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~On the Road~ Attending a Doll Show as a Vendor

1bannervendorThe Doll Peddlar in Little Rock Akansas has been in business since 1998.  BJDs were introduced to the store around 2005, and new companies continue to be added. Dr. Judy, who is a neuropsychologist, has a hectic schedule between her practice and the shop. To keep everything running smoothly, she relys on her staff, Kelly and Kenly. According to Judy, ” Kelly has been working with me since 1987 and she manages the store and keeps everything organized, updates our website continuously, and looks after us all. Kenly likes to go to shows, so since she has been working with us, I can go to more shows.”

Doll Peddlar will be back on the road for Doll & Teddy Bear Expo in Winston-Salem, NC, the Integrity Toy & Jason Wu Convention in Pittsburg, PA over Halloween, and  IDEX in FL in 2011.

Article & photos by Dr. Judy of the Doll Peddlar.

Preparing for a doll show has a rhythm..an ebb and flow.  For example,
February 2010:  “That sounds wonderful.  I love the Austin BJD con.  Yes we’ll be there in August”    In February, August could be decades away.  Sure we’re going to a show in Chicago and won’t be back until July 25.  Yes we pack, drive, unpack, setup, teardown, repack, drive home.  But that is months  from now..we just won’t think about it.

June 2010.  “You know we need to start getting it together for the shows in July and August”  But happily store is busy and orders are coming in to process and pack.  Kenly just got back from PUDDLE in Chicago; Judy went to the Gene Convention in Philadelphia.

July 2010.  “OMG.  Fouth of July Holiday.  Kelly is taking off the week we are packing for Chicago.  We’ve got to ship anything that we aren’t taking in the truck.”  Suddenly Allegro..fast, crazy, rush, short tempers, excitement, and fatigue.”

What to take?  Every vendor wants to show new, the unusual, the special..along with the lovely new outfits, dolls, and all the accessories.  We all order extra items to make our customers happy and maybe surprised.    We all have plenty (read too much) inventory but we order more anyway.

Kenly & I are back from Chicago & a 5 day show, unpack, and are happily looking forward to Austin.  Austin BJD Con is the best.  Wonderful hotel that is designed to maximize interactions and making it easy to get together.  The show is small, intimate and relaxing.
Sherri and her group go all out to make everyone feel special and welcome.

We’re frantically regrouping … dressing dolls, unpacking new goodies, pricing and continually making decisions about what to take and what to leave behind.  The truck only holds so much & four tables only hold so much!  We gather and re-group the Tool Kit.
The Tool Kit is the essential container with all the little things you ‘might’ need: pins, tape, tape gun, staples, glue gun, box cutter, tape measure, needle nose pliers, screwdriver, and lots of miscellaneous.

Temperature is heat index of 113 as we load the truck for Austin.  Then, we’re on our way, as Kenly sings “On the Road Again” Maggie, my Papillion, settles into her spot on my shoulder and off we go.

Shows are a lot of stress and strain, hard mental and physical work, and demanding.  Setting up and tearing down are always difficult due to time limitations.    We love getting out to the few shows that we do because shows are a special time set aside for seeing old friends, meeting new ones and visiting. Laughing, teasing and having fun apart from the usual day-to-day routine..A very special time.    Over too quickly..   Austin 2012.

Judy outside the Doll Peddlar shop

Judy outside the Doll Peddlar shop

(From left) Kenly, Judy with Maggie, and Kelly

(From left) Kenly, Judy with Maggie, and Kelly

Preparing dolls for the show

Preparing dolls for the show

Loading the items for the trip

Loading the items for the trip

Setting up at the show - Our space starts with the blue board

Setting up at the show – Our space starts with the blue board

Setting up at the show - Our space starts with the blue board

Setting up at the show – Our space starts with the blue board

Salesroom

Salesroom

Show tables

Show tables

Doll Peddlar table

Doll Peddlar table

DollHeart pre-order

DollHeart pre-order

 Pasu Lao and and fashion designer Komi Wong from Dollheart

Pasu Lao and and fashion designer Komi Wong from Dollheart

Kenly and doll

Kenly and doll

Bastile Day Bluette in resin by Ruby Red Galleria

Bastile Day Bluette in resin by Ruby Red Galleria

Omni Bar at the hotel

Omni Bar at the hotel

Tearing down after the show

Tearing down after the show

Mess at the store after the show

Mess at the store after the show

Mess after the show

Mess after the show