Sew Powerful's first exhibition in front of Pinterest enthusiasts will occur October 8-9th at the Pinners Conference in Indianapolis. Listen as Mary Inchauste, Show Manager, and Kathleen Broadfoot, the willing and able support coordinator, describe how they are preparing for this show. Their enthusiasm is contagious as they explain how a Pinners Conference might be different than a traditional Quilt Show. They elaborate on why they have taken on these roles, what tools Sew Powerful has supplied them, and why you too should consider volunteering to work in a Sew Powerful booth at a show near you.
Pinners Conferences, Here We Come with Mary Inchauste and Kathleen Broadfoot
IN THIS EPISODE
Pinners conference, booth setup, show volunteers, quilt shows, pinners, Christmas presents, craft, Chicago, American Sewing Guild, show managers resources, check lists, donor dinner
We are Sew Powerful, How a Global Community of Seamstresses Is Changing Zambia One Girl at A Time, 2nd edition. By Jason G. Miles and Cinnamon, © 2016 & 2020 Jason G. Miles and Cinnamon, all rights reserved.
Pinner Conference Indianapolis, https://in.pinnersconference.com/
American Sewing Guild, https://www.asg.org/
ABOUT THE SEW POWERFUL PODCAST
The Sew Powerful Podcast shines a light on the people behind the mission to keep girls in school and create purposeful products in Zambia. Join us every week for a new 30-minute episode to meet new people, hear inspiring stories, and learn how you can join us in this global movement. Whether you sew or not, make purses or not, you will find something to enjoy in every episode. Listen today.
Host: Jan Cancila
Guest: Mary Inchauste and Kathleen Broadfoot
Jan Cancila, Host 00:04
Welcome to the Sew Powerful podcast. This is your host, Jan Cancila. You know the sound of my sewing machine means it's time for another episode. So let's get started.
Welcome to the Sew Powerful podcast. Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Mary Inchauste and Kathleen Broadfoot. And Mary and Kathleen are working together to manage the show, the Pinners Conference, in Indianapolis in October. And they're going to talk to us about their experience putting the show together, the work they've done in the past for Sew Powerful. And if you listen to what they say you might be inclined to sign up to be a show manager, too. So, let's get started. Mary and Kathleen, how are you today?
Mary Inchauste, Guest 00:57
Kathleen Broadfoot, Guest 00:58
Where and where are we talking to you from? Where are you?
We are in Indianapolis, Indiana, basically in my dining room at the moment. There's some artwork behind us. And we're very excited to be part of the Pinners Conference.
Well, excellent. Excellent. So you are, Mary, you are the Show Manager. And Kathleen, can you sort of explain your role? How are you helping Mary in this?
Well, I'm saying that my my duties are as Support Coordinator, which means whatever she asked me to do, I'm going to do, I'll take responsibility.
Don't you just love it? The perfect answer!
But just, you know, we're going to work together on it, just make sure all of our I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. And just work together to make it a very successful show.
We have a, we have known each other for a while. We met through Sew Powerful. And by day, I'm an architect so I have a lot of project management experience, coordinating some fairly large projects. So I feel like this is just, you know, a natural step to be part of this Booth Manager position.
Well, certainly, yes. A 10 by 10 booth versus, I understand, you designed much of the Indianapolis airport. Is that right?
I did participate in that project as as one of the Project Managers for five years, so I'm very familiar with every detail.
Well, that's, that's fantastic. We were thrilled when you signed up, I have to say. Okay, so the show that you're going to be the manager for is the Pinners Conference, and it's October 8th and 9th and it's at the fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The Pinners Conference is different, and this is a new foray for Sew Powerful. The Pinners Conference is different than a quilt show in a few different ways. Can can both of you talk about that a little bit? How do you see it as different?
I think the most important part of it is that its target age group is a younger audience that, mostly under 50 years years, and that's a broad range, not just quilting, so anything that would be a craft that someone would be using Pinterest for would be participating in the conference. So, we think we'll be able to get our message to a completely different crowd than maybe would attend a quilt conference.
That, I agree with that. And I think too, this is going to be a really artsy crowd. When I think about Pinterest, I think about different techniques for doing different things. So, in fact, I'd just seen a little video this morning, and it showed cake decorating. It showed other kind of artistry, like painting. And in the video also it had like a mother and maybe an eight-year-old daughter, and the eight-year-old daughter was decorating a cupcake. So, you're just going to get a different crowd. The the quilt shows are wonderful, you know, again, everybody comes to see those, to see the newest, the latest, the greatest different designs and that, but this is design on a different kind of level.
