We popped up at New York's Bryant Park two weekends in a row! It felt like a herculean feat, but my Girl Gang really is FAB and Oh SO FIERCE. I had to share some photos of life behind the scenes. Let me set the stage for you ... If you follow us onInstagram, you may have seen a few posts about our booth and overall experience ... BUT, girlfriend, let me tell you! These ladies made it happen. My worst fears about doing an event like this in Manhattan all came true on DAY 1. If you live in NYC, you know what I mean, if you don't the short version of the story is logistics. Setting up for an event like this is challenging anywhere, but then add in all that is NYC – the good, the bad and the ugly – and it takes things to another level.
No, your eyes do not deceive you, that photo in the top right-hand corner is me with a bottle of Maker's Mark and it might have been before the normal cocktail hour. (Effie believed in celery water, but I needed something stronger to calm my nerves in the first few hours of this adventure).
Load in to the park was slated to start at 7am. We hired movers to take our inventory, tent, furniture, etc to the park. They were to meet us at our Brooklyn studio at 6 am. Promptly at 6 am, the mover we signed a contract with and paid a deposit to, canceled. Supposedly his truck over heated.
My jaw would still be on the ground if it weren't for Aubrie's resourcefulness (Aubrie is our Director of Operations, pictured middle photo bottom row helping a customer). She scrambled and had another moving truck and crew there by 7:30 am.
But, we'd hired an "assembly guy" to put our tent and bookshelves together who was arriving at the park at 7 and had a hard stop at 9 am. So, at 6:30 am, I called and woke up our amazing Production Assistant, April (pictured 2nd row with the bucket hat), to see if she could swing by the office, pick up said bookshelves and tent to meet the assembly guy. She didn't miss a beat and hightailed it to the office.
Aubrie and I arrived at the park around 8:45 am - the tent was up and the bookshelves were almost completed. And at 9am, just as the movers arrived, it started to rain. Please remember, that although we sell a variety of items, we sell paper.
Suffice it to say at this point, the Makers was pulled out and poured into coffee cups. Dane, our stylist extraordinare, arrived and by 11:30ish we were ready to open for business. At that point, I excused myself, employed some deep breathing exercises and did a costume change to get my head straight.
Despite all of the above, we made it through the day and no one was none the wiser. However, as we were shutting down, one of the night security guards stopped by to check in on us and kindly informed us that our sandbags were not heavy enough to keep the tent from blowing away overnight. (A few tents that had not been properly weighted down the week prior blew away and contents were destroyed due to heavy wind and rain). It was 7:30 in the middle of NYC ... local hardware stores were closed, the Manhattan Home Depot doesn't cater to the camping set which meant they had no tent weights in stock ... so we trekked over to the CVS in Times Square and bought 16 one gallon jugs of water (Aubrie's brain child). Yes, there is a photo of me pulling a CVS cart down the street filled with jugs of water.
The next morning, the tent was still standing; honestly, everything after that was a piece of cake!
We made it through the rest of the weekend and the following one with flying colors. I share this with you today because I want to shout out my team and how awesome they are – I'm truly lucky to work with such a lovely group of womxn. And I'd be remiss, if I didn't thank those of you who came out to shop and say hello despite the rain and sweltering temps. Entrepreneurship is not easy, but having a great team certainly makes it so much more do-able!