What Can Brown Do For You?
Getting it There
Last week I shared my decision around the construction of my booth for the upcoming American Craft Council Fine Craft Show. That was the first overwhelming question I had to answer to get ready for the show.
The second, and even more daunting, question I had to answer was “how am I going to get all of this stuff to Baltimore”.
Driving was immediately eliminated from my options because I simply don’t want to drive 1663 miles from Denver to Baltimore in the middle of winter.
Not to mention that logistically this was not an option. I don’t have enough vacation time from the day job for 6 days of travel on top of the 5 days for the show and 2 days for the setup.
And those big propanel walls I bought? There isn’t a chance they will fit into my little car or that this precious vintage 1996 Honda Accord is interested in such an excursion.
Yeah – not happening.
So this left me with shipping. One would think this is easy. You put things in boxes – you send it to the convention center – it magically gets to your booth and then when you are done you ship it back to yourself.
Haha. I wish.
Not so easy. You can’t just UPS your stuff in and out of the show. Nope – they’ve got an advance warehouse and drayage charges (paying them money to carry your stuff to your square of concrete) and unions and rules about minimum weights. Shipping directly to the show is possible but only a crazy person would try it because UPS would have to wait in line and UPS doesn’t really wait in line.
The form with all this information hurt my head.
So I made phone calls, wrote emails and deciphered it all.
Eventually it seemed manageable – I UPS my stuff to the advance warehouse – for a fee, they get it to my booth. All is good.
But getting it back home – not so easy.
The show is over sunday evening. UPS isn’t going to come driving by Sunday evening to pick up my stuff. Nor is the company in charge of all the boxes during the show going to UPS it back to me monday morning.
My flight leaves Baltimore at 7am monday so I will be back at work late morning the day after the show is over. There is no time for me to deal with shipping logistics.
So what are my choices to get my stuff home?
I could ship it with their very own freight company at a rate that gave me a headache.
Art in Motion
Days of trying to sort this out went by when fortunately someone on facebook tipped me off to Art in Motion. They get your stuff from their warehouse in Vermont to your booth and then UPS it back to you when it is over. They deal with the hassle.
Yes there is a fee and it isn’t cheap but the fee for art in motion + the return shipping through UPS is about the same rate quoted to me by the official freight company that is the only option if I ship direct from the show. So it was an obvious choice – work with real people and skip the headaches.
So in what seems like a rather counter intuitive move (Vermont isn’t exactly on the Route from Denver to Baltimore) – this weekend I packed up all the things needed for my booth into 11 big boxes. On tuesday UPS picked it up and shipped it to Vermont where it will then be loaded onto another truck and head down to Baltimore.
I’ve got a great UPS story for you next but first I need to see how the story ends so I’ll save my experience with them for later.
For today I’ll close with some photos of the stuff I packed up for the booth.
I haven’t had time to get to yoga or go for a bike ride in a while, but that’s okay as I’ve been wrestling with all this junk – 500 pounds of stuff in 11 big boxes. Who needs a gym?
Yes of course the cats helped with this part also.
Artwork for the booth not quite ready to go. I was testing out how to hang it on the walls (solution? T-Pins).
Stack of more artwork ready to be packed.
Cat testing out cute positions to lure people into my booth.
Oh yes – lights – I didn’t mention lights yet. Another expensive investment for a booth.
Especially when you buy 18 of them.
Almost all packed into boxes.
Waiting for UPS.
Hurray – I can have my studio back!
PS – American Craft Council show details are here.
Retail days – please come say hello in booth 1207!
Friday, Feb. 22: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 24: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Baltimore Convention Center is at One West Pratt Street in Baltimore, Maryland.