We really did go to Chicago. Alas, we were so pooped at the end of each trade show day, this was the only view we got of the train. Maybe next time we will get out of the loop and do some exploring.
Why were we in Chicago? Heather and I went to the Merchandise Mart for the Beckman’s trade show. Beckman’s is a part of the bigger Living and Giving gift trade show that is at the Merchandise Mart. Beckman’s showcases exclusively handmade goods.
We met some really great people there! Our neighbor Mandy Adamick put up with our shenanigans very nicely. We made a unicorn, taped it to a hammer, and during slow times provided her with an exciting puppet show from the top of the booth. Here is a lovely pic taken by Heather that showcases the Unicorn Hammer and the “Best Bartender” sash we made for the bartender stationed about 10 feet from our booth. Poor guy. We made it hoping to bump up his tip jar. I think it actually worked because I heard people congratulating him.
Here’s a pic of our booth. We made it fancier by adding the border along the top. Swanky, right?
We also met the fantastic Laura Tanner of Laura Tanner Jewelry . Her friend, Natalie, had a skirt with a bead coming off. She came to our booth and we sewed it back on. She was so nice and they all stopped by off and on throughout the show to entertain us. She’s a mom like us. Meaning, she’s a mom, and she’s like us. Plus, when we saw Joan Cusack walk by, she was just as excited as we were. Joan Cusack! We shat ourselves.
Across the way from us was Village Designs. Dodie is so sweet and gave me some great advice. She’s been at this for around 20 years and has seen it all. I am giving her a virtual hug right now….
Something So Charming was our other neighbor. They have a thousand balls in the air and juggle them all just fine! Their booth was pretty populated most of the time and I think they know everyone.
While we were goofing off and making our award-winning sashes, Howard of Whitney Howard stopped in our booth. He was so friendly and we looked forward to seeing him every day. Privately, we just called him “California” like that was his actual name, and well, now it’s not private. (At the show, you wear a tag that says where you are from and that’s what we first remembered. As in “I was looking for lunch and stopped by California’s booth. They are so nice.”) Anyway, he is what I would consider successful. He has a healthy business, loves his family, and didn’t seem stressed out at all. That’s what I’m aiming for.
We tried to have a beer one night with Lisa of Ellembee for her birthday. However, we made it about 6 blocks and had to declare, “We think you are awesome and we really want you to have a happy birthday, but we are so damn tired and must go to bed.” That’s right, we are PARTY ANIMALS.
All in all, the trip to Chicago was a fantastic networking event for us. We met people who have great ideas and were very generous with their advice. Plus, Heather and I had tons of fun watching tv and eating in bed. Which is something we can’t do at home because we have kids. I mean, we COULD do it at home but my kids are slobs.