Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Quilt Designer Who Needs a Personal Assistant

In the ten years (!) I've been a creative industry micro business owner, I've learned a lot of life lessons. Some days are so busy I can't believe it's already three o'clock and my children are reinvading the house, some days I am so slow I wonder if I'll be in business the next week. Some days I am full of brilliant ideas and can't sew fast enough, some days the thought of the sewing machine is just too much for me. Some days I'm starved for human interaction and some days I get too much of it - ie, my husband decides to work from home as well and has all sorts of brilliant ideas of his own that I must react to immediately.

Then there are days like yesterday, where I look at the day and think "Hope I get to sit down once or twice aside from when I'm driving!" Days the real winner is Exxon Mobil. But they are also the days that I know I'm moving forward in this business, because I have places to go and people to see. Days I just wish one of those people was a personal assistant. Maybe someday, in an alternate universe where I'm not too cheap to hire one.

So come along with me on what may not be a totally typical day in my EPQD life, but one that was crazy enough to make me think it might make an enjoyable blog post. Or at least be one to which I can refer anyone who ever asks "What exactly DO you DO all day?" or "Why don't you volunteer more at school?"

8:45 am - After throwing my youngest out of the house getting Greta on the bus, it's a short walk home to make a cup of tea for the road and get all the envelopes to the PO so I can finally ship my Vinnie Loves Maude tester/swappers their hard copy patterns and swap blocks. After all, I am Head of the Shipping Department among other things.

 9:00am - Arrive at the Pepperell Post Office. Isn't it all cute gleaming in the sun's rays? Don't you want to scream that after 5 months without winter it arrived on Monday April 4 with 6 inches of snow? I know I do. Normally there would be flowers. This photo is all snow. The cold wasn't the only thing that was bitter, I'll tell you.




So into the post office I go, with my big old shopping bag of 38 envelopes, all of which need tracking because apparently that's just what the PO does now. I let the two people who obviously just have quick things to do in line behind me cut me, and then once I hit the window I marvel at how the woman working there a) Doesn't look like she wants to murder me for not calling ahead and warning of my bazillion packages and b) Can multitask helping the sad people behind me in line find what they need all while she enters zip codes on my packages with reckless abandon. When I mention how impressed I am she looks me straight in the eye and deadpans, "It's my two X chromosomes." Dying. Especially amusing as we were the only two women in the PO at the time.

Nothing like the smell of fresh rack cards.

I apologize profusely to everyone behind me in line several times in the 15 minutes it takes to get me dealt with at the PO and promise to bring cookies next time. Everyone is very lovely and tells me it was no big deal. Small town living, man.



9:40 - Head to Ayer, a town about 8 miles south of me, to pick up 1000 new rack cards from a printer I was trying out. I must say I love this one, and they did an amazing job. The box, though, was rather heavy and I should have parked closer. Got my workout in! But don't they look great?













 11:15 - Arrive at MQX set up in Manchester NH. Yes, that's right, hotties - it's not even noon and EPQD has already hit two towns in MA and has crossed state lines to NH. Never mind that I can see NH from my house. It still counts. Manchester is easily 40 miles north of Ayer; I was definitely hearing the oil companies rubbing their hands together and shouting "Cha-Ching!" And I was only getting started in my day.

Dropped off two quilts for display and a bunch of patterns for sale to my friend Terri of Purple Moose Designs, who has a booth (#177) this week at the show. While we were standing there talking about all of our new adventures, I suddenly noticed that she had recently had a new sample of my Garden's Gate pattern made and it was staring me right in the face. Isn't it awesome with a GREY BACKGROUND? I think so.

While I'm there I drop off a stack of rack cards on the pickup table. Score one for the EPQD marketing department.


1:00 - Back to Pepperell after stopping at Panera for a well deserved takeout sandwich. If you have not tried the Roasted turkey BLT with Avocado on an Asiago bagel, you have not lived. I may have made it up or maybe others have requested it as well. It doesn't matter. They will make it for you and you must ask them to do so. You'll thank me.

