Archive for February, 2009


No pictures, please.

I just wanted everyone who’s been following our epic adventure to know that we have arrived home safely and are trying to catch up on sleep.  Move-out at the Philadelphia Convention Center yesterday was every bit as crazy as we’d been warned it would be.  1200 exhibitors, who had arrived over the course of two days, all attempting to tear down their booths and flee the building AT THE SAME TIME.  Were it not for the help of our friends, the lovely Margie King and the patient (and lovely) Bob Fronzoni, we might still be there.  As it was, we started at 3, hauled everything in two trips to a nearby parking garage and were on the road by 5:30.  Thank God it was President’s Day.  Made it home around 1am, and returned the rental by 9am.

And that’s why there are no pictures with this post.  The bags under my eyes will be the last ones I unpack.


Kicking more bot.

bmac-022I really hate to brag.

Many of the craftsmen here have been complaining that the show has been pretty slow.  Which is a shame, because most of the work here is simply spectacular.  I mean really–I may never go to a craft fair as a consumer again, ’cause I’ve been to Philly, and I’ve seen the best.  All under one ENORMOUS roof.

So like I said, I don’t want to brag,  but of the 98 Fobots in our inventory, we have 25 left now, with a day and a half left of the show.  Not to mention orders for bots not yet born, and tons of leads on future sales.  So yeah, we’re pretty happy.  In fact, I’d have to say that this has been the best Valentine’s day I can remember; flowers from my sweetie (that’s him on the right—official title—“Cheap Robotics Officer”), good sales, wonderful feedback, dinner with dear friends Margie and Bob, and then a walk in a beautiful, fluffy light snow after dinner.  Life is good.


We kicked bot!

bmac-018I think today flew by faster than any trade show day I’ve ever experienced.  Trade show days–standing in a booth for hours, praying people will like you–are like dog years.  One day usually seems like a week.

I’d been warned that the first day would probably be pretty slow for new exhibitors.  Buyers generally visit artists that they’ve previously worked with first, before going on to new ones like us.  Makes sense.

Fifteen minutes after the show opened, we’d written our first order for 8 Fobots.  Now, I’m not going to say that the whole show was like that, but when they closed the doors at 6pm, we’d written six orders for a total of 38 bots.  Not bad, when you consider that we only have about 98 in stock.  Plus, lots of people were taking brochures and saying they’d be back tomorrow, and we already have several orders for bots similar to ones we’ve sold, or custom orders.

Check out the lab coat.  Phil has one too–we were going for the mad scientist look.  They get lots of comments.  Do not check out the bags under my eyes–I was up until 2 last night with last minute preparations, then up at 7.

I am going to sleep soooooooo well tonight.


before and after

bmac-010bmac-008 Won’t bore you with the details of how we drove around downtown Philly in rush hour traffic for an hour trying to find the convention center loading dock amid a rat’s nest of one-way streets and dead ends. Or how I got so worried that we’d completely miss our move-in time and the 40 minutes we had to unload that I had to take half a Xanax to calm down. Or how I feel like my whole career has come down to the next four days.

No, we’re going to focus on the positive stuff. Namely, that the booth came together spectacularly. Here’s what it looked like when we (finally) got most of the stuff moved in, and then, several sweaty hours later. That table you see on the left has the base packed full of extra bots, and the columns are stuffed with tools and packing materials. The lights aren’t focused yet, but they look freakin’ amazing! And already we’ve had people saying that we’ve got the coolest booth and the coolest product in the show. So–it looks like we’ve got a date with destiny. And he’s ordered the lobster…


Buyer’s Market of American Craft–Part 1

bmac-002Hi, kids! We’re here in Philadelphia! Well, not Philadelphia exactly. We’re 15 minutes away in Runnemede, NJ, where the hotels are cheap and the parking is free.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Stayed up until 4am with final preparations for the show, then up at 8 to pick up the rental car. That’s it in the picture. Now look closely because the next time I post, hopefully tomorrow (maybe later, depending on how good the post set-up cocktail party is), you are going to see a picture of our booth and say to yourself “WOW! how did they fit all THAT in a Jeep Liberty?”

Good question. I’m still not sure. Phil is a god. Suffice it to say that there are Fobots stuffed into every conceivable nook and cranny of that vehicle. The glove compartment has a Fobot or two in it. I’m kidding about the glove compartment, but not by much. This car is packed so tight, you could slam on the breaks and NOTHING WOULD MOVE. Which we put to the test during rush hour traffic in DC. Note to self–do NOT drive through Washington DC between 4 and 7. Ever.

But we’ve arrived safely, and the adrenalin rush that has been sustaining me for the last week has started to wear off, aided by a bottle of really good tequila. I really must crash now. Stay tuned–more updates to come.


Fobot necklaces

necklacesAnd now, for those of you who want a Fobot, but can’t bear to leave it at home–Fobots you can wear around your neck! These little darlings measure 3 1/2″ to 4 1/2″ tall, and come with an adjustable 30″ chain. And, in true Fobot tradition, they open up to reveal a tiny heart inside. Subject to availability–those teeny-weeny tins are wicked hard to find!


cha wrap-up, then on to Philadelphia

cha-2009-263I’ve been back from Anaheim–as well as Phoenix and the California bay area–since Saturday, and I’m wondering what the statute of limitations for blaming one’s spaciness on jet-lag is.  I’m hoping for a week.  Because the alternative is to blame it on a to-do list so long I go into minor meltdown mode whenever I look at it.  A week from today we leave for ANOTHER  trade show–this time, the Buyer’s Market of American Craft in Philadelphia.  There, I’ll be showing the Fobots to gallery owners who will fall in love with them and clamor to have them in their stores.  At least, that’s what I’m hoping…

But first–CHA.  A great show, well worth the relatively small investment.  Well, small compared to Surtex.  Sometimes it seems like my HOUSE is a small investment compared to Surtex.  But I digress…. The new location of the License and Design section, right in the middle of the Anaheim Convention Center show floor was a huge improvement over last year’s Siberian outback.  The show management flew in 10 VIP buyers from a variety of companies who license art, and who spoke with each of the exhibitors.  I’ve got a good feeling about some of these contacts resulting in some actual contracts, but I’m such a pessimist… I’ll believe it when the check clears.  But the best part is getting to visit with old friends, meeting new artists, and sharing information.  One Photoshop tip I picked up from another exhibitor (thanks, Robin!) had me so excited, I couldn’t wait to try it out.  That’s me in the picture, in my booth, working on my laptop.  Only regret–The day we had set aside for Disneyland was cold and rainy, and the hotel room was warm and dry…

Note to self and future exhibitors–if you’re planning on shipping anything from the convention center’s FedEx office–DON’T.  Take a cab to any other FedEx office–it’ll be cheaper than the $45 “handling fee” they stuck me with in addition to the shipping costs.  But aside from that, a great show.  I could go on and on, but the to-do list is calling.  Not just calling–screaming.

February 2009

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