I've heard horror stories from other exhibitors that you can sit for 3 hours in a queue at Ally Pally just waiting to unload ! Apparently they only let 12 people unload at a time which means that with over 300 exhibitors, it takes forever to get near the front of the queue before you can even start to unload, let alone start setting your stand up.
I've made a start bagging up supplies, but am now starting to run out of stock and that won't do for my loyal website customers, so I've had to stop bagging things up for the time being and wait for new supplies to arrive.
So far I've managed to bag up felt shapes, hearts, pebbles, plain balls and beaded balls.
I've been to the old fashioned sweet shop and begged to buy their empty for victorian style sweet jars (this is just half of them !)
I've been thinking of ideas on how to pretty up my stand - like the jars of felt balls aren't pretty enough - and this is what I've come up with
Lovely felt flowers complete with spotty buttons in the centre. Hmmm, maybe I should make up some sets of these along with little brooch pins for people to buy as kits?
I've painted the wooden letters that I purchased from Michaels when I was in Florida at Easter
I've bought lovely candy stripe paper bags for the "small, individual items" and am waiting on costings for printed paper carrier bags from the printers. I've signed off the final version of my flier and these are at the printers as we speak.
I've designed some lovely felt ball and button jewellery sets - which just need the final component adding to the little bags and then they're all ready to be labelled up. No sneak peeks of these - if you want to see them, you'll have to come along to Ally Pally !
I'm waiting on my biggest button delivery ever - unfortunately I ordered so much that I think I cleaned my supplier out and only managed to get half of the order earlier this week. Hopefully the rest will arrive very soon so that I can start counting out and bagging up buttons.
My giant felt supplies order is currently being made to order and is scheduled to arrive in the middle of September - until then, bagging up of felt goodies is on hold.
I've printed out thousands of label tops for all of the grip seal bags which we be filled with felt and button goodies and need to sit and cut them all out !
I need to get Public Liability Insurance and sort out the electrics for the stand.
I need to order a chip & pin machine and work out how to use it !
I need to make up a couple of the felt ball and button necklaces for me and my friend to wear at the show so that people can hopefully admire them and we can then sell them some of the lovely little kits.
I need to do a "dry run" and check that all of my goodies will actually fit on the shelves in the stand - if they don't - I'm stuffed !
Oh - and a few other little things that need sorting before the show - Grace's 4th birthday party, Sam's 7th birthday party (a week apart !), new school shoes, new ballet outfit, finish the Questseekers Reading Scheme at the library, entertain the in-laws, make time to see my sister who I haven't seen in a whole year ! Make up some pretty little button hairclips for my friend's daughters who also have birthdays in the next couple of weeks.
Is that it? Probably not, but for the moment it will have to do. My head is nearly bursting but maybe I can use this blog post as my checklist.
ooh, ooh - another thing I just remembered ! Some new special offers have been added to the website - little boxes of buttons - all half their recommended retail price - check 'em out here . And, some cotton tote bags that I bought ages ago with the intention of prettying up and selling on. Needless to say, I've never had the time so am now offering them for sale at 80p each. I'm sure you will be able to do much more with them than I ever planned : EDIT - SORRY, ALL BAGS NOW SOLD !!
Right - gotta go - those label tops won't cut themselves out !!