On June 1st and 2nd I had the opportunity to vend at Summer Fest, a two story indoor 100+ female entrepreneur shopping extravaganza hosted by the HTXBOSSBABES Ellyse of Stateline Designs and Gabby of Miradela.
It was the first time I've ever had the opportunity to vend at such a large event, and I was blown away by the level of professionalism and organization right off the bat. Make no freakin' mistake, these women work hard, and are really good at what they do. They curated a wonderful selection of sellers whose products and booth game left nothing to be desired.
I was sandwiched between Renitra of R. Denise and Teshia of Chichi Lamour, who sell womens shoes and accessories and awesome turbans and hats, respectively. I was also fortunately placed near Nzingah of Inclusive Randomness, whose work I have admired for a long time but wasn't able to meet (she is one of the coolest people I have EVER met), and Mariel of Charmed Glamcessories, whose work I'd only just learned about due to an online group we're in and recognized instantly. (There are no coincidences!) I also recognized a few other sellers from forays on IG, and seeing their products in person created a level of dorky enthusiasm in me I wasn't aware I had.
Vending at new events is always an interesting experience, especially for sellers like me who are new to selling in person. I absolutely LOVE it, though, because meeting people and seeing their responses to products is incredibly fun, as is meeting other vendors. There's a certain bond vendors have with each other, because it takes effort to put together your booth, transport it around, set up, and there's "we're in this together" vibe in the air that starts during set up and continues throughout the event.
For me, an important part of my experience is creating new products that aren't yet available online. This keeps it fresh and interesting for me, and I like to imagine, for my buyers. Here are a few products I made for Summer Fest:
All of which made me snicker and were fortunately taken home by some cool people.
When I arrived at the set up for event, which was the day before the event, I immediately ran into Ellyse, who helped me figure out my parking situation (like an actual angel I manifested instantly, it was crazy). Then as I was trying to get my stuff inside to set up, I got to meet Tasha of Team Jemini Designs, who was kind enough to help me in (and who was so much fun to talk to). It was amazing how friendly and welcoming everyone was, and the excitement and energy of even the set up made the process really fun.
I also really enjoyed seeing the booths other vendors designed, and the creativity that went into crafting a unique shopping space. There is a lot of talent in Houston, and a lot of people making beautiful things happen. I was really grateful I was able to have the experience, and super thankful Ellyse and Gabby put it together with their awesome team. They definitely created a winning formula and I cannot wait to see what they do next!
Check out this short video featuring The Carbon Crusader at Summer Fest shot by Masaya Tamegai! You'll catch a quick glimpse of Tasha, Teshia, and Nzingah!
To everyone I was able to meet that weekend, thank you so much for making this such an amazing two days in my year. I am still really inspired by the experience over one month later!