Well, my first demo weekend came and went in a flash.
Saturday at the Range in Burton was incredibly busy. The store had newly opened and was packed with early Christmas shoppers looking for a bargain. Their craft section is huge and well worth a visit and the staff were lovely. The only available space for me was on the corner of a walkway on the edge of their furniture section which meant that lots of shoppers were walking past who wouldn't normally visit the craft section. My card samples soon caught the eyes of passers by and I was able to introduce handmade cardmaking to two new recruits who bought 'start-up' basics. "What do I need to start?" is one of those questions that is so hard to answer. More to the point is "Where do you stop?" There must be thousands of crafters out there who started with a shoebox of crafty items and have ended up with a whole room crammed full with their equipment and stash. I am one of them!
My day at the NEC Hobbycrafts Show was incredible. I arrived at the NEC and straight away noticed how friendly and chatty the staff were. The car park attendant must have once been a holiday camp red coat I am sure. Once I'd managed to sort out my pass, I walked into the hall with my eyes just growing bigger and bigger. Straight in front of me was one of my absolute heroes, Barbara Gray of Clarity Stamps. What she can't do with a brayer, isn't worth knowing! I had to physically pull myself away and focus on looking for the stand number I needed. It was amazing to walk past so many giants in the craft world: the DoCrafts Stand, Crafters Companion's Sara Davies, Polka Doodles' Nicki Hall, and Sheena Douglas to name but a few. Wow!
I found my way to the Craft Superstore stand and was met by such a friendly and relaxed team and was made to feel really welcome from the start. I had just enough time to unpack and set up before the visitors were allowed into the hall. From that moment on I don't think I stopped talking, which would explain my lack of voice the following day. So many customers were interested in the Bigshot machine that I seemed to be demonstrating it constantly. Everyone was drawn to the gorgeous new Papermania embossing folders and the x-cut die-licious dies. I found it unbelievable that three seperate people told me they had won a Bigshot machine but didn't know what to do with it. Three! By the time I had shown them how simple it was to use and some of the wonderful effects they could achieve, they were soon stocking up with dies and folders and were excited about using their machine. The Bigshot machine itself was flying off the stand and I am sure that there were many happy bunnies playing with their new purchases that evening.
The only downside to the day was that I didn't get chance to look around the show, but it was a great day, wonderful people, and a fabulous experience. It was the final day of the show, otherwise I would certainly have journeyed back the next day to do a little personal shopping. Never mind. There will be another show there next March and I for one will definitely be there. :-)