Frenzied chaos wrapped in sterling silver and laminate dust, peppered with bits of blue ocean and rice and beans topped off with a healthy serving of mid century modernism, vending and tiki drinks. Yep... that about sums up my December-February!
All of those endless days and nights in the shop with blistered and sliced up fingers, metal and saw dust up my nose, and the realization that my rear end had taken the shape of my shop chair was all worth it in the end as I exhibited for the first time at the Modern Design Expo during Modernism Week in Palm Springs!
(note to self - do not plan a weeklong getaway to Costa Rica two weeks before a huge Expo ever again - do it AFTER a big show. It was a gloriously wonderful and magical beachside excursion, and I can't wait to go back... but I only had a one week buffer once we returned home before we left for Palm Springs. No bueno since I basically had 6 hours of sleep that whole week as I finished up all of the items I needed for the Expo... because well... I admittedly tend to procrastinate a little. I always say I do my best work under pressure. HA. Needless to say, I am making it a point to plan better from this point on because the only pressure I plan to be under again like that is from a nice hot shower head).
We arrived into Palm Springs on Feb. 14th... Valentine's Day!! After settling into our hotel room, my fiancé, Mark, and I decided a nice romantic dinner at The Tonga Hut filled with a tiki drink or 12 would be just what our exhausted jetlagged bodies needed. Hot dang, were we right. After we finished up our drinks, the last of which was a flaming Volcano Bowl... we were thanking the Tiki Gods that we had our pal Uber on our side that night. A wonderful Valentine's Day indeed.
The next day and a half were spent in our hotel room cutting chains, tagging and pricing items and putting the finishing touches on everything as we watched the snowboard halfpipe and some ice skating during the Olympics on tv. Um... yeah... next time I really need to plan better. Writing out price tags and securing clasps while shoving stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut down my throat in a dark hotel room was kind of a drag as I looked over out the window and saw beautiful palm trees swaying in the background against a deep turquoise and sapphire blue sky. And oh, the laughter and gaiety of the people frolicking in the pool outside was the salt I need to rub into the blistered wounds on my fingers. Sigh.
By Friday night, all the jewelry was finished, and we had gotten our booth all set up at the Convention Center. 'Set up' meaning I knew I was going to be changing it around 50 times or so during the weekend until it was just right. But I was ok with that. Doors opened at 6pm and the Palm Springs Modernism Show and Design Expo officially kicked off! This was the Preview Night... tickets were $85 in advance and $100 at the door. I have to admit it was a great people watching night and it was a flurry of exuberantly and colorfully dressed people with cocktails in hand. The drinks were flowing all night as well as the hors d'oeuvers and it was clear that everyone was having a good ol' time. It was fun to be vending in this kind of atmosphere, and we met so many amazing people that night. The response to my jewelry was very encouraging and it was fulfilling and exciting to hear all the wonderful comments as I explained my process and materials used, etc. The night flew by and by 9pm it was all over and we were able to finally chase down one of the last servers with the little hamburger sliders. Ahhh... first inkling of food all night. And boy did that taste good... even if maybe it really wasn't.
Our display at the Modern Design Expo, which changed a bunch of times.
One of the displays at our booth
Boomerang laminate and sterling silver cuff bracelets
Boomerang laminate rings with sterling silver bands
The show went on Saturday from 10am-6 pm, Sunday from 10am-5pm, and Monday from 10am-4pm. Mark and I had a blast the whole time and we had great booth neighbors all around. We really had a great experience and learned quite a bit. The best part of all (besides making sales of course, haha!) was meeting so many fabulous people and making new friends. It was fun to talk to everyone about why they were there, where they were from, what they were doing, and so on. I got lots of ideas for new items, some tips, advice, and some leads for new partnerships.
One of the highlights of our adventure was meeting up with our friends, Jess and Gary who live by us in NY, but just happened to be out in Palm Springs for a wedding. We met up on Saturday night after the show, at the Shag store... looked at all the cool stuff there while sipping cocktails... and then proceeded to the Tonga Hut for some more delicious libations. We had a great time... lots of laughs... and the Tonga Hut never disappoints.
Jess and I at the Shag Store in Palm Springs, CA
Mark and Gary at the Shag Store in Palm Springs, CA
What did disappoint though was the fact I learned firsthand about the dangers of eating sticky hard candy. On Sunday morning at the show, while sucking on a piece of toffee candy, something suddenly didn't feel so right, and lo and behold, out of my mouth comes a wad of toffee with a tooth embedded in it. That was fun! Not really haha. Luckily nobody was in my booth at the time because I kind of semi-panicked, but quickly realized it should be ok since it was a crown from my root-canal tooth. I did spend the next few days though trying to keep track of that tooth so I didn't lose it. I even contemplated putting it on display on my table, but thought better of it. Since I was a little afraid of eating, that gave me a good excuse to put myself on an ahem, liquid (as in adult beverage) diet. Kidding, kind of.
Luckily the rest of that Sunday and Monday went off without a hitch and the Expo wound down. After we were all packed up from the show on Monday afternoon we headed out to dinner to a Mexican restaurant called Mirasol. It was within walking distance from our hotel and it was deliciously magnificent. Ahhh... we could finally fully relax since we didn't have to be up early to get to the Convention Center the next morning. A feeling of sadness crept in though because I knew the trip was coming to an end soon...
Tuesday was our only full free day in Palm Springs, and we spent it walking around town and popping into some shops. I love all the stores on the main strip... all the colors, shapes and fun stuff. Eye candy for sure. We also had a little time to drive around town and check out some of the too-groovy-for-words mid century modern houses. The architecture, shapes, colors, landscaping... just everything about these properties was to die for. DROOL!!!!!!
We decided to try the Bootlegger later in the day for a drink before dinner... but were actually quite disappointed because they fill your glass to the top with crushed ice so your drink is gone in 2 sips. Booooo. Back to the Tonga Hut we went. For a THIRD time this trip!! By this point they were saying 'Hey Norm!!' when we walked in. We had another great little dinner and some Zombie drinks, played Connect Four and were thankful once again that Uber was at our beck and call. Another great evening in Palm Springs.
The Bootlegger in Palm Springs, CA 2018
Delicious drinks and Connect Four at The Tonga Hut
Wednesday morning was a little sad. Our travel day back to NY. We hopped in our rental car and drove 2 hours and 15 minutes back to the LA Airport, wishing that we had time to hit In-Out-Burger.. but didn't. (Wah). On the flight home (since I can never sleep on planes), I was left to my own thoughts, which at times can be terrifying (haha), but this time it was quite pleasant. I spent the next few hours re-living our week... all the wonderful and amazing people we met at the show and the new relationships made and potential partnerships to be forged, the items that sold and didn't sell, and the great times I had with my super loving-more-amazing-than-you-can-ever-imagine-fiancé, as well as with friends and our tiki drinks during the off show hours. I came away completely inspired, excited to create new collections and eager to ramp up my social media presence. I also came away with a tooth in my pocket, but it doesn't matter because it happened in Palm Springs, and I can't wait to go back!
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by the booth, took cards, purchased jewelry, chatted with us and shared laughs, signed up for the email list, or just said hi! I really appreciate all of you!
Until next time my friends!!!