For the last 6 months, we have been planning and organising our trip to one of the biggest wholesale events in the world… NY Now! And as it was our first ever trade show, quite a hefty amount of time went into getting ready for it, from everyone in the team!
Anyway with the help from the marketing girls in America, our artisans in Kenya, and the Nairobi office team we were finally ready to go!
Katie and I took off from JKIA late afternoon on the 3rd of February and over 24 hours later we landed in sub-zero New York!
While we were frozen and quite frankly very ill-prepared for the -8 temperature there was no time to stop, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and went straight down to the Javits center where the event was happening!
When we arrived our booth had already been kindly painted for us! We were located in the “Rising Artisan” area which meant pretty much everyone there was new to NY Now. One of the most helpful parts about being a rising artisan and something that the event should be highly praised on is how helpful and hands-on they are with us newbies!
Anyway, the next thing we had to do was put up our shelves with the help of Helen (who was looking after the rising artisans) and her brother Zak.
Katie and I had planned our booth design weeks before the event but we ended up making a few changes so it complemented our flip flop art!
We headed back to the hotel once our booth was ready and hopped into bed for a very well-needed rest!
NY Now had arrived and so we filled up on delicious waffles and coffee for breakfast before heading back into the cold.
The whole event took part over 4 very busy days. We met some incredible and interesting people, many of whom will be selling Ocean Sole art in their shops and museum stores! Katie and I learned so much, not only from the people we met and spoke to but from the event and other exhibitors too! Which really was one of the most priceless parts of NY Now!
Interestingly, a lot of more people than we would have first thought actually knew or had heard about us. Which of course is great news. But what was quite shocking was the number of people who were surprised or had no idea about how extreme the levels of flip flop pollution there are around the world!
While we worked very hard, we also enjoyed New York as much as we could in our free time! One evening we even managed to get to broadway and watch American Utopia, which we loved!
Strolls around Central Park and eating $1 slices of pizza were some of our highlights from our short trip.
It was so super to meet everyone there and we hope we have made lifetime connections and definitely unforgettable memories!
Most importantly, we are so excited to work with our new wholesalers from around America! If you would like to become an Ocean Sole wholesaler please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org