27 March 2012

Adventures in Mary Kay, Part II: The Bridal Gala Blues

Why I thought it would be a fantastic idea to kick off my new business by getting into the bridal niche, I'll never know.  Wait, that's not true.  I thought to myself, "Hey, what's a group of women who really really REALLY go nuts about skin care and makeup?  Well, brides of course!  Sign me up for a bridal show!"

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I researched shows and came across one that fit into my budget.  That should have been my first clue:  it fit into my budget.  I showed up on the morning of the event in my business best, ready to make the world more beautiful.  Here's how it went:

Hour 1:  I say hello and chat a bit with my friend Jenn, who is there with her husband promoting their fantastic photography business.  Swing on by and check them out here:  Captured in Moments
Hour 1.5:  I set up my booth and, in the course of trying to hop over a chair, bust the tack on the slit in my skirt, turning my booth from "I'm professional and cute" to "Come check out my goods, baby" in 0.7 seconds.  I vow to stand completely still for the rest of the show.
Hour 2:  Show opens.  One bride saunters through.  I keep emphatic eye contact in an attempt to make her not notice my skirt.
Hour 3:  I realize that I'm two booths down from the sex toy lady.  I turn about fifty shades of red. 
Hour 4:  Two more brides.  The vendors are like hungry lions on the Serengeti.
Hour 5:  Desperate for business, the vendors start trying to sell to each other.  Sex Toy Lady tries to sell me some "goodies" for my across-the-continent husband.  I turn fifty more shades of red and politely refuse.  
Hour 6:  I have officially made it through my first bridal show, and I kept my heels on the entire time to boot.  I slip into some flats, dismantle my booth and drive home with no sales, no bookings, and only fourteen names when we were told there'd be 100-200 brides in attendance.  Yay.


Lest I throw too big of a pity party, out of those fourteen names I got one great new client who I love, and I also now visit a local law firm almost every week to drop off orders and take new ones--the firm was a vendor at the show promoting their POA/Living Will package, which is kind of smart if you think about it!  So all was not lost.  But I'm sure in twenty years it'll make a great story at a conference.  In retrospect, I should have just owned the whole busted slit thing and pulled an Angelina-Jolie-at-the-Oscars type pose.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it immediately.  See also: the "AngiesRightLeg" Twitter feed)  

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