|The huge sign promoting my book signing right by the entrance area. I got goosebumps when I saw it and had to snap a picture!|
I’m home from two weeks in Los Angeles!
Both the California Gift Show and the Craft and Hobby Trade Show were incredible. It was difficult being away from my family for that long of a stretch, but it was worth it because I made unbelievable connections for our little art business.
In order to sustain a life as a working artist, you have to be open to new avenues and opportunities for creativity. I LOVE the craft industry, but it felt great to attend to a new party. I saw many similarities between the craft and gift industries. There is so much potential for artists, designers and crafters to work in both areas. While CHA (the craft convention, which I’ll cover in tomorrow’s post) is all about teaching and inspiring consumers to create, the California Gift Show is about showing off your own artistic chops to buyers of retail shops.
The CGS was a two-part event in separate buildings. I had an exhibit booth in the Beckman’s Handcrafted Show, which consisted of 150 national artists and was located at the L.A. Mart in the fabric district. Buyers were shuttled back and forth between that location and the Los Angeles Convention Center for the main gift show. In that main area, I had a large area to do craft demos where we made small love shrines for Valentine’s Day.
I didn’t know what to expect, I thought maybe the buyers would be too busy shopping to craft. Wrong. We went through 250 love shrines and almost a 100 tote bags by the end of the fourth day of the show!
My favorite moment of teaching came when two business men decided to sit down and make shrines for their wives.
After about 20 minutes, I walked over and asked how it was going.
“I’m having a ridiculous time!’ one of them replied.
“Me, too,” said the other. “I’m so doing this with my kids when I get home. This is so much fun.”
Special thanks to the Armas family, Lizzy, Violet, Sylvia, Alexa, Lisa,Anna, Lisa, Theresa, Yoli, Darlene and everyone else who helped me out that first week. Most of all, thank you to Peggy Coleman from the CGS, Joy Jansen from Beckman’s, Alyson Dias at iLoveToCreate, and my dear friend Andrea from Handmade Galleries LA for bringing me out there!
Here are some pictures!