Thursday, November 08, 2007

On the Road with Kellie

Federal Way, Washington
Near Seattle

Wrapping up the second day of my twelve day trip with Kellie Forbes. I first met Kellie just under six years ago when I hired her to be my right hand woman during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Here we are again, working hard, and having fun.

Kellie is the woman who introduced me to rock and gem shows and indirectly to meteorites too. She's built a huge business since the Olympics in this industry. She's a talented jewelry designer and has a huge inventory of beads and paraphenalia for making jewelry (silver, clasps, crystal . . . ).

In 39 days I've gone from Windrock Farm in New York to the Pacific Northwest. That's some traveling, especially without an aeroplane!

It's been a crazy couple of days. I was packing up from my Whiskey Creek Farms show earlier yesterday and prepping and packing for this trip. I should say semi-frantically trying to get a hundred things done. One of the "other" things was getting my Airstream winterized since I am exposing it to freezing weather before I head south for the winter. I am sans Airstream on this trip, traveling as Kellie's assistant for a little money and a small amount of free booth space. I chose to hire out the relatively simple task of winterizing because I was so pressed for time and didn't have the tools to do the job. This task expanded into a four hour operation (I was told I'd be in and out of the RV shop in Boise in 30 minutes).

In the meantime my sister Elise (whose farm is my current base camp) was staying home for the day because her dog was about to welp (give birth). Welp she did. As Elise was delivering puppies she went to stand up and her back seized up on her. She was in excruciating pain and couldn't move. I found myself nursing her through the day--she considered the emergency room then decided to tough it out. I assisted with the puppies, little Jack Russell's and very cute. I eventually finished packing at 3:30 PM--about three hours past the original departure time. I later fed Elise's horses, gave Jake lots of hugs goodbye, and so on. A hectic day.

At about 6 PM Kellie arrived, thankfully late given the day. We quickly packed up my stuff for the trip and then took off for what would be an 11 hour drive to our hotel here in Washington. At 4 AM this morning we collapsed for a few hours then we were off again to set up at the show here.

Kellie has a huge amount of inventory, impressive really. She also has mastered the art of cramming inventory into a small floor space. We ran in to a guy named Mark who was our angel today. Kellie hired him on the spot and he assisted with the setup. We worked hard all day and were going strong when they kicked us out at 7 PM.

We had a quick dinner and headed back to the hotel where we have proceeded to work for many hours more. One of the things we did tonight was go through my relatively meager bead inventory and she helped me clean it up, price it, and prep it for sales.

A busy and productive day. Lots of work. It feels good to get so much done.