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Houston… again

June 9, 2009

We continue paying our dues with the Parker Roadshow.  This life is not for everyone.  Setting up in 90 degree heat in Houston, Texas… on an asphalt parking lot, can be daunting.  And we did it after a five hour drive.  This was an evening show, from 6pm to 10pm, so we started setting up a little after 3pm.  Fortunately, we learned a few things last time, so we took a fan and got it going while we were setting up.  Even with the fan, we found ourselves stopping often, just to sit down in the shade for a couple of minutes.  Hot, hot, hot.  We fought our way through it, and were ready to go by show time.  Soaking wet, but ready.

There was a bigger crowd than last month, and we got lots of visitors to the booth.  The interesting thing about this show is that the age demographic seems to cover the whole spectrum.  And it’s always interesting to watch which pieces get close looks from different ages.  For us, it was a good show.  Not fantastic, but good.  At least we sold enough to pay for the trip this time.  We have been invited back for the show in August, which apparently is a big deal in the historic Heights area of Houston.  It’s billed as “White Linen Night”.  Here’s a little blurb about it from a blog called “Shop Girl”:

“The Heights White Linen Night, from 6 to 10 p.m., encourages attendees to don their coolest white linen and, yes, shop.  Participating businesses, identified by white linen banners hanging outside, will offer live entertainment and beverages.

A New Orleans tradition, White Linen Night is ideal for the quaint and quirky spots in the Heights. The event will wind through the streets of the Heights, including White Oak, Heights, Studewood, Yale, 11th, 19th, Ashland and Waugh. There also will be free air-conditioned trolleys.”

Although we’re not looking forward to setting up in the middle of the afternoon in August, we are looking forward to the show.  And… just to show that the heat only dampened our clothes, but not our spirits, here’s a picture of Nell, right after we finished setup, and just before show time.  (Yes, I did get permission to post the photo.)

DSC07784

The fan behind our chairs was put up by the folks behind us, and even though it was aimed at them, we think it was helpful to us as well.  Our fan is on the ground right in front of our chairs, behind the table.  We left the back of the booth open, both for our own comfort, and that of our customers.  Did I mention the heat?  It didn’t seem to be a distraction for anyone.  Nell’s been doing some wonderful little mini florals that we put on the table right at the front of the booth.  They’re great traffic stoppers.  They not only help draw people into the booth, but we’ve sold a number of them.  People love them.  I discovered a couple of months ago that Nell has always secretly wanted to draw and paint, but she has suppressed it in deference to my art for the whole 19 years we’ve been married.  Once I learned this, I’ve been encouraging her to get started.  The minis are a beginning.  Now she’s about to dig out my Prismacolor pencils and have a go at that.  I think it’s pretty cool.

The lights worked great, by the way.  We used the flourescent spiral bulbs, and got no heat from the lights at all.  And even though they are the Cool White bulbs, they put off a warm light on the artwork, so the color didn’t wash out at all.  We’ll continue to tweak the booth.  One thing is to do a better job of aligning the artwork on the walls.  The long range goal is to standardize the frames, but we’ll have to do that slowly over time.  Below is a shot of the passageway in front of our booth, just before show time.  It was narrow, but didn’t seem to bother the crowd at all.

Houston Show 060609

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One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    June 9, 2009 9:51 pm

    Hey that lady in the pic looks like Nell! It’s not gonna help if she does that to all the customers!! Glad you had a good show!

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