Today in Arky-Barky land, the second day of a two-day event occupies my younger daughter’s attention. (The grandchildren and her sweet husband have slipped away on a day-trip visit to see the other grandparents.) My daughter is occupied with the NWA Boutique Show, an annual event where local merchants (and some from surrounding states) bring their best products hoping to appeal (i.e. sell) to early Christmas shoppers.
Yesterday, I took a quick spin through the convention center to see all the goodies on display. The parking lot (as always) was full! Inside the lobby entrance, my eyes lit upon beautifully decorated Christmas trees, artistic signage and enthusiastic young women gorgeously dressed and coifed. Transitioning to the convention hall, I had the sense of stepping into a glossy magazine with page after page exhibiting trends and elegant designs in fashion, home decor and dining fare.
I saw my younger daughter’s booth soon after entering. Cottage Colony products are a eclectic mix of large and small creations personally designed by my uber-talented daughter! The merchant booth itself (pictured below) reflects her flair for pulling together disparate objects in artful display such as I’d never be able to reproduce.
Among her signature products, the red Collegiate Destination Blind shown at right (officially licensed for sale from the University of Arkansas) is a favorite for local communities and alumni seeking a unique way to express their school affiliations.
As with my daughter, the entrepreneurs at this boutique event embody what I consider to be a model of the Proverbs 31 woman. (I won’t reproduce the entire chapter in this post, but you can read it here for yourself.) Though I can’t speak for all the merchants in that convention center, I know several of these ladies and their entrepreneurial acumen is amazing.
It’s a daunting risk to mass-produce an item (or items) you like and your friends have admired or (in some cases) plunked down their cash to purchase. Feedback from friends usually indicates others might also like your product(s) enough to buy, but it’s a totally different undertaking to produce enough items to display at a show, not knowing whether the items will be sold or you’ll be piling much of it back into your car for the long trip home! (Of course, the “ideal” would be to sell everything you’ve brought and return home with a handful of custom orders! How often does that happen?)
Nevertheless, these boutique merchants open their two-day booths amid great expectations! (Will I garner enough sales to cover my expenses?) Some of them hope to earn enough during one two-day gathering so that they can depend on mail-order, online sales for the rest of the season (or year). Others know they’ll need to attend additional boutique events for the sales volume they’re hoping to achieve.
The Easy-to-Read (ERV) Version of Proverbs 31 calls this model woman the “perfect wife” or “noble woman” whose value is “far more than jewels.” The women in this boutique event work to create and innovate. They exemplify the Proverbs 31 model; she “… makes her own thread and weaves her own cloth …” (vs. 19), she “makes clothes and belts and sells them to the merchants …” (vs 24). Women like her (from all over the world) labor for their families and their communities, making the world and their lives better places to live, work and play.
Verse 31 of this chapter says, “praise her in public for what she has done.” I do.
− Afternote: I also am a Proverbs 31 woman! Verse 14b says “… she brings home food from everywhere.” My husband can confirm I’ve sufficiently mastered that quality!