Over 18 months ago, my business mentor told me in one of our one-on-one consults: “I want you to consider doing one of the UNIQUE USA shows.” I looked at their website, took a deep breath, and thought, Maybe someday I’ll get there.
But oh, what an adventure we have had over here at Handcrafted Honey Bee since that phone call! We won the Intuit Small Biz Local Buzz competition in early 2014, and then won 2nd place in the popular vote in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made competition. Our brand experienced an incredible amount of growth, of transformation, and of refinement.
And by the time applications for UNIQUE LA rolled around earlier this year, I knew we were ready. I spent quite a bit of time carefully crafting our application, choosing pictures that represented our brand, and held my breath as I pressed “send.”
When we got the email notification about two months ago that we had been accepted, I literally gasped and screamed with such fervor that my husband pulled the car over to ask what the emergency could possibly be. “No emergency,” I squealed. “WE. ARE. IN. UNIQUE!!!”
We’ve been building our stock and planning our booth for months (more on the booth building process after we unveil the final results). I sent postcards inviting local boutiques and businesses to visit our booth. We’ve planned surprises for customers and interesting ways to engage people as they walk by. We’re ready.
I’ve spent the last couple of days along with our interns, Hailey and Sierra, pulling together everything we’ll need at the show (although we did have to put out a few proverbial fires which I will likely someday blog about as well). By this morning, there were plenty of carefully marked boxes stacked in our garage and filling up our design studio. By 9am, my husband had picked up our 5′ x 8′ rental trailer. My kiddos got a kick out of jumping in and out before we began to load up.
First, we loaded all of the boxes full of kits (as well as a few odds and ends) into the back of our SUV.
Next, we loaded our handmade temporary booth walls, two unassembled bar tables, and laminate flooring into the trailer. We’ll also be using water softener salt to help weigh down the walls, so that came as well (might as well use something we’ll be able to make use of when we’re done, right?).
After we were all loaded up, we headed down to Los Angeles to my parents’ home, where we were storing the rest of our booth furniture (and where we’ll have our base camp for the next few days). Once there, we loaded up the remainder of the trailer.
Finally, we pulled together some floral arrangements for the booth.
Tomorrow, we’ll head over to the penthouse at the California Market Center in Downtown LA to unload and set up our booth. I’m hoping to document the experience thoroughly so you can see how our theoretical booth ideas pan out in real life!
UNIQUE LA opens at 11am on Saturday, May 9th (with a 10am opening breakfast for social media influencers and media) and goes until 6pm. We do the same thing again from 11am-6pm on Sunday, May 10th, as well–so it’s guaranteed to be a weekend full of awesomeness! If you’re in the LA area, swing on by and visit us at Booth #196.
Make sure you check our Facebook Page for real time updates with the booth building process and anything else with our UNIQUE LA experience this weekend. We can’t wait!