Wednesday, May 30, 2007

NYC series-4-The Show

I almost forgot why I went to NYC to begin with. Of course. The show. Work, right. I explained a little about my process of developing product before I left. This is the fourth year that I've exhibited my design work here. The first year or two it was extremely instrumental in gaining my first clients. This is where Donna found me too, and expressed interest in me developing my first line of fabric with them. I remember thinking,' yea, fabric, always wanted to do that'.

So this booth is a little 10'x10' piece of me and what I'm about as far as design goes. Unlike Quilt Market, most of what is up on the wall are the very latest designs that aren't even on product yet. So its more like an idea bank, or your copyright vault. I do always have examples of my already produced items up to show a range of ideas and forms.

So that I don't let any big cats out of the bag, I only get to show you the one wall with mostly finished product. Is that so annoying!? Image piracy is rampant in this industry and its no fun to see your designs hit someone else's portfolio (trust me) and product before you even have a chance to get it out there. Just part of it though. There are a couple of finished product surprises up there, and maybe if I don't talk about them yet, it won't be like I'm really showing them to you. Snicker.

And speaking of securing things, I tacked the heck out of that quilt front to back to discourage anyone trying to lift it once my booth was set up and I was away. It's a drag to think about, but it certainly does happen if you have something valuable displayed. Having the quilt, one of my dining room benches, tons of my fabric and such felt very cozy. That backdrop you see is one single 30ft x 8ft handpainted piece of canvas covered in my signature pattern. Yes, that took a while, but I've used it for 3 years now, so it was very worth it.

Oh look its me again. Another logo sign for the passersby to spot me down the long aisle. And when they turned the corner they could see me standing in the midst of me. And when we started a conversation it was about me. When we looked at stuff it was all mine. I spent a lot of time talking about me and my ideas and my art. I did it lots of times for three days in a row. It was a relief to see and talk to people who already know me, and I could save the story of me for the next poor soul. Me. Me. Me. I got so sick of me.

However. I got to gaze over at someone other than me in between chats. Pretty sure he was kinda sick of me too. But that's one of his jobs. He's been subjected to me-ness for more than 16 years now. Lucky me. Yowza.

The most enjoyable part of my trip was spending it with two of the best people in existence. My mother for the first few days and my sweet husband for the final four days. The show was great, and successful. I am passionate about my work, but it is work. When 6 o'clock hit each day, Jeff and I were out of there like high-school seniors at dismissal. We just walked and walked and ate and drank and laughed and taxied and trained and everything else we forget is possible when we are raising five children together.

He did manage to snap a sliver of me in my birthday dress. I guess he wasn't entirely sick of me.



  1. Anonymous10:55 AM

    thanks for the glimpse into putting a booth together for Surtex... very cool... I want to be a big kid too someday and have a booth at the stationery show... hope it went great!

  2. Your work is amazing as always. Love the pillows. Thanks for a look at the design world.

  3. Looks like unbelieveable fun! I know that hard work in behind it all, Anna.......thanks for the tiny window into your world. :) You are so sharing and kind.
    Love it all! To be honest, I dunno where to get started with your new line of fabrics....i have sooo many ideas and my mind is busy with where to i am going to just plunge in with some new sofa cushions for my red leather couch. :) Promise to do a show and tell later on. Hugs, Laurie~

  4. Your booth is great! Oh how I'd love to go to that show. Your head must spin with ideas when you leave that place!

    Glad you are back!

  5. What a fun little booth to be in. Beautiful.

    Speaking of beautiful, I hope its not horribly inappropriate to say...Jeff is quite handsome. Lucky you

  6. Ryan, You can say nice things about my foxy husband anytime. He'll pretend he doesn't know what you're talking about.

  7. not to take away from the you-ness too much, but, wow! what a hottie! ;)

  8. Anonymous1:41 PM

    Yowza is right! Hubba, hubba! Okay, sorry about that. Meanwhile, wow, that was so cool to see the glimpses into Surtex and what you're doing! So very cool! I swear you're the hardest working girl in showbusiness... uh... surface design business, and it's awesome to hear about what you're up to every day or so. Best! ~A :-)

  9. Yep, folks, he is a hottie, but take it from his mother-in-law: his heart is just as awesome as his looks!

  10. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Oh girl, you know WE can never get enough Anna!!

  11. Anna, Thanks so much for sharing so openly your design process with all your readers. As an aspiring designer myself, I've found your insight and comments so helpful. I wish you much continued success for many years to come. You are a mentor to so many that you don't even know!

  12. Looks like a ton of work, and also so much fun! Oddly enough, I sympathize for the youness of it all. I love hearing about your life and your creative processes, don't get me wrong, but having to talk about myself non-stop for three days? Horrors! Glad you did it though!

  13. this booth looks so colorful and vivid - i wish you could decorate my living room (or at least my sewing room... *g*)!
    very nice what one can see of the dress - and i LOVE your shoes!!! (can a woman have enough shoes?)

  14. how exciting! i love your designs, booth and yes, thought your husband was easy on the eyes too. i know he is very proud of you!

  15. Anna, I love the booth pictures. I'm glad it was a nice trip. My favorite it that quilt of course! I love it! Take care.
    -Vivian Love

  16. Anonymous7:16 PM

    You know, I am very impressed with your work...but I am most impressed about your work as a Mom and Wife. What a lovely family you have, and it is obvious you are having a long love affair with the man you married.
    This is why I read your blog.

  17. What a fun post. So much color and yum. Love those footsie photos. And did you get that haircut you wanted? Shorter in the back? I can't tell.

    Anyhow, I don't know who wouldn't want Anna Maria sparkle all over their products. Beautiful booth! : )

  18. Anonymous9:54 AM

    What a fun post, I love your booth, it looks so inviting. I'm like a kid in a candy store looking at these pics!

  19. Anonymous12:55 PM

    Anna - your work and booth were so lovely, as are you and Jeff! It was such a treat to meet you. You have it all, you are just the sweetest thing ever. Such a rare and wonderful combination! A million well wishes toward great success with your new stuff...but I don't think you really need any help from me.


    ps: Can you point me to the local Jeff store in NYC? I could use a husband like that. ;)

  20. Jodi, it was wonderful meeting you as well! Thanks so much for all your nice words. Regarding the Jeff store, I think they're plum out of those. There is however a Jason store in Atlanta, they stock cute unmarried brother-in-laws :)

  21. At least the photo was of you in your Birthday Dress and not your Birthday Suit.

    Sorry, absolutely could not resist.

    It's fun reading about your trip!

  22. Is that your stone cold fox?

  23. Anonymous6:12 AM

    Oh what a colorful life! Your booth looks amazing. :)

  24. Mendy-I actually had that thought (shame!) as I typed that.

    Gina-uh-huh girl. xoAM

  25. What a sweet man you have!! Y'all look soooo young!

  26. Anonymous8:26 AM

    Oh Anna,

    you cannot believe how much I sympathize. I am going through the motions with a lot of my work as well. It is really hard and it takes soooo much effort. Trade Shows are always great and fun but also very stressfull at times. But on the upside one gets to meet all those great people.

    The copyright part really touches me. I do not even care to know how much of my work has been stolen, copied and minimally altered without any consent or credit :( Gives me tummy rumblings.

    Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

    Best Wishes,


  27. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Wow, what fun. Your booth looks amazing. Your creativity really inspires me. BTW..not to give him a big gigantic head or anything but that husband of yours is adorable (I am sure he is lucky to have you)

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