Well, I'm back from a whirlwind experience at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. What a week! I'm going to try to fill you in on all the highlights, but it will need to be broken down into a few different posts. Yes...it was that kind of week!
We arrived safely in Vegas on Saturday morning and immediately went to the Convention Center to begin set up. It took us 11 hours to assemble our booth walls and hang all of the wall art, clocks, bedding and rugs that we brought with us. In the event that you've never participated in this show, you need to know that the powers-that-be do not turn on the air conditioning in the Convention Center during set up hours. They save that for the actual show hours. Therefore we were doing some hard labor in 103 degree heat...and did I mention it took 11 hours?!!! Fortunately, we were sharing a large "peninsula" booth with some other great ladies who kept us laughing and happy through the process.
Meet the ladies of Mama Mia Showroom!
And what a fantastic, dynamic group of ladies they are! Last year a few of these great women decided to open a new showroom in Atlanta. In those few short months they've created a great stop for buyers and have created quite a buzz with the great products they offer as well as the infamous "Mamatinis" they provide during the shows! I joined this showroom in January right around the time we all decided that we should consider exhibiting at the ABC Kids Expo as a group. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about sharing a space with 6 other strong-minded women for 5 long days. I had only corresponded by phone or email and was hoping that everyone would get along well throughout the show. Well my worries were soon put to rest. These women are smart, supportive, kind, funny and just all around wonderful. I'm honored to know such a great group of women entrepreneurs. When we weren't fighting off the buyers (ha! ha!) we were sharing ideas and experiences, brainstorming the next great product ideas for each other, and helping each other to grow in any way we could. By the time the show ended, I was happy to be heading home to see my children, but at the same time a bit sad that I'd be leaving my new friends. While I'd love to fill you in on all of the wonderful qualities of each of these individual women, I don't have all day! So I'm going to list them here and hope that you'll visit their individual sites to learn a bit about them yourself.
Suzanne Longacre: Suzibella
Casey Baca: Four Peas
Diane Sam: Moboleez
Heather Nolte: Glamajama
Isabelle McPartlin: Iszi Studios
Shelly Meintzer: Lil Ladybugs
Wendy Armbruster Bell: Pump Ease (Diane's friend and honorary "Mama" for the week!)
Pat Martinek: Martinek Bebe (Pat is part of Mama Mia and exhibited behind us. Great lady and breathtaking products!)
So thank you, ladies (and all of your supportive husbands and boyfriends) for a wonderful week in Vegas. It was so much better for me this year because of the great support system you all provided. Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta soon!