Well, we did in fact make it back to Bangor, and I did end up having to drive in the messy yucky weather. I took Victoria home and then got back to my house at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Driving was slippery and yucky (I had to go about 35 mph the whole way!) but a slightly worse problem was my extreme tiredness. The warmth of the car and the rhythmic slapping of the ice-coated windshield wipers created a soporific effect that I barely staved off by opening the window for most of the ride home.
I slept for about 6 hours and then jumped back in the car about 9:30 that same morning and drove down to Marlboro, Massachusetts for the New England Apparel Club (NEAC) show. This is where the clothing companies show their summer (and some fall) clothing, and it is the show where I must order all the clothing that we sell at Unique One in the summer. I had an appointment at 3 pm to look at the new Icelandic sweaters/jackets, and I was able to get a few orders for scarves and straw bags and hats in before my appointment. (I got to the show about 2 p.m.) I looked around a little more but was really too tired to make any good buying decisions, so I went back to the hotel, checked in, had a nice supper and a couple of martinis and then pretty much collapsed into bed.
The next morning after a great breakfast, I really went to work. I had two important appointments right off the bat, at 9 and 11 a.m., with Produce, and with the representative for Cut Loose, Click, and Color Me Cotton (CMC) -- all very popular and well-known clothing brands. I ordered such cute clothes for summer! Wait till you see them! :) The only thing I didn't order much of was shorts, oddly enough ... all the shorts they were showing were knee-length Bermuda shorts and I think they look rather silly on pretty much everyone. So I only ordered one line of them. I got some very cute dresses, several different types of pants sets (capri and cropped lengths) and all kinds of shirts... camisoles, sleeveless, short sleeved, long sleeved, T-shirts, gauzy tunics... all in great colors! I started out a little heavy on blue and white for colors at first, but then I threw in a good bit of taupe, brown, neutrals; and coral/orange/peach. I got a little purplish periwinkle, and a little lime green and avocado, quite a bit of white, a little black... one color I really wanted more of was pink, but *nobody* was showing any pink anywhere (sorry, Peggy!). Colors in general are rather muted and not wild and bright, but that may be because many of the vendors "New-Englandize" their lines for this show, and show the bright, wild stuff to the southern market.
I also ordered quite a few nice sweaters from the Alps company. We used to sell a ton of sweaters from them, but got away from their products in recent years. They offer well-made, classic styles for very reasonable prices. Most of their pieces retail for between $45 and $80. They also had several great styles that I ordered specifically for men. We get a lot of "what do you have for men's sweaters?" but when we show them the sweaters that we make, and the Irish sweaters, we don't always get a good response.... many people find those sweaters to be great, but many people really are asking "what do you have for inexpensive men's sweaters?" I think the Alps sweaters will fit their needs and we will not lose those sales, as we have in the past. We really didn't have much for men that cost less than $90 last year, but this year we will, and in cotton, too!
One of my really favorite finds at the show was fabulous godet skirts by Sandy Starkman (you can see one here -- I didn't get that color, I got black, turquoise, a blue/white print and a brown/taupe/beige print). I also got one of her jackets... it is so colorful and gorgeous that it made me happy just to look at it. And it goes perfectly with the turquoise skirt, too! Also, our Unique One cotton sweaters will look great with the Sandy Starkman skirts as well. :)
I ordered a bunch of wild and crazy scarves and some lacy shawls and a knitted lace shrug/bolero/jacket thing with very cute ruffles, the perfect thing to wear over a sundress to go out to dinner in. I also ordered some great new watches, and some cute reading glasses in a variety of colors and strengths.
I picked up info from a company that sells utterly gorgeous, fully reversible, cotton quilted jackets in Indian prints and paisleys .... far more beautiful than the ones we have sold before. They also sell really gorgeous silk and/or rayon scarves, also from India. I wish I had found them first! But unfortunately, I found them at the very end of the show on Wednesday, and I knew I was too beat to make reasonable decisions. And, they offered such a huge selection! So many designs and colors and patterns to choose from! I took their catalog and I will place the order soon.
Almost all the clothing I ordered will be arriving between May 1 and June 30, so I hope you all come in and buy, buy, buy... because I will have to *pay* for this clothing! It's really cute, and I must say, buying lots of great summer clothes made me happy ... just knowing that summer really will arrive, and sooner than we can believe.
So after the show, I went back to the hotel because it would be crazy to try to drive home that night. I had another great dinner and only *one* martini, and fell into bed. :D The next morning dawned cold and sunny, I ate breakfast and drove home. All in all, it was a great show. But I am so glad to be home!!!!
Now I can concentrate on getting my next newsletter to the printer on the 29th, and promoting my upcoming classes, and getting stuff on my blog and website about the upcoming March knitting weekends. Oh, and getting things ready for the SPA weekend in Portland in February! Wooohoooo! I am really looking forward to that! Man, it is going to be April before I know it...... And then the summer clothing will be arriving shortly after, heh heh. Maybe I will just start listening to the Beach Boys now.....