Teamwork, Sample Spree

posted in: Quiltfolk, Work 12
People working on the framing of a building, c. 1950. Photo: NARA via Wikipedia.



Tonight was Sample Spree at Quilt Market. If you’ve never been to Sample Spree, allow me to offer a syllogism:


Sample Spree is to Quilt Market … as Black Friday is to Christmas.


It’s a shopping orgy-stampede, is what I’m saying.

At Sample Spree, vendors set up tables and sell special and sometimes limited-edition or otherwise promotional-only merch — at low, low prices — to Quilt Market attendees. Sample Spree is a big deal. It’s like a garage sale, except the people who are doing the garage sale are fancy and everything must go … except that it’s not old stuff, but new stuff. Let me put it this way: Sample Spree usually starts at 7 p.m. and the line starts a little after 4 p.m., every time.

Quiltfolk had a table. We brought hundreds of copies of the magazine to sell cheap. We had our little credit card thing. We had our elevator speech. We were ready when the stampede began. And we sold out of everything in about an hour.

Of course, there are a few folks at Sample Spree that sell out in less than an hour; there are always a couple folks (ahem, Cotton + Steel) who have nothing to do 30 minutes after the doors open. But most folks sell for the full two hours and have to pack up what doesn’t sell. We were well stocked, though, and were still one of the first vendors to pack out of the convention hall with our empty boxes.

I’m telling you this for two reasons.

For one thing, it felt good to see that the project that I love so much is working. People get it. More people get it all the time. The world doesn’t need more ads, more noise. It needs more stories. That’s what I get to do with Quiltfolk. That’s pretty groovy.

The second reason I want to talk about Sample Spree is because you should’ve seen me and Mike and Bree, the company’s communications and customer service whiz. We were such a great team and I missed being part of a team! Certainly, I was part of a team at the paper; I loved that team. And I’m part of a team every time I go on location for the magazine. But there was something very … staff about tonight, very corporate in the best possible way. Me and Mike and Bree were doing the Quiltfolk thing together: pressing the flesh, autographing copies, making change for a $20, and so on. We had each others’ back.

The realization I’m done with school keeps coming over me in waves. I’m this person, now. I’m this working person. I’m part of a team. I’m working.


*I wrote this thing about the thing, by the way.

12 Responses

  1. Jess Irwin
    | Reply

    Work is weird after graduate school. I keep wondering where the homework is, and what I forgot to do.

  2. Veronica
    | Reply

    Well done Mary !
    Quiltfolk sounds like a wonderful venture – I’ve just subscribed , & can’t wait for it to arrive. Hoping to spread the word here in Ireland
    Warmest wishes ,

  3. Karen
    | Reply

    Sounds like you had a whale of a good time! I know just the feeling you describe and am so glad for you. And I’m also jealous of all the people attending — what a feast for the eyes it must be!

  4. Sue
    | Reply

    Good for you!!! Have a ball!!

  5. Caroline Nelson
    | Reply

    It’s always so wonderful to be you again! Congratulations and enjoy.

  6. Mary Veneskey
    | Reply

    Mary, in my previous job working for Craft Warehouse, a locally owned craft store here in the PNW, I was able to attend Quilt Market as part of the buying team for the Quilt shops. I left two years ago because we moved to Ohio. I am here visiting family, I am right across the river in Vancouver. Knowing that all of you in the Quilting world are here for Market and not being able to be there with you is KILLING ME!!!! Like, KILLING ME. I do hope however that you and everyone else has a wonderful & successful market. Congrats on finishing school, your job and all of the exciting things the future holds ❤️❤️❤️ Have fun!!!

  7. Theresa
    | Reply

    I would love to go to Sample Spree!! I love Quiltfolk magazine, especially your articles!!

  8. Virginia Lamoreaux
    | Reply

    Keep up the good work, Mary. I picked up 05 at a quilt show last weekend here in Portland. One of the ladies at the booth asked me what table I had got it on. I said there was another copy over there, I thought we were gonna chick fight right there for it . My sock monkey Elinore and I say hi, welcome back to Portland, love your magazine

  9. Shelley Dionne
    | Reply

    As they say…You have arrived.

  10. Maggie
    | Reply

    Sounds like fun!!!

  11. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Hi Mary- Congratulations on your graduation, and re-entering the REAL, WORKING WORLD! So happy to hear you loved quilt market. I live in Bend, Or., and sure wish I could’ve been a part of it! Planning to subscribe to your new magazine. I’ve heard it is marvelous! Take care, live life to the fullest, and enjoy! My Sock Monkey, “Reeba” says hello! : ) Brenda King, Bend, Oregon

  12. Mary Dusenberry
    | Reply

    You are now all grown up! Celebrate!

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