Saturday morning, alarm clock rings and you think "Why am I getting out of bed at this hour to go to a trade show?" Pack up the business cards, brochures, various and sundry window parts and drive. Hassle with finding the place, parking the car, schlep the stuff in. And then you look up and there is an old friend. You find out that they recently moved their workshop too and you share the joys and the struggles. A client stops by and tells you again how much they love their restored windows. You finally get to meet the person you have been emailing in person. And invariably you hear "I had no idea anyone was doing this kind of work," several times during the day.
This past weekend I spend at the Old House and Barn Expo in Manchester, NH. It was so great to meet up with so many WPA members - some I knew, some I did not, at least not in person. We talked about suppliers, projects, staffing, vehicles, paperwork. Restoring windows is an odd profession, and it's so nice to be able to talk to others who GET IT. Those who share the love for old windows and are committed to saving as many as we can.
Going to events is a big commitment of time and energy. What I loved about this show, and the one in Valley Forge, PA in early February is how WPA members step up, show up, and share the load. We are people who DO things. We support those who organize these events as that is a huge amount of work. And it's so worth it! Rather than just scraping paint all day it's worth it to take a small amount of time to get out, smell the fresh air, and talk to fellow putty heads. Sure there are stacks of sash that have to get done, but taking some hours to get to the bigger picture of why we do what we do is greater income than the $ completing one sash would generate.