Schoolhouse is held the day before Market opens – which means that for Fall Market, the Schoolhouse sessions are on Friday.
I know we mention Schoolhouse all the time but there is still some question about what it actually is… and what it is supposed to be. Trust me, I’ve been doing-going to Schoolhouse presentations for more than 10 years and it’s still a bit unclear because everybody does it a little bit differently.
Months and months before each Market, folks on the Exhibitor mailing list receive a packet containing information to apply to make a presentation at Schoolhouse. The rules and guidelines state that the presentation is not supposed to be a “hard sell”, a sales-pitch. But given that the audience is shop-owners – or it used to be – the presentations are essentially a sales-pitch because you’re there to tell folks why they need this particular product in their shop. The very best Schoolhouse presentations are entertaining and informative – packed full of awesome ideas on how to market and merchandise the product.
There can be as many as fifteen Schoolhouse sessions going on at a time – and sessions can be 15 or 30 minutes long. Presenters are not to end early as it creates disruption when people start walking into ongoing presentations. Some rooms are standing-room-only while others are… well, not so much. (It’s what can make presenting at Schoolhouse very stressful.) (In a world where “appearances matter” – with the same number of people attending, would you rather have SRO in a smaller room or empty seats in a big room?)
While the Schoolhouse presentations begin at 10:00 AM with the Premier Schoolhouse, Moda’s bell doesn’t ring until 12:10 PM when Me & My Sister step up to tell you about their new book – 12-Pack Quilts. It arrives on bookshelves November 1st.
Pat’s book is already in shops – and you have it, right?
Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene – the ladies who were Country Threads in Garner, Iowa – will be presenting their new book – Sew Charming: Scrappy Quilts From 5″ Squares.
5″ squares. Charm packs. We are SO there!
Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings will be sharing how she markets her Primitive Gatherings’ Wools with Let’s Sell Some Wool.
Lisa knows wool and as one of the most generous business-people in the industry, she willingly shares her knowledge with shopowners who want to offer wool in their shops. From pricing to cutting, displays to samples, and how to teach wool applique, this will be a packed-house. Lisa really is a rock star.
Then Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic will be showing True Blue, her terrific new collection.
That’s all you get to see for now – Brigitte will be debuting this collection in a few days.
At 4:20, it’s the Moda All-Stars – Edyta Sitar, Lynne Hagmeier, Pat Sloan, Brigitte Heitland, Anne Sutton, Barb & Mary – Me & My Sister, Laurie Simpson, Jen Kingwell, Lisa Bongean and Betsy Chutchian.
Everyone of the designers has a quilting super-power… any guesses as to what they are? (Checking the book is not allowed.)
After the MAR-velous Betsy Chutchian finishes with the Mini Marvels, she’ll be joined by Carol Staehle to present Treasury of Quilts. I mentioned Betsy and Carol the other day – they’re 19th-Century Patchwork Divas.
Because the folks at Schoolhouse know that they need to save a bit of Awesomeness for the end of a very busy day, they’ve scheduled Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts for the last session. She’ll be presenting a Quilter’s Patch with the ladies from It’s Sew Emma.
It’ll be worth the wait.
And that will be Friday.
I’m happy to say that I will be in the audience for a few Schoolhouse presentations. (It’s a whole lot more fun than presenting.)