In which being a vendor is hard and I sound like a Volkswagon

I don't care that the Ford F450 engine supposedly does most of the work.

The Barbara Lee is a lot easier to drive than some vehicles I've driven!

Driving to Nevada and back is hard.  Having two drivers makes it easier...but not easy.

Also, unloading a whole store's worth of stuff:  hard.
American Trail Girl Sherry is assisted by Gail.  
We had help loading in, thanks to Gail--I seriously don't know how the American Trail Gear girlz ever manage to move their store into convention sites all by themselves.

Unpacking iceboots--lookit all the pretty colors!

There is a TON of stuff to sort and face and make pretty.

And yet, they are still smiling when the opening bell rings.

Diana and Sherry and the ATG booth:  looking good!

Amazing...and admirable.  And even though some customers are not really going to buy stuff,

If the bridle is bigger than the customer, it's probably not a good sale

they are truly happy to spend time talking with everyone who stops by the booth.  I never realized how much energy that takes.

By comparison,
The announcer pronounced my name correctly!  Yes, we had to coach him on that.

being a convention speaker is EASY.

Microphone girl.  I'm comfy here.

Part of the easy-ness is sheer familiarity:  I've been a public performer since childhood.  Talking to crowds is fun for me.

Big crowd of mostly-strangers = my happy place

Granted, I woke up at 2am the morning of the presentation and realized that I hadn't ever gotten around to writing my presentation (and so, by the light of my phone, I scribbled some notes on the back of paper scraps at 2am)....

Merri and Funder and Pink'un were the real stars of the show

...and completely discarded everything I'd written when it actually came time to turn on the microphone.  Hey, I'm a storyteller.  I don't need written notes.

The seminar definitely pushed interest in book sales.  Our receipt book looks like a "who's - who" of endurance riders.

He wanted his copy autographed.

Lots of folks who are way beyond the need for a basic skills book stopped by the booth to pick up a copy to share with new riders just starting out. So, that's a good thing.

All-too-soon (or maybe not soon enough?) it was time to pack it all out again.

We tried to sell a lot of stuff so we'd have less to move

Again, we accepted help.  That is one of MY skills: asking for help from people I don't know very well.  Sometimes I commandeer assistance from total strangers.  My father taught me how to do that, and the skill has served me well.

Of course, the respiratory bug I caught while in Reno might have helped people to feel sorry for me and leap to assist:  I currently sound like the repair shop for infirm Volkswagons.  We were hoping it was allergies (it's SPRING in Nevada!), but I've been home several days now (not quite spring here yet, but we're getting closer) and still coughing so I guess it's a real germ.  Blah.

End of the day, I'm still smiling

But still.  I'm gonna go do it again soon!  If you are anywhere close to Albany, Oregon on March 21-24, come find me at the Northwest Horse Expo.  I'll be selling books at Brent Skill's Ansur Saddle booth,

Watch out for the Pink'un, she kicks.

and the PonieZ and I will be doing a couple of seminars, too.  Stop by and say "hey," and get your Endurance 101 book autographed!


  1. I'm trying to convince Becky to come to the Albany expo with me next weekend...but she's understandably car shy right now. Reno looked like a blast!

    1. Becky definitely SHOULD come to the Albany expo. Not just to see me, but hey. She needs to come see me! >g<

      We could probably get her to "ride" the Pink'un, doncha think?

  2. I was in awe of the American Trail girls. They were always smiling, always happy (or at least looked that way......). Made me feel GOOD to be in the booth. Seriously - I'm feeling that I may have found my fav vendor (which reminds me - need to order Tess a new collar from them). I thought your seminar was amazing - I'm writing it up on my blog now. I saw you guys loading up to go home and if I hadn't had a migraine I would have snapped lots of pictures, and then probably helped :). Because it's truly a sight to see a bunch of grown women carrying thousands of dollars worth of tack, looking like a walking ad for biothane wandering through the convention.

    This is a reminder of Ashely's really wonderful idea - spiral bound one of your books as a display copy - when people open your book they are hooked, so make it so the book lays open on the table begging to be looked at!!!!!

  3. OOOo...spiral bound! Great idea, Mel. You have to do it. I also think you need a life-sized cardboard stand-up of The Bad Idea Fairy. Who would not be mesmerized by the embodiment of the BIF that lives in all of us?!?

    And I see it's not in Reno next year. Looks like I'll be angling for the Tevis. :)

    In my former life, I was a buyer for a retail department store, and fully appreciate the HUGE amount of work vendors have to put in for events. It's staggering. The booth looked AWESOME.


Post a Comment

To err is human. To be anonymous is not.

Popular posts from this blog

In which we take (metaphoric) coals to Newcastle by boat and barge

In which it's that time again: we're headed for Sawmill Flats to build trails