The morning of September 6th found me loading the car at home with chilled prosecco and sparkling lemonade, a change of clothes, and a whole lot of hope. After a stop at the Old Town Safeway (and enduring the jokes "Where's the party?" after buying 6 bags of ice), I arrived at Zoe. And.....it started to rain. I made several trips from car to store and back (with the help of a local neighborhood man who took pity on me), got the cooler packed with drinks and ice and took a deep breath.
As the morning went on, the rain got heavier and steadier. Was this going to be a washout? Would anyone come out in the rain? Was I going to have a whole lot of prosecco all to myself? I busied myself with making the swag bags and tried not to think about it.
Fortunately, the rain cleared by mid-afternoon and everything started to dry up. As soon as the sun came out, people started to come out too! I had a couple of people come during the afternoon hours who weren't going to be able to make it that evening.
At 4 pm, Tara and Zoie arrived to help me begin the set-up process. These young ladies had volunteered to help with FNO at Zoe because they love fashion! The first thing we did was prep the table for the arrival of the cake pops from Alexandria Cake Pop Company and prepare the glasses for the beverages. Then we determined that the patio was dry enough to "Roll Out the Red Carpet" and set up the table to show off the raffle items and collect entries. Between those tasks and changing into our "uniform" (the FNO T-shirt and dark pants/denim) for the evening, we stayed busy.
The cake pops were everything I had hoped for and more! Tamara had recently purchased a machine that allowed her to print logos and words and she put it to work for my order! We had agreed she would do cake pops in the shape of purses and she added to Zoe logo to some of them!
At 6 pm, people started arriving and it was non-stop busy! We had photographers stop in from WJLA 7 News as well as the Alexandria Times. Just like our Sidewalk Sale experience, we had quite a bit of time where we were having to ask people to wait for dressing rooms! Alexandra arrived at around 5:45 and barely got her breath before she was managing the dressing room queues! Sarabeth arrived at around 7:00 and keep the clothing orderly, replenished the sale rack and made sure everything got back to the proper place. Janice and Karen arrived and immediately jumped behind the counter to help me wrap and bag the sales. We ran through our 20 SWAG bags (gifts with purchase) before 8 pm!
While all this was going on inside, Sally and Jamie were snapping red carpet pictures outside and Tara and Zoie were registering everyone for the raffle prizes!
Tara and Zoie
Red Carpet Lovlies
We had a slight lull during the time of the Fashion Show (at 8 pm at the Torpedo Factory) but it picked right back up again at around 8:25. Jenn of The Medestrian watched the Fashion Show for me and reported back that Zoe's model looked stunning in her Chan Luu top and Rebecca Taylor Skirt.
Zoe's clothing at the Fashion Show
I couldn't believe that we still had people walking in right at 10 pm. Everyone we spoke with that evening had a wonderful time! At the end of the evening, Tara and Zoie brought me a huge stack of cards from everyone who had connected with Zoe that evening (several inches tall!) Since I was so tired, I decided to hold off on the drawing for the raffle items until the next morning. I had no idea how sales were totaling (I knew we had been busy) and was delighted with that result too! And the next morning when I saw how much our Facebook "Likes" had grown, I had another smile on my face! Plus, everyone had a good time! I couldn't ask for more!
The one question I know you've been asking yourself....did the Essie Nail Polish arrive in time to be included in the SWAG bags? The answer would be NO! UPS Driver Freddy did have a delivery for me on Thursday afternoon (a beautiful box of Chan Luu Fall Ready to Wear) but no nail polish. It arrived on Friday. So, Zoe fans, you can look forward to another event in the future where you will get a bottle of this lovely nail polish.
From the Lessons Learned column...have multiple corkscrews on hand. We managed to break 2 during the evening. That is one "Business Continuity" item I had not thought to include in my plan.
Next up: Why I Don't Make Decisions When I'm Tired