Drove 11 hours today and let me tell you that Kansas is a wide state 424 miles and boy is it flat! After the days journey, I wound up just outside of Denver in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It is the end of June and there is still snow on these mountains and it is cold here. The elevation is over 9,000 feet and it is 42 degrees and I am in shorts and a tee shirt not thinking I would be stopping in the mountains. Wait until tomorrow when I am in Las Vegas in 100 degree heat!
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I will see how many I can cram into this trip.
Day one is in the books. I drove 929 miles stopping four times including a side trip to Casey, IL. to see the “BIG” stuff they have there. In Casey, IL a small town that houses BIG things like the worlds largest rocking chair at 56.5 feet tall. They also have the worlds largest functioning mail box at 5,743 cubic feet. You can mail a letter inside the mail box. Finally there was a giant pencil 32.5 feet in length. (how many pen’s could we make out of that wood?
Time to get some sleep for the drive tomorrow. If anyone has some suggestions for tomorrow, I am all ears? Thanks – Barry
Okay, I am officially in panic mode! Next weekend I start my 2,700 mile solo journey (don’t worry Lenora & Mike are still in the warehouse taking & filling orders) to the International Cigar Retailers Association Meeting. I have to be in Las Vegas on Thursday to start setting up my booth for the 6 thousand attendees! I have been making pens like crazy for the last month and like all of you, thinking just one more of a particular pen style will do, and I wind up make 6 of them! I will be offering my Faux Cigars and other finished pens to the association members. It will take about 5 days to drive out there and then the show is 5 days and another 5 days back home. It will be my great adventure!
Does anyone have any suggestions for different & interesting places to stop or sites to see, like the world’s largest ball of string? That was just an example but I will be driving east to west in a straight line taking route 70 west most of the way. So any suggestions where to stop, will be helpful. Thanks and I will keep you posted. – Happy Turning – Barry.
At the Woodworking Shows people have been asking me how the Holiday Fair turned out, and I apologize for this blog being so late. We broke down the booth the day after Christmas and then started getting ready for the Woodworking Shows and it has been non-stop ever since! Every Thursday we leave for another city, and do not get back until Monday morning, then we have to replenish the products we sold over the weekend at the show, and get them organized and shipped to the next location. This weekend will be the 8th Woodworking show (Milwaukee) and we are pleased to see all our friends at each city!
The final tally, after 42 grueling days of selling from 10 AM until 8 PM, we wound up selling 965 pens! The Cigar pens with the tobacco and cigar bands wrapped around the pen tubes were still the best selling pens followed by the Kallenshaan inlay kits and watch part pens. Last year we sold 745 pens. I’m crediting the improved packaging with the increase in sales. All the inlay kits were coupled with a matching box, and by having a matching themed box, it made for a perfect gift! A vineyards inlay kit was coupled with a wine pen box, and a caduceus inlay kit was matched with a caduceus box. How these were presented made a big difference! The pens without a matching box took longer to sell than a pen with a matching box, and we also charged more for that product than just a pen. It’s a “no-brainer” to offer your higher end pens with a nice box. It increases sales!
People ask me would I do it again and my answer is Yes, I would do it again! Hope to see you at the next Woodworking Show Happy Turning – Barry
Well, I got back from a a month plus residency at the successful Grand Central Holiday Craft Show, and jumping right into The Woodworking Shows! I will be teaching seminars each day. The full schedule is at the bottom of my bio page. It’s a lot of fun! I was happy to see MANY new, and younger, faces at the first one in Baltimore last week!
KANSAS CITY, MO
ST. LOUIS, MO
With only 9 days to go until Christmas we are in super crunch time! Today we sold 49 pens, that was one every 10 minutes! We were very busy and I am starting to run out of certain pens. I will go back to the warehouse on Monday night and make some more pens to take back with me for the last 7 days. So far, we have sold over 125 pens more this year than we did last year at this time. Top selling pens are still the Kallenshaan inlay pens, watch pieces pens, snake skin and antler pens and my cigar pens! Sold out of all the Faux Cigar pens – they sold fast! Well it is off to sleep another long day tomorrow!
**UPDATE: So sorry with the difficulties with the last minute voting!
We didn’t realize that the contest system turned everything off when the entry deadline ended. The voting is now open again, and ready for some last minute votes!
Midnight was our deadline for entries to our first Pen Contest.
Many beautiful pens that have been entered!
All of our penmakers, expert and beginner alike, have done a wonderful job with their creativity and craftsmanship. Now we need you to VOTE!
The best pens in the beginner and advanced categories will be determined by our judges, BUT the most POPULAR pen will be determined by the public. Please share this link with your family, friends and on social media. A last minute push in votes can move someone up and give us a surprise winner in the popular category! Let’s have some fun! http://arizonasilhouette.com/blog/pen-contest/
Voting closes November 5, and the winners will be announced November 6th.
The entries for the Pen Making Contest are still coming in, and looking good!
Only a few days remain to enter our first Pen Contest! Pen Contest Entry Info
There is still time to get your friends to vote for your pen in the “Most Popular” category by posting it to all your favorite social media channels. If you have a lot of family & friends, the more votes you get the better your chances are to win the “Most Popular” prize!
Choosing the prize winners for the Beginner and Advanced categories will be a difficult decision for our judges, but they will do their best. The entries so far are terrific!
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