Thursday, January 28, 2010

Live Audaciously~

That is my theme for 2010, coupled with last years theme of Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

It's not even the end of January and this word audacious, a word that's never really caught my attention before, keeps finding it's way into my life. Audacious. I can't quite describe what I feel when I hear it, say it or *gasp* dare to live it. This expo is quite an audacious step for Single Stone and for me personally. It's one of the largest home shows in America. Nearly 180,000 people will meander their way through the gardens, models homes and booths of more than 600 exhibitors.

I didn't even know the show existed until I got a call from the producer, who had seen our work in a YMCA Dream Home giveaway house, and invited us to join the show. I know her job was to sell me a booth - to the tune of a price that made me shudder. She was very personable, as most sales people are, but there was something that clicked between the two of us. I prayed about the phone call and took a few days to think about the invite, talked to Billy of course, and we decided that yes, this is something we want to try. I had been researching tradeshows/expos already but couldn't seem to find the right fit. This one - it was just right.

After the initial phone call last Sept. I immediately started planning my booth space. Since then I've planned it at least 25 more times. And driving everyone around me crazy with the details...all 25 times. I have a design nailed down now. It features lots of decals and some fun ways to use them. I'm really quite thrilled with the way it's coming together.

Besides my booth I was also asked to design the main stage. A 50 foot stage that will have a new demonstration every hour on the hour. And has quite an impressive guest speaker on the list to appear - Ty Pennington. Little did I know when I accepted the design job for the stage that my art would have to be sent to Ty's people for approval. I pushed send on that email and thought I might vomit. Then I felt cool. Then I felt like I wanted to vomit again. What was supposed to take a day or two for approval for stretched into 2 weeks. Of course, during that time I redesigned the stage a million different ways in my mind. I wouldn't let myself start a new file. No. Sometimes you have to practice confident behavior even when you feel insecure. I tried my best not to entertain my thoughts of doubt and finally the approval came. Without a single change, and the words LOVE IT (all caps just like that ;) came in an email. Wow! How cool that was that day?! That was a pretty audacious move for me to send my work. For a split second after finding out the Ty people had to approve the art I had a flash of a thought that said - BAIL. BAIL NOW BEFORE YOU'RE REJECTED. It was rather loud. I told it to hush and proceeded with my design.

Since I am now considered a "partner" of the production company of the expo I get a special display in an area called Innovation Ave. It's basically the 'hot, new products" area. So, another space to design. Another big project. 3 large design projects and I hadn't even thought about the sales side of the show yet. Or the packaging for the decals to sell on site. Thank goodness for my smarty pants husband and friend Stephanie. They are smart that way!

So, now I am in the midst of finishing up all the last minute details. Applying the decals, making sure the stage decals are just right. Getting the signage made. Packaging all the decals to sell on site. Making cool labels, cool handouts, find projects to try the decals on etc. etc etc.

SO MUCH planning and preparation. Where will it take us? What can I expect from it? I have a lot of expectations. My mind races with thoughts of putting decals in those gorgeous Extreme Makeover Home Edition houses. I mean really, how cool would that be? And who wouldn't want to be a part of something like that? I can't watch the show without crying and thinking what a wonderful gift it is to those families. It would be a really cool experience...

This little angel inspired me today. I saw her pop up on Jen's Flickr badge while reading her blog this afternoon. Tears welled up immediately and my heart bursted with encouragment. I'm really excited to see where this expo will take us. The text on the skirt of the angel reads "dream audaciously of impossible things". I love her. I love that she's Jen's work becuase I know Jen and this is such a true expression of who she is. That makes her just that much more inspiring to me. I loved her when I first saw her months ago while Jen was audaciously pursuing her dreams of being an author (her book is due out Oct 2010). And she truly inspired me today.

4 comments:

Jen said...

Shelley-
Thank you so much for including me on your journey! I've loved having your companionship and I am just so so so grateful that we get to be Audacious together!!! Love everything you've put together for this show. It's fabulous!

M said...

Working with you (and your husband!) on our custom design was such a pleasant experience. I wish you all the best with the expo, but truly hope you can continue to give such wonderful, personal, timely service to your customers! I really appreciated it.

djsimonmlb said...

The photography is excellent, seems really cool! :) I like your blog setup.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this useful article.