One Doll Purchased = One Doll Donated
September 18, 2019
Isn’t the saying “It’s all downhill from here” telling us that it only gets worse? Well, as you all know; nothing is ever easy for the Baker/Elder Families. We like a challenge…Most of the time.
About 4 weeks ago, we decided that we were going to take our chances and hit the road to Las Vegas for the bi-annual Queen Bee Market. Think of Pinterest in a 12x6 booth. Every shop has their own unique craft. Except, we didn’t have a booth, or product made. We just had our samples and raw materials. That means, we had to design, build and create everything….in 3 weeks, including orders already in our que. Easy right? NEVER.
Megan began to embroider all the doll bodies. We had decided to add elves, reindeer, animals, DIF dolls, military dolls, superheroes and wait for it…. HALLOWEEN dolls. Our motto “YES I CAN” was strong with us. That amounted to about 160 dolls to complete in just 3 weeks. Meanwhile, Keele cut ALL the parts: arms, legs, hair etc. But alas, the dreaded “everyone is sick” bug came about, and HARD! Keele powered through kids with strep and then came down with walking pneumonia and a sinus infection. You would have thought that she would have been down for the count. NOPE! She was determined as ever to have really great product for the show. She’s. A. Champ. While Keele was hustling, Megan’s husband bought, cut and built the dollhouse that Keele and Megan “drafted”. Easy, it’s a pergola with a back wall. I’ll tell you about that final build in a bit. He did the first day in 100-degree heat, with you guessed it, a cold.
We all made it through the next week and a half illness free…Strep was contained, colds were gone and walking pneumonia subsided. We HUSTLED hard. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning, sewing, flipping and stuffing until our fingers would no longer function.
Our PLAN was to get together the last week to finalize all parts we divided between each other. But one thing after another led us to Tuesday….2 days before we were set to travel. Keele and her family brought over the trailer to pack all the wood up for the display, half of the dolls and accessories to be photographed for the site and were headed back to finish up last minute details for the Wednesday scramble and packing. BUT Megan got a phone call from the school telling her to pick up her son and that he had been sick in class. Not 30 minutes later, Megan was down for the count with the stomach bug. ALL NIGHT LONG. She still had cargo pants to sew, Halloween outfits to make and heat pressing logos. Unable to even get out of bed, Megan and Keele decided it would be best to just get together early Thursday morning to finish packing and hit the road.
Our original plan had included leaving at 4am to miss all the Phoenix traffic and get to Las Vegas at a decent time. Enough time to finish last minute to-dos. But of course, nothing ever goes to plan with us. Megan was barely functioning as a human and Keele hit a road closure on the way to Megan’s. We didn’t get on the road until 11am. And it’s a 12-13-hour drive from El Paso to Las Vegas while pulling a trailer. Hello long day! Megan drove, still trying to suck down liquid from being dehydrated and Keele whipped stitched dolls like nobody’s business on the drive. Best part of the whole day was In and Out. Cali girls at heart. We hit the 93 highway at night and decided that it was best to stop in Kingman for the night since we were both tired. Instead of sleeping, we decided to get a bit of work done and stayed up until 1am sewing, heat pressing and threading elastic.
The alarm woke us up at 6am sharp. We packed everything up, got gas and hit the final leg of our trip. Set up time began at 9 and we got there about 45 minutes later. We had to be done with our set up at 3:30pm. Fine right? Totally enough time to set up. Except, we were on the second floor. We had to unpack 4x4’s, planks, cash wraps, buckets and SO much more and bring it ALL up the freight elevator with all 50 other vendors. WE. WERE. TIRED. Pretty sure Megan said “I QUIT” more than 4 times while building our masterpiece doll house. Keele of course wouldn’t let her. We put too many long hours in to do that. Megan’s legs gave out climbing the ladder (pretty sure due to dehydration from the stomach bug she hadn’t fully recovered from yet) and Keele’s arms hit max power pounding in the last wooden dowel. But we DID IT. We got SO many looks while bringing up all the wood and all the noise we made with hammering and screwing in parts. It took Megan’s husband 1 ½ hours to put together himself, and Megan and Keele 3 ½. We thought we weren’t going to get product out in time and only have a booth complete! THANKFULLY, our hotel room was 5 feet from our booth and Keele hustled dressing all the dolls and stitching them up while Megan manned the epic dollhouse.
The ooo’s and ahhh’s and the little one’s screeching out “mommy, look!” made it all worth it. People loved us, and they loved our story. We are now able to donate over 20 dolls to children with deployed family members from this weekend’s event! We were so grateful to be part of an event that supported small business and their crafts. Everyone was so kind!
The take-down was a little easier since Megan’s parents were in town and helped us pack up. We finished up, “cleaned up” and treated ourselves to a Brazilian steakhouse dinner. Well deserved if we do say so ourselves. The food was great, the company great, but we had to hit the sack and start our road trip all over again!
We left at 8am, made great time and decided to stop and see family on our way home. We thought, wow, what a crazy but great weekend filled with new friends, family, and let’s not forget- mom alone time! We knew we would arrive home late, BUT NOT as late as we did. To finish out the madness, we of course hit a storm that slowed us down and made Megan white knuckle the rest of the drive home. We had a blurry windshield because apparently Megan’s in need of her wipers replaced! (Don’t forget to do ALL your car checks before you leave) We arrived at Megan’s at 11:45pm local time and unpacked the van into the garage and Keele’s car. Why didn’t we just leave it? Well, of course life doesn’t stop. Megan had to get all the seats and car seats back in the van ready for school drop off in the am. Keele still had a 45-minute drive back home from Megan’s too!
We did it! We conquered, and we were crazy enough to sign up for it again in December! Remember, it’s the journey and not the destination! (That’s what we keep telling ourselves)
P.S. We won the best booth grand prize!
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