If you have ever worked a craft show, (similar to trade shows) you know the sounds of set up. Dollies rolling across bare cement floors, skids being unwrapped, clangs of curtain rods echoing overhead, harried vendors intent on transforming their allotted space into a unique shop zone.
It was a set up day in Winnipeg. We had claimed our temporary home, unloaded the skids, spilling bins sporting identification labels: Office. Signs. Electrical. We laid the carpets, hung the curtains, snaked electrical wires into position. We reassembled the birch shelving with our eyes closed, positioned the table, dressed it, ready for display. The accent lighting proved it was all worthwhile. The hanging of our birch painting and Earth to Body sign made it home. The product was last to escape their storage boxes, anxious to fill the shelves for customer perusal. Soaps, creams, oils, lotions carefully maneuvered into their space. My favourite part.
I was arranging our X Cream onto a shelf when a young vendor danced into our booth.
“Hi there,” she sang. “ You probably don’t remember me, but I shopped here last year.” She circulated her hand to frame her smile. “My face!” she reminded me. “Covered in acne. But wow! No more. Look. Clear as a bell. I am a new person because of your Skin Management Program. Just wanted to pop by to say thank you.”
I smiled. “You are welcome. You look great.” And off she flew. No time to dilly-dally. Set up day, we are all under pressure. How kind of her to take the time to greet us. We love positive feedback but her enthusiasm made my day.
Our 4-hour set up morphed into a great 4-day show. We sold several skin management packages, had many return customers happy we were back and lots of new customers excited to find such natural skin care. We had one lady return a half used soap that did not work for her very senstive skin. No problem, we replaced it with a simpler version. We had another regular customer who bought over a hundred dollars worth of product and just happened to mention her large argan had smashed onto the bathroom floor. She said it was her own fault, but she was so disappointed, as she had virtually just bought it at the last show. I said accidents happen, but since she had come back for more and spent so much, I would include a gift of small argan oil. She was beyond thrilled.
I like to travel the show. I tried to spot the dancing vendor with the infectious smile and clear skin, but she had vanished. Perhaps she knows our daughter and has since purchased from her, or shopped online, or bought from my husband when I was not in the booth. No worries, I know she loves us.
Our lives are a travelling circus. As vendors, we all know how hard we work. We know that holidays, the flu, the Grey Cup and yes, politics, can affect attendance at the shows. So do bus strikes, snow storms, floods, too hot summer days. We are all in the same boat. We are like family and we support each other. And sometimes, all is perfect!
It is also our customers to whom we say ‘thank you’. If you are in Montreal, do visit us at 'La Boutique Earth to Body'. If you are somewhere else in Canada, come 'Meet us at a Show'. Our online shop is always open. And thank you again, dancing vendor.