Monday, September 22, 2008

Whirlwind weekend

What a wild ass weekend. It involved work, but in a different kind of way. We signed up a couple months ago to do a booth at the Women's expo at Hy-Vee hall with some friends of ours. We shared space with Kee's Camp and Morning Rain Massage. We set up on Friday night after I took off early from work to go home and load up. It was interesting to say the least considering we had 3 booths within a single space and also temped together a dressing room and spray taning station.

Saturday morning found us rushing back to the expo at 8 to finish setting up and wait for customers. We had pretty high hopes with forecasted visitors we thought we'd heard to be 17,000 or more. I'd say that was optimistic by roughly double or possibly even more. Add in that we also had to donate a $100+ prize pack to get our name on this treasure hunt type card that was supposed to draw more people to our booth that got printed without our name on it... and we'd be fighting hard to make our investment back. Being a Women's expo I felt like a duck out of water when it came to selling/pushing our product. I let Miranda take lead and was hoping just to fill orders and write up receipts. I talked to a few ladies all weekend put for the most part I was about useless in the sales department. I tried making up for it by doing some grunt work in helping set up and tear down various things for all 3 of the vendors, but that was about as good as I got.

Saturday ended ok with some decent sales, but roughly only half of what we needed for a break even day. We were pretty tired and starving so we headed out in search of some food. We floated a few high brow ideas such as Dos Rios, but ended up at one of our favorite Thai places in Des Moines called Cafe Fusion. They've got the best pad thai in my opinion and the rest of the menu isn't too shabby either. they're also cheap and hardly ever crowded. We enjoyed our meal until we were pretty well stuffed and headed home to drift off into a coma before repeating our performances again on Sunday.

The alarm went off a bit early for me on Sunday as I was roused to join in on a mountain bike ride with some of the guys. Breakfast at 6 bells and riding by 6:30 makes for an early start. I hustled around and was right on time to meet up. Unfortunately as is often the case, we didn't hop on the bikes until 7. We were greeted with a pretty spectacular view as we headed out on the trail. The sun was just rising through the fog and I couldn't resist.

My revelry was short lived as I heard the hissing of a flat. Luckily it was on a different Rick's bike. He stopped to change while we hit Denman's in reverse so he could ride it forward and meet us along the way. We dropped in and took a nice uptempo pace through the woods. There were a few spills that I managed to avoid and I stayed on the back of the pack for the most part. Not having ridden more than a handful of times over the past month definitely put me in an overdrive state for heart rate and I was feeling it just a bit. We turned back around and after a pile up right off the bat (again by others) I stuck to the pack again until we hit a particular log crossing.

I'm not quite sure how many times this particular crossing has slammed me to the ground, but it's more than times I've made it over. It comes across the trail at roughly a 60 degree angle so it makes it not only wider than normal, but also a weird approach angle to get the tires to bite on without slipping. Just as the last time, I ate shit trying to cross it. Ass over appetite with the bike making sure to whack me pretty good on the way down just so I knew I indeed crash landed. I jumped back up without surveying the injuries and started pedalling again. My knee and calf were smarting pretty good, but still functioning, so on I road.

At this point I got gapped so I just held steady to the end without any more fanfare and caught up to the pack as we made our way to Hillside. As soon as we hit Hillside, I knew I was in for it. My heart rate pegged in the high 180's and didn't waiver much until we finished our loops a half hour or so later. I was hurting, but I made all the climbs without walking or falling including climbing a pretty steep new piece that I'd only ridden down once in the past. Overall a great morning of riding with about 15 miles and 90 minutes under our belts.

After busting butt home and finding my wife in a compromisable state of mind... we showered and headed off to our second day at the expo. We made a couple quick sales and then nothing. Crowds were steady but overall down from Saturday. We sold a few more lotions and candles, but the only real sales came from the other ladies within our booth finding pieces of lingerie they couldn't live without. I know we didn't break even in regards to what we spent to show up. I'm also pretty doubtful that we'll really get any business from handing out our cards and info all weekend. I'm pretty disappointed to say the least. We're dangling preciously close to that point where it's time to cut and run or really dig ourselves into a big hole by going all out with a storefront. I'm just not sure which way to go in this type of situation. We're working on a business plan to see if it's even viable as a store, but who knows since the actual financial info has to be more or less fudged.

That's the weekend in a wrap.

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