A couple of my favorite things about owning a business is that I get to spend a lot of time with my girls and we get to travel. Taking our collection of frocks to parts all over the US has been some of the most rewarding times I've had with my business.
Last week found us in Gonzales, Louisiana setting up a booth at the City Farmhouse Show. Although the drive was seventeen hours long, we did enjoy the beautiful scenery and memories together. For a bit of inspiration we found a few antique places to stop off at and do a bit of browsing and shopping. We found some goodies for Felicia's wedding and some fun finds for the display in our booth.
As soon as we got a couple states away from Ohio we noticed the temperature was considerably warmer than what we were experiencing at home and that made the trip even better. The weather there was wonderful, a cool breeze and 80°. It was simply heavenly to be able to walk around without cumbersome outwear.
The further away we got from home we also noticed Southern hospitality in the stores, restaurants and gas stations. I find the folks in the south to be kind, gentle, and slower of pace. It settles my heart to be around the charm of the south. The fair was from Thursday night (early birds) to Saturday afternoon.
The girls and I have done at least twenty shows at this point and have learned so much about setting up our booth with all that experience. One of our strong points is how organized we are and when we rolled in to the show we figured out where we were to set our booth up and got busy right away. We spent a good part of that first day getting our booth ready and when we were finished we were pleasantly surprise at how easy it was. It is really nice to be on this side of it and have some experience under our belts and even if we are one person short setting up, as we were this time, we can still get things put together in record time.
We cover our tent in lace instead of tarp, which gives a nice bohemian look to our booth. Our trailer doubled as a dressing room. We make sure our dressing room is a good experience, adding cute touches and our customers love that part of our booth.
After setting up our booth that first day we still had plenty of time in our day so we went shopping, out to eat and explored the city of Gonzales. I found a place to get my nails done and pampered myself for an hour. Sometimes it is nice to just sit back and relax before all the fun begins.
One thing I like to do before getting to my destination is to do a bit of research on what the locals recommend as good places to eat and places to shop at and see. I read reviews and make sure I know of a couple places to choose from once we get there. While doing my restaurant research I learned of Zapp's potato chips. Zapp's is a potato chip company out of New Orleans and since they came so highly recommended we made sure to find a bag to purchase and try. The folks know what they are talking about. Delicious!
The second day at the show found we were rested and ready to put the finishing touches to our booth. We had to unload the trailer of the frocks we brought to sell and stage them around the booth. We were finished early again and so we were able to go do a bit more exploring about the city.
It is interesting what interests customers at the various shows. The outfits we wear are popular pieces that sell. Along with our outfits being popular we found that a lot of our accessories were flying off the shelf. Bracelets were a hot commodity at this show. You could tell these ladies valued getting dressed up, having their hair and make up done to perfection, and properly accessorized.
As the customers came through our booth their southern charm brightened up our booth. Many of them pausing in their day to ask us questions about where we are from and to learn our story of how we started Farmhouse Frocks. The girls were impressed with how many connections they were able to make with these fine ladies. We were blessed with picking up more social media followers at the show too and how our online sales have picked up since the show. Sending a lot of packages to the south the last few days.
The girls gave me a lot of time off from the booth to go network and shop the other booths at the fair. This is one of my passions. I simply love connecting with folks and getting to know new friends. I had so much fun strolling all over the grounds and meeting people along the way. It was a real treat to get to that.
Saturday late afternoon found us packing up our booth and heading our rig toward home. I'd like to say we had an uneventful trip on the way home, but we had a few bumps along the way. Saturday night found us resting our heads on pillows in some "rusty, old hotel." Sydni's description. We did get to sleep and that is what was needed, so "mission accomplished, I guess."
Overall, this show was an amazing experience. The southern charm, the delicious foods, the shopping and getting to see another city in this beautiful country we live in. The girls and I had a fun time traveling together. It is these moments that I cherish the most owning my own business and all the memories our family makes together while we work.
We are planning for our next show coming up soon! We hope to see you there.