I also think the crowd is maybe going to be more receptive to learning something new because they're young. And they're going to be involved in all of these different crafts, probably more of a startup, whereas I think of a quilt show, someone who's already been quilting. So, it's a craft they're trying to perfect, not necessarily a craft that they might want to start or become proficient in. So, we're hoping we recruit those new Sew Powerful purse makers.
Well, that's cool. And you know, your show in October is the first of three Pinners Conferences that Sew Powerful is going to participate in. So, you're in October and then we have Salt Lake City in mid-November and Scottsdale (which is Phoenix) the week after that. So, you're going to be our guinea pigs for the Pinners Conference. So, we'll all be interested to hear exactly how that that comes out. Kathleen, I know that you've participated in some Sew Powerful quilt shows before and Mary, with your architecture background, I know that you've participated in other exhibitions or conferences where you had to do something similar. But let's start with you, Kathleen, tell us what shows have you participated in and what were your roles there.
I was at Chicago and Paducah, Kentucky and Atlanta, and I was a volunteer. I was a volunteer, I stood at the front of the booth. And if people had questions, I would answer questions, passing out brochures, saying, Have you heard about the purse program? You know, just in general, being very friendly and open and, you know, asking if they had any questions. And that's what I did at pretty much all three of the quilt shows. They were very similar. All three of the quilt shows were very similar. And you had the same kind of questions about every time. And what I loved is when people would just come and stop in front of the booth. And they would just look. And then you'd say, you know, do you have a question about this? Or again you hand them a brochure. Would you like to hear about the purse program? Not just say, Do you sew or do you, I don't know, the question I like to ask was, again, would you like to hear about the purse program? That wasn't just, it was, it was a yes or no question, but you could hand them a brochure and they automatically look at the brochure, automatically look at it. So, you've got the foot in the door by doing that. But as far as my role, I was a volunteer, and I had a lot of fun doing it.
Well, and it sounds like you've traveled to every show you've been to but now you get to attend a show right in your own backyard.
That's still 20 miles for me, but I will be sleeping in my own bed at night. Yeah.
That's cool. That's cool. Mary, what about you? Have you been in any Sew Powerful shows or anything similar?
No, I had hoped to be in Chicago, and then I ended up with a really bad cold. So, I cancelled. I mean, I left the hotel room paid for. So, I really was disappointed. But Kathleen brought my purses and kind of took took over for me. So, I'm looking forward to this; this will be a lot of fun.
We have some materials that are sort of put together for the Show Managers in an, in a way that's new, that we haven't done before. And I want to talk about those. And I want to get your impression as to whether or not these are helpful for you or whether you feel like your creativity is being stifled. And and actually, if you have some suggestions for us, that would be great, too. So, let's start with something new that we have this year, which is the Quilt Show Manager's Handbook. Have you had a chance to go through that? And what do you think about it?
I definitely have, it's excellent. It has good links to different areas, you know, so you can, I've gone back and researched some portions of it that maybe I wanted more information. And I think it's, I think of it as a really good roadmap so I can get to the end of the road as most effectively and efficiently as possible and be ready for the show. I don't think it inhibits our creativity in any way. It actually is helpful because you're not standing around trying to make a decision.
Oh, should we put this here, or how to set it up. It's very straightforward. And from a branding, you know, in my work, we talk to our clients a lot about branding and how important it is to make a good statement to the, you know, to represent who you are and having a booth design that's well thought out, it's very important. It's, and I totally support what you've put together.
And it's obvious it's had some time spent on it as a guideline. That's what I like.
And I bet the experience from the past quilt shows is reflected here in the way that it's put together and the thoughts, thoughts that are involved. Even the most helpful thing like, be sure to bring a toolkit, be sure to bring a First Aid kit,
be sure to bring a stepladder.
The comfortable shoes, I love that: wear comfortable shoes, wear comfortable shoes.
That was in there twice.
There are things that you would, if you were the first time doing it, you would have to think about an awful lot of things that right now it's covered in that as a roadmap. So, it's excellent.
