The Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Sept 17- 20. We sure felt the desert heat with temperatures soaring above 100F on some days. That was quite a contrast from inside the convention center where we decorated our booth in a wintery theme with glittery snowflakes and our characters decked out in winter gear (Snowboarding Panda Jam. Cool, dude!) It was a really fun experience meeting buyers from all around the world including the Bahamas! We got some really positive responses to our line. Who wouldn’t love a panda hoodie?? The best part was meeting our new rep Tony when he popped into our booth with his colorful Clawz shoes and energetic personality. We were hooked, we knew he had to be our crazyheads rep. Did I mention he’s a fan of comics and anime? He recognized our inspiration right away. Here’s a pic of us rockin’ our crazyheads at our booth.
Last month was an exciting month for me. I was invited to pitch in front of the Dragons on the CBC hit show Dragons Den. I’ll tell you how it all went but first let me go back to how it all started in the first place. As a business owner it’s a given that the must watch show for any entrepreneur is Dragons Den. I’ve been a fan since the very first season the show aired. I’ve considered going on the show for years but didn’t have the courage until last January. I heard they were doing auditions in different cities and so I decided to try out at the one in Vancouver. I arrived at 10am and there were about 40 people in front of me. It was a snowy, blustery day in downtown Vancouver. I waited for nearly 2 and a half hours before I was called on. So on my turn I stood in front of one of the producers, there were 3 auditions going on at the same time. I had a clear message of what I wanted to say during my pitch. I don’t think I was nervous, since I felt like I’ve been preparing for this day for years. And all the hard work I’ve been doing for years was all coming together into this one pitch. It felt good, very invigorating! I felt confident and knew I did my best during the auditions and whatever happens is out of my control. After that I went and had lunch with my husband.
I got the call back within a week. It was quite exciting to hear that I was selected to pitch out of thousands of people across the country who applied for the show. On top of that they were hoping that I could produce custom Dragon hoodies for the dragons. I had just over a month to prepare and get 5 custom dragon hoodies made. There was much work to be done. It would be quite a challenging task to pull off in the short time frame. We had to do everything from scratch – fabric sourcing, pattern making, grading, cutting and sewing. It was a short time frame but I managed to pull it off. The custom Dragon hoodies turned out fantastic!
I flew into Toronto the day before the taping. When I got in it was a beautiful sunny day, even warmer than Vancouver. My sister in law picked me up and then we headed downtown and checked into our hotel. The next morning when I woke up it was a snow storm. How could it have gone from 20C to zero degrees in one day? I guess that’s Toronto weather. I got to the audition on time and waited for my turn. There were 3 other pitchers in front of me. When it was my turn my heart was beating real fast, like I could literally hear it. It was quiet walking into the den, I could hear my own foot steps. As soon as I got into the den and stood on the marker, the Dragons were all there looking at me… there was no turning back.
Through it all it was an awesome experience. I was assigned a producer who was there all along. He coached me through the process, helped me with my pitch and gave me tips on how to make an awesome pitch. It was an unforgettable experience. Oh and I got this certificate, t-shirt and framed photo for being on the show. I’ll know when my episode airs 2 weeks before and I’ll be sure to let you know.
We returned to Honolulu in April for Kawaii Kon at the Hawaii Convention Center. We love doing this show not only for the obvious, being in Hawaii but we get to see all our amazing fans we’ve got to know over the years. It was great to see so many familiar faces. We had a double booth so it was packed full of Punch Brand goodies.
My friend Sherrie stopped by and snapped a picture together as well as one of our best customers Anne who brought us a gift bag of treats. Hawaiians are the nicest and most friendliest people I know. We’ve never had a customer give US a gift anywhere else! We are so grateful to have such wonderful fans and we always look forward to doing this show.
After the show, we headed to the Big Island for some R&R, I believe in work hard play hard! So we got to see the amazing volcanoes, tropical rainforest and gardens and the lovely beaches. Did I mention the food! Oh yeah we went to the Poke Shack, twice! It’s the #1 restaurant in the US on Yelp. Now I know why… So ONO- delicious!
I will be re-capping our trip to Kawaii Kon shortly… But let me enjoy this view of the palm trees first…