Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CHA week

Some of the words that described the week of CHA... Amazing, hard work, exciting,new friendships, old and dear friends, rib splitting, happy, fun, dance, honored, appreciative, thankful, celebration, nerve wrenching, upset, confused, uncertain, happy, sad, tired, numb and such a great experience.
 I was honored to be able to attend CHA (craft and hobby association) Trade Show with Teresa Collins. Working with Teresa has been such a learning experience even in the little time I have been with her. I simply admire the hard work she puts into her designs and work. She is truly one of the hardest working people I have met in a long time. I just am simply amazed how she has been able to juggle the role of a mom, wife, a friend and business woman and keep it all together. It is not an easy task but man she makes it look easy. Just the chance to see the gimps of the life behind the scene is astonishing.

Our adventure started on Wed. we got on a flight to Orange County so that Teresa could teach a class. We get off the plane. We are picked up by the store owner and whisked away to the store. Luckily, we did have a little time before the students came into the store to set up and have a quick bite to eat. So Teresa taught a great class, it made me miss my local scrapbook store that I used to work in before moving to Utah. I missed the social aspect of taking a class and the interaction with customers and die-hard fans of scrapbooking. And to be able to see the interaction with Teresa and customers....priceless. Shannon a good friend of Teresa was there to take us to our hotel. We were little under an hour drive away from LA. It was nice to sit and talk to Shannon on the way to the hotel.

Thursday was the first day of set-up. Here is a picture of Teresa with the crate.

Teresa Collins ready for day 1 set-up

So we set up the booth on Thursday and Friday.  There is more than you think that goes in putting up the booth for a trade show. Thank goodness Jesse was there to do all the heavy lifting.  However, it looked good, by the time we were done.  Taylor and Gentry came on Thursday night to help work at the booth. I was also able to meet Laura, Yvonne and Maradette from the design team during setup and during the show. It was good to meet the team while we were there. I also got to meet Amy and Debbie, and now I am a fan. We had a chance to relax afterward by having a great dinner in Beverly Hills. After dinner, we walked around Rodeo Drive.  I loved just walking around and seeing the window displays.

Saturday was a crazy day in the booth.  Thank you to Jen and Echo for helping out with Make and take for the booth.  We were crazy helping people, taking orders and just trying to get the information out to the buyers and showing them the new product line.  I am always interested what people in other countries think about scrapbooking.  It is amazing the similarities  that we all posses when it comes to scrapbooking.

Saturday night we attended the Provo Craft Gala.  So much fun to be up close and front stage with the dancers from "So you think you can Dance"  I was glad to be surrounded by a great group on Saturday night.
 Sunday, was another busy day the booth. Later that night I had dinner with my Therm O Web crew. We had a wonderful time talking, laughing and just hanging out with some remarkable friends. Thank you for such a great time! I needed that time to hang out with my friends and relax.

Monday I almost lost my voice from talking to so many people and the endless nights of laughing and talking.  We were getting in a ton of orders, and people were getting ready to head back home that day.  Taylor and Gentry were able to go home on Monday.  That night Teresa taught a class at a store 45 minutes away.  I was so tired but Teresa had to teach a class.  AMAZING...I was running on empty but Teresa had to still be on her game and teach a class.  If you ever get a chance to take a class from Teresa you will hear the most amazing stories of her life experiences.  I had to stop listening at one point because I was starting to cry, and I was getting to the "ugly" cry stage.  So I had to concentrate on something else before I got too emotional.  How embarrassing for me.  Again...another great reason to take a class from Teresa. We got back to the hotel room just after midnight.  And we had to start packing so we would be able to check out in the morning.  We did not get to bed until almost 2 in the morning. (I think.. I was so tired I don't remember what time we finally went to bed.)
So the LAST DAY.  It was a short day but still a crazy day!  At this point, I was hanging on by a thread.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We talked to the remaining vendors that were there and last minute orders were turned in. Then at 2 o'clock...time to break down the booth.  Amy and Debbie came by to help.  Between Jesse, Teresa, Amy, Debbie and I, broke down the booth in less than two hours.  AMAZING fast in comparison to setup. Later that day Teresa and I were able to sit and talk.  We laughed and just talked like little school girls who haven't seen each other in weeks. It was nice to relax before we had to get on our flight back to Salt Lake City.  We were lucky to make it our flight home that night because my friends from Chicago, were stuck in LA until Thursday due to the snow in Chicago.  BOY was I happy that I moved!

We landed in Salt Lake around midnight. IT WAS FREEZING..IT WAS SO COLD!!  But I was glad to be home. 

My week was crazy when I got home...but that is another post all together.

Oh the things I learned while at CHA will stay for me forever.  I love the fact that I could  strengthen the relationships that I have made through CHA and still be able to meet and start new friendships all in the same week.  I am so blessed to be able to work in an industry that is so caring and supportive of one another.  I cannot  wait for Summer CHA in CHIAGO!!!

Oh while we were working at the booth Teresa was designing her next collection for Summer CHA. HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!?  I am telling you...it is an amazing process to watch her design her collections. Thank you Teresa for letting me be a part of CHA with you and your girls.  AMAZING!!

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