Well I'm back from CHA, and what a difference a year makes.
In 2014 our booth was a modest creation using black curtains and gridwall. Signs were printed on foam board. It was exactly what we needed, and I was absolutely thrilled to have my own work on the Pop it Ups packaging, to be arranging my own displays, to have my team creating the samples for the booth . . . I didn't think the booth could possibly get better.
Boy was I wrong!
First Joep sent me a photo of them loading half (yes, HALF) of the new booth at the Colorado warehouse, ready for its trip out west to the 2015 CHA Mega Show:
Once the booth went up I realized how very far we've come in just one year. It DID get better. Much better. Professional acrylic signs, a slatwall system that we could customize to show off the product and samples side-by-side, demo tables for Els, Susan and myself. Interior tables for customers to sit and write orders. We even had a digital catalog and professional lighting.
Once again I was given full creative freedom to arrange my section of the booth.
New dies were on display with these cute end cap vignettes.
And then every Pop it Ups die and embossing folder in the line was displayed on this mega wall:
I have the best Design Team in the industry. These ten ladies hail from four different countries and bring every imaginable style to the dies. They filled the booth with more samples than we could fit on the walls. Next year's task is to figure out how to display more samples. We also had a few samples stolen from the booth so we're brainstorming how to improve security as well.
Since none of the Design Team members were at the show, I shot this quick video to show them their samples on display. Yeah, it's handheld, I'm moving too quickly and it will make you a little seasick, but you'll have a closer view of the amazing cards.
At my demo table I was doing an Eiffel Tower Make 'n Take until we ran out of materials. Then I switched to demonstrating the Adironadack Chair, Rectangle Pull Card and showing the Dryer Sheet trick. Mostly people wanted to see the dryer sheet trick. Here's the video again:
This is the Make 'n Take we were doing. A quick and simple card using the Eiffel Tower Pop Stand die and the Paris Edges plus the Damask Embossing Folder.
On Sunday I taught a class called How to Teach with Pop it Ups. It was a big crowd and we made card starts in all the different categories as I shared all my best tips and tricks for teaching the folds. Definitely a different format for me, but I love how the class went.
Els took a couple of photos of the class. Here I am showing a great idea by Anita Izendoorn using Poppy the Owl.
One of the slides I showed in the presentation was a map of all the places I taught in 2014. Whew! I'm tired just looking at it. It was a busy, exciting and oftentimes stressful (will the kits be done in time?) year, but it was very important for me to get out on the road and launch Pop it Ups in the local stores; our primary customer.
In 2015 I will be staying home to ready my twins (Juniors in high school) for college. I'll be back out on the road again in 2016, but I don't want to miss out on this last important year with my only two kids. Instead, you will be seeing more YouTube videos from me and more classes that are designed by me, but taught by freelance and local instructors and sales reps. I will be teaching only at Trade Shows this year.
In addition to the growth of my line of Pop it Ups dies plus new offerings in all categories of the ECD in-house line, we welcomed a new licensed artist to the family. Susan Tierney-Cockburn is well-known for her love of flowers and gardening and she is able to recreate realistic flowers from paper using dies. It's amazing to see what she does. She also has stamps, low-relief flower designs for card fronts, and accessory dies. Here she is with Judi on set-up day, deciding how she wanted to display her products.
Packaging is in full swing in Colorado as I type with the intention of starting shipments on Monday, January 19, 2015 to all of the retailers who have ordered the dies. Those of you with local stores, please give the store the first opportunity to get your business. You won't be paying shipping costs when you buy locally. If you do not have a local store then here are some links to be able to purchase the dies: