All the way to Florida to tie sarongs

All the way to Florida to tie sarongs

Last year Miami Swim Show I released our new sarong packaging.  All the new sarongs would come wrapped with a kraft cardboard "how to tie" instruction manual, and this was tied on with a seaglass and charm bracelet.  So cute, and everyone loved it so much, they wanted ALL of the sarongs like that.  With 3000 sarongs already in the warehouse, this was no easy feat.  

Now over a year later, and many hours of sarongs wrapping and tying, we have finally got them all done.  In fact, the only good thing to come out of Hurricane Irma for me was that I was forced to sit still and wrap sarongs.

I don’t sit still very often, with 3 children (4, 6 and 13) and running a business.  Well most of you have kids and businesses, so I am sure you know what I mean.
In fact the 16 hour flight from Sydney to Dallas is the only time I really really sit still.

I left Australia on 4th September to head out to Florida for my last big trip of the year.  We had more appointments on our schedule for Surf Expo than ever before…. we were going to be slammed.  Everyone who had seen the new 2018 collection already had LOVED IT and the orders placed so far, were almost double the usual volume ordered, because buyer’s were so thrilled with the new things.  I was excited.  Here is a sneak peek...

When I went to the airport here in my small town in Australia my flight was cancelled, this set about a major drama for me, as it meant I missed every other flight on my journey.  I told the airlines I needed to arrive on the same day, they couldn’t make me stay in Sydney an extra night, as I had already told Lauren we didn’t need help to build the booth, I will do it myself I had told her.  Now all I was worried about was letting her down!  "Lauren will kill me” I thought.  Here is my plane leaving Sydney for Dallas without me.

I was freaked out to say the least… but that was NOTHING compared to what was to come.  I arrived in Florida on the 5th, only to discover that so many of my friends in the islands were in line for a DIRECT HIT from a horrifically strong Hurricane Irma.  When I most needed sleep, I didn’t get any, as I frantically searched social media for updates.

Well the rest is history.  Lauren and I went off to the warehouse, thinking we wouldn’t go to Surf Expo at all.  We spent hours moving boxes on the lower shelves up onto the higher shelves (in case of flooding), and we moved all of the sarongs into a different common room in our building which had no windows.  Here it all is piled up.

By this stage I realized that other vendors were there in Orlando setting up…. Day 3 of the show had already been cancelled but I had flown ALL THIS WAY, so I might as well go.  SO Lauren and I packed the van, and I set out for for 2 hour drive to Orlando.  Lauren decided to stay home and help her husband Steve put all the shutters on their house, both of their parents homes, and secure their boat.  

The drive to Orlando took 4 hours instead of 2 because of the mass evacuations from Southern Florida.  The booth set up wasn't easy, because in my panic I had neglected to bring half the stuff.

By the time of Day 1 at Surf Expo, Hurricane Irma had wreaked severe devastation on our islands, and we had no news of anyone.  Lulu our Virgin Island sales rep was with me, and her home is in St.Thomas.  She had no news about her home for 30 plus years or her 3 kitty cats.  Here is Lulu still smiling in the booth.

We had buyers in our booth who were a mess.  No idea if they even still had a store to buy for.  Buyers from BVI who were yet to hear if their small children who were back home with grandparents were ok.  Other vendors from the VI who had heard they had lost everything, tears, panic, disbelief.  Awful just awful.

Half way through Day 1 the show was cancelled for Day 2, so we packed up the booth that afternoon, and went back to the condo to watch the Weather Channel.  I tried to change my flights to leave Florida sooner, but the airlines said that since the hurricane would have been through Florida and gone before my scheduled flight, my flight wasn't cancelled. I was stuck.  What did I do for the next few days while we waited for Hurricane Irma to pass us?  I mostly wrapped and tied sarongs of course.... with a couple of hurricane cocktails of course.  Cheers !

So now they are all done.  Here is a photo to show you how cute they look when put in a basket on your display cabinet with some shells or starfish.  

Got to love a basket full of island color.  One love x


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