This past August, Rosemarine Textiles exhibited at our first ever trade show - Shoppe Object in New York City. I spent months preparing, and even received a Kiva Loan (thank you, lenders!!) to help cover the costs to attend. It was such a whirlwind, and overall positive experience. I’m glad I took the chance, because I learned so much along the way.
We drove to New York from Detroit and set up early ( A big thanks to my partner Justin for being my chauffeur and booth assembly helper!). I had a 4x8 booth space and brought a few different racks to display everything. After setting up, I wandered around the venue a bit. It was really amazing to see so many amazing brands under one roof! But to be honest, it was also really intimidating. It was hard not to feel debilitating imposter syndrome and feel like, who am I to be here alongside HAY, Minna, Boy Smells, Design Ireland and so many other inspiring and established companies. That said, I feel so grateful for the opportunity to even be able to exhibit at such a highly selective show when Rosemarine Textiles is barely 16 months old! I don’t often feel this way - most days I’m just doing my own thing and not too worried about it, but being there in New York at this fancy trade show alongside these established brands with elaborate built-up displays, it was hard to feel like my company deserved to be there too.
Once the show began, it was so validating to see the response from boutique owners. I absolutely loved meeting so many new people from all over the world and telling our brand’s story. It was a real delight to be able to meet the owners of the shops Rosemarine Textiles is carried in, Ashley of Apt F in Austin and Darby of Lovefield Vintage in Kingston. I also got to meet Jessica, the woman behind my favorite all natural deodorant, Primary Elements, and Alison of the most delicious (and not to mention beautifully packaged) Wonder Valley Olive Oil. Hats off to the curators of the show. Everything there could have been merchandised into one mega boutique and go together beautifully.
After the second day of the show (Sunday), the organizers of Shoppe Object took the exhibitors on a sunset cruise along the East River. It was such a lovely way to finish off two busy days and just enjoy an evening with friends and colleagues. Everything about the organization of the show felt so professional and upscale. It was a real treat.
I’m glad to have had the external deadline of the trade show to help push me to make some changes, like adding woven labels into our scarves with the logo and making much nicer and more professional looking hang tags (coming so soon!) rather than our simple stamped kraft paper tag. While at the show, I got a lot of great feedback and suggestions from boutique owners and fellow exhibitors that I look forward to implementing. As a one person business, having outside input is really really useful!
I am so lucky to have had my good friend Emily as my sales helper. She was a life saver at the show! What a blessing it was to have someone to laugh with and help hold down the fort, not to mention she is a customer service extraordinaire!!
Overall, I’m really glad to have taken the chance and been able to attend Shoppe Object. I am so lucky to have so much love and support from friends, family and customers alike to make this business keep chugging along. I’m excited to have Rosemarine Textiles carried in 16 new stores all around the country, from Maine to Hawaii! You can see them all here. Please visit and support these wonderful shops! A strong community of small businesses keeps us all going.