Ah Coterie. So.....for those of you who might not know what it is, the Coterie is a huge trade show where (it seems) every contemporary label in the world hawks their wares to buyers who fly in from everywhere from Kansas to Korea. There are hundreds of companies that participate, so booth location and branding can be crucial for getting buyers to take a look at your clothes. Once they're in the booth, the clothes better be good enough to hold their attention, but getting them into the booth is half the battle. So imagine my devastation when Stephanie (Gryphon's sales director) and I arrived at the show location to help set up the booth and found that we were in Siberia.
On the floorplan, the spot looked great - right next to bigger companies (who generate tons of traffic) like DVF, Theory and Iisli. But in actuality, we were facing the back end of their enormous, custom-made booths, giving us zero visibility. The show was due to start in less than 16 hours and there seemed to be no solution available! Retail is hurting everywhere, stores are buying less, I agonized over this collection to make it something I could be proud of and no one was going to see it, much less buy it.
But as I said in my first post, the devastating lows of being a garmento often come side by side with the insane highs. After getting home and pouring myself a very generous glass of wine (don't worry, I don't drink alone. My husband and our friend Glen also poured themselves generous glasses of wine), I was feeling better and had a wine-soaked positive attitude about what the next day at Coterie would bring. But, there's a twist. A very, very good twist. I get a call from the incredibly generous, miracle-working Andrew Rosen (founder and CEO of Theory, and one of my business partners). Andrew tells me to get back to the show site because he'd put into motion, a plan to cure our booth woes.
Enter David Flatt. The brilliant and resourceful Mr. Flatt builds furniture....and amazing custom booths for companies exhibiting at shows like Coterie. He always builds the Gryphon booth, but this time, HE CREATED A BOOTH OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL. Out of thin air (with Andrew's blessing), he carved us a space out of the front of the Theory booth. He punched a hole out of the front wall of the Theory booth and built us a little space that looked like it was always meant to be there.
Gryphon owes Andrew and David a HUGE thank you because this was our best Coterie show ever. We had incredible traffic throughout the show and booked our most sales at a show in the history of the company! When I came home after the first day at the show, exhausted and elated, my husband asked me how it went and I burst into tears because I was so emotional/tired/relieved. It totally freaked my husband out, until he realized I was happy, not sad. And a special thanks must also go to Graziella, who works for David and held my hand through the whole process.
Gryphon's guardian angels: David and Graziella.
We heart them. Aren't they the cutest?
me, at 1am half asleep while David's industrious team finishes building the booth.
The finished booth (that's Stephanie in the printed dress)