Last weekend FERAL showed at West Coast Craft in LA, as one of their 300 curated vendors. WCC reported that almost 20,000 people attended during the two days we were open to the public. What a whirlwind. If there is one thing I learned from doing my first big show, it is that they are A LOT more work than I realized. Seriously - hats off to my fellow indie brand owners that do multiple shows. I seriously don't know how they do it by themselves. I have newfound respect for anyone slinging their wares in a tent. By the time I got home, I was completely spent from three long days of dragging wet fabric, hauling boxes, pulling luggage in and out of Ubers, water-proofing the tent, and re-merchandising daily. Standing all day, shaking hands, giving hugs and having meaningful conversations about sustainability ad FERAL was the fun part!
ICYMI in the city that never rains...LA rained the entire weekend off and on. At an outdoor show. And my products are leather. It was at times, comical. You had to laugh. Yes you can cue violin music because there were moments that were a bit panic inducing. Imagine hypothetically you spent your life savings on realizing a dream, spent months preparing to introduce it to a new audience, paid hundreds of dollars shipping it to one of the sunniest cities in the USA, and then the sky opens up and pours. What can you do but line the tent with plastic, put on a smile and pray that people still come out and shop (And thank goodness...they DID)?! I am infinitely grateful for the incredible connections this brand has allowed me to make with so many incredible humans. I have said it before and I will say it again, thank you. Putting myself out there (literally) in front of my brand feels very vulnerable, and yet you gorgeous humans validate what I am doing and lift me up every. single. time.
I was really proud of how the display came together, and with how my ball table and neon signs turned out. The chrome ball table was a labor of love, and was a really fantastic modern pedestal and representation of everything I hope FERAL is: Modern, Unique, Artful, Sleek.
I handed out fat stacks of business cards and our custom post cards and am excited to see where the seeds I planted that weekend will sprout! Not surprisingly the beaded bags & painted items stole the show. It was so gratifying to see all my hours of hand beading strung up together, creating a beautiful rainbow of color, glistening in the intermittent California sunshine!
I was able to meet so many beautiful souls during the show, and sent some of them home with pieces I handmade, and that brought them joy. I don't really know if there is anything cooler than that?! I am grateful for the experience, and for being able to meet so many of you in person, but I really don't plan on doing any out of state shows again. The immense expense and impracticality of creating a storefront with such large products while out of state (and outdoors) & being away from my young children was only fully realized once I had lived through the experience. I am a mother of three, if you can believe it, and leaving my baby was just not worth it for all the money in the world. So for the foreseeable future, FERAL is going to be a Seattle area brand. And I am ok with that. #shoplocal