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Christmas Kicked my Butt 2015! Now with Extra Butt Kickiness!

It’s that time of year when most blogs are doing their “Top 10 Posts of 2015!”

Here at Cheltenham Road the tradition is to review how Christmas kicked my butt.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

In truth, this year I had a pretty great holiday season (sorry).

I didn’t even injure myself in any serious way!

There were juuuuust a few hiccups however, and the major one wasn’t really my fault!

I’ll start with the minor hiccups.

I arrived at the Long Beach Patchwork show without……tables! I had managed to remember everything else, down to tiny slips of paper but forgot the tables that everything was supposed to go on.

OK, fine.  Got through that.

All looked good for the Santa Ana Patchwork show Thanksgiving weekend.

I had a new booth set up that opened on both ends.

So one side could attract customers with Christmas stuff and coastersPatchwork Santa Ana Booth 2015

and the other had Patent signs, Wine Charms and knobs.Santa Ana Patchwork 2015 Patent Sign Display

In the middle there were trays!

Isn’t that kind of a fun way to display them?  Tied to that grid?Patchwork Santa Ana Tray Display 2015

You know what would have been more fun?

If I had remembered to bring the metal shelves that hook onto that grid.senility

The very next weekend was Unique LA. I had big plans! A whole new booth set up. New products! And, of course, four days to make all the restock of things that had sold in Santa Ana along with filling various store orders.

No prob!!!!

One prob!!!!

You see, in an attempt to be professional and relieve some stress I had hired someone to make the blanks for my HOME signs and candle blocks.

I was very grown-up about it. I did interviews and had the candidates make samples so I could check out their work.

One gentleman stood out. He was into the idea, his work was really good AND he looked a bit like Santa Claus. Awesome!

My first sort of “sample” order with him went really well. So I reordered and explained this was for the big holiday rush – my busiest time. He said he understood, took my deposit and all was good!

I took orders, planned and launched on new ideas and generally felt like the Crafting Magnate that I knew I could be.

On delivery day (shortly before Thanksgiving) he texted to ask if he could deliver the next day. I said “fine.”

The next day, around 11AM I texted to see when he was coming.

He texted: “the blocks are all done.”

I said “and the 24 HOME signs?” (that were due in stores in the next couple of days)…..

…..and that was the last I heard from him. He never again responded to texts, emails or phone calls and never delivered anything.

This created a bit of Dominos of Disaster effect. Suddenly, rather than doing what I’d planned to do I was scrambling to make 100 blocks and HOME signs.

Some of the stores got shorted on their orders.

New things that I wanted to roll out for Christmas just plain didn’t get made.

My new and improved booth plan for Unique LA got a bit watered down and I began a very long journey of three straight weeks of 18 hour days (and also a running inner monologue of yelling at my faux Santa Claus) .


The store owners were awesome (I really am lucky to be working with these people).

Unique LA went well and my booth, although not quite what I’d imagined, looked pretty good.

I created a center table and a little cash desk and a new display wall across the back.  Sales were solid and people seemed happy.Unique LA booth Xmas 2015Craft Show Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2015

I got all my Etsy orders out in time!Christmas Delivery

And collapsed on Christmas Eve.

And what have I learned?checklist

I do want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for hanging in there with me on my sporadic blogging journey and for all the awesome notes, comments and suggestions. Unless you blog you have no idea just how much all that means to a guy and I am so very appreciative.

Happy New Year to all of you!


About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

12 responses »

  1. chris aka monkey

    happy new year to you looking forward to you cracking me up all of next year xx

  2. DAvid … you give me a nervous breakdown, just reading about all the mayhem! Have to say your pictures look good to me, and at least now, for you … it’s over with. I’d sympathize more but can’t stop laughing! Looking forward to your 2016 escapades.

  3. Happy New Year!

    Christmas kicked my butt, too! Youngest sick, oldest came home from college, middle had birthday and basketball game… My house is so not decorated like it should be. If my friends knew, they would be shocked! So, please don’t tell them.


  4. Oh my word, I bet you freaked out over the Santa guy incident. I hope you’ll give us an update in July, to see if you are actually starting on things for next Christmas!

  5. wow…let me get my heart rate back down to normal, that was intense. I am especially perturbed about faux Santa…Do you have any room in your garage or somewhere that you could just hire “on-site” help? That’s just crazy. Or, like you say, you could start making a ton of extra blanks in July…

    The rest of the madness seemed like it worked out, as far as you forgetting things and then having to adjust–I guess you have to be good with adapting in your line of work. 🙂

    And still, in spite of everything else, you managed to decorate that gorgeous tree! Christmas might have won over all, but at least you got in a few good punches. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  6. Charlotte McFoodie

    I think you have a lot to be proud of- what you do requires so much organizational prowess, and it is a constantly changing process, what with new products, new shows, new ideas and new hires!! I hope you get a little R&R in Jan before brainstorming about how to tackle the next year. Love the pics of the displays, etc., and as always, LOVE your work!

  7. Oh, Little Brother! So sorry for the storm of stresses! Glad you got through it! Happy New Year!

  8. You did good, David! Wasn’t your fault about Santa (is he okay?) and forgetting things, well I was going to tell you to make a list… but you figured that out. Your stuff just looks amazing in the photos of the booths set up. I’m jealous!

  9. A big triumph for you–everything looks great. And a good story with a villain and lots of action. I am enjoying some revenge fantasies, complicated plots in which Santa gets trapped by his own attempt to cheat someone. But living well is the best revenge, and you clearly rose above being kicked.

  10. David,

    Even w/so many things going wrong, you were able to have booths that looked awesome and stocked. Remember that YOU know the back story and what went wrong, but your customers see only the wonderfulness of your products and your outstanding wit with low pressure salesmanship. In the end that’s what REALLY makes you shine at the shows.

    I was shocked,saddened and so overwhelmed that you encountered a “BAD Santa” who took advantage of your loving nature. Maybe his “nauttey or nice” detector meter was out of batteries and he missed you as one of the BEST Nice Guys!!

    So happy to hear that for the most part the rest of your year was a success…now on to an even better 2016!

  11. Jordan Quickel

    Glad to hear that it all turned out well. Sorry to hear that look-a-like Santa ended up being Krampus in disguise. All the products looked great and I hope that 2016 will be a little more forgiving and allow you to be even more creative!


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