Day -2 (last Tuesday)
My last day to run around in my car and get things. I spent the day driving all over, Maple Ridge to Surrey to Vancouver. Attending a meeting, doing model fittings and buying booth supplies. I was at one of the retail supply stores (where you get mannequins, bags, boxes, etc.) getting display & packaging options for my new products just before they closed. After that I picked up some more odds & ends from Walmart and a dollar store.
My battery on my cell died and I had a tons of messages from people people trying to contact me while I was driving around all day and night. I caught up on messages and found a bunch of the messages were 2 urgent requests, a friend had their car breakdown and wanted to borrow mine, another was from my mother about a surgery and could I fly down. Really?!? What timing!
I spent some time talking to both of them that day and the next, figuring out something that made sense. The friend was going to borrow my car on Thursday, since I'd need to be on-site doing setup. My mom was going to check with her doctor about surgery scheduling and how much help she'd need afterwards and get back to me after the event. Whew! Ok, emergencies handled.
Day -1 (Wednesday)
This was last day I was actually at home and I was trapped there waiting for a UPS package. This was also the last day I planned to do fittings. The UPS delivery was guaranteed by the end of the day, so I thought it would arrive by 5. I had an appointment at 6pm to do fittings at Pizzazz modeling in White Rock for the Main Stage show.
At 4:45pm, I got an email from my manufacturer saying the samples for the collection were ready for pickup. Great! But too late to pick up by 5pm, so I'd have to go the next morning.
Also at 4:45pm, UPS still hadn't shown up. I checked the tracking number and read up on guaranteed delivery. I learned that for residential, the guarantee is by 7pm or later... What does "or later" mean? Argh! I called Dale at Pizzazz and explained the situation. She helpfully arranged for her models to come to me for a fitting instead. So I spent the evening doing fittings and fixing the flawed charms I had received, since I didn't know if that package was going to arrive or not.
The package finally arrived, but then I questioned what I wanted to do with the extra charms. Now I had 2 sets and they weren't the same. I tested both and decided the new ones worked best as zipper pulls. The ones I was fixing were bigger and nicer in some ways. I decided to sell them as a new product. However this meant I needed to finish them, since the glue takes a minimum of 24 hours to set. I finished the charms and thought about pulling an all-nighter to finish other tasks, but gave up and got a couple of hours of sleep.
Day 0 (Thursday)
This was setup day, the day to actually get stuff into the hall and setup. This was also my last day to really *get* anything before the show, as the other days I would have to be at the show at my booth pretty much all day and night. First thing in the morning, I drove my manufacturer to pick up the samples of the collection. My first chance to see them in reality...and reality was not quite what I had in mind.
I learned that there are very important details to spell out color-blocking. Yes, the shading on the flats help indicate where the color-block is and WORD ORDER MATTERS... The designs still look cool, but not quite what I intended or had in mind. Then I got to drive back home, load up the car with everything I could fit and headed to the hall to setup. I moved a bunch of stuff in and spent the day setting up, talking to potential models and doing some last minute fittings. I got home late, but I needed to get signs and business cards ready! So I worked on that till the wee hours of the morning. I think I also just felt sleepless and restless in general before the big event. I got a couple of hours of sleep.
Day 1 (Friday)
The first day of the show! I woke up with a terrible migraine and I felt woozy. I was originally planning to pack up the car, pick up a final bit for my booth from downtown Vancouver, then go to Abbotsford. Looking at the travel times and traffic that morning, I realized my plan wasn't going to work. I barely felt up to driving at all and there wasn't enough time to go to Vancouver and then get to Abbotsford before the show opened. I felt bad enough that driving and getting to show was going to be a challenge. I emailed the people who had offered to help and asked for help! Natasha arranged for her husband to pick up the item in downtown Vancouver, as he works near there. And Kat was already headed to the show and she offered to cover the booth until I arrived. Yea, help!
I headed out in leggings, a turtleneck, and a fuzzy bathrobe on top cause that was the best I could manage. First stop was Staples to pick up posters for the runway. Next up was loading the car with extra stuff! Yes, I bravely took more stuff than I could fit in my car, hoping I'd sell & give away enough for it to compress to fit!
When the show opened I set aside the robe, but until then I stayed in it for comfort. I did an educational talk mid-way through the day, which went ok. It was a small crowd, so I approached it very conversationally and that seemed to work well. I put my robe back on at the end of the night, cause it was cold. A shopper was amused and said I needed fuzzy slippers to go with and I agreed! I figured I was there, I showed up, I did the best I could.
I got home late. The show ran till 9:30pm that night, so I didn't get home until after 10pm. I got some dinner and got things ready for the fashion show. I followed up on messages and emailed the models, make-up artists and photographers. I picked music and worked out a general plan for the walking order and fashions to show the next day. I planned to go to bed early, but still ended up staying up kind of late.
