So I have a story for you and not the kind of story you might expect to hear after I’ve been at a fabulously orchestrated, glam conference in Las Vegas. As on onlooker you may think our days are filled with all that is beautiful, creative and just plain wonderful. I must admit, I have pinch-me moments often as my job, the way I make a living and support my family in most ways is a dream. BUT, there are some days that try the soul. Last Saturday was one of those days for me.
A stationers worst nightmare came true for me last week. The type of situation all of us event professionals dread. The situation we plan for with scenarios A-Z; the kind of situation that never happens…HAPPENED.
FedEx (whom we do not typically use for shipping) decided our massive, perfectly packaged box full of hand-watercolored letterpress itinerary booklets, fresh off 60+ hours on the painting table needed a little hydration. Not a mist or a sprinkle but what appeared to be a five hour submersion in standing water. The box was so damaged it arrived lovingly re-boxed by FedEx to appear as if nothing ever happened. Oh but it did happen. Water + cotton letterpress stock + individually hand painted watercolor moments = you do the math.
So why am I telling you this story? Why am I sharing one of my worst fears coming true? One simple reason – to share how we triumphed with the help of some friends.
Just one minute after receiving the call, I sprang into action. My ruined papers were in Vegas, I was still in PA and there was a good 24 hrs between me and them. New covers were printed, phone calls were made. A team in Vegas agreed to jump on board (without me even asking really) and begin to curate and salvage what was left of these gorgeous pieces. By the time I arrived in Vegas after 10 pm the next day, the water soaked beauties were well on their way to being stunning again and ready to meet their recipients on Monday afternoon.
Now, a look at the finished pieces…
The purpose of telling this story isn’t to scare (no worries ladies, we have systems in place so this doesn’t happen to you). The purpose isn’t to flaunt our pretty-despite-the-mess papers. The purpose is to inspire. This industry is full of individuals with gumption and guts. We put our hearts (the work) out there every day and well, some days go better than others. Regardless though we are ready. Ready for the worst and the best. Prepared to literally do whatever it takes to preserve and rebuild all that we take great care to cultivate – our art.