Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scrap-a-Palooza #8: The True Story

Act One:
Many of you know about the Palooza Curse. It began with Scrap-a-Palooza #4 (January 2010) when Stacey and I both had the flu during set-up day and the actual event. Bad timing! Following set-up for Palooza #5, on the way back to SG I was involved in a minor car accident. Paloozas #6 and #7 had been curse-free, but with #8, it was Allison's turn. On Friday, we were about an hour into set-up at Remington's when she got a call that Jackson had a high fever. She immediately went home to take care of him, so luckily Don was able to pitch in and help us get the store set up.

Act Two:
From 5-7 pm Friday evening, we hosted a reception for a group of about 40 members of the Two Peas in a Bucket message board. A few were local and Missouri ladies, but most were from other states, including Texas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Illinois, Georgia, Minnesota, and Arkansas. Most of what I've dubbed the Traveling Peas had never met each other or even seen photos of each other. Some came in small groups and others were by themselves, ready to make some new friends. Some arrived earlier in the day and cropped in our classroom, and others just rolled into town in time for the reception (after having started on the road at 4 am!). We had some snacks and drinks, and were happy to give these ladies goodie bags, which even included a generous donation from Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker.

Some of the Traveling Peas check out Scrapbook Generation during what we called the Pea-ception.

The Traveling Peas pretty much filled the store. We also had some local shoppers stop by, and they asked if we were always this busy on Friday evenings. We had to laugh and say "we wish!"

When they weren't shopping, the Traveling Peas were able to use the classroom area to get better acquainted with each other.

The largest group came from the Kansas City area. I sat with them at Palooza the next day and had a wonderful time.
Act Three:
Scrap-a-Palooza #8 was another successful collaboration of Chris Louzader and Midwest Family Broadcasting with Scrapbook Generation. Chris and MFB take care of the seating, building, food and the other vendors (there were a record 19 at this event!). We focus on the SG store, big-screen demos, goodie bags, and classes. I'm happy to say that Palooza #8 broke all previous records for us. You shopped, shopped, and then shopped some more. We're so appreciative! Hope you enjoy this photo essay of the day.

When I arrived about 7:15, the line had already started to form...

...and by 8:30 when it was time to open the doors, the line was substantial.

Nikki Sivils and Katrina Hunt teach the first free mini-class to about 50 scrapbookers. Katrina had designed an adorable chipboard crown using Nikki's "We Are Family" collection. The past few Paloozas, Nikki and her team had been responsible for the free classes, and it really helps us out because the day stretches us pretty thin at times!

During a break in the action in the morning, we gathered as many Traveling Peas as we could and took a group photo. We weren't surprised, but these ladies turned out to be equally as nice as their message board posts. It was so nice to meet them and thank them for the complimentary things they say about Allison and SG.

Texas gal Penny Grisham, at left between Stacey and Allison, gets the title of Ringleader of the Traveling Peas! Back in March, she started a "thread" inquiring if any other Peas wanted to make a road trip to Springfield for Scrap-a-Palooza and to visit SG. The thread has continued to be on the front burner for three months (it has over 6,000 views), and eventually about 40 Peas made the trip. It's been so much fun to read about how excited they all were to be heading our way! Made us nervous about living up to their expectations!

Allison did three big-screen demos during the day, plus taught a free layout class on the big-screen. During the first demo, for the first time ever, there were some technical problems which would probably have sent me running, but Ali kept right on going. We have her day pretty much booked solid, but she was able to run home a couple of times and check on Jackson, who still had a fever. As a mom, I know it was a difficult day for her to have to be away from him when he was sick.

Following the demos, Allison is happy to help with any questions people have.

Packed house is the best way to describe Allison's paid Palooza classes. (Several people have inquired about kits for the three classes, and we are going to be able to sell them as kits. I'll tell more about that in another post.)

This is just a small portion of the nearly 70 new paper collections that we had available for shoppers at Scrap-a-Palooza.

The Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker free classes were popular places to be. The second project was just as cute as the first!

One of the most popular sellers at Palooza #8 was the Sew Easy assortment of tools by We R Memory Keepers. Since we sold out so quickly at Palooza #7 and I had a terrible time getting them back in stock, we now have a huge amount that will be out at SG as soon as possible: the basic tool, all the original rollers, the new wider design rollers, the needles, and all the new threads. We quickly sold out of the cute new cases, but I'll order more!

