Thursday, September 23, 2010

What happens in Vegas aka My POOL Trade Show Adventure Part II

Sorry for the first teaser post *wink*

So here's the tofurkey and potatoes about what went down in Va-Va-Vegas!
First day of the show was pretty effing exciting. We arrived at the show at 9am sharp with 2 hefty breakfast burritos in hand (because when you are outside of Texas the breakfast burrito is like 900 times more popular than the breakfast taco - a fact that I will NEVER understand). The booth was all set up and looking super cute (if I do say so myself)! But you tell me - what do you think?

So yeah, by 9am the dj was already on the scene.. not that anyone was awake enough to dance, but he did a good job warming us up. Right off the bat I made friends with the lovely and out going ladies from Leatherette Heart. Liz (the brains & shot in the arm of the biz) is sort of the most wonderful person ever! Hilarious, crass & seriously one of a kind! AND she is was sugary sweet enough to share a box of "Fat Elvis'" with the rest of us on our row. What is a Fat Elvis? It's a fried spring roll filled with banana's, chocolate & *wait for it* bacon! Good Gawd - they were sinful. Here on the left is pic of Liz, Robin & yours truly from The POOL opening party @ The Hard Rock Cafe. I guess this is a good time to tell you that this was the night the debauchery really started. See - unless you are gambling in Vegas - the drinks are crazy expensive on the strip... but they were free free free at the POOL opening party! Don't we look like sassy drunk ladies?

The first day I was really nervous but it faded pretty quickly. I met lots and lots of super nice people. Many of them were from Canada & they really do live up to the cliche of being oh so seriously nice and polite! I also got a very flattering visit from Twinkie Chan (who is not from Canada as far as I know - but just as sweet)! She walked up and said "I heard you were here and I wanted to come meet you." I was like "you wanted to meet me?!" *blushing* She is even cuter in person (seems impossible I know) & her booth for Yummy You of course really was um, YUMMY! She is something to aspire to. No doubt! If you don't know who Twinky is - read her blog. It will not disappoint.

Later in the day our booth neighbors appeared- they'd had a shipping mishap that kept them from loading in on time :( What a nightmare! Enter stage right Magda & Jake of Marmalade Clothing! Well traveled, sharply dressed & witty as hell - we could not have had better neighbors। She is from Toronto, he's from the UK and while Magda had been to Vegas before - this was Jakes first time to the states! I spent the next few days swearing up and down that the US is NOT like Vegas. I think I finally convinced him. By day we helped reel people into each others booths (and made fun of the dj) then by night we were skipping through the casinos drinking beers and fawning over eachother. Instant BFF's!
The second and third days at POOL were a blur of handing out line sheets, shakin' hands, feeding people fortune cookies, talking about tiger stripes and lace. It was FUN and exhausting! Time in Vegas either doesn't exist or it passes you by making you feel nuts in the process. Before I knew we were pooped and packing up. With an armory of new biz contacts we wobbled back to our room and prepared for our last night on the town. We didn't just go out to gamble our hard won booty away - we actually got put on the list to see Ghostland Observatory - who were actually playing in our hotel that night! So we talked almost everyone on our row into going with us and we danced like fools before finally making our way to down town Las Vegas. WHICH WAS WAY BETTER THAN THE STRIP! It was real and gritty and flashy AND I won $25 on an Elvis slot machine! Winning always makes things better ;) It was hilarious though. I was sitting with Austin at another slot losing my ass and I got up to announce that I was going to hit the Elvis machine in the middle of the room and I literally said "because I need a little less conversation and a little more action" then after the first $1 I put in the machine spit out 100 quarters! That was the end of my gambling in Vegas. I now when to say when... most of the time.
The rest of the night was filled with bar hoping, photo-boothing, bar top dancing, country western sing-a-longs, pricey cab rides & saying "I'm going to miss you so much!" over and over again.
Here's the photographic proof:
yep - fried twinkies. Not served all night apparently.

I know it's hard to see, but this is a shark covered in bra's... hanging on the wall at a honky tonk called hogs & heifers... when in Vegas - right?

I know I don't have to say it - but it was a long night and I felt like death in the morning. We were totally green on our flight home - but we weren't the only ones in rough shape on the plane.

So - how did it go business wise? Well - I'm still finding out. People are still putting orders together. But I can tell you that soon you will be able to find Model Citizen at these fine retailers:
Hip Replacements - Asheville, NC
Cliche - Minneapolis, MN
Young Blood Boutique - Atlanta, GA
Hootenanny - Cambridge, MA

And I will be announcing more soon ;)

As for everyone that donated to help me get to the city of sin - I will be sending out your rewards shortly. I could never thank you enough for your generosity! EVER!

Bonnie Rue

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What happens in Vegas aka My POOL Trade Show Adventure Part I

I love flying. Everything about it. Trotting through the airport with bags in tow, slamming into strangers shoulders, shuffling onto the plane in single file with that weird aircraft AC smell in the air, a tiny bag of peanuts in my near future... but then nothing tops the take off!
So about a month ago Austin and I fastened our seat belts, made sure our seat back and folding trays were in their full upright position & then we learned that Austin simply does not like to fly. The take off in particular does not thrill him. Why am I telling you this? Well - because it is the reason why we arrived in Vegas with a little bit more than a buzz. Flight attendants make a stiff drink & for that we applaud them. We went from TX to NV in the blink of an eye and as we descended into Vegas our hotel the Mandalay Bay glimmered like a golden starship in the desert sun. If you've never seen it - it's way over the top. Yes - everything in Vegas is, but no other hotel is made up entirely of mirrored gold windows. Wow.
We had one errand to run before checking into what we would later refer to as "The Man Bay". We had to pick up some astro turf for my booth from Lowes. The girl at Lowes did not know what astro turf was! This is funny because Las Vegas Blvd is lined with the stuff! There's no real grass in the desert - c'mon! So, after acquiring our lovely lush astro turf we were now ready to hit the hotel and check out our booth at the POOL Trade Show.
The hotel, our room, the convention space - it was all so overwhelming! We wondered around being touristy, taking photos and pointing at everything for the first few hours we were there. We flew in a day early just so we could have time to act like fools for a moment before we had to get down to business. After figuring out where we were to register in the morning and seeing the booth we had nothing really to do for another 20+ hours we decided to have a nice meal at Susan Feniger's restaurant the Border Grill. Black bean & plantain empanadas anyone? This gal right here says
"Yes please!"

After dinner we waited for the sun to set & then headed out on an adventure down the strip. Despite waiting til 9 almost 10 at night it was still 102°F!! Being from Texas we could hang with this - but still it was fairly punishing... and for those of you who have never been to Vegas - the later it gets - the more the strip smells like puked up daiquiri's. Yikes. So here's some pics from our stroll down the strip:

Lounging on the astro turf
the lady of liberty on the right is made out of jelly beans!
Sin City snacks!
Our neighbor - The Luxor - where we ended up spending a lot of our time.

After sweating to death on the the streets of LV and losing some piggy bank money on the slots our swanky hotel room was calling to us. I slept like the dead - which was amazing because the next morning we had to be downstairs by 9am to register for the show and set up the booth..

Which I will tell you all about in Part 2! I'll introduce you to all the amazing designers I met at the show AND you'll even get to sneak a peek at my Tiger Lady's boyfriend! Truly love at first sight - it was all I could do to keep them from running off and getting hitched by Elvis!