Stone Harbor, We'll Be Back

Stone Harbor, We'll Be Back

Let me begin this post by stating that I am so exhausted, I have resorted to listening to scores from horror films to stay awake. When you resort to scaring yourself out of sleep, is it time for an intervention or just a vacation? Also taken into consideration, has been a caffeine IV drip and eating sugar by the spoonful. After several seconds of contemplation, both seemed unwise. Cue the theme from The Shining. 

Trust me when I say that Brit is in her office going through something similar. 

The reasons for our exhaustion are back-to-back work events the past five weekends in a row, the launch our Fall/Winter line last week, and taking zero time off. Why haven't we taken time off? Simply because there is no time to take off. Luckily, now that the collection is up and selling (see for yourself) we can each take a day this week and sneak off to Chicago for the weekend (road trip!). Stay tuned for a post later next week about my first voyage to the midwest. 

Now, let's focus on our most recent event. 

Thursday morning, Brit and I headed over to the only store that makes me feel helpless, The Home Depot. Brit, however, knows her way around a power drill and knew exactly what we needed. After hanging with the men in the orange aprons for over an hour (they got our order slightly wrong on the first try), we went back to the studio to start building. You see, we needed to build an accordion type backdrop for our display at the Stone Harbor Arts & Crafts Festival. Not able to bring our usual white tent, we needed a way to separate our space from the other vendors. 

Brit and I built, sanded, stained, and painted the backdrop and a new rack to hang the bags off of in a matter of hours. We than finished up our other work and headed down to Stone Harbor. By the time we arrived at the shore all we wanted was food. So basically, it was no different than any other night. 

Sleeping in until 8:30am (nothing has ever felt so good), we threw on bathing suits and denim shorts (very American of us) to go to the local T.J. Maxx. The professional packers that we are, we forgot hooks for our newly built rack. Without hooks, the bags are a little more complex to display. We also managed to leave the store with a gold bracelet bar, which did a beautiful job at selling our festival-only leather snap bracelets. 

I have to take a minute here to applaud this particular T.J. Maxx. Not your average Maxx, it was paired with a HomeGoods that would make Marie Antoinette rethink her entire philosophy of interior design. All that pastel? Marie would instantly trade it for the clear and quilted office chairs lined up next to a wall of jewel toned elephants and embroidered pillows. If my bank account weren't already one ice cream cone away from being overdrawn, I would have lost my mind. Whoever calls this particular T.J. Maxx their local Maxx, should consider themselves #blessed. 

So yes, Friday was full of shopping excursions, waffle ice cream concoctions, wine on the beach and trespassing (what happens in Stone Harbor stays in Stone Harbor, right?). Ending our first non-work day, in honestly who knows how long, on the deck of the Blosenski's beach house overlooking the bay (that we were thrilled to call home for three nights), was almost too much relaxation to handle. Seriously though, huge shoutout to Mrs. B for her overwhelming hospitality and cinnamon chocolate chip coffee cake. 

5:30am the theme from The West Wing yelled at me like an angry Girl Scout leader after finding out a certain someone ate all the cookies they were supposed to sell. Two things are obvious about the previous sentence, 1) the theme form The West Wing is indeed my daily alarm and 2) Brit and I had to get up absurdly early to set up for our first day of the event.

Still half asleep, we made our way to the recreation field, on 80th street and 1st avenue, to assemble the 12 x 8 space that would be Tesoro Design for the next two days. Almost like it was planned, the clouds shattered and rain pelted down just as we brought the last piece of display inside the tent. Like so many moments at the beach, this shower was quick and ended within minuets. Once everything was in place we moved our focus onto bigger issues at hand, breakfast.

Slipping into our game day attire back at the house, we strutted (more like drove) into town to satisfy our palates at Coffee Talk. One side serves coffee, bagels and breakfast sandwiches, while the other side whips up fresh squeezed detoxes and juices. Both sides serve joy (especially the honey cinnamon butter, just saying). Carbing and juicing up was obviously the smartest decision. We were going to be standing under a tent, outside, in August from 9am to 5pm, we needed strength and energy. And it worked.

We sold bags. Small bags, big bags, credit card holders, key chains...point is we did well. So well in fact, that in just one day we made back the cost of the show. Our biggest success so far. And we did it all in humidity so fierce, I was lucky to have found my head under my hair at the end of the day. 

One of the pleasant aspects of being a vendor is always meeting the other vendors, and this show was no exception. To our left, we had the pleasure of working next to Brandi and Nicole. Brandi owns and runs a graphic design business creating note cards, wall hangings, wine bags, coasters and other fabulous trinkets.  If you are in need of a gift for someone, or like me, enjoy spending money, I highly suggest you check out her products. Brandi and Nicole were a much needed source of camaraderie throughout the long hours of vendoring. Especially on the second day, when we were all continuously bitten by small satanic flies, which were the only part of the show we would love to not repeat next year. 

Whether you are a vendor or a vacationer who loves craft festivals, I highly recommend attending the Stone Harbor Arts & Crafts Festival next year. Driving home Sunday night, truly happy with how we did sales wise after our first two shows were a bit of a disappointment, was a feeling we hope to experience again and again and again. 

To be clear though, I loved everything about Stone Harbor. It's ruined me for other Jersey shore towns. Adorable shops filled with unique findings, line the main street full with people of every age. The crowds consistently had an undercurrent of fun and excitement, that with the right breeze, could break the surface and explode into live music, bars, cinnamon buns, bikes, serenity and a sky full of the brightest stars I've ever seen. Yup, that's Stone Harbor. 

 

Before ending this post however, I need to mention the only dark cloud that blew through the show a mere hours before we packed up to head home. This storm came in the form of an older (see, I'm being nice) man who had a slight bone to pick with Brit and I. 

Waiting to greet customers who wandered into our booth, Brit and I were approached by this previously mentioned older man. Without hesitation, he asked us what significance our black and white American flag had. Let me state that we have proudly hung this flag at every one of our events, including those in our studio. The fact that we are completely Made in America and source our leather and hardware for the bags in America, is very important to us and our investors. Made in America is at the core of Tesoro's philosophy. With that being said, we have also received many complements and questions as to where people can purchase this flag (you can get it on Amazon!). Expecting the same from this gentlemen, I launched into my spiel about how we chose the black and white because we wanted to showcase we are made in America and its importance to us, without taking away from our actual product, the bags. He then smiled with a pinch and a half of smugness and proceeded to accuse Brit and I of looking like we support ISIS with our black and white flag. He said he is a veteran and fought for the red, white, and blue and we were insulting him. We do not mean to insult anyone by proudly waving our American flag. Both Brit and I are beyond thankful to our veterans and all those who have fought for our country. Ironically, the flag that this gentlemen was so insulted by is put up by us to show our love for our country.

As Brit and I stared back at him, I mean what do you say when someone accuses you of supporting the most destructive, vile, and evil organization pretty much ever? All I could muster was, "no it doesn't." With a glance over his shoulder, his departing words were "yes it does and I can say that because I'm a veteran." Well sir, I'm sorry, but you cannot accuse people of something so asinine. Especially two people who are so passionate about Made in America. 

I know people say things and you can't make everyone happy, but this scenario was more than infuriating. Hopefully this was an isolated occurrence. 

Stone Harbor and all those that made the weekend such a success, thank you for being wonderful and we hope to see you next year! 

-Em

See this post on gleekstyle for additional photos!

 


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