Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The National Stationery Show in New York

Thought I'd go ahead and share a few of our NY pictures from the NSS.
Here's my daughter Ashley and her husband, Matt. We were down in the subways being mortified by the rats. Okay. Really, we were looking everywhere for rats and when we'd see them we felt - well, secretly - thrilled, I think, but freaked out. It's a complicated thing. Most women can understand it.

At the Javits, our boxes had already arrived when we got there and we made an arbitrary decision to try to be finished with setting up the booth by 2:00 p.m. so we'd have time to run the roads. We got done at 2:15.

Here's my beloved son-in-law Matt. You can't use step ladders at the Javits because that requires a Union Carpenter and the paying of the accompanying wage for a minimum of one-half hour. So you either have to wobble precariously on a little stool trying to install your lights and curtains or you have to bring a big, tall, handsome, darling, sweet boy from home. I love Missouri boys. They work hard and never expect a thing for their work except supper. Well, mostly just supper.

Ashley Fawn worked on our press kits. I don't know what good it did, but we left about 20 in the press room and at the end of the show they were all gone. I thought they were pretty cute but David (my own beloved Missouri boy) thought they looked homemade. I told him the term is HANDMADE and that was the goal. Sometimes these Missouri boys don't know when to be quiet and just shake their heads in approval. Seems like they ought to know that that is what they need to be doing ALL THE TIME!

So in about five hours we were set up and everything was working the best we could do it within our budget and shipping opportunities and talents.
We were delighted to be asked about our beautiful cornices (the little black frilly doom-a-flatchies at the top of our curtains)... they are cheap plastic garden fences - four bucks a piece - and we used them to hold up our curtains in what, I informed Matt (who is an engineer), was a brilliant piece of engineering by yours truly. As usual, he only pretended to be impressed by made my pre-engineering efforts but, as usual, with a few little pocket tools and some wire, he made them work like a dream once we were on-site. Thank you, Matt. But a little humility on your part would be most becoming. What a show-off!

So here are a few shots of our booth. We moved stuff around after the first day. And we moved stuff around after the second day. And the third day. We moved stuff all the time.

Here's the baby Ashley. I'm mad for my Ashley. She's spectacular.

Here we are in our fancy little girly dresses. I had a pink dress, a yellow dress, a green dress and an old ugly black and white dress. New Yorkers, apparently, don't know that you can wear colors - but they seem to like them. I got a lot of compliments on these dresses and I was really proud about that because my clothes are usually pretty much "less" in every category; however, no one admired my shoes. They were the ugliest shoes on creation and they hurt my feet too. I had pretty shoes, but I always dumped them by 10:00 a.m. because they hurt my feet even worse than the ugly shoes.

My advice to New Yorkers: wear some color. You all look very pale. And very serious. And sort of boring. And the black-makes-you-look-skinny thing like one woman told me (she was from Jersey)... get over that. Everyone can tell if you're sort of fat, even if you're wearing black. Might as well be sort-of-fat in pink.

My yellow dress. Alas, no picture of the green one.

Here's our Bump Watch: Hot Tots and Snots that was a finalist for the New Products Award in Social Stationery. We didn't win. Dang it. But the display did bring some traffic to our booth. If we'd have won, I would have had this at the TOP of this posting!

We had time one afternoon to go down to Ground Zero and see the construction at the Twin Towers. It's smaller than I imagined (my imagination is almost always bigger than anything that is real), but it's hard to get any sort of perspective. Matt tried in vain to explain many things to Ashley and me while we were down there but we always just pooh-poohed him and thought we were right no matter what (Matt is a construction engineer and not only designs but builds buildings for a living... we, on the other hand, are experts because we just know something. Matty, it's really stupid to argue with people who just know something to be so.)

After the show was over, the take-down was incredible. The floor went to this condition in 12 minutes. It was astonishing.

The fork-lift guys were incredibly rude and silly, however, and not even good looking. Obviously, none of them had mothers or their mothers would have slapped the crap out of them. The exhibitors on our aisle were all appalled... because none of us were from New York we didn't know it was even possible for men to be so lazy or so dumb. I, personally, had never seen it before. They don't make boys like that in the Midwest or South. Thank our loving God!

We got our booth down in record time. Matt worked like a champion (he's from Mexico, Missouri, so he knows how to work and he never complains and he doesn't quit until everything is done... he's a man, you see, and his mother raised him right) and got everything in the boxes despite the stupid way Ashley and I threw everything in them because, you see, we were tired. Matt even contended with our cheap, glued-up scissors and didn't even complain (although Ashley and I did). Thank you so much, Ashley. Thank you so much, Matt. I love you both more than you'll ever understand.

So we flew home the last night of the show. We were sooooo happy to see our beloved homes.

Now, about real men again. This explains what I mean about those wussies in New York. When we got back to St. Louis, it was close to midnight. We waited for our shuttle because we'd parked in long-term off-site parking. When our van showed up, the middle-aged-slightly-overweight driver hopped out of the bus, grabbed our suitcases and those of some other travelers and stowed them into the luggage rack. He then drove cheerfully to the lot and delivered each of us to our cars -- where he unloaded each person's bags. He even rolled our bags to our car because we were the last ones to get off. Now THAT'S A MAN! He didn't expect a tip. He didn't expect anything from us. He was just WORKING - like men do. Like good men do.

How could anyone ever accept anything else after living here? Nothing compares.

Thank you, God, for bringing us home safely. Thank you for your prayers.


Sierra said...

i love your booth and your outfits and congrats on being a what on earth is a press kit? i couldn't tell in the photo.

Josh and Alicia said...

I'm so glad you posted your pictures and story!

Donna Roberts said...

Hi Sierra! Hi Alicia!

A press kit is something you give to newspapers, magazines, etc., that tells something about your company. We gave them a catalog and a card sample, etc.

Alicia, I wish you could have been with us... although, mostly, that's like saying you could have been with us to share the boredom!

Sierra, I'm probably going to wear one of those dresses to your wedding! I hate to look so glamorous, though, that I take away the spotlight from you!?! ha ha ha! Can't wait to see you all dressed up like a little Barbie doll!