Yes, you should read that title like Dorothy would “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears OH MY!”
This year started on a whirlwind for me, chock-full of new experiences, new adventures, and opportunities to learn from the BEST in the industry.
My business was started with pin-money. As a stay-at-home Mom, the budget was tight. Try as I might, events and tradeshows were out of my reach. Any leftover pennies after expenses went right back into the business, and/or was spent on my kids. Of course, right? I would troll the nail tech forums, and facebook feed for news of these events. Living vicariously through my peers, envious but at the same time so very happy for them.
I would glow with excitement, reading their own posts and looking at their pictures. Ohhh how inspiring and motivating it all was and is. But all I could do was watch from the outside, and tell myself one day. One day, it’ll be me.
This year in March I was invited to join Jim & Linday Nordstrom of Famous Names at ABS in Chicago. I can only think of two words to describe it.
Hardly poetic, sorry about that. But it was OVERWHELMING from the get-go. Even from my plane, flying over Chicago, I was surprised at how very very large the city was. I had absolutely no idea what I was in for.
Then I arrived at ABS. Oh my. Nothing at all like the Montreal Hair Show I went to when I was taking my Cosmetology course over 20yrs ago. Oh no…. MUCH MUCH BIGGER.
It is attended by THOUSANDS per DAY! For my very first trip, it was like going to Disney Land 🙂
It was kind of ‘trial by fire’. Why learn to swim in the kiddie pool? Oh heck no, let’s try the ocean without our little ‘swimmers’ on our arms! At least that’s how it seemed. I’m prone to getting lost in a paper bag – I am geographically challenged as all my close friends and family know. I wasn’t afraid though. Excited, anxious, but unafraid. That’s what Google-maps are for 😉 Added to that, I’ve never been around such a large population. I thought Montreal was big. Ummm apparently NOT. hahahaha As it turns out – no whales or sharks. Just lots and lots of Dolphins! Everyone was so very nice and great fun. Meeting Industry icons and mentors was the icing on the cake in every sense of the word.
Since ABS, I’ve attended a couple of other events and who knows what I’ll do in the future. I do know that ABS left it’s mark on me. It filled me with renewed passion for the industry. I see everything very differently now. I learned a lot, and there’s still more to learn. Looking back to last March, I feel like a different person.
So if you haven’t attended a tradeshow yet; my advice is DO IT. Find a way. It’s a whole new world out there.