Yup, it's Expo time again! I worked the Minnesota Horse Expo for the first time last year and had so much fun that I was looking forward to helping out again this year.
My sister, Errin, and her husband, Neal, own RM Tack & Apparel, a clothing and western and english tack store right next door to us. I started working for them in an official capacity last month and have loved every minute of it. I'm still working on my official title...
They reserve 16 booth spaces for the Expo which takes up an entire aisle in the cattle barn at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. I was awed last year when I showed up and saw how professional their "store on wheels" looked. An amazing amount of planning and work go into making it happen so I thought I'd take a few photos and show off our hard work this year. Truthfully, I only spent six hours helping with set up so I can't take much credit. It takes a good sized crew two very long days to get it looking this good.
We've got saddles, helmets, horse tail extensions and more in the corner.
More saddles, pads and the big, black horse modeling a fly sheet.
The check out stand with our deflated balloons. I should have taken
my photos the first day we were open!
Tack, tack and more tack!
One of our smiling employees, my daughter, Leah.
Jeans, t-shirts and more jeans.
Twisted X boots, the most comfortable cowboy boots out there.
Neal and I spent Thursday morning inflating and assembling our floating horse arches.
We had more people stop and ask us how we did it! Our booth extended from the arch
on this end allll the way down to the other arch in the distance!
Miss Me jeans in assorted varieties with a portion of our
show clothing collection in the background.
Gina and Errin behind the counter.
Do you like our new RM Tack sweatshirt designed by yours truly?
All in all, I think the Expo was a success for RM Tack & Apparel. We were almost always busy with customers. You really get to see all sides of humanity when you work with that many people for three long days. Most people were really nice but there were a few difficult customers. It was decided that I "won" the most outrageous encounter of the weekend with this humdinger:
I was helping a lady look for jeans when she asked me if I minded if she dumped her coffee out on our carpet. I told her not to dump her coffee, that I would get rid of it for her. Turns out she had a nice travel coffee mug with a lid that she obviously didn't want to throw away, so she told me it really wasn't THAT much coffee and proceeded to dump it on our carpet, right in front of my disbelieving eyes. It takes a lot to make me speechless, but at that moment, I was. She patted it into the carpet with her hand and told me the carpet was dirty anyway and what would a little more "dirt" (or, in this case, coffee) hurt? Really? Was she serious? I felt as though I had just taken a trip to crazy town. What an inconsiderate nut! She didn't buy any jeans and went on her merry way. Good Riddance!
The Expo wrapped up at 5:00pm last night and we spent the next five hours breaking things down and loading everything in to three very large trailers. By the time we were done we were all exhausted. The Minnesota Horse Expo is pretty intense. It's a lot of fun and a lot of work crammed into five extremely full days. I loved it though and next year, Lord willing, I'll be back in the cattle barn, smiling, selling, sorting and more.