Last weekend, there was a chain reaction of events that led to me driving a 16 ft cube truck. And, it all started with the escalation of the coronavirus here in Canada and more specifically in Ontario and Ottawa.
But, let me back up a bit. This past Christmas season, I dove into the craft market scene with my Canadian-made bamboo clothing line for women. In doing so, I needed a vendor booth. In comes Cathy Priestman of CP Business Solutions. She built me this big beautiful COKANNA booth.
Did I mention how big it is? Well, it’s about 8 ft tall by 8 ft wide but it does come apart into 5 pieces.
At the end of the long and exhausting market season, Cathy kindly offered to store the booth for me at her mother’s place because her mom was away in Florida until April. That bought me 3 months’ time to figure out how I was going to store the booth on a more permanent basis.
Back to our current day reality, the COVID-19 pandemic. Cathy sends me a message late Friday afternoon. Although we had originally planned to move the items at the start of April, she is bringing her mother home early, as in this weekend, before things get worse in the US and here in Canada. We need to move my booth the next day because right now the five 8 ft cabinets are lying on her mother’s living room floor. Gulp…okay…I’m on it!
I put down my phone and sit there for a few minutes thinking, “Ok, what am I going to do?” I need a truck, a driver, and at least 2 other people to help me load the booth onto the truck and then off again at the other end wherever that may be.
It’s at this point, I think I don’t have anyone. I don’t have that “I’ve got your back” person anymore. I’m on my own. My daughter is at her dad’s, my sisters both live out of town, and I don’t have a dad, or brothers, or cousins. I’m lacking male support. And, it’s not like I want another husband, or even a boyfriend. What I want is a brother!
So, I sit and ponder…Who can I call? Who can I ask for help? I hate asking for help. Finally, I send my friend Theresa a text. I type, “I have a bit of an emergency…not a real emergency…just something I need help with. Can you call me?” And, being a good friend, she calls me right away. I explain the situation and she offers to drive the truck and then offers her husband Peter’s services as well. First thing solved. I have a driver and movers.
Second, I need to find a truck rental place that’s open after 5:00 pm on a Friday. Penske to the rescue. This always reminds me of the Penske file on Seinfeld. Remember George’s file? I arrange to pick up the truck at 10:00 am the next morning. I leave my place in Kanata, pick up Theresa and we head to the south end of the city to get the truck. Then we drive out to Orleans where Cathy has a crew – her hubby, teenage son, and a friend – ready to expertly load the booth and all its pieces into the truck. Her husband is military and can eyeball how things are going to fit within an inch. The truck is perfectly packed. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle.
Third, where am I going to store the booth? I already have a tiny 5×5 locker that is mostly sitting empty in Kanata. We drive across town hoping we can squeeze in all 5 cabinets. We quickly realize that’s not going to happen. The cabinets are too big and awkward to get into the locker and the roll up door is going to be in the way.
Plan B. I run downstairs to see if there’s a bigger storage unit available close to the one I already have. Btw, this is at Dymon Storage which I highly recommend. They are on it. They quickly find me a bigger unit one aisle over. I explain what I’m storing and they conclude I need a 10×5 space as opposed to a 5×10 space. It has a wider door and will be easier to get the cabinets in and out. Within about 5 minutes, I’m all set up. And, everything fits in with room to spare. Phew!
On the way back, Theresa asks if I want to drive the truck. I want to but I’m a little leery. I don’t really want to drive it on the Queensway so we agree she’ll drive it on the highway and then I’ll take over after we get off the highway. Well, we forget to switch drivers because we’re yakking away. But, I did get to drive it for a bit at the end. It was alright, even kinda fun, and now I know if I have to, I can drive a 16 ft truck. Although, only if I don’t have to back it up!
I’m so grateful to Cathy for, first of all, building my booth, and secondly, to her family for storing my booth and loading it up onto the truck. I tell you if you ever need marketing help, especially a vendor booth, Cathy is without a doubt your go-to person. She is excellent. I can’t recommend her enough.
And thank you to Theresa and Peter for coming to my rescue. I may not have that “I’ve got your back” partner, but I do have “I’ve got your back” friends. Thank you.
So, that’s the chain reaction of how one event leads to another, and it all works out in the end. All in a day of the life of an entrepreneur.
And since all in-person markets and events have been cancelled for now, which is why my booth is in storage, shop COKANNA right here from the safe place of your home and your package will be delivered to your door.
Until next week,
Colleen Kanna is a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer.
She is the creator of COKANNA Canadian made bamboo clothing for women that’s all about comfort and style.
Colleen supports Rethink Breast Cancer’s metastatic breast cancer support, education, and advocacy work.
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