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Rendezvous at the La Quinta: By Appointment Only

September 16, 2011

Unfortunately, this Hotel La Quinta was not ours (courtesy Hotel La Quinta Real Zacatecas in Mexico)

Last week, we attended a two day event to sell our tennis apparel to tennis club buyers from three states. Two days filled with buyers who are there for one purpose only – to buy tennis clothes – easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? They were supposed to line up out the door and our wrists were going to be sore from taking so many orders. I should have known that the day wasn’t going to go as imagined as soon as  I got in the car and the odor from an invisible baby bottle hidden cleverly had me hanging my head out the window the entire drive like a Golden Retriever gasping for air.

I take the first day with Spinner because it is JD’s birthday and she takes the next because it is my birthday. As I pull up to the La Quinta where the “show” is, I am reminded of the George Clooney movie, “Up In The Air”, where it shows the not so glamorous side of world travel. I reflect to myself that when we started this “fashion” business, I was picturing trips to New York’s Fashion Week, not a small conference room next to a vending machine with sandwiches from God knows when.

I see all of the other reps setting up their area and quickly rearrange my “booth” to look similar to theirs. They have all been doing this for years and shout across the room to each other, “Hey Chuck, your oldest in college yet?”. Or, “Liz, how many appointments you have today?”. Uh-oh, appointments? As soon as Spinner arrives, I give her a briefing on how this operation is going to go down. I ask about “appointments”. Apparently, there may have been withholding of information from our informant about this show. I see Chinese Water Torture in someone’s future.  Very ironic that the very same person who told us that we didn’t need any appointments and foot traffic was all we needed was very busy with his scheduled appointments lined up like little ducks all in a row.

I see our first customer walking towards us and my selling shoes are on. “Hello, we’re Smashing”, I say. “Hello, I see that you are big on top.” she replies. Trying to figure out if I am offended or…. offended…. I acknowledge her observation. She informs me that this is an issue she has as well and good to know that there is a clothing line for women with busts and then she had to run off to her next “appointment”. I shoot Spinner a WTF look and she throws her hands up in the air.

Glad to report that we did do a fair amount of business this day despite not having any appointments. We made friends with a designer who is about seven years ahead of where we are and asked her for any advice. She said if she could do it all over again, she would have gone in on it with partners. Good to know we got that right!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2011 2:43 pm

    Love your posts ladies, keep up the great work!!

  2. Spinner permalink
    September 16, 2011 3:15 pm

    Even happier to report one of our new clients has become a brand ambassador and has been directing many boutiques our way. Love those clients!


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