12 years ago when I decided to take a leap of faith and apply for the Chicago One of A Kind Show, I had no idea what I was in for. My initial thought was what if nobody buys anything! Not only was it the most expensive show I had EVER signed up for, but with two days of set-up and four show days, I was basically dedicating one week of my time to it. But I bet you can guess how it worked out!
Today would have been our first day of set-up. This is from last year with Rachel, my marketing intern from last fall, helping set up the fist half. I know it looks amazing when it’s all finished, but to get there is a lot of measuring on the walls to make sure our placement of the bags is just perfect.
This year with the show virtual, I am not only missing seeing some of my favorite clients in person but it kinda doesn’t feel like the holidays are actually here. It was my BIG start to the season of holiday shopping for me and the end of the semester for my interns. Eliana, my Design intern, helped with the holiday collection last year, so she got to see the reactions in person. So fun! I also looked forward to reconnecting with all my artisans friends that I don’t get to see on a regular basis.
This year, I was looking forward to debuting my new Metallic leather collection and all my new accessories, like my Guitar Straps and leather bracelets. Some leather goods also just sell better in person, than they do online. I also miss the excitement of someone discovering my collection for the first time. The oohs and ahhh of trying on our signature bag and showing them all the ways you can wear it. We dedicate an entire wall to our Lauren & Mini Lauren bag, since it’s the most popular and we have so many color options!
The silver lining in all of this, is hopefully more people are searching for small businesses online and especially those that still make their goods in the USA. I am also working on being more accessible via our live chat and love connecting with clients there. I am trying my hand at advertising (my college major, lol) more and doing fun promotions.
But in the end, I am so looking forward to 2021 and crossing my fingers that the Spring Show will be able to be in person.
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