Saturday, April 12, 2008

Today's Parent Show - Day 2

Another exhausting day on my feet. The International Center was jam packed with families and shoppers. And now to add yet more knowledge to the growing store. I'm sure what I'm about to tell you will come as no shock:
Men do not shop for their children (in general)
If you see a man coming down the aisle pushing a stroller, he is at best, a reluctant hanger-on. He's been dragged by his partner. He doesn't want to be there. There's sports on tv. There's other thrilling stuff somewhere else to do. He's watching someone spend the household budget, and he's not happy about it. Now granted, he's not the one home every day, and doesn't really understand what the kids needs are, or what the little maladies that the kids suffer from really get into. Mom is. She knows. She knows what she wants and needs. She knows what's useful and what isn't. And she's not happy about the grumbling input behind her.
So let him pass. Mom will be along shortly (she's in another booth, he got impatient and started moving on in the hopes that she'll follow his path to the door). She's the decision maker where the kids are concerned.
Here's something else you should know about the trade shows. Aside from the retailers/entrepreneurs/distributors/media that are there, there are also a decent number of pyramid scheme groups there. Not to get you to buy product, no, that makes them very little money indeed. The real money is in having you sign up to have a party for them in your home or to have you sign up into the scheme yourself, and go 'under' them in the pyramid. In fact, that's the only way they can make a decent buck. They held back for the first day, but today, started moving through the booths to hard sell gals like me in our booths to join on (because I have so much free time these days, LOL). Some of them have cool products, but I have to tell you, I have a lot of friends who've done this. They always quit after the first six months. It's just impossible to make a living unless you sell out everyone you know for it. And the income it produces DOES NOT (no matter what they tell you) replace a regular salary with benefits.
(ok, rant over, clearly these things make money for someone, but definitely not the average woman who signs on to the starter kit).
Market your own cool ideas. You will be more passionate, more interested, and more involved. You don't need someone else's cache. You will also be infinitely more fulfilled knowing that the entire payoff is for you alone. Starting your own company is far more rewarding than being in someone else's pyramid scheme. (sorry, I know I said rant over, but it's really over now).
and honestly this should have come first - I have to talk and gush about Karen from Tail Wags again. She's my next door booth neighbour, and just about the most generous person I've met so far in this game. She is constantly sending people next door to meet me, and filling them up with praise about Smicko'z before they get to me. Because of Karen, I have met sales reps, distributors, media, retailers, and customers. She doesn't have to. Honestly, other than filling in for her on potty breaks, there isn't much I can offer her. But she's one of 'those' people who is just honestly open and loving and generous. I can't gush enough about her. Her products are on fire at the show, her booth is mobbed, and she is a PRO. (Yes, S now has one, and it's the teddy bear one that fits over her bicycle helmet). And she has a unique product that she designed, that's all hers. She runs a successful company, on her own, from her home - it's possible and it's doable. Take the inspiration where you can get it.
One more day before setdown, and I'll be able to reflect on the whole experience from my couch with a good drink in my hand.
So if you're in Toronto, come on down for Sunday -
and don't forget to check out Smicko'z Tablewear for Toddlers at
Going to soak my feet now~

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