Monday, 28 February 2011

Mama said there would be days like this ...

It was show day in London yesterday, so I carefully packed my bears the night before, raised a bleary eyelid (just one!) when the alarm went off at 6.20am, then struggled out of my warm duvet and into the shower.  I'm a zombie at that hour of the day and there's no point talking to me until at least 8am, so Stuart packed up the car while I tried to convince my sleep-puffed face to accept make-up and face the day.

It was a beautiful morning, briskly cold, but with clear blue skies and fortunately for us, clear roads too.  We arrived at Kensington Town Hall without a hitch and set up the 'All Bear' stand in plenty of time for the grand opening.  A queue of eager collectors snaked down the road, so all things considered, the signs looked promising ... 

My stand at the 'Winter Bearfest' yesterday ...

But I had a sixth sense and I don't know why, or how it crept up on me, but I looked at Stuart as the collectors rushed into the Hall and I could tell he felt it too ... something was missing. You know the kind of feeling you sometimes get when everything looks as though it should work, all the omens have been good, but then gut instinct takes over and whispers 'I don't think this will be your day ...'  I wonder, does anyone else ever have that feeling? And if they do, do they have a scientific explanation?!  I wish I could rationalise it!

A bear's eye view

Anyway, I pushed all such thoughts to one side,  smiled brightly and began to chat with my visitors.  I chatted and chatted and chatted some more ... then eventually, after seeing my show collection complimented, cuddled and cooed over throughout the five show hours, I realised the day had slipped past and I had to face facts .. every single one of my lovely bears would be returning home with me!

Waiting patiently ...

Now, I know I am far from being the world's greatest saleswoman.  In fact if I'm truthful, selling at shows is something I always dread. I love meeting and chatting to everyone, but selling my own work face to face?  Oh no!  Even after all these years, I'm still a hopelessly well-mannered, slightly shy, English lady at heart, politely terrified that if I invite collectors to pick up a bear for a cuddle, or boast a little about my work, my poor visitor may feel 'pressured' to buy and think me rude.  No, I prefer to believe my bears will sell themselves without any assistance from me, but yesterday proved there always will be times when both they and my visitors, need more of a helping hand than has ever come naturally to me.

Fortunately for us all, several kind collectors were waiting patiently in the wings, hopeful of adopting their special bear but unable to visit the show in person. I am so pleased that today, I am able to make travel arrangements for these bears to ensure they will soon be with their 'forever' owners ... happily, some things are just meant to be!

13" 'Polly' & 'Solly' are hoping to be adopted soon ...

I am working hard to find special homes for my remaining bears, so if Polly, Solly, Maxwell, Bramwell, or Boswell tugged at your heartstrings and you would like to consider adoption, please let me know - we'd all love to hear from you!  Full details can now be found on my website.

www.allbear.co.uk

28/02/11 update: Hooray, Solly has been adopted!

6 comments:

Joanne@ Desertmountainbear said...

Your display looks gorgeous. I am with you Paula, for many years I sold my work at shows. Actually I did not sell my work, they kind of took care of it themselves. It is very hard to "pitch a sale" I am going back to doing shows this year. I am trying to take the approach that I am there to become more visible to collectors, so that they can see and hold the bears and hopefully that will mean more sales online. I guess chalk it up to advertising costs.

soggibottom said...

I believe it must be like Stonehenge on Mid Summer morning :-)
All good bear lovers flock here. :-)
x x x

Matthew said...

I am sure they will all find lovely homes.I know if I could have my bags would have been full with All Bears!
I had to laugh at your zombie status early in the mornings.It sounds just like me on a Saturday morning in the sorting office at 6 oclock...don't expect any sense from me until at least 8am lol!

Bayle said...

Please, don't be upset! Your bears are soooo beautiful, cute and so adorable!!! I love them all!

skull_theatre said...

Your work is unbelievably top-shelf. Your bears (and your amazing skill and attitude) inspire me endlessly! Your display looked fantabulous! Glad you rehomed some bears after the show....I understand what you're saying about trying to sell...it can feel...off. But the bears got to go for a trip and you got to chat and that's got to count for something, too!

Katy Cameron said...

Aww, I was sure they'd all flock off the stand :o( I'm sure they'll all find new and very grateful homes soon :o)

My dad will be helping me again on Saturday at Rivington, but if he insists on 'helping' like he did at Sheffield, he may be sacked - it was like being back at school, 'Go on dear, talk to people' 'Sell them to them' 'Talk to that person walking by' 'Tell that person all about how he came to be' ARGH! I didn't sell any, but it wasn't for his lack of pushing lol Thankfully my mother caught him and suggested he needed coffee, hope she's on the ball again this weekend ;o)

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