No time like Showtime

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” - Paulo Coelho

I’m still coming down from that experience. IDS20. The Toronto Interior Design Show. On the Tuesday, my boyfriend and I (with the help of amazing friends) transported my (very heavy) tiled walls to the Interior Design Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For some reason, transporting the walls was the only thing that gave me anxiety. It went smoothly. I’d imagined and prepared for every mishap, every worst-case-scenario. But nothing. No problems. We unloaded our moving truck at the loading docks and started my set up. Structures in place, we went home and prepared for Wednesday. Wednesday came, we loaded all my porcelain tile samples into Ron’s truck. We arrived in Toronto, met Alicia (my incredible friend/sidekick) and we started the set up. Set up was easy actually. I had had everything set up in my living room for months and had taken photos on exactly how I wanted it to look. We finished, Ron left, and Alicia and I found our way to our sweet eco hostel in Kensington Market. We had big plans to walk to and from work every day.

Our poor tired feet said otherwise.

We walked once. Day one.

On our last night I secretly switched us to the Marriott, right beside the Convention Centre and we basked in the luxury for one night.

At the show for four days, I met so many really beautiful creatives. I found my tribe-mates over and over. I look forward to working on some of the projects we discussed. Some orders are coming in and I’m excited about all the different possibilities.

I have so many incredible stories from the show. But. There is one person that I met, that changed my perspective of my life. I'll explain...

A lady walked passed my booth. She stopped. She was looking thoughtfully at my booth and then said to me,
“Is this your work?”

“Yes” I said and smiled.

“You did a really good job with your display.” she said.

She went on to say that she comes to the show every year, and to understand that she doesn’t stop and compliment everyone. Flattered, I told her how I’d built my display in my living room first and how important it was to me, the whole show, as I was launching my new mosaic tile business there at IDS.

“By the way, who are you?” I asked her, laughing.

“I’m the coordinator for the Visual Merchandising program at Sheridan” she said.

She gave me her card and I immediately placed it right behind my name badge, right next to my heart, where it stayed for the rest of the show.

Later, alone in the hotel room, looking down on the snowy-city, I thought about it.

Why did those words of affirmation mean SO much to me? and where did I even learn visual merchandising?!

Ah, I know.

I learned visual merchandising at the School of Hard Knocks. I’d had a store in downtown Orillia in my late 20’s. Summers were so busy, winters were so dead. I struggled to make it work, even though it was lovely. I was so hungry/ so desperate to make it work. I had read everything on the ‘psychology of selling’ and tried it all.


I’d always thought of that store as a failure.

Now it makes sense in the context of my life.

I realize it was truly my best education.

Stay positive out there.

Everything has a lesson behind it. Especially the tough stuff.

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