I took the plunge and did my first tradeshow to introduce the ME & Blue line to the world. At the Pool Tradeshow in Las Vegas (2/14 - 2/16), I networked with a ton of fun buyers. I love working with my customers at the boutique, and it's just as fun to meet other retailers who are also selling from their boutiques.
The Pool Tradeshow is for up & coming designers and buyers who are looking for the newest lines. As a self financed business, it's a great way for me to introduce ME & Blue to the world.
Here's what my life was like up to, during, and just after the show...
1. Get my collection together. I decided on 3 "groups" - LA LA land lace, I married a guy from Jersey, and Cozy sweaters. Here's a piece from the upcoming lace collection!
2. Design a "linesheet". The guide for a buyer to know what styles & silhouettes I'm able to produce. What colors, what sizes, and prices I offer as well. I was working 'til the last minute on getting samples done, photos taken, and copies made.
3. Get it together! I had a wall graphic designed for the booth, made a list, checked it twice, and took a deep breath.
4. Pack it all up... samples, mannequin, display fixtures & more. Thank goodness for my hubby and my tried and true Toyota Matrix. We took the doggies to the kennel and woke up bright and early to come to Vegas on Sunday and get rolling.
5. Drink LOTS of water. Driving to Vegas, baby, Vegas.
6. Set up the booth. I opted for the Co-op section since I'm just getting started. With only 6 feet by 8 feet (and a back wall), getting creative with the space was important.
7. Meet the neighbors! Next to me at the show was Handsomeboy tees. Dunstan and his girlfriend T. flew in from Boston to show this cool line.
8. Get some rest! Well, almost. p.s. Hard Rock Hotel... being in a room above a nightclub with a thumping bass is NOT an upgrade.
9. For 3 days, I watched and greeted buyers going by to check out the show.
I set up a little office space to send out quick emails and log my contacts who came by.
I got lots of comments and inquiries. For 3 days, I showed the line, talked to potential buyers, and started plotting production for my next batch of goodies.
10. It wasn't all work. I was right near the happy hour station! T. and I both love our gin & tonics!
Thanks T.! I buy, you fly!
11. Barter with the neighbors on the last day.
I traded this Frances sweater for a few Handsome Boy t-shirts!
12. Break it down!
13. Pack it all up & rest. Drive back home & pick up the doggies. We missed you guys!
14. Whew! I met some amazing buyers and am excited for ME & Blue to be carried in other boutiques around the country. Look for Vagabond in Philadelphia, Frock in Asheville and a few other stores up my sleeve to be carrying the ME & Blue line soon. Woot woot!
15. Back in LA, I'm working with my fabric resources to get fabric delivered on time for production deadlines. And thinking about my next set of designs. I love this business!