Bridal Fashion Debut 2011

So, do you want to know what I did over the weekend? The title of the blog post should give you an idea :). I participated as a 'vendor' at the Bridal Fashion Debut 2011. The Bridal Fashion Debut held in Phoenix every year is said to be the biggest bridal show in the country. This year there were 4600 registered brides who attended the event looking to choose their wedding gowns, accessories, venues, menus, photographers, planners, coordinators, photo booths, you name it!

How I decided to do this and when, is an interesting story :).  A couple of days before the show, I went to the bank to open a business account. The lady who was helping me with it - Shelley - told me about the event and said I MUST participate in it, but maybe it was a little late for the January show. I said there was no way I could have products ready in just a couple of days. After I came home and told my husband about it, he too said that I absolutely must participate in the show and that he'd help me with it. So, I called up the event organizers and asked what the booth cost and if anything was available at all. Well, I got lucky! :) And that started my frenetic adventure of making something worthy of a Bridal Show that big! I had never participated in anything like that before and did not even know where to start. (That explains the bare look of my booth! No decor, nothing... just a solitary banner... LOL!)

I decided to do a bit of everything.... and did what I could. I did some petite bouquets, small table arrangements, bouts, hair pieces, and even a ring pillow. I burnt the midnight oil, so to say :), but eventually turned out enough stuff to fill the table that we were allotted. 
The beginning was quite disappointing, but with the first person who came to our booth, the people started coming in...and we didn't even have time for a breather. They couldn't believe that the flowers weren't real. That was a real compliment to my work, especially since I had worked day and night to make that show happen. To everybody, except 2 persons, it was their introduction to DECO Clay. So now, if nothing else, at least a few thousand people know about the magical clay that gives the flowers the real feel! (There is a similar clay in the market - Hearty Clay - but the finish is no where close to DECO Clay) It was really a terrific experience talking to so many people about the flowers and the clay.
A lot of people just love my rose and peacock feathers bouquet. It's been a hit from the day I made it for a client of mine 2 years back. Even at the show, a lot of people even took pictures of it, to get it done in real flowers :). While that doesn't get me business, it does say something about my design :) :). That's not bad! :) I can live with it for now.... LOL!
On the second day, we had a lot of people who said, 'we've heard about your work from others at the show'. We were actually generating 'word-of-mouth' publicity. How cool is that!  We heard a lot of things said about my flowers - 'That is the coolest thing', 'That is the smartest thing', 'That is the prettiest thing in the show' .... but I found one comment very entertaining. One guy said that my flowers were so good, they were seriously 'Bada**' :). I would never have thought to use that word for my flowers, LOL!, but it was so fun to hear that.
Towards the end of the show, we actually ran out of the postcards that we were handing out to people....wehad to resort to 'rationing' them on the second day!

I met a lot of cool people at the bridal show. More about them later.... but for now, I would like to thank some people who made this happen:
Shelley - from my bank :)
Ashley - a fellow etsian who designed my new logo on time on a very very short notice!
Rob at Impressive Imaging - Our local printers here in Maricopa. Rob helped me out so much with designing the postcards and the business cards in addition to printing everything!
Nayana and Arup - Nayana is my best friend from childhood. She helped me pick out the right logo design, when I was not sure which one to pick. Arup is her wonderful husband. They are like family to me, always encouraging me to move on with my little endeavors :).
Sarang - My husband, who always helps out with everything! He encouraged me to participate, he helped me finish the products, pack them, transport them. He was there by my side all the time at the show. Can't get any better than that!
I took in raffle entries for 2 hair pieces - a gardenia hair comb and a single gardenia hair flower. Now it is time for me to put it all on the computer and pick out some winners :).

PS: Sorry for the bad pics folks! Shall post better ones soon. These are from my iPhone


Som's Studio said...

Such a wonderful exposure for your talent! Congrats!!

Qurioux said...

Glad to know that you made it at a short notice! May good luck follow you all thru 2011 and may your business blossom!