It's Showtime Season Again
Back in the air, heading out to New York for the summer gift show NY Now, at the Jacob Javits Center, for my work with Keena and 12 Small Things. I just returned from a lovely week in Lake Tahoe with my family, after having been in Las Vegas for the home and gift show at the World Market, which followed the San Francisco Gift Show at the Moscone Center. And during the San Francisco gift show where I help set up and sell for our Keena booth, I also double booked myself to show 12 Small Things at the De Young Museum's Fair Trade Bazaar. I felt a little like Hermione in Harry Potter when she time travels in order to take two classes that are scheduled at the same time.
I was very please to be asked by the De Young Museum store to be a part of their summer bazaar, along with a dozen other artisan groups, including my friends Julie and Ibrahima from Petel Design textiles, and Meredith from Soko jewelry, both of whom are working with artisans in Africa. There were also artisans from Ukraine, selling hand-painted wooded ornaments, and groups from India selling beautiful scarves and shawls. I brought along my summer collection, including jute bags from Dharma Door in Bangladesh, shawls from Indigo Handloom in India and jewelry from Sidai Designs in Tanzania.
On the opening day of the sale I was thrilled to have so many new customers interested in my products and company. I captured a lot of new names for my emails and sold almost all of the products I'd brought. I was so happy to meet Denise Bradley-Tyson, the founder of Inspired Luxe, who was written up in the San Francisco Chronicle last month for her website of stylish, handmade fair trade products. The next day I had to work at our Keena booth for the San Francisco gift show, and had my older daughter Johanna work the De Young show for me. Johanna did a great job of selling all but a few items. When I came to pick her up that night, the vendor from India across the aisle from her, told me what a beautiful daughter I had, and that she didn't sit down the whole day!
The rest of the San Francisco show was thankfully uneventful, once I only had to be in one place at a time. Once the show slowed down a bit I also had a chance to visit some of the fair trade artisans showing in the international section of the show. There were a few groups from Africa whose products I really l liked, including colorful woven straw bags with leather handles which I bought to sell as part of my fall collection for 12 Small Things.
Once the San Francisco show was over and torn down into crates for hibernation until January, I packed my overnight bag and flew to Las Vegas to work a couple days at our Keena showroom there. Why anyone would want to go to Las Vegas in the summer is beyond me, but there I was, arriving in 105 degree heat at 10:00 in the morning, along with hundreds of buyers ready for a day of wholesale shopping. The Las Vegas Market is housed in three large high rise and thankfully, air conditioned buildings, and has done a good job marketing the biannual event, as more and more people are attending each season. Some west coast retailers have stopped having to go to New York, as almost all the wholesalers they want to buy from are now also at the Las Vegas show.