I apologize for not being able to get back to writing sooner. Last week I had a gig during furniture market, and between 14-16 hours of work in two places, chauferring my son around and trying to squeeze in 4 hours of sleep, sitting and writing were not something I could afford.
So for all of you that are outside NC, High Point Furniture Market is something that, well, basically fuel up my city’s business. Downtown is lined up with showroom (furniture showrooms, that is) and twice a year we open our arms for buyers coming from simply saying all over the world. Homeowners flee to the beach and renting out their houses, hotels are fully booked, locals bumping elbows with visitors that speak French or Japanese in grocery stores, restaurants are counting their skyrocketing profits and good luck finding an available rental car.
And this spring I had an opportunity to smell and dive in the most anticipated weekend in town. I knew a lady that owns a showroom for Antiques from Asia countries, and with my background, I got the job. It was a humble experience and I honestly learnt a lot. I learned about the business, the sales and marketing, the preparation, and the things in between. I talked to a lot of designers interiors, buyers from inside and out of US, magazine reporters. I learned about antique and repro furnitures, home decors and story behind an item. I learned about order processing and importing from the eye of the buyers.
I also learned that this event was the only event I’ve been in – where alcohol is permitted, flowing freely from time to time, and yep you can drink it in your workplace (I wish I could, but alcohol lost its charms to me a while back ago). I guess a happy (tipsy?) customers are happier to shop? I don’t know. Between luggage-dragging, namecard-sharing and price-checking, a tall glass of wine and a box of chocolate would do the trick. Maybe. I don’t know. I’ve been so accustomed to sit behind my computer at night and cuss at my stapler if it got jammed, that weekend I was faced to another side of working: talking to fat-walleted tired buyers that wanted to order this and wanted to know that. And trying to figure out how to work that little do-hicky that shot the bar code and let you know the price and whether it was still available or oversold.
Again, last weekend was a humble yet exciting experience. All of them were close to my heart; the origin where that desk were made, the statue that came from my province, the wooden deco that I also have in my living room, the thingymajig that Indonesians used to pound the rice after harvest. The stories I told my customers. The part of me that yearns to see my hometown – that in small tiny portion was soothed by selling furnitures from where I came from. Who would’ve thought.
So, the weekend is over, I earned few extra bucks that I bought my son a box of Lego set and perhaps something for myself? Still contemplating 🙂 I can’t wait ’till autumn comes, I may do it all over again.