Okay, so I know this is a little later than my normal blogs about a past event, but it was definitely hard to get back into work mode after a "work-acation..yes, work/vacation rolled up into one. Especially one that involved a total of 37 hours of driving, 3 and a half days lounging by a pool, 1 night relaxing in a spa with wine, and 3 days of craziness at a tattoo convention!!! Once we finally got to West Palm Beach, we checked into our hotel and immediately ran out to the pool to relax, catch some rays and unwind from the 17 hour drive. This was all in preparation for the next days start to the first annual Tattoo Mania in West Palm Beach, Florida. We relaxed a bit, caught up with some family who live near by, and off to eat some burgers for dinner! Then SLEEP...must get sleep! We woke up fresh as daisies and, well, went back to the pool for a few hours as we weren't allowed into the Convention Center to set up until 12 noon! You must feel badly for us that we HAD to swim and lie by the pool for a few hours to "pass the time"! But, when duty calls, we were rip roaring and ready to go! Over to the convention center we go and began our 3 hour long set up and wait for the doors to open. We were all so curious what West Palm Beach had to offer a tattoo convention...wondering how we would all fit in and do.
Well, Friday as usual, is always slow, but were were busy enough, and I'm not complaining about the people we were meeting and who were so curious about what Fukitt was and what we were all about. Saturday proved to be a much busier day as usual. We ran a promotional Memorial Day Weekend Sale at the event which went over well. It isn't what we normally do, but to honor those who serve our Country, we felt it necessary. More family from both sides, came to visit us and we had a lot of laughs! So good to see them!
We did, as usual, hear so many stories from so many interesting and wonderful people, about their lives, experiences and trouble with depression for whatever reason it may be, suicide attempts, addiction, health issues, horrific accidents, divorce, etc., and to know that these people left our booth with a different outlook on their lives, inspired, and touched by what we are doing, truly made the whole trip worth it. Though we were exhausted by the end of the third day, knowing we had to get in the car in the morning facing another 17 hour non-stop drive home, it is humbling and wonderful to feel the things we get to feel from the people we meet. To hear the stories that they choose to share with us, complete strangers, about very personal things, that probably their closest friends and family don't know, inspires US to continue to do what we are doing. This is a movement we are starting here, will not give up or quit, ever, because if we can save or touch one life at every event, with just one t shirt, makes it all worth it.