It has been over 12 days since we were informed that the Woodworking Shows were shut down.
It has taken that long for our shipping boxes to get returned by the trucking company. We received them today, and welcomed them back. They have over 4,000 pounds of pen kits and pen blanks stored inside and we are diligently removing the products to restock the website.
To celebrate their arrival, we are offering a ten percent (10%) discount on everything in the Arizona Silhouette store to our blog members starting March 24, 2020, and running through March 31, 2020.
Upon checkout use the code AZBLOG-20 in order to receive the discount.
Remember to stay safe, and have fun in the shop while you can!
2019 GCT Booth
Grand Central Holiday Fair 2019 Results
Since Thanksgiving was so late into the month of November in 2019, there were six less selling days than in 2018. Those are days, and revenue, that you cannot make up unless you sell more pens than the previous year. When comparing the actual dates from 2018 to 2019 we did sell more pens for the same number of days in 2018. The average number of pens per day increased to 25 per day versus 22 per day. We sold 900 total pens in 2019, but 945 in 2018. Since we didn’t have those 6 extra days, we came up short. Better per day sales, but less total sales. If we had those extra 6 days we could have anticipated selling about 150 more pens!
What were some of the causes for the “per day” sales increase? I will discuss this in a later post – stay tuned!
Pen Making Seminar
The Woodworking Shows have started, and my seminars have been full, so I apologize that it has taken so long to get this blog to you.
The Grand Central Holiday Fair was over December 24th, and I did not get home until Christmas day morning after closing up the booth. On the 26th, we were back up in NYC, packing up the booth to put it in storage. Hopefully we will get to use it again next year at Grand Central. Four days later, we had to have our shipping crates loaded for The Woodworking Shows with over 3,500 pounds of pen kits, blanks and supplies. To say that we have been just a bit busy is an understatement!
Two weeks ago was the Baltimore Woodworking Show followed by the New England Show and we are getting supplies ready to leave for the Kansas City Show this weekend. I just wanted you to know we are alive and kicking, and In the next few blogs I will start to detail the information about the Grand Central Holiday Fair but for now we will see you each weekend at the Woodworking Shows.
Happy Turning – Barry
Holiday Show Booth Preparation
It is that time of the year again, Grand Central Holiday Fair is coming up in 29 days. The panic and stress is really kicking in now. I have to get ready to take over 1,300 pens to this show and I am not yet there. I have about 700 ready so I will be in high pen making mode for the next 29 days! I am making pens morning and night and going to the warehouse during the day. As you can see I have my booth in our sun room and touching up the paint with special fire retardant paint (NYC fire regulations). Next week, I will start to lay out the new graphics and put the pens in place to make sure it all looks good before we take it to NYC on November 16th.
This weekend I will be demonstrating casting and turning acrylics at the Ohio Valley Woodturning Symposium and during the other demonstrations, you guessed it I will be making pens! So, if you are in the area stop by the symposium in West Harrison Indiana and say hi! Happy Turning – Barry
Moon Wood Pens
Just a quick update from the Washington DC Pen Show. This was my sixteenth (16th) year that I have displayed my pens at this show and it was the best show in all those years! My first show was with Rich Kleinheinz in 2004, where we split a booth because we did not know if our “hand made” pens would sell at a Fountain Pen show. We were pleasantly surprised and I have been attending ever since. I believe that the key for successful sales over the years is absolutely having new items for sale each year. I have “regular” customers that come each year to see what new pens I have and each year I pick up another new customer that asks me if this was my first year to display at the show! They looked shocked when I tell them it was my 16th year there.
My new pen for this year was my “Moon Tree” pen which I sold several of them. The pen is made from Sycamore seeds that flew to the moon and back on Apollo 14. I told you about this pen in my last blog. Fountain Pens were of course the most popular but the inlay kits from Kallenshaan still remain a very strong seller! Every year at this show I see more and more younger people asking for fountain pens which is a very exciting trend. Of course you still get the odd person who asks who uses a pen anymore? But then again why are they there at a fountain pen show? Still it was a great show and I hope it carries over to my next high end craft show in September in Tarrytown, NY. Talk to you later – Happy Turning -Barry
The ICPCR wholesale Cigar Show is over and I am driving back home. Today Wednesday I drove 13 hours to get a jump on getting home. The store owners liked the way the booth looked and my large overhead sign did attract attention. The pens that got a lot of attention were the Faux Cigar pens followed up by the tobacco leaf pens.
This show was huge! Some of the larger Cigar Manufacturers such as Cohiba, Drew Estate, Perdomo, Oliva, Fuente and others had booths which were at least 2,000 square feet with a minimum of 20 sales reps in each booth! And here we were with 2 people! Speaking of people, I want to thank a good friend of mine Susan Doring-Zook who came out to the show to help me – thanks Susan!
Will I do this how next year is still up in the air, I will have to see how many orders come in to make it worth the time and effort. I have to get some sleep, I have another 1,500 miles to go before I get home – Happy Turning – Barry
After 2,527 miles I arrived in Las Vegas and got an early jump on the setup at the Sands Convention Center by dropping off
all 600 pounds of my booth at the convention center. I first stopped by the Hoover Dam and marveled at this mass construction job! It truly is massive and the parks department did a great job on the new viewing sites for the dam. The image I took was from the new bridge spanning the Colorado river from Arizona to Nevada carrying interstate 11 and 93.
It is 98 degrees in the convention hall and so I will start to set it up on Thursday. I will show you so images of the set up tomorrow – Happy Turning – Barry
Driving out of Denver on route 70 west thru the Rocky Mountains is a fantastic drive. The river, people white water rafting, the tremendous cliffs and then I did something I always wanted to see – The Arches National Park in Utah. Two of the more famous rock formations that have been there for millions of years. The first is called balance rock (for obvious reasons) and the second one is called the window arch. These are really two separate arches but AI took the picture from an angle that makes it look like a pair of eyes with a nose.
Well tomorrow I might roll into Las Vegas but before I do I will go to thru the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam! Then it is work! Long days of driving but I always wanted to see this part of the country.
Drove 11 hours today and let me tell you that Kansas is a wide state 424 miles and boy is it flat! After the days journey, I wound up just outside of Denver in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It is the end of June and there is still snow on these mountains and it is cold here. The elevation is over 9,000 feet and it is 42 degrees and I am in shorts and a tee shirt not thinking I would be stopping in the mountains. Wait until tomorrow when I am in Las Vegas in 100 degree heat!
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I will see how many I can cram into this trip.
World’s Biggest Rocking Chair
Day one is in the books. I drove 929 miles stopping four times including a side trip to Casey, IL. to see the “BIG” stuff they have there. In Casey, IL a small town that houses BIG things like the worlds largest rocking chair at 56.5 feet tall. They also have the worlds largest functioning mail box at 5,743 cubic feet. You can mail a letter inside the mail box. Finally there was a giant pencil 32.5 feet in length. (how many pen’s could we make out of that wood?
Time to get some sleep for the drive tomorrow. If anyone has some suggestions for tomorrow, I am all ears? Thanks – Barry