Topic: Trade Shows

Surtex is coming…Surtex is coming!!

Oh my gosh I can’t believe Surtex is only a little over two weeks away!! I’ve been so busy that it definitely snuck up on me. I’m working on tying up all of those last minute loose end. It seems I have a billion left to take care of before showtime. This morning I just broke out my huge trade show suitcases. I’m hoping they’ll be a bit lighter than last year. Each time I do this my packing and supplies get a bit more refined :)

This will be my second year partnering up with fellow exhibiting artist Megan Halsey to host  “The Sweet Spot”. An intimate function at the intersection of booths 649 & 650 to enjoy Good Art, Conversation and a taste of something Sweet.  AND, we’ll be raffling off some sweet prizes!


This summer seems to be zipping right by and I’ve been zipping around the country. First, it was NYC for Surtex, then Vegas for the Licensing International Expo, Atlanta for Americasmart, and now I’m in Philly visiting my family. So of course, since I’m already on the east cost I’m going to slip in a day-trip to check-out Printsource in NYC. Dizzying I know.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to September. Ava Blu will be starting kindergarten and hopefully I’ll start to have more of a daily schedule and routine. Now it’s not like I’m complaining. All this travel has been amazing!! But I work much better when I’m able to get into a grove of a daily routine. What about you?

Atlanta Baby

(Caroline Simas, me, Jessica Swift, Khristian Howell, and Jenny Jordan)

This past weekend I visited Atlanta to check out Americasmart for the first time!! My oh my, what a HUGE tradeshow!!! It was a total sensory overloaded!! I had to remind myself to blink and even had to close my eyes to rest a few times. I was on an information scavenger hunt filled with design, products, inspiration and friend. It was so great to see, in person, all of the products from companies I work with, companies that I want to work with and companies that I never knew about but am so glad that I do now.

I was lucky enough to be hosted by the lovely and super generous Jess Swift (oh and…if you haven’t given to her Kickstater Rainboot Project you only have 3 days left to get in on the action). And I got to sleep in her studio!! How cool is that!?! It was a jam packed design-filled weekend. I got to spend an artist-girls night out at one of Jess & Khristian’s favorite tapas places!! I got to see Bridesmaids and ended it with a really good slice of pizza, before Jess and Caroline took me to the airport. So much fun. I can’t wait to go back!!

Surtex 2011! There and Back

It’s been a bit of a whirl wind since I’ve returned home from NYC with crazy follow up, family drama, and more follow up on top of follow up. So, now that I have a moment to take a second to breath and reflect, I’m ready share some photos!!

This was a pretty amazing year for me. I thought last year was a good year, but this year has definitely topped it!!! Coming in as, a second year veteran, I felt I had a better handle on things, from set-up to shipping and breakdown. All of which were a bit of a wild card the first year. I decided not to ship anything (minus one tube with my table cover) and only took what I could fly with on a plane. Which included 2 enormous suitcase that I checked, a roller board carry on that held my binders and a tube for my banners,  that came with me in the cabin. All and all not a bad plan, except I was staying on the 5th floor of a walk-up. On the last day after everything was broken down and re-packed it need to be hauled up to the apartment for one night before I flew back home. I was so grateful to have Jess’s helping me carry those super heavy bags (81 & 52 pounds) up all of those steps. And it actually turned into quite a funny bonding moment. We were sweating and cracking up laughing like crazy the whole way, and trying to do it quickly as we had dinner plans we were rushing to get to.

I am really lucky that this year I got to room with some really amazingly talented ladies. It made the experience that much more awesome!!

Like I said, I got to hang with some really awesome ladies!! AND I met my online friends from the Blogging Your Way class that I took back in October. Now I can call Steph and Monica my “real-life” friends :-)

1) Mary Beth Frett and team from Pink Light Design, Jane Dixon, Khristian A. Howell, Jessica Swift 2) Michelle Ward and hubby, Genevieve Gail, Khristian A. Howell , Niki Malek, Jess & her cute soon to be doctor hubby Ryan 3) Jessica Swift, Caroline Simas, Melanie Hall, Anne Brown from Demdaco, Megan Halsey, Sharyn Sowell

My social calendar hasn’t been that full since I was in college:-) I had dinner plans every night, and every night the table was dripping with talent!!

What a great year, and the Sweet Spot totally rocked!! Thanks to all that stopped by to say Hello and had a sweet treat!!

