to raise money for a great organization, and to reflect on the importance of finding a cure cancer. I am a huge advocate for promoting this, after seeing what my Mother has gone through being diagnosed with Lymphoma. If there is one thing I would love to see, it is people not having to suffer from invasive cancer treatments.
My favorite excursion this week in San Francisco was a trip to AT&T Park to watch a Giants game. Aaron and I spent Thursday at the stadium, and then took a long walk to North Beach. Of course I was exhausted after the long trudge through the city, when reached a local park we took a much needed nap in the sun. I have to say was not impressed with the Giant’s stadium. I felt as if I was at a carnival with all of the commercialized interruptions throughout the game. It seemed as though the fans were more entertained by the trivia games played between innings, and all of the Giants paraphernalia they could buy. Whatever happened to going to a baseball game and cheering for your home team, or actually watching the game?!?