Okay, all right. Well, and so you alluded to the booth standards. And I will tell you, I've been to two different shows where this worked two different ways. In one show we had everybody who had an opinion about how to arrange the booth. That booth took forever to put up because every single piece of, of merchandise and display had to be, like, decision by committee. You can imagine that was not good. The next year there was, like, a piece of paper and it was like, follow this. And somebody said, Well, I think it should go there. And I said, Oh, sorry, this is what we're doing. It's on the paper. And that was like, Oh, okay. And I mean, that was like a two second conversation versus a 20-minute conversation for every single thing. So, we don't want to inhibit creativity but at the same time, setting up the booth should be the least of your worries. I mean, you're doing preparation to get there. And then you just want to execute that that, you know, that, that part. By the time you're at that point, you really aren't up for debates and discussions about how you're going to do it, right?
It's also it's a big-time commitment.
It it is.
So keeping the time commitment for the setup and the teardown should be minimal, really.
Yeah. And so, then you also talked about the checklist. And I think there's things like zip ties and duct tape, and just a lot of things that you probably already have in your, in your home that you've acquired over time. And
you throw those into a box. But there are a few things that you may or may not have, but your neighbors or or your other volunteers may have, like folding tables. What what do you think about that?
We've collaborated on those so we'll have our game on for the tables, there's no problem.
And and something like this, like I, my sister and I do craft shows. So, I have tables, you know, it's just going to make sure of the right measurements. I have tablecloths, so things like that, again, we're good at collaborating on to make sure the booth is fully staffed in that way.
And I have a semi-empty garage. So, we're just gonna get get ahead of time, we're gonna start stockpiling in one place.
You know, like, we have to have those wooden dowels for the the quilted (what are they?) banners. So, I'm just like, I'm gonna get them and I'm going to put them in that sack. Everything in there,
we're just gonna get it in one place. So, when it gets down to the wire of the show, Kathleen can come here. I live very close to the fairgrounds, I have carts and I have access to ways to move stuff, and we'll just have it all together. And I don't have to be running around. And the checklist then is fabulous. Because you can mark down that, oh, we already got that.
Right. And we want to get as much done as possible beforehand. So, you know, that's another good reason for having this is to say, Oh, you know, I need that. Again, I know in Paducah, I think it was, we borrowed the neighbor's hammer a lot. I forget what we needed it for, but we borrowed it a lot. And then you know, of course, we'd have to return it. But it was like, Oh, we should have thought about bringing a hammer, so.
You could be singing If I Had a Hammer right about now.
Yeah, and you know, the little First Aid kit is in there too. And not that I think we've ever had to use it, but it just made me feel better to know that if somebody smashed their finger, whatever, there was, we had a Band-Aid. I think it, it helps our volunteers know that we're thinking about them, and we have their best interest at heart. And the other thing that's really important is that fold-up stepladder because we're hanging things eight feet up off the ground, and
We have two, we're ready.
Yeah. I can tell you, you are exactly ready. Okay, then we have a brand-new thing this year called Show Manager Survey and Supplier Requisition form. And the purpose of this is, again, it's similar to the checklist in that you think about a certain things and you're going to learn about your show in-depth more than just the casual attendee, or even even booth volunteers. So, you're going to need to research whether the show requires Sew Powerful to have insurance, what any tax implications might be. Even though we're nonprofit, in some places you still have to file as a nonprofit.
For sales tax.
Yeah, for sales tax. And, yeah, so there's some things in there that ask you some fairly detailed questions about that. So that does require a little bit of research, but we try and point you in the right direction to be able to get all that information. And then the most important question is, how many attendees do you expect? Because that then generates an order for you for supplies that are going to come from Sew Powerful based on expected attendance.
I think we're gonna have very good attendance at this. I think it's a, it's a new thing. With the time period that it's in, in the fall, people are wanting to get out
It's pre Christmas
Pre-Chritmas, they're going to be thinking about Christmas presents, even though our booth doesn't really stand for that or not (how do I want to say that?) that's not coming, they're not coming to buy Christmas presents from us. But they're thinking ahead. And they're, they're thinking again about how to get their creativity
I think there'll be a lot of enthusiasm to attend the conference in the fall, in that time window.
Right. Yeah, the weather should be nice.
It's not close to Thanksgiving. So, it's when people are gearing up to be thinking about
a whole variety of crafts.
Well, and we will have the We Are Sew Powerful book that could be a nice little Christmas present there. So how are you doing in finding volunteers to work in the booth? What what have you done and what are the results? And what do you still need?
