Doris and her adventure
with the Head Bean!
This might be my once in a life-time opportunity to meet The Headbean in person. Oh wow! DH agreed to go. I could hardly wait to tell Sally and my other Boyds internet friends
THE REST OF THE STORY...
Well, it is now late Sunday evening and Im back home at my same old e-mail address. Contrary to my plans, Gary didnt succumb to my charms and its all DHs fault! He really got into the spirit of things, and was right there beside me getting his treasures signed. Im sure Gary would have loved to whisk me away to the magical world of Boyds, but hes just too shy! If youve ever seen him on QVC you know Im lying through my teeth!! Hes not shy, and he is very happily married! And HE IS WONDERFUL!!! (please excuse the capital letters, but Gary is not a lower case letter kind of guy!!!!)
Well, we left home at about 5:00 a.m., me with my hair in rollers and wearing my Boyds Bailey "Love Conquers All" sweatshirt and F.o.B. pin. We arrived at the mall in Hamburg, NY, west of Buffalo at about 8:30. There were already a number of cars parked near the mall entrance and a few dozen people standing in a line under their umbrellas. Out I hopped and joined the line. I was THERE and I was going to be ready! I wasnt sitting in my car just because of a little rain. Let the wimps stay dry-I was going to meet the Headbean!!! I started talking to everyone around us and the time went quickly, and so did my beautiful hair-do!! Yup, I had remembered to take out the curlers and put on my makeup in the car, but the rain made short work of my efforts despite my umbrella. They let us into the mall promptly at 9, and the line moved right along, in order, down to the store, which was jam-packed with collectibles! They let the first 20 people inside and gave them their numbers. As one came out, another got a number and went in. We were 35 and 36. (My 1.Q. and thigh measurement!!!) We made our selections (each person could have two items signed but they had to be purchased there) and we were done until 12:00 when the actual signing would take place in a gazebo area of the mall. We were told to be back there at noon since GL moves right along and could possibly sign for 50 people per hour. Your place in the signing line was your number and if you werent there, the crowd might or might not, let you in ahead of them later. (Everyone was so friendly, Im sure they would have!) We called our son and arranged to meet for breakfast and then the three of us went back to the Mall at about ll:30. He walked right in and got #110, no line, no waiting. We think the rain and rumors that there might be a terrific mob may have kept some people away. They were also having their special event day, and lots of people were picking up their Queen of the Universe pieces or their lay-away orders.
Are you bored yet? Maybe you dont want to hear the rest...
Well, we mosey-ed on down to the Gazebo to wait. Promptly at 12, Gary came striding out announcing, "Hes here, hes here!!" My son had the best vantage point since hes 67", so he was in charge of pictures and I was in charge of saying, "Quick, take a picture of him, take another one, get one of that...etc." Gary said they told him he had to wait a few minutes before starting, so he asked, "How about a little Boyds chat?" He answered questions and was charming and funny and serious and delightful! He took crowd surveys about a jewelry line (most people prefer gold.) He said were richer than he thought. He promised to tell the manufactures who are licensed to do the T-shirts that we want bigger ones - 2X and 3X. and so we larger size ladies promised to keep buying his bears. LOL He asked for suggestions for new Boyds names and designs---said thats where the sports line came from and practically all the names of new plush. In answer to a question, he talked quite a bit about the KKR/Boyds deal. He stated that hes "still in charge" and when asked, "Couldnt they just get rid of you if you dont have controlling interest anymore?" he said, "Sure, but only if they kill me!" He says it was done to better organize the business end. He wants to hire a President to do that. KKRs attitude with other companies they have invested in has been, "If it aint broke, dont fix it." Some other remarks: "Hey, Im a biology teacher, what do I know about running a company," and "This will allow me to just do the fun stuff, like creating and designing and meeting the collectors at signings in beautiful Buffalo." He said it was getting so it wasnt as much fun anymore, and now it can be fun again.
It was so much fun! Two very nice ladies, Suzanne (Honeybear) who has a store in Elmira Heights, NY and one of her employees, Barb, had come to Buffalo to help Mrs. Lee (Andrews Collectibles) who had never held a signing before. I told Suzanne I had seen her on the message boards and got a big bear hug. A store employee told us that Gary is very explicit about how a signing must be run -from soup to nuts. This event went like clockwork. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and it was right on schedule. Everyone was friendly and we were kept well informed about what they wanted you to do and people were very cooperative and pleasant. I thought to myself, Gary really knows what hes doing, and has developed his system because he knows what works and what doesnt. He is a brilliant man and doesnt miss a trick except of course his blown opportunity to spend the rest of his days sipping pina coladas on a tropical island with moi...( My apologies to Mrs. Lowenthal, but a girls gotta dream!)
Well, thats my story. Im still walking on air, can you tell??? I hope you enjoy viewing my pictures and Ive also included a few of my Boyds collection. I get a great deal of pleasure from this hobby, and have met some wonderful people while bear hunting. Thanks to Sally for inviting me to share my adventure and if you ever have the opportunity to attend a signing Go for it Youll be SO glad you did!
COMING SOON!! Doris'
Collection of Boyds!!