Sunday, February 6, 2011

CHA Highlights


CHA Winter 2011 was amazing as usual, and as I sit here watching the Super Bowl, I decided it was a good time to share my photos of this year's tradeshow.  Our team from iLoveToCreate was our fabulous new manager Tar'Lese, our muscle-man Sam, and then Me, Kathy and Alexa.  

Our first stop was the hotel, which was an art deco style that was built in the 40's the Wilshire Grand.  I have never seen so much mauve in my life!
Breakfast was good at the hotel every morning, but was sky high!  My little continental breakfast as 10.95 and the hot breakfast was even higher.  That was when our team met to map out our plan of attack each day.
The first day was a huge frustration as you can see on my face that night.  Our crates arrived super late, and after the carpet was laid, the cherry picker came to install the overhead sign, which meant the carpet had to pulled up and laid down again!!  (There's always something... right?)
The thirteen mannequins were a bear to unload in all their pieces.  They each had to be unpacked from mountains of boxes and bubble, and then assembled, and then dressed.  Those girls are heavy, too! 
Months of planning go into the layout of the booth, and our team not only had to unpack everything, but also place every item in just the right place in order for it all to fit and be presented in the best way possible to serve the buyers who would come rushing in in just 2 days.
Alexa was sick while we were setting up, so it was good that the couches came early!  She is our social media guru and we set her up in a cute little car with her computer.  Since our booth theme was "DRIVERS OF CREATIVITY" it was just perfect to tie in with our team.  Cute, huh?
Our mannequins finally came together with their outfits and their heads which turned.  Oops, is that Sam in the second photo??  teehee!  Perfect, since he's the graphic designer who created all the talking heads on the mannequins, from actually making the mechanism for them to spin to printing out the paper and assembling the blocks and building the brackets that attach to the mannequins.  Cool!
It finally came together!  After the fiasco with the late start on the first day with late crates and having to pull up the carpet to hand the sign, three of our marketing team came to the rescue and installed most of the product displays.  Whew!  It looked incredible.
Finally we were done and hungry.  Some of us ended up at one of the hotel restaurants to relax.  
CHA Winter 2011 Trade Show at the LA Convention Center was ready for the first day kick-off.
And we were ready at the iLoveToCreate booth as the DRIVERS OF CREATIVITY!  
Our make-it-take-it tables were standing at attention and ready for the swarms of crafty buyers to come and try out our fabulous new products and spend a little time being creative with a team of designers.
Yes, that's Lauren painting directly on Kathy's shirt with the new glitter paint.  Her pit crew shirt was the most sparkly shirt there.  Soooo fun!  And it dried fast, too.
Another new product was our beads in a bottle.  Here you see the mannequin I decked out.  I made the black jersey halter top and then painted bead flames around the hem, with beaded gloves, boots, necklace and clutch purse.  People were coming up to touch it because they really thought it was beaded.  But, it was paint!
My make-it-take-it was a big hit with the beads in a bottle.  Of course it was wet when the painted the beads, so they went ahead and put the headbands and bows in the hair and walked away with it wet!
I got used to the tuna salad sandwiches at the convention center during the day (with lots of mustard) only because I knew that every night I could treat myself with gooood food at one of the fabulous places at LA Live which is just a block away.  Wolfgang Puck's was amazing and my fave.

One of my favorite mannequins was the one I designed with crystals.  I covered a helmet with leather that I glued in patches after ironing crystal appliques to it.  The rest is loose crystals ironed in designs that say 'LIVE TO RIDE'

Tiffany and Heidi were super stars in the booth with the rest of us designers.  It was so nice to catch up with them find out what crafty fun things they are up to.

Finally it was time to tear it all down and load it up for next time.
I was ready to get back home and see the dude that left this cute little card in my room... awwww.

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