Friday, March 30, 2018

What To Expect At A Kickee Pants Sample Sale

This year, I was a sample sale first timer and I didn't know what to expect. Have you ever heard of the Kickee Pants sample sale? If not, let me tell you a little about what it is like to attend the sale.  Every year, this cash only sale, takes place in a different city. Last year it was in Oklahoma, so I did not attend but I saw their totes and wanted one in a bad way.  This year, on St Patrick’s day, I got luck and they held it in Dallas TX. I was so excited that I could barely contain myself. ( I didn't contain myself.  I called my husband, freaking out.)  I bought a ticket almost immediately, once they went up for sale.  I didn't have to travel very far for the sale, like some of the other amazing Kickee fans that I have met.  I took a 54 mile drive from Aledo, TX because I am newly obsessed with the Kickee Pants brand.  If you haven't heard much about the brand, I talk a little bit about it here: All Roads Lead To Kickee. For the rest of the Kickee tribe that is dying to get their hands on prints like Calypso Ballerina or Camping Fox, you already know what I'm talking about.  For most of us, these prints hold sentimental value and are much more than just a pair of pajamas.  These sales, bring forward an opportunity for us to dress our kids in the limited prints that we brought them home from the hospital in.  Girl Musical Stripe was my daughters first footie, 2 years ago. So, I woke up on Saturday March 17, 2018 with extreme intent to find all the musical stripes I could. (spoiler alert, I didn't bring home a single item in Girl Musical Stripe.) If you are curious about what the annual sample sale is like or just love the brand, you came to the right spot.    

I started writing this post from the 12th row of the Kickee Pants Sample Sale at the Sheraton Hotel, in the San Antonio room.  This is the line for a wrist band to get into the sale that starts at 8 am.  I left my hotel room, on the 32nd floor of the center tower, at 2:55 am.  By the time I made it to the back of the line, it was already 200+ people deep.
I instantly had mixed emotions of regret and excitement.  The things I regret is that I didn't get to sleep more and I didn't bring a pillow (rookie move).  My daughter (who is normally a very good sleeper.) was up all night from the excitement. We were staying over night at the Sheraton so she wasn't happy about sleeping in a new place. I slept for about 2 hours, the night before the sale and I’m completely exhausted. However, I’m on the hunt for cheap toddler blankets and musical stripes galore so I pushed forward and started documenting my adventure.  I was a sample sale first timer and I didn't know what to expect. I quickly learned that we would get a wrist band that would group us into a time slot.  Everyone around me was here early to try to get into the first time slot.  No one wanted to walk into a picked over room, which had some people already in a frenzy. 

By this time, it is 4 am here and hundreds of us are desperately awaiting the complimentary coffee, that is on it's way.  This is around the time I got to meet Nick, Aerin's husband who co-owns Kickee.  Just like everyone had told me, he was friendly and talkative.  It was the crack of dawn and Nick was buzzing around like it was the middle of the afternoon.  He went around meeting and greeting all the people in line, asking each one where they were from.  Nick was definitely a pleasure to meet but we all had our eyes open for Aerin, the co-owner and creator herself.  I got to see her many times but never ended up getting to talk with her.  (I was star struck)  

The San Antonio Ballroom was now 3/4 of the way filled with Moms, Dads, Grandmothers, little children and the Kickee Pants staff.  (haven't seen any grandfathers yet. C’mon Grandfathers, step it up! Haha j/k). All of the munchkins that were there were adorned in natural peony, natural gumball machine, and many other classic KP prints. The mommas are in their matching shirts and draped in their Kickee toddler blankets, as they lay across the conference room floor awaiting their chance to get a wristband for an early time slot.  The floor is filled with carefully taped off lines.  However, in true Kickee fashion, they used Kickee scraps instead of tape.  I can’t help but think, as I lay on the floor with my diaper bag as my pillow, I have found my tribe! Except I’m the girl in the tribe that forgot her toddler blanket, snacks and coffee at home.  In fact, I’m so inexperienced at these sales that I didn’t even bring a pillow. (I know, idiot alert) 

By 5am a mom walks past me wearing a midnight stripe Swaddle as a cape, so I just want to shout out that she looked like a true Kickee hero.  #MOMGOALS.  Rumors were starting to swirl, on Facebook, that if you weren't in this room at that very moment, then you will miss the sale entirely. (aka everything would be purchased before you even arrived.)  I predict that there is little proof to this rumor but I have my fingers crossed that I make it into the first group.  At this point, I had met a lot of awesome moms in the line.  Just as I had made a few friends and talked about strollers vs. swaddle sizes, the line began to stir.  It was now 5:34 am and the line was standing up like something was happening.  Sure enough, they were starting to hand out wrist bands! To my surprise, the line moved very quickly.  I attribute the fast line to the fact that shoppers were following the pre-set out rules and the staff was extreme efficient.  That being said, we had a hand full of people that were trying to get bands for their family members who weren't in line with them.  They were pulled out of line and people were allowed to get bands before them.  It is important that everyone follow the rules and be respectful, so everyone can have an enjoyable experience.  The basic rules were: no lining up before 3 am and only the people that wait in line get a wrist band.  Sound simple right? Wrong. 

