Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cuyahoga, dude.

Every since I heard of The Embroiderer's Guild of America (EGA) Great Lakes Regional Seminar to be held in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, I couldn't help but think of Bart Simpson. Funny how I could remember a silly catch phrase from a tv cartoon I rarely watched.

I had received an offer to attend Merchandise Night for the Regional Seminar and considered the logistics. This is an event where many vendors, be it EGA teachers, retail vendors or EGA Chapters rent table space to set out their wares to dazzle the EGA stitchers attending the Seminar. Think of it as a giant stitching boutique with multiple vendors. It was a 6-1/2 hour drive and the event would only last for two hours. Was it worth it? That was anyone's guess, but it would get Inspired Needle's name out there. I was willing to give it a shot.

My husband agreed to be my "muscle" packing/unpacking and hauling boxes. He also assisted in the sale booth as the numbers guy, totaling sales receipts for us. My friend Kathy was present in the hotel to attend the Seminar and she offered to help us in the booth. Here's a picture of myself and Kathy, just prior to the start of the event:

The EGA Seminar was held at the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. This was a five-star, beautiful hotel that catered to the guest's every whim.

We arrived shortly before 5pm, located our tables and began to unload the van. I can't believe the stitching items I was able to pack into the van! After all, I had only rented three tables so it's not like we're talking square footage here! Within the hour, we had set up the display and were waiting for the EGA members to finish with their dinner and the evening to begin.

Here are the EGA stitchers, tummies full, eager to see what exciting goodies the vendors have brought.

The only downside to the Merchandise Night was that as the sun descended, the hall became dim. It was perfect setting for a wedding, but not the best lighting to look at needlework patterns, threads and fabric! We did have a blast, though. I ran into stitcher friends that I hadn't seen for years and met many interesting stitchers. Two ladies, later that week on their way home from Seminar, even took a slight detour to visit my shop!

I miss the excitement and comaraderie of Seminar. EGA is the reason I opened my shop; to help stitchers gain access to the different types of materials (and not locally available) used in increasing their stitching techniques and skill set. Seminar is a four day stitching extravaganza where you take classes and form life-long friendships with other members. It's difficult to get away for four to six days when you run a business, but maybe I'll have to start looking for ways to make it happen in the future!