It was so awesome to partner with Megan on this. I’m so glad that I “moved in” across from her last year. We really have an awesome little neighborhood!! And we had a great response to The Sweet Spot that we are already starting to plan for next year. And for those of you that are wondering if you won any of the sweet prizes, they will be mailed out to you very very soon :-)

Thank you to all that helped make this happen, stopped by to say HI, had a sweet treat, looked thru my art portfolios, sat and chatted and spent evenings & dinners with me. I’m looking forwad to doing it all over again next year!! :-)

…and if you want to read a few more recaps on this years show you should stop by here and here , for a first timer perspective check out here, and definitely over here and here and for the point of an artist walking the show stop by here.

A couple of pictures to tie you over :: Surtex 2011

What a blast! I had such a crazy & AMAZING time showing at Surtex this year!! I just got back home late last night and now I’m trying to regroup, organize and following up with all the amazing folks I met. A full recap will be coming in the near future, but in the meantime here are a couple of pictures to tie you over till I get settled in.

Ready to meet and greet!

Megan & I in front of my booth on the first day.

Featured on Print & Pattern!! :-)

How excited was I when I received this tweet from the lovely Jess Swift yesterday. This is exactly why I luv twitter!! I had no idea I was featured on Print & Pattern till Jess mentioned it. So AWESOME!! And I just happen to be rooming with her and Khristian Howell who was also featured! I’m totally looking forward to hangin’ with these ladies. We are going to have such a good time!! :-)

how quickly things change :: go go go

I was strangely calm yesterday, then I had a printing snafu and now I’m frantic this morning and am asking myself, how did I think I had it all together yesterday? I mean, really, why do I always take myself on these roller coaster rides of emotions? It’s like I have two speeds on or off. No in-between. It’s something I’m going to have to work on in the future. But for right now it’s definitely on. GO GO GO. I’m almost there.

Packing up and getting all of my samples together for the Sweet Spot Giveaway. I even made a banner!! Just you wait it’s gonna be sweet!! (he he he)

I’ll be giving away a few of my skins from Skin-it!! The quality of the skins are amazing!! Such a pretty way to personalize your digital devices.

a couple of glass mounted wall art with some magic words.

 …and some lucky person is going to walk away with one of these flip cameras.  Might even become a collectors item since Cisco made the fatal announcement.

Finishing up the last of the details

Today was spent working on the last of the details. Just a few more loose ends to tie up and only 11 more days till Surtex!!

I thought I’d be way more crazed, but I’ve actually got things pretty well under control thanks to all the help I’ve received this year! Both from Myleen, my marketing guru and Alex who’s been a rockstar of an intern!! I’m going to be super sad to lose her when she heads back east at the end of June. But everything has it’s time, and my fingers are crossed that she’ll make her way back to the Bay Area after she graduates.

I’ll be on the lookout for another set of helping hands just as soon as I get back from Surtex. So, if you know of anyone that might be interested please feel free to have them drop me a line

The proof is in!!


Just got the proof for Megan & my joint ad in Total Art Licensing announcing the Sweet Spot!! It came out really nice! I can’t wait to see it in print.

I’ve been in crazy prep mode and it’s gonna be Surtex 24/7 till show time, so just bare with me. I’ve been cranking stuff out, but these large banner files I’ve been workinng on have been seriously crashing my system. My poor computer can’t handle to have more than 1 program open at a time, and even then I am crossing my fingers and saying a little prayer to the adobe gods every time I press save.

Surtex 2011 :: I’m IN for round two

I was really on the fence whether or not I should get a booth for Surtex in May.  I’m planning some BIG Creative Life Changes and just wasn’t sure if it made finical sense, since I’ve started to tighten my bootstraps in preparation for the transition. But after talking it thru, I think it would be a big mistake if I didn’t do it. I don’t want to blow my momentum. I just need to do things a little differently, and quite frankly smarter than I did them last year, focusing on the things that will get me the biggest return. <–That’s me wearing my business hat. Usually, I’m wearing my artist hat where aesthetic, style and craft trumps all else. I need to be a little more cost conscious and stick to my planned budget. It can be done thrifty and still done well. So I just signed my contract yesterday, and I’ll be setting up shop in the same corner booth, with my same booth neighbor Megan Halsey. We had such a good time hanging together last year. :-)

So here’s to year TWO surpassing the first!!!

On a side note I thought I’d share with you the survey results that Surtex has posted on their homepage. 80% of Surtex attendees consider it to be the most important tradeshow for their business. I wonder what the other 20% think. I know that the Licensing Expo in Vegas has been gain some momentum and I actually received a call from them today gently trying to persuade me to consider exhibiting. (But I first need to walk it before I consider showing there.)


I thought I’d also share the the video that they have posted. I think it does a good job and highlight some of the 2010 exhibitors (sadly I wasn’t included, but hey there’s always next year).