 1:30 - Check email, send two contracts, pay an invoice, send an invoice....you know, all the stuff that's boring but still has to be done. Because among other things I get to be my own secretary.

I'm not the lightest traveler ever.
Put on my travel department uniform and pack car for trunk show lecture in Saugus later. I'd normally wait on that, but the afternoon was waning, and I knew what was ahead. It seemed best to just get it done.

BOMs, ready to go.
2:15 - It was my own guild's meeting night last night, and as we established in my last blog post, I'm the BOM Mistress. As I wasn't going to be there, it was necessary to head over to the Pepperell VFW and get my BOM wall hung and this month's and next month's blocks up and set up the table so that the woman who was filling in for me would have everything she needed.

 2:40 - Back home, time to change clothing for my lecture because even though it isn't until 7pm, this is my last opportunity to get it done before I leave.

3:00 - Welcome my older girls home, immediately start nagging Eva to get changed for dance because we are leaving the second Greta gets off the bus. Pack snacks and water for Eva and Greta, who because of the snow on Monday now have to make up dance classes on a Wednesday. Which is totally convenient because as we've established I have nothing going on and have barely been in the car all day.

3:10 - grab Greta off bus, throw her in car, and drive to Tyngsboro, 20 minutes or so away, and drop Eva for her 345 class. Take Greta for ice cream because we have time to kill and I'm the coolest mom ever.

4:15 - Back to studio, drop off Greta who will wait for her 445 class, but I need to get Eva home and grab Paige. So home we head again. I rarely get just one at a time in the car but it was great as 7th grade girl stuff can be best talked out one on one.

You really could not pay me enough to be 13 again. My children are rock stars, for real.

4:40 - Back home, Eva runs in to heat up and grab a slice of pizza for her dinner on the run, she and Paige jump in the car, and we head out again. Back to dance, with a quick stop on the way to drop Eva at a friend's for carpooling to play rehearsal.

5:10 - Arrive back at dance. In goes Paige, and I'm outta there on my way to Saugus, hoping my hair still looks okay since it's been two hours since I was able to freshen up and praying that the flow chart I have in place for Greta to be picked up by my husband in the next half hour will work out.


 6:15 - Arrive at Saugus Senior Center for my "Give it a Scrap Slap" lecture. As always, the best part of this job is being with the people and getting out of being mom for a little bit, and yesterday I just might have appreciated that a little bit more than usual!


So all told, I tallied just under 260 miles and 14 stops in my travels as a business owner yesterday. Mostly I loved every minute of it. I know the oil companies did!

Ready to wow them at Hammersmith. Only slightly loopy from my day.








6 comments:

Sherry said...

Oh Beth, you are just too funny! My kids are 4 legged & furry so I can't really relate to the trials and tribulations of 2 legged kids, but I hear ya!

DH & I have been to Manchester twice. . . . once to pick up a furkid that we were adopting from New England Westie Rescue and the 2nd time was for the MQX Show. Pretty area.

If I lived closer (and did not work full-time) I would volunteer to be your assistant. . . you would keep me in stitches all day (and not just the ones from the sewing machine either, dearie!!) LOL

Happy travelling,

Sherry V.

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

Love your post! We do wear many hats as moms, wives, quilters, and designers.

MissPat said...

So glad to read that your hubby is back from his overseas posting. At least he's there to help with the kiddos, even if he needs a flow chart to help him do it. Always fun to read your blog.

Jocelyn Thurston said...

This post brought back memories. Been there, done that. Though I didn't run a business, I did work and run around my girls to all the necessary activities which I now watch them as mothers themselves do. (I also help out with that.) So the circle of busy working moms continues!

The Joyful Quilter said...

And I thought I was busy!!! LOL

annmarie said...

Loved your post. Wish every person who ever says, "What do you do all day?" could read it!

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