At 6:15 I received my wrist band and I was number 226, in the second time slot.  I didn't think that was too terrible of a number, considering the people before me clearly woke up earlier than me.  I went back to my room and ate breakfast, fed my kid and packed all of our things.  Once my family was on their way to run up and down the halls, I headed back to the San Antonio room to wait for my group to be called.  Nick had told me to come back a little earlier than my time slot, just in case they let people in earlier.  
I was back to waiting by 8 am but the other mommas and Aerin made it more enjoyable.  Aerin and her son were handing out candy from their pot of gold. Sorry to say, that I dropped the ball on getting a photo of that precious moment between her and her diehard customers. I sat and chatted with a grandmother who didn't know what she was getting herself into. (her husband went to do his own thing while she waited.)  She had told me that her daughter lived in Houston and had asked her to attend the sale in her place.  The poor lady had no idea how serious this was and she thought she was just going out for a day of shopping.  She asked me about the brand and we chatted about what they sold. My time slot was called at 9 am so I said goodbye to the lovely woman that I had been talking with.  I told her she would love how soft the pjs were and I set out to shop.  I hope she had a blast but it still makes me laugh that she thought she was going to just walk in at 8 am and buy some clothes. (her time slot was around 1 pm.)  
Cubby Picks
Between 9 am and me leaving the sale, most of what happened was a completely chaotic blur.  I am going to try my best to depict my, less than one hour, shopping experience.  Right when I walked into the sale, we were being handed giant bags.  Some might say that everything is bigger here in Texas, even the bags we shop with. I was naturally really excited about filling up this bag. Too bad for me, the last bag was handed out to the girl in front of me.  This made me pretty sad but quickly forgot about it as I approached the brightly filled room before me.  Boys clothes were set up on one side and girls clothes on the other.  The center of the two rows were filled with crib sheets, swaddles, stroller blankets, training pants and socks.  Women's clothing were closest to check out on the girls side and the same went for the Men's clothing.  I was 26th person in the second group and there already were NO toddler blanket and barely any 2T clothing. I was buying a large range of sizes and although I was looking for certain prints, I wasn't incredibly picky on what I brought home.  The walls were plastered with images of kids in Kickee and the price lists we needed to shop.  The tags were color coded and certain colors stood for certain prices.  I was clearly in a fog and forgot to take a photo of this too.  I reached out to my Kickee mommas though and they donated this image for me: 

Everything was very organized and clean, inside of the sale room.  There were, however, a lot of people spreading out huge piles of clothes on the floor and sorting through them. Many members of the KP team were going around and putting back any clothes that were left around. Aside from people hoarding sizes, these piles irritated me because of one incident I saw.  Two newborn babies were camouflaged into one of the piles. Sounds cute right? Wrong. Someone almost stepped on one of the babies because they were so well hidden on the floor. So if you attend the next sale, be aware of your surroundings and watch your step. The room wasn't very crowded but it was definitely a hectic atmosphere.  Someone even tried to pull a 2T footie right out of my very full hands.   I waddled towards the line with a crib sheet on each arm and as many items as I could carry forward.  I was very thankful for a KP employee that saw me struggling and brought me a bag.  (she also wanted all the hangers I was hoarding!) I gave her all my hangers and she traded me a huge Kickee bag that I longed to photograph.  I was so disappointed that I wasn't able to keep it, but they did give me a Dallas sale tote bag. (complete with unicorns!!!) Inside the bag was even a 3 pack of bibs.  Also, KP gave me a gift credit, for one of the many Texas retailers, to use towards more Kickee. (talk about generous!!)  Before I packed it in, I took a quick photo of my haul.
Overall, It was a great experience and I can't wait to attend another sale again.  Everyone I met was kind and friendly.  If you have something nice to say or you just want to comment about how wrong I was, leave a comment for me!  

                   Get Festive! Check out these cute Sample Sale Tshirts -------> HERE

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