Day 2 (Saturday)
Saturday I felt a bit better, though still under-slept. I think I got 3.5 hrs the night before? I had some issues with people showing up late or not at all. I had a number of people who offered to help out with the booth and originally I planned to have people take turns modeling on the runway & watching the booth on Sat and Sun. Unfortunately, several people cancelled and one felt ill on Day 2. I managed the chaos as best I could.
This was the first day for the fashion shows I was doing, so it was a bit chaotic. I've never done a fashion show before, so this was a first! I had selected music the night before and sent the models the playlist. It had to be rights cleared, so I just went with my own music rather than hunt for public domain music I liked at the last minute. I thought about asking other musicians if they would wanted to be featured, but I was so busy trying to recruit models I never got around to it. I did get some last minute potential models, but even adding the models who were fitted on Friday was difficult. I had an outline of runway order, but it wasn't finalized until show day. The models had only seen and tried on the classic LBD. NONE of us had seen or tried on the new samples for the collection. I had just picked them up on Thursday, the day before the show started. Several models showed up late. The last one showed up just minutes before the show, make-up and hair done, but a "hot mess". Out of breath, sweating... I thought for moment about trying to fit her in, but decided no, too much chaos. We've already decided walking order and fashions. I can't do it; sadly, I have to say no, you're too late, and I did. I said several no's during this process. None were easy, but I had to make the decisions I felt were best.
The runway shows went well! Apparently, the audience couldn't hear me clearly because I was too soft compared to the ambient environment and the music, but the fashions were the focus so whatever. The models looked great! And they played around and had some fun with it.
Saturday night, I finally got a few more hours of sleep and 6-7 hours felt luxurious at that point. I'd been averaging about 3.5 hrs. for 3 days...
Day 3 (Sunday)
The last day of the show! Sunday was smoother, but more hectic. The show times for my fashion shows and the main stage were much closer together and the day overall was shorter. After finishing fashion show round 1, I headed back to the booth to catch up on things and just as I was thinking about maybe checking out some of the show, it was already time for fashion show 2. The fashion shows went more smoothly, since a number of us did the show both days so we had already practiced on Saturday. :)
For the models who only did Sunday, it was a bit more challenging as they didn't have the extra day of practice. The rest of us did our best to help them out, provide reassurance and calm nerves, but it's a hectic environment. Having watched fashions shows several times backstage, I don't think that's just us. I think that's just a bit how fashion shows are. There are a lot of moving pieces to coordinate and clothing changes, etc. We had to run our fashions down to main stage when we were done, since they had a show just after ours.
It was odd. I feel like I didn't really spend much time at my booth on Sat & Sun, but somehow I didn't really get to check out the show much either. I didn't really look around Hall B at all, except briefly on my way to something else, like going between the fashion hub stage and my booth!
I did manage to briefly run around Hall A before closing on Sunday. I was mostly questing for food, but I briefly took a look around. Chatted with a few people, Stopped by to say hello to Tanya and Freda, then ran around some more.
The Main Stage Fashion Show
I saw parts of the main stage show, but not enough! I really wanted to watch the full fashion show and the belly dancing! I got to briefly sit down and watch the main stage fashion show section that featured my designs on Sunday. My fashions got applause, which was nice! Natasha commented that only one other set of fashions got applause, so I must be doing something right!
I noticed they showed my LBD in another segment too, while they were showing off accessories from another store. It meant I got some questions about the fluffy wrap and pretty purse they saw on-stage that wasn't my booth.
The main stage show was more of a sneak peak at the new designs. They only showed 4 looks. The Classic LBD, the Red & Black Color-Block, the Leatherette Color-Block Sheath, and the Sexy Mini LBD.
My Fashion Shows
I was able to show more looks in my fashion show, but I still wasn't able to show all 13 looks. I had the samples made in a number of sizes, as I like diversity in my models and I want to show that the clothes fit sizes 0-26. So I had some larger samples that didn't make it into the show, because I was short booth staff and models. I had several cancel and/or not show at the last minute.
This meant that Keeley didn't get to walk the runway. :( I *so* wanted her to, cause she looked really great in the fashions! We got a few shots of her at the show, so I'm hoping those came out well. :)
Special Thanks & Appreciation!
Thanks to all of the models who participated. I can't wait to see the pics! You looked great out on the catwalk.
Special thanks to everyone who helped out at the booth and behind the scenes with the fashion show.
Really, lots of love ladies. I don't know how I would have made it through the weekend without your help! ❤️
I am very grateful for the help I received with make-up from Drupti and Marina as well. Both of them were very easy to work with. Marina gets an extra special thanks for providing a real backstage make-up environment for the models to experience and she modeled for me on Saturday as well. Marina told me she thought the fashion show went well and fairly smoothly and she's been involved in them before as a make-up artist, so I'm taking that as a thumbs up from someone with more experience than me.
I'm also very happy that a few photographers were willing to come out and take photos! Thanks to Partho, Cameron and Duke. I think we're all looking forward to seeing the pics!