I am just back from a 9 day trip to Orlando for the JANOME Institute 2009. My husband laughingly called it a “boondoggle” trip. Truth be told, these were often 12 hour days that ended with a return to a nice room with a lovely balcony. I would spend a few minutes on the balcony, look out at 4 lovely and inviting pools and hit the pillow, only to do it all again the next day. And I LOVED every day of it!
Janome, like most sewing machine companies, offers this conference every 2 years. It is an opportunity for dealers, educators, sales staff and executives to gather, share information and education. It is also a great chance to make friends with members of the company from around the world. I not only had the privilege of teaching classes, I also got to take some great classes & lectures. We saw some new machine introductions as well as some exciting accessories. The lectures were also jam packed with great tips for dealers and educators alike. The amount of work that goes into the effort is mind boggling… I would love to see a count of how many accessory feet were distributed for classes (my guess… 2875!) and machines set up and taken down (hmmm… over 500 machines and sergers?). I taught Thread Painting and Art Quilting to several classes of enthusiastic dealer/students:
They all worked really hard as I warned them of information overload, fast learning and quick creating (I wanted them to go home ready to share the art-quilting bug with as many students as they could. Imagine, all that and laughter too!
Given the challenges that all retailers face today, it is hard to be an everyday kind of “believer”… but that comes back to how we live our every days… I am a believer… I was before the show, and I still am! (Except now I am a believer with blue toes (pedicure made special for the trip) and cranky knees (way too much dancing on closing night! Just ask Janome Australia!).