Well we have survived our first week. We opened the day after Thanksgiving and have not stopped since. We are exhausted. The fun part is working with the family’s on picking out a tree. The hard part is getting the trees unloaded from our shipments and getting them cut and stood up into water.
I do not think that I have lifted so much in my life. I have two to three employee’s that help me and we are just maintaining. With our smaller tent than most of the company’s tents, we have to backfill the trees more often in order to keep a good selection for our customers.
So far we are ahead of last years sales for this lot even though it has changed locations in the city from last year. We have a gross sale of about $45,000 in our first week. That is a lot of trees. I have not had time to get many pictures but I did snag Max in her booth.
Some of our tall trees
We close at 9:00pm and poor Max has lots of bookkeeping to close out the day’s accounts to do and has not been getting to bed until 2:00 to 3:00am. I try to stay up with her as much as I can but I am so physically spent that I dose in my chair within 5 minutes of sitting down.
Based on last years data, I think we have about two more weeks of heavy selling and then it will taper off a lot. Parts of this job is very fun but other parts is not. We have had a lot of challenges setting up on this new location. We do think it will be easier next year due to lessons learned on set up. At least the lot manager will have power when they arrive at the site.
One of the issues we have is that we offer “Flocking”. Flocking is a white powder that we spray on the tree to make it look like frost or snow. It has to go on wet and can take a few hours to dry. We can only flock two at a time and it is a very messy process.
Most tents screen off a section of their tent and use that area for flocking. With our smaller tent we do not have the space. So our flocking room is in a nice big metal building behind the old furniture building. It is better to flock in, but it is a logistical nightmare. I have to load the tree to be flocked onto a flatbed trailer and haul it behind the building, unload it. Then when the customer picks it up, we have to leave the tent and drive back there so they can pick it up. It would be so much easier if it was all done in the tent like the other locations.
Well as I type this at 7:00 am, getting ready to open, I got a call from one of my employee’s that he can not make it in. It is Saturday and going to be very busy. I guess I better get to work.
Enjoy Your Day!