Saturday, 19 September 2009
Soapbox or sales spiel...one turned into the other..
I have been really surprised by public and private reaction to yesterday's post about the card Marathon that I described. All positive and in some cases a little envious. I wanna get on my soap box and say a couple of things: the first one is that I came up with the Marathon based on workshop formats that I've been running for yonks. I'm perfectly sure it's not original, but it works for me and my 'customers'. It's a day long commitment and then it's over. You don't have to find daily, weekly or monthly time. You book it into your diary. One day to yourself, booked in advance so that arrangements for everyone else can be made, freezers stocked and bribes applied well in advance. And maybe a journey. I haven't been asked to 'bring the Marathon' to a store or another location, so it's usually around here. The 'furthest travelled' prize often goes to someone who has come a significant distance to make a bunch of cards, if you ask me. Significant distance? Well, if you consider I'm near Andover, Hampshire -but only 20 miles from Salisbury, an hour from Swindon, hour and half from Oxford, Bristol, 45 minutes from Southampton - all these places people bother coming from! Sometimes, online friends meet at the Marathon because they wouldn't meet elsewhere - shows are too fraught and there's no time to talk, hooking up whole families for 2 crafters who may only have that one thing in common is a bit too brave, and hey - what about that rule about meeting strangers off the internet?! So a journey just becomes part of the planning. I've been to album or specific project based events like we're running at 2 Scrap Ladies, I've driven miles for such stuff. My experiences, positive and negative, certainly shape my preparations and plans for Marathon and 2SL days. I want the customer to turn up, relax and craft. At a steady but achievable pace (I fret if the 'output' seems low, and am not averse to 'helping out' - I want everyone to get their money's worth) and in a friendly and fun environment. This includes banter, sweeties, cakes and certainly at one point, food which might contribute to the five-a-day rules. The pleasure of a workshop or project day for me is that I haven't had to do the choosing, (ink colour, card colour, paint colour, which gems, which glue, blah blah) I can work at my own pace, I won't be deemed rude by chatting with my neighbour and wonderfully, when I've finished or had enough I can go home. I don't have to clear up, wash up or hoover. Bliss. So, if you're a card maker, cut along to your LSS and ask 'em. If you wanna hear about the one I'm doing this year, watch this space I guess, and if you're looking for a project, join us for Hallowe'en at 2SL. It did turn into a sales talk, sorry. Closest I'll ever get to emulating Heidi Swapp though!