It's pretty simple. We, we made a list of who we knew that already made purses. And then I told other people to fill out the form and they were coming. So so that sounds kind of dictatorship. But you know, I, I think you have to really get point-blank with people and say, we really need you. You, the gal at my office, she hosted a little sewing party at her house, and she made a purse and she's, she'll be perfect. And so, I said this morning, I said, I need you to fill out the form. I need, I put out a calendar invite and I was pretty direct with people. And I'm saying this (you may cut this out of the podcast) but I think you, when you're looking for a volunteer you have to be pretty direct, like, We need you. And then people really are more likely to step forward. If they think you are kind of wishy-washy about it, there's plenty of ways to spend your time. Do you agree?
I do, and I'm going to go around to the local, we're very blessed in our area, within maybe 60 miles, we've got 10 or so wonderful quilt shops. So I'm going to be sure and take the brochures to those along with maybe a sticker on the brochure saying, you know, come to the Pinners Conference, or just come see our booth at the Pinners Conference at the State Fairgrounds on October 8th and 9th (I think that's the dates), anyway, and just really say, Hey, you know, look at this website and come to our booth, in fact, volunteer for our booth. It's a lot of fun, and we'd love to have you, so.
We use social media, too. So right away, I sent out a post on Facebook. And so, one of our volunteers saw the post and immediately got on and filled out the form. So, I think you have to use a multifaceted approach
to reach as many people as possible.
And it won't just be the one time. We'll probably, you'll probably post it or requirements for it.
We'll continue to keep doing it because we'll have updates and
I, so far I haven't used my personal Facebook because I haven't, but it's possible that that would be appropriate too. In the past my office posted a (well I wonder if it was Facebook or Instagram) but they actually featured that I did this and was contributing because they like to
Give a social
Yeah, to show that their employees are contributing, giving back to the community and what we would be doing; they thought it was really interesting. So, I probably will see if I can enlist them to do another posting. It would probably be more effective if it's closer to the time of the conference because their things reach our clients and vendors and people in the local area. So, it got, so our marketing gal, who was shocked by this, she goes, We got one of the highest number of Likes from that
that post of anything they had done up to that point, point
from that posting. So we put, you know, a project a school's completed, a project just finished, numerous things on there, so
And I think people love to help, too, you know, and if it's something especially, again, going to a quilt shop. And I just joined American Sewing Guild, and I went to one of their meetings, which I'm going to keep going to, and I had my little demonstration about the Sew Powerful purses, and they all took a brochure. But people love to help, especially if it's something they can do. And something, you know, I said, and these were experienced sewers and so I said, you know, you can make a purse in, from from start to finish in two hours. You know, it doesn't take up a lot of time. It takes a minuscule amount of fabric. And that people like to help when they can, they love helping.
So I think that, you know, in my case I have my job, my industry partners, but you could reach out to your church, you know, if you're involved in another organization. Everybody has a group
that they have interest in. So I'd encourage people to think outside the box, that there might really be some good avenues to find new people. If you just kind of brainstorm a little bit might who that might be.
Yeah, I think so too. And you mentioned filling out the form, and we're talking about on the SewPowerful.org website, under About Us is a section called Volunteer Opportunities and that's where you go. And you pick the, the time and place of the show that you want to be a Booth Volunteer for and you just fill out the form. And it comes to me and then I forward it on to the Show Manager, and then they have your contact information. And it's a great way to volunteer, and I've done it myself, and it is, it's really fun. And you know, the time flies by like that. And just shifts are, have you thought about how long your shifts are going to be?
I think we're going to do two-hour shifts, and then people could, you know, do double, or they do one and then go to the show for two hours, and then come back for a second shift or whatever works with their schedule.
That's what I was gonna say, 2 hours is not that long.
And if we need to overlap, if we need to overlap, you know, maybe somebody has only a one-hour shift or something we can be flexible too.
Yeah, cool. Well, yeah. And, and two hours goes pretty fast when you're talking to a lot of people. And it was always amazing to me that they would see the display, and they would have this puzzled look on their face, like, you know, and then they would say, are these purses for sale?
You know, that was a very common question. And that really led led, then, to May I tell you about the purse project? And so yeah, it was it was always a good lead-in. Have you thought about your Donor Dinner?
I have. I have lots of suggestions of where it might be. We need to think about logistics for parking and for people to get there. So, there's, there's a gazillion choices here.
Can you talk about what the Donor Dinner is, and and the purpose of it?
Well, I think the purpose, first and foremost, is to just get everyone to know each other, who are going to be standing in the booth and give you time to do your personal chatting, introduce yourself, talk about your family, how you've got into Sew Powerful so that when you're in the booth, that's just another piece of information that makes it easier to work together when you're there in the booth. And we were targeting for Thursday evening, after we had gotten the booth set up, thinking people would still be in the area. It could be that some of the people are coming from a little distance away, like you drive 20 miles. So, we would try to pick a restaurant that
Is easy to get to
Is easy to get to, not terribly expensive, wide variety of food choices.