The third of the free classes continued to be a crowd pleaser!

I have tremendous admiration for what Stacey does at Palooza. She is on her feet at the register for about 14 hours straight, rarely takes a break, and manages to keep the whole store area running smoothly, despite the huge amount of shoppers.

Karin takes a photo for a group of Palooza gals. Karin gets double-duty on Palooza day, because someone has to run SG all day, and she gets elected. After the store closes at 5, she comes back to Remingtons and helps out where she can.

Karin and I at Scrap-a-Palooza #8.

Verna Burge, Kimberly Knapton, Emily Stovall, and Christa Allgood get my Most Stylishly Dressed At Palooza Award! Love their matching aprons! Emily drives up from Georgia from time to time to visit Christa. Verna, Kimberly, and Christa are local gals who have become fast friends after attending the same Saturday sketch sessions with each other at SG. It's been heartwarming to see them go from being total strangers to being good friends. (The other member of this newly formed group is Janus Hicklin, a Saturday morning regular!)

Locals Jana, Karin, Katrina, Debbie, and Allison join some of the Traveling Peas, including the gals at the table, trip organizer Penny and Lynette, who traveled all the way from Minnesota to meet up with the other Peas and attend Palooza.

Natalie's first place winning layout in the single-page layout category.

Cherrie's first place winning layout in the double-page layout category.

Amy's first place layout in the sketch layout category.

The SG team: Allison, Stacey, Karin, me, Jeremy, and Don. This has become such a big event that we just can't handle it without Jeremy and Don. There are so many boxes to load and unload, so many racks to assemble, and so many customers to tease and harass! It's scary that they have become so knowledgeable about scrapbooking supplies, and we love them for it!
Act Four:
We need to thank two groups: our local, loyal customers, and the Traveling Peas! The local and area scrapbookers are with us on a daily basis, shopping at our store, participating in our activities, and recommending us to their friends.

The Traveling Peas (and other Peas who didn't live close enough to travel to Springfield) are also our customers. They subscribe to our kits, buy our sketch books, and sing our praises to anyone who ventures onto their message board.

In today's economy, it's a challenge to be a retail business, especially one that doesn't sell necessities. We are so fortunate to have both groups supporting our products and activities. We can never say "thank you" enough. So "thank you" from the SG team...give us a week or two, and we'll be ready to start on Scrap-a-Palooza #9!


Yvette said...

I'm so glad to see that Emily really is there! Finally a picture of her and Christa! I wish I was there!

Shirley said...

Great photos and stories. Thanks for sharing. It sounded like such a fun day.

KimberlyK43 said...

I for one am extremely thankful for SCRAPBOOK GENERATION and all of the ladies there. I look forward to every Saturday and meeting up with my "group". We have a ton of fun. Because of Scrapbook Generation I have made friends that mean the world to me and I know I will have for life. So Debbie... THANK YOU and Karin, Stacey & Allison for all that you provide us. :)

seashell said...

thanks for the pictures it really makes me want to come scrap-a-palooza 9! i loved seeing a picture of my bestie from KC!

Stacy and Tish said...

We had such a great time! Thank you ladies and gents for all of your hard work! We plan on making this an annual Trek from Razorback country. Stacey and Karin -- thanks again for letting us shop at the store even though we were late for the Pea-ception. "Ya'll Rock!"

Stephanie said...

I had the BEST weekend! I can't wait to attend again in the future! :)

Sarah said...

My BFF, Tiffany, and I had a great time! We travelled from KC and can't wait to attend another crop! (although it will be next summer, she is expecting a baby girl this fall!)

Cindy Andrews said...

Fabulous re-cap of the weekend - I can't wait to go again next year! Thank you SG!

Deb said...

I've been scrapbooking for years. I've attended several local crops, weekend events and overnight crops. I believe this weekend at Scrapapalooza was the absolute MOST fun I've ever had! The girls at SG are extremely friendly, the store is very inspirational and the crop at the event center was super! We had a great time and are looking forward to making the trip again and again. Thank you so much for your hospitality.

Scrapbook Generation said...

Thanks for all your kind comments, and we're so glad you had fun. We'll do it all again in September! -- Debbie