On the plane back to Montreal this past month of July, I felt an urge to write about the wealth of experiences our team had just been through at the Miami SwimShow. Why might you ask? Because as a young brand that is there to basically show the world who we are, events that happen during trade shows will most likely become stepping stones that will shape us and the next steps ahead for our brand. So why were we full of emotions and ideas as we flew over the USA to make our way home? Here is a glimpse of the possible feelings and happenings that can occur during a trade show.
Introducing our Miami team:
- Jasmine – Cofounder and Designer
- Elie – Cofounder and Designer
- Anni – Account Manager
- Yours truly – Cofounder and Communications Director
#1 – SHEER PRIDE
Having a booth at the biggest swimwear convention in the world is like representing your city, province or country at the Olympics. The whole world is there. It’s amazing to see brands from the four corners of the planet give what they’ve got. And boy oh boy were we proud! Our collection as well as our visuals were seriously solid (how to get there deserves a post on its own) and we all got goosebumps when we saw the larger than life images come to life in our booth. Our new home for the next four days was inviting and it rocked.
#2 – TEAM SPIRIT
These shows really get you bonding next level.
Prep night happened even though we were hungry and tired from the travel and delays, especially for Elie who was on crutches the whole time! Key tasks were split, Jasmine took us through the entire ladies collection and Elie reasserted the key features on men’s products. Catherine, our booth logistics specialist, completed the setup flawlessly even with her father who was at the hospital back home on her mind. This is what you call dedication. We were all set, ready and motivated to take on day 1!
Our models also become important team members during the show. They bring the collection to life. I personally had never seen the SS18 styles on anyone before and I sometimes had to gasp for air because of how hot they looked! To overhear our models commenting on the samples and saying that they would wear them anytime elated us! A collateral benefit is also all the free advice we get on training and nutrition behind the scenes during the course of the four days. Allowing yoga practice in the booth also made us learn a few new stretches along the way while wowing the crowds!
There is however one harder thing that goes down. In between appointments with our dear customers, part of our duties is to approach buyers passing in the isles with huge smiles and giveaways (this year’s anklets were a hit). In doing so, any ego whatsoever must be set aside. And I mean it. Just like the inflatable doll that always pops back up when it gets punched, you must humbly accept any brush-off and keep the momentum. Because you never know who you might meet. Because you know the value of what you are presenting. Because you are passionate. Because you believe. Your team members are your best allies to see you through.
#3 – THE REACTION
And here comes the biggest gift. The one that gives us wings. The oooohs and ahhhhs of buyers who see the collection for the first time fuel us with bursting and renewed energy. They remind us of why we do what we do. It’s also a time for us to listen. Are we meeting all the needs of women and men out there? How can we do it better? And if we nailed something, to better best make sure we keep it going!
#4 – MONTREAL LOVE
Some good ol’ hometown love from fellow Montrealers is so welcome at the end of a long trade show day. Everyone has been sweating it on their respective fields, so it’s great to be able to share some stories in a common language, along with a little celebratory bubbly ;)
On a side note, it’s amazing to see how many great brands and collections emerge from our beloved Montreal, bringing us back to point #1 above: sheer pride.
#5 – MIAMI ENERGY
Some places just affect, animate and energize you no matter what. With its endless sunshine, joyful vibes, latin fever and the relentless desire to go out and have a great time that it ignites, Miami is one of them. For the earlybirds, the pre-show consists of soaking up visions of the eternally colorful and cloud filled sky. In the evening, stepping out of the mega air conditioned convention center puts us straight into cocktail mood. This city makes you travel through time and the world, with its art deco architecture and its multiple languages spoken by locals and visitors from all over. The joie de vivre is contagious. You can easily understand why our new campaign was shot there! It is also a capital for self-expression in my book, where the tolerance for beach to street wear is the greatest I have ever seen ;)
On a final note, for all of the reasons above, we are already looking forward to the next edition of the Miami SwimShow!