And that doesn't have a lot of music. When we went to Chicago, I believe it was, and Jason and Cinnamon, and there were Donna Moscinski and a couple other people. We went to a place that had a live band and it was loud.
But it was fun. It was fun. And it was nice getting to know other people, you know, again, who have similar interests to you who are working on the same project you're working on, it was fun.
Well, and then you get sewing tips, you get tips on, you know, where you got your fabric. You got tips on how to decorate the purses differently, like, how to just understand what the program is all about. Because you'd have to tell, you have to tell others about it.
It is; you get to know people on a personal level.
Well, and you know, you can also invite local purse makers or even donors, if you're aware of that, just to join you for the dinner. They don't necessarily have to be people that are going to be in the booth.
One of the advantages of having a Sew Powerful booth in your hometown is that people can bring their finished purses to the booth. Tell tell our listeners about that.
Well, you know, there's some, there's some energy involved in getting your purses bagged up, packed up, take/drag to the post office. It costs money to mail them. So, the advantage of it here is if you bring them to the booth or even drop them off to me or Kathleen before
then now all of that effort is taken care of because it'll be shipped, packed up and shipped at the end of the show and the costs covered by someone else, not a purse maker.
And the nice thing is, she lives on the north side, I live on the south side. So we got them covered by all bases here.
Well, and this could be a call for purses so that you could display those at the show.
And as people drop them off, you know, we can either switch them out on the panels or, didn't you have a basket in Chicago where people brought their purses?
So you could see what other people have made. It's very inspiring to see the different purses that people make.
Oh, it's amazing to see, you know, what, what the different, using just different fabrics, but using the same pattern and how they can look so different.
And so lovely.
And lovely. Oh, my goodness, yeah, there have been some incredible ones we've seen.
I know at one, one show that I did, we had a nine-year-old person made the beginner purse. And of course, it was basic, and it wasn't perfect, but it was obviously recognizable as, as an, as a purse. And then we had people who had been doing it for years, and they were all fancy. And of course, the value of the purse is that it's a vessel of love to deliver the the reusable feminine hygiene supplies so the girls can stay in school. But yeah, it's just so fun to see all the different styles and techniques and embellishments and how people do straps and just, little details are amazing.
And when they hear the story too, I think that's when it really hits home, you know, when they hear what the purse is actually meant for. That's when it, that's when it really tugs at your heart.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Mary and Kathleen, Show Managers Extraordinaire,
So far, so good.
Yeah, so far, so good.
So far, so good. Thank you so much for your time. And this, this has been a really fun chat talking about Sew Powerful quilt shows. And if you're a listener, and you would like to volunteer, we still need many volunteers at many different shows. So, check out our website, the SewPowerful.org website under About Us and Volunteer Opportunities. And at the time we're recording this, we still have an opening for a couple of Show Managers for later in the year. So, if you listen to Mary and Kathleen, you know, we're going to walk you through it so it won't be overwhelming. It will be, it's not easy, we're not saying it's easy. We're saying you're going to need to put some effort into it. But we will hold your hand as you go through it. So
thank you to both of you. And it's been a pleasure. And I will talk with you soon. And in fact, I'm going to go to the Indianapolis show and be a booth volunteer. So, I think I need to fill out the form.
Would you fill out your form?
I guess I'll do that after we hang up here. So. Okay, well, thank you so much.
If what you've heard today inspires you to want to make a difference, I urge you to explore the Sew Powerful website at www.SewPowerful.org. That's SEW POWERFUL dot ORG. The website has great information about the organization. It's where you can download the free purse patterns or even make a donation. We hope you will join us again next week when we bring you another Sew Powerful story. Thanks for listening. Now, go out and have a Sew Powerful day.
ABOUT THE HOST
Jan Cancila has been making purses for Sew Powerful since 2014. She serves the organization as Director, Global Volunteerism, the Area Manager for Shows and Events-Mid/South USA and as the Houston Regional Coordinator. She was a public speaking major at Hanover College and holds an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University. Jan had a 25-year career with The Coca-Cola Company before owning and operating a linen and party rental business in Houston. She is married with two grown sons, a lovely daughter-in-law and two remarkable granddaughters. Jan’s published work includes more than 100 online articles for Examiner.com. Reach Jan with comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.