Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sock Summit 2009

What more is there to say? Hard to know where to begin. This show has been monumental to my business. Since the beginning of March, when I learned that I would participate as a vendor, I have been working my ass off. Doing this show required that I focus, that I bring extra help, Adrienne and Nam, that I expand my product line, and that I bring my best colorways forward - which happen to be some of the most beautiful yet challenging colors to create yet. I put myself out there like I never have before - and as painful as it was at times, it was worth it.

I have to admit that I am horrible taking photos at these events. To me, there's something romantic about the mind's eye but then I come home and want to tell you all about it - so, I hijacked Adrienne's camera. To her, I owe her gratitude for the following photos.

Michael, Marlowe, Kathleen, Adrienne, and myself drove up to Portland with all of the goodies. We arrived a day early and started to set up the booth. Loved that we had the booth set up early! Also, there to meet us was my Mom, Aunt Mary, and Cousin Katherine. They took the train all the way from Minnesota to help us work the show. Love!

The shoppers! This was the view from our booth!

My favorite part of the event was the opening night ceremony. For an hour, Tina, of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee, the Yarn Harlot, regaled us with tales of putting on this show. They were funny, sincere, and focused of their pursuit. Three qualities I find admirable. They started their speech with quotes that led them through the process. One Stephanie shared was "Tread lightly, you are walking on my dreams." I could not find a better quote to sum up my relationship to the world and to my company. Mostly their speech was about conceiving a dream, and the process of bringing that to dream into existence, inviting other to join, and watching it grow into something unimaginable. I love knitting, the action, the mechanics - but it's the philosophical approach that the fiber community brings forth that melts my heart. That time and time again, the fiber community supports fully new ideas, dreams, and creativity, really blows my mind.

Beyond the booth, I took 2 classes from Judith MacKenzie McCuin, Sock Exotica and Using Handspun for your socks. This is the 1st time that I have left my booth to take classes - it was pure luxury. As I sat in class, it dawned on me how grateful I was (and still am) for the ability to spend time taking classes - that my folks who help me, and who were busy working the booth, are so awesome. Of course sitting for 9 hours and spinning with Judith was amazing - but even more amazing and meaningful to my life at this time - was having to focus on only 1 thing. My brain took a serious break. Through this experience, I have decided to completely re-structure my spinning classes at the studio. More to come about that very soon.

One of the most amazing things about the marketplace were the notable figures strolling the halls and marketplace. We get a but of this at Stitches - but the marketplace is so large and there are so many shoppers that they are not as easy to stalk, I mean spot ;) Here's Anne Hansen, a contemporary lace master, looking at yarn. Yikes! I hope that we are making materials that inspire these great designers and teachers as much as their patterns inspire us.

The Sock Summit gave me the opportunity to see some old friends, like the Rav crew, that I haven't seen for a couple years which was great. Saturday night, we took the Portland's FREE subway to the Ravelry party. I wish I could remember what we were laughing about - probably a state of delirium, we were all getting a bit punchy by this point.

What better to lighten up a sleepy Sunday morning: Voodoo Donuts! I so wish I could have one right now! And, in the case that you are getting married, and looking for a place to exchange your vows, you may be happy to know, that Voodoo Doughnuts may be just the place for you!


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that all your hard work paid off!

Unknown said...

Thanks for your post - for us East Coast-ers, it was great to see some pics of the event. I love that your family took the train out to help you, what a wonderful gift. I am coming to SF this weekend and your storefront is of the few specific spots I hope to visit while there. I will say hi if I can make it by. Congrats on a great show!