my new ebook! Confessions of a first timer...

Hi!  I hope you all had a great long weekend!  I am so excited to share with you my first ebook  Confessions of a first timer.reflections, musings, tips and tricks from a first-time Surtex exhibitor

reflections, musings, tips and tricks from a first-time Surtex exhibitor

The response from my Surtex recap post here and my guest post over on Crafting and MBA really inspired me to share all the things I've learned at my first show.  When I was preparing for the show, I would have loved to hear the thoughts of someone who had just done it for the first time.  It makes reaching the goal of getting to the show that much more attainable.

If you have read any of my recaps, you know that Surtex was a huge thrill and success for me on many levels.  Most importantly, I have learned so very much that I will take into my next show.  I hope this will give you the jump start you need to believing that you CAN make this happen for yourself! Here's a little snippet to start you off!

“Wow, those lights are bright.  It’s like I’m on a stage.”  These were the first words I uttered from inside my booth the first day of Surtex.  That is when it clicked.  I did it.  I had arrived.  This 8’ x 10’ space would indeed be my stage for the next three days.  Next thought – holy crap!!  Yes, that is the raw reenactment of my thought process on that unforgettable Sunday morning.

It’s true!  Getting to and executing your first trade show (in my case Surtex) is like riding a super scary roller coaster.  You love the thrill - you’re terrified -  repeat.

At the end of all the ups and downs lies unimaginable fulfillment. In my view, trade shows are vital as independent artists and business owners. The opportunity to show your art, craft or product to key decision makers all under one roof is absolutely priceless.  Clearly it does come at a cost measured in $/square foot, but it is more than worth it.  As with any business, face time and building relationships are vital to be successful.


Show season - the power of positivity...

Yesterday I did a guest post over on the fab blog Crafting an MBA all about my first time experience at SURTEX.  It got me really thinking about how we as artists and business owners think about ourselves and what we project into the world.  What I am realizing now that I am in the show loop is that this is all extremely daunting to many.  The key for me throughout this process has been to take small (but calculated) steps toward my end goal.  No one climbs Everest in one day!  On top of that no one who wants to get to the top stands at the bottom and says there is no way I can do this!

Now don't run away!  I am not here to be the positivity police.  I just wanted to send a very friendly reminder that self belief is half the battle.  If you don't really have that just yet, well fake it!  You'd be surprised by how telling yourself you can turns into - actually I CAN!

So what can you do today to take small steps towards your goal?  My task for today is to open a savings account dedicated to next year's SURTEX. I figure if I toss in some pennies now, I won't be overwhelmed financially when the time comes to register for next year.  I will be free to concentrate on all the fun designy (think I made that word up) stuff.  I also make vision boards to keep me focused on my big dreams.  Even if they seem out of reach at the moment, I put a symbol of them on the board anyway.  I must say I put the SURTEX logo on that board just about a year ago this month.  Guess what I got to take off last week?!  :)

I'd love to know what you do to take small steps toward your goals and dreams, and you tricks for positive thinking!


icff 2010 - indi b rugs and york wallcoverings...

I only had a quick min. to bolt through icff this year since I was manning my booth alone.  I had to make sure I at least caught a glimpse.  This show is so innovative and exciting!  It is a really feast for the eyes each year!  Here are two standouts that made me pause during my mad dash.This rug called gyraffe from INDI B made me litterally stop in my tracks.  It is part of their kids line, so I guess you can call me a big kid because I would have it in a heartbeat!  On top of fab design, INDI B is wonderful because they are committed to using only natural fibers and dyes.  They are also members of Goodweave.  An organization helping to ensure that child labor is not used in the handmade rug industry.I've been a huge fan of york wallcoverings for quite some time now.  However, seeing their display at icff put them into a whole new category of obsession for me.  The prints are stunning, and modern.  The papers are so luxurious.  It was a real feast for the eyes.


anthropologie chelsea market, nyc...

I only had one all too short day to really get out in the city for some fresh inspiration.  Now I know we all can get to an anthropologie, but the new one at chelsea market was really a treat!  Here's a few pics of their current mossy installation.
how can you not be in an empire state of mind?!


SURTEX 2010 - i'm back!...

Hi All!  So I'm back!  I made it through my first trade show!  It was soooo much fun!  I already can't wait for next  year!There is nothing that can compare to the streets of new york (soho here).  The pace, the sense of strength and confidence in the people, it is all just intoxicating!  I have to start making my evil (ok not so evil really) plan to make new york a bigger more permanent part of my life.

Here are shots from the set up on Friday (5.14)  My partner in crime for the week Jess Swift and I were in and out in an hour flat!  Not bad for two rookies!  :)

Dinner on Friday night with the old Nordstrom crew!  The most talented Mary Beth Freet of Pink Light Design, and wonderful Denise Pemberton of 300dpi.com digital scrapbooking (Ask Denise about her amazing new digital scrapbooking app for iphone!  So cool!).  So great to see old friends exploring new lives - exciting!

Booth all ready to go on Sunday!!  This was such a fantastic moment seeing it all come to life!  This process was truly life changing as an artist.  Going to this show really just puts it all out there for the world to judge.  I've walked away with a new sense of confidence in what I do and where I am going.  As far as SURTEX as a show goes, it was over the top fantastic!!  There were very few times in the day that I did not have someone in my booth.  There was a great energy at the show - it was busy, busy, busy!  I truly can not wait to do it all over again!  (I know you won't let me forget that line when I am knee deep next april he he)My books and presentation got an amazing response!  I already have some ideas up my sleeve for next year!What would have done without Jess and the seriously insanely funny Michelle Ward?Gang's all here!  I got to meet fellow alluminare designers! (Libby Unwin, Jules Davis, Barbra Ignariev, and Jess Swift) Actually I already know Jules and Jess b/c I am lucky enough to have them in the same city with me!  I was also really tickled to meet Bowie from Print and Pattern (yay!), Kelly Rae Roberts, super talented Mati McDonough (matirose), Carrie Gifford of Red Cap Cards,  the absolutely wonderful girls from two trick pony, and Gina of Gina B designs.


surtex 2010 - back on 5.24.10...

Hi!  I know it's been a little bit, but I have been up to my neck with show prep!  Tomorrow the day is finally here!  After months of planning, drawing, scanning, panicking, celebrating, and a tiny bit of crying, SURTEX is starting THIS SUNDAY!  Part of me can't really believe it!  Look forward to lots of inspiration and tales from the show upon my return. I'll be sending updates and pics from the show on twitter, so make sure you are following @surfacedivine for the scoop!  :) See you soon!