What’s the Best Length of Time for a Textile Event?

Any designer, manufacturer or seller of textiles knows that the best way to get new clients is to put on events. Decorate showrooms with your latest designs and stage model homes so buyers have an easier time picturing what your textiles can do. If possible, time your event with something larger going on, like NY’s Market Week, for maximum exposure. If you’re the one planning the event, though, you have to wonder, how long should it be?

It’s All in the Venue

Rent a showroom at 295 Fifth Avenue in NYC any time throughout the year. The rental prices are reasonable enough that you can easily afford to book the venue for several days or even a week or two. The staff specializes in home and textile events, so they know how to make your work really stand out, and they’re used to fielding questions from buyers and manufacturers in the industry. Book the right venue, and your show will be a success regardless of duration.

The most successful textile events allow time for word-of-mouth to build, but they don’t linger around for months, either. Make your event last a week or two or even a month to capitalize on the interest in your textiles while still making them seem like limited-time, new must-see designs.


Happy Birthday to Two Dear Friends and a Family Member

There must be something very special about the date, October 4th. It is the birthday of three special people in my life – and none of them know each other!

My sister’s son was born on October 4th. I know they were hoping for a girl and had picked out a girl’s name. Back then, the gender of the baby was always a surprise at birth. None of this fancy MRI and Ultrasound stuff was available. So when they saw it was a boy, they argued for 3 days about what name to give him. They didn’t decide until the hospital was ready to discharge her and they said she could not take the baby home without a name for the birth certificate. They decided on Patrick, for no reason other than my sister liked the sound of the name and that it has Irish connotations.

The other two birthdays are a friend I met through Yahoo, back in the days when Yahoo had free games on their site, and a friend of a friend on Facebook.

Yahoo games allowed players to chat with each other either in the lobby or at the game table. I played with Christina or against her a lot and through those chats we became good friends. Eventually, she had a reason to come to the city where I was living at the time and we went out to dinner and then a rock concert. It wasn’t a date so much as just a chance to get together and see each other face to face instead of just an avatar on Yahoo.

A friend from a former employment gig found me on Facebook several years ago, and a friend of his who made a lot of comments on our posts ending up befriending me, as well. Charles is an attorney in upstate New York, but he is not your typical stuffed white shirt. He does all kinds of law, but focuses on criminal defense of the people in his small town. He and Dave have quite a history of rock and roll adventures. It is always a hoot to read their shared memories of their adventures.

So, Happy Birthday to Patrick, Christina and Charles!

Finding a Good Eldercare Attorney

A lot of my friends who are part of the Baby Boomer generation are now dealing with issues centered on the care and needs of one or more of their aging parents.

Things get complicated when parents age and start needing help. There are so many issues to address: daily living assistance, transportation, medical needs, financial matters, and eventually, legal matters.

It helps a lot of your parents are proactive in their aging and have made good plans for their later years. But, let’s be honest, a lot of people live in denial that they are aging and they tend to ignore the warning signs or wait until a crisis forces them to deal with it.

Finding a good eldercare attorney on your own and talking with him or her for a meet and greet type of consultation is a good way to find out if the attorney will be part of your parent’s care team when the need arises. I have used the lawyer referral services of different states, the state bars, and a website called findlaw.com to gather the names of lawyers and find out what their specialties are. If you can find one that specializes in eldercare, start with them. But as in any team building effort, you have to like and respect them to work well together. Have an interview with two or three people and discover one that you want to trust with your parent’s best interests before a crisis occurs and you have to make decisions quickly without good legal advice.

Estate Planning Basics: Necessity and Where to Begin

No one really wants to think about the end of their life, but for financial sake it’s a necessity. Estate planning is the act of creating a blueprint for the division of your belongings after your death. For those with extensive assets, you’ll need a durable power of attorney in place to reduce quarrels and legal issues. It’s a complicated process that often requires advice to draw up the best plan for your life.


The purpose of an estate plan is to reduce the possibility of confusion after your death. The plan also administers monetary assets and belongings to your loved ones. If you have young children, the plan will also outline their guardian. You’ll also reduce legal expenses and taxes on your estate, while preserving your wealth. Without a plan, all of your assets will go to the person deemed by the inheritance laws of your state.

The First Steps

Work with legal council to draw up your will, labeling all assets to be divided amongst your exact list of loved ones. You’ll also need to assign a power of attorney to handle matters after you die, while establishing authorization for the person you trust with making your medical decisions.

The High Cost of Moving

This week I was roped into helping a friend going through the end of a long romance. The break up has been a long time coming with a lot of drama, so when I heard she was finally moving out of his place and getting her own apartment I felt a rush of relief. But, little did I know the high cost of moving in today’s world, and as money was an issue for them, I ended up paying for a lot of the moving costs.

First we had to gather up boxes. There has to be a good way to estimate how many moving boxes a person will need, but we had no clue. I bought 20 large boxes from Home Depot for her, thinking that I could lift a big box pretty easily and thus need less steps when loading and unloading the van. But some things are delicate or breakable and need to be packed in smaller boxes, so I bought a dozen medium and small boxes, too. I also bought her a big roll of bubble wrap and a 3-pack of wide packaging tape that came with a free dispenser to seal the boxes. That was about $250 right out the gate.

Thankfully, she was just moving across town and not across the country, so we could make a few trips in a small U-Haul rather than packing for a big, commercial moving van. The U-Haul cost about $20 per day for a local move, but where they get you is in also charging mileage.  She ended up making a trip to the new place every night for 5 nights. I could not believe how much crap that woman had accumulated and needed to move! The van rental was $100 just for the daily charge, and I had to pay mileage, insurance and tax on it, too. That was another $200.

It’s a good thin she did not have to pay for labor to get all those boxes loaded and unloaded. I don’t know how many trips up and down those damn stairs I had to make, but if she had hired two guys from Labor Ready and paid them the minimum 4 hours each day for 5 days, that would have been almost $400. Of course, that was just unskilled men who were day workers and you would have risked some breakage and damage to your furniture. And possibly some theft. But that is a much cheaper option than paying a professional moving company to send trained packers and movers to do the same work.