Once upon a time there were two ladies; Abigail - tall, clever and frightfully English (slash Australian); and Tracey - tallish, sidekick and frightfully kiwi (slash crossbreed). Together they embarked on a baby show exhibition to tout their wares in Auckland.
Upon arrival after both having travelled all day, they worked to create a bedroomy space amongst many high-end retailers with szhooshy shelves, sparkly bits and as many electronic bouncers as there were high-vis wearing exhibitors.
On the whole the exhibitor folks were courteous, on a mission, most had already set up but we had limited time to do so, arriving at 5.30pm after our respective travelling days. Despite a small scuffle with a fellow exhibitor, who was quite sure we were tripping her power (for a yogi she wasn’t particularly relaxed), we hooked everything up ready for the expected three days of visitors.
Visit they did, upon the thousands, some with husbands in tow, seemingly there to say ‘we don’t need that honey’ at each booth, or grandmothers knowingly telling daughters and daughters-in-law, ‘you will need this dear’ at ours.
We had a lot of interest from the Asian market, particularly as there are no other fresh yet classic lullabies out there that don’t talk about babies falling out of baskets and all tumbling down around a ring-a-Rosie. Dark stuff!
A lot of people purchased the duo deal, the first book along with the first album together. So this Christmas we will be making these available as a Chrissy pack. International buyers are thinking it will do well in Asia in particular and we hope to be in talks about this as soon as our heads stop spinning.
Essentially a very valuable exercise and an eye opener. I had no idea how many people feel it necessary to own automated baby swings, and diamond encrusted igloo pedestal self swaying bouncers. Whatever happened to the good old wire and weave! Audrey seems to have survived one.
Getting to the Baby Show was in itself an achievement. The lead up was frantic. There was the practical stuff to get through – actually finishing the book design and collecting them from the printers in time; discovering I’d bought a plane ticket that did NOT include luggage the night before I was due to leave with nearly 40kg of CDs and books; arriving at NZ customs and being told they’d let me off this time, but I’ll need to pay tax if I come laden with stock again. And then there was the personal stuff – Audrey’s broken arm, Maddie’s dance and violin exams, late nights staring at a computer screen, accidentally sitting on the cat vomit that Scoota left on my office chair – yeuch!
Having dragged two suitcases of Dream Wonderland goodies to check-out I remember surreally sitting in Sydney airport’s international lounge with a coffee watching an old Asian man playing Pokémon Go, weaving through the café chairs trying to catch a Pikachu (a month on and that craze seems to be over already!). How would the Baby Show go? Would we actually sell anything?
As it turned out, it was an amazing experience and yes, we sold loads! A Baby Expo is a pretty overwhelming place. There were many glazed faces, particularly those unsuspecting Dads - ‘What have I got myself into?’ There were those mums who were pushing around perfectly formed little bundles who were sleeping soundly. ‘Would you be interested in a CD to help at sleep time?’ we would ask. ‘Oh no, thanks. Junior sleeps through now’. Well long may that last! Then there were the frazzled mums with one, two or even three who would see our stall and exclaim ‘Oh, I need this!’
I will never forget one particular charming couple. They seemed very young and although they weren’t expecting yet, they were trying to fall pregnant after tragically miscarrying the year before. She sat down with the headphones, started to listen to the album, and then turned to her partner with tears in her eyes and said ‘I must buy this. It’s so beautiful’.
Chatting to all sorts of different folk really was wonderful and I hope they are all travelling well. What stood out was there really is no one way to parent – we’re all just winging it and supporting each other.
Amongst all the madness there was spending time with Tracey, which was very special. It was so nice to chitchat about all sorts for hours, rather than Skype solidly about work for 40 minutes. And I was very happy to discover that she too has a love for Indian food!
So now it’s onwards… Tracey has been in the studio recording the narration for our audio version of the book, which will be out soon and we’re moving forward with book number two. Whoop!