Whew! What a crazy week it’s been for me. WinterFest went very well and, despite the economy, I sold several expensive pieces. The show had a lot of traffic and I managed to stay busy almost the entire time. Good thing since Saturday I worked from 9:30 a.m. until almost 10:30 p.m. It was nice to see so many of my good customers and meet some new people. As usual, I was disappointed by the lack of professionalism in many of my fellow artists. They spent their time playing childish games with each other, ignoring customers or looking bored. Then they were the first to complain that sales were down and artists were leaving before the show ended (one commented on my leaving Friday night before 11 p.m.). I admit I have a different background than many of them. Having worked in retail sales and learned the importance of good customer service at an early age, the sales person in me comes out at these events. I always greet my customers, dress professionally and act friendly. At least I try to and I think it worked since I had a good weekend with sales about 15% better than last year. A big thanks to mom for helping out on Friday with the booth assembly, and for helping on Saturday afternoon when things got hairy. Another thanks to Steve for his general support, for taking vacation time on Friday morning to help and for letting me leave Sunday so he could disassemble and pack the display.
Steve and I collapsed Sunday night at home with some good pizza and great beer. But our relaxation was short-lived. We arose at 4:45 a.m. on Monday to hit the road to St. Louis for a workshop (Steve) and shopping (me). My plans were to hit the malls (Galleria and West County), Trader Joe’s and World Market on Monday and TFA (my fave antique store) on Tuesday. Traffic in St. Louis, with the closing of highway 64, is a nightmare even if you take back roads, so I stayed in St. Charles on Tuesday to be near Steve’s workshop and never got to TFA. I did find some cool stuff during my shopping trips on Monday. I had to go to Plaza Frontenac to return some shoes at the Cole Haan store so I ventured into Saks Fifth Avenue to check out the [Giorgio Armani](http://www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com/_us/_en/home/index.aspx) cosmetics. I’ve been reading about these foundations for years and how wonderful they are so I decided to see for myself. I believe that all great looks come from great foundations (face, body, house, etc.) so I’m not afraid to invest a little in good cosmetics. I was not disappointed. I received great service from a very nice saleswoman who wasn’t pushy or annoying. I told her I just wanted to look at the foundation and I wanted a sheer formula for my combination/dry skin. I ended up with the [Face Fabric foundation](http://www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com/_us/_en/catalog/cosmetics_face-fabric.htm) which is a lovely, sheer formula that feels like silk on my skin. I have been very pleased with it. She also let me play with some other products, gave me several bottles of water and some samples. Sure, it was a $45 investment, but foundation normally lasts me a year so I think it was worth the cost.
I also got my Trader Joe’s fix on Monday night, but it was a quick trip. Due to the traffic, Steve and I stopped in on our way to dinner so I wouldn’t have to return the next day. I got my almonds, some crackers for our party and some dark chocolate for Carrie’s truffles. We then went over to World Market to restock our wine cabinet. Tuesday I stayed close to the hotel and was glad I’d run all my errands on Monday since the weather was turning bad and Steve got out of his workshop early. I did my usual TJ Maxx/Marshall’s run then ended up at the Mid-Rivers Mall to wait for Steve. I scored a few new things on sale at the Gap (including a great winter coat for Steve for only $42) and a sparkly top from Ann Taylor Loft for only $24. We hit the road around 3 p.m. hoping to avoid bad weather on the way home. We did ok until just outside of Ft. Leonard Wood when it started sleeting. We tacked about an hour onto our drive, but didn’t have too many problems getting home.
I worked yesterday and have to go in today, but am looking forward to having tomorrow off. Of course, I have a lot of work to do around here and several special orders for Christmas, but I’m planning to take some fun time to wrap gifts and just enjoy my house.