I’m shocked, and a little bummed, that 3 weeks have gone by since I headed down to Beverly Hills for the Pre Oscar Celebrity Studio. Shocked, because I can’t keep track of time anymore and bummed because I am just now forcing myself to stop and write about this amazing event. February was an outstanding month for business. We welcomed 6 new retailers and sold out of inventory faster than we could restock. Upon returning from the event, I had to spend an entire week, producing product as quickly as I could and getting orders out the door (albeit not as quickly as our normally stellar 24 hour processing – and for this, we apologize). We are experiencing the joy of growing pains.
So, this morning I sit in front of my computer, with Cafe Ibis – triple certified, organic, water processed decaf coffee (the only coffee I brew when I’m pregnant) – and an…ahem…sticky bun from St. Helena’s Model Bakery.
The excitement and anticipation leading up to Jayneoni Moore’s Pre Oscar Celebrity Studio was one of the highlights of our first year in business. Questions swarmed in our heads: who would we see? What would they think of us and our products? What is this preggo mama going to wear?! Ironically, the weeks leading up to the event produced the most sales (and an intense period of adding new retailers), which kept depleting our inventory. I remember the night before I left for the event, staying to until 1 am, with the gracious support of my parents and mother-in-law, sewing tea bags and assembling the gift sets that would be given to the celebrity attendees.
On Thursday morning, February 24, I headed south. My car was fully loaded, the rain was pouring down and all I had were my thoughts and a little Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball to keep me company. As I drove though the gorgeous country roads of Pope Valley and the Napa Valley, it seemed odd to be in this peaceful paradise that morning, knowing that I would fall asleep in downtown Beverly Hills, all abuzz with Oscar fanfare.
After 8 hours behind the wheel and a very sore behind, I arrived. It was 8pm, and my dear sister-in-law-to-be and new Public Relations guru, Lee Connolly, met me at our hotel. We quickly hurried off to see what last minute table decor we could score. We were thrilled to find a World Market still open and this is where Lee found my prized teak shower caddy, which turned out to be my favorite tabletop accessory:
We headed back to the hotel and pulled together the last minute odds and ends, made a plan for the morning, set our alarms and were instantly asleep.
The alarm woke us way too early, but the adrenaline quickly set in as I remembered just how much we had to get done that morning to be ready to flaunt our goods to the VIP list of attendees we would meet that day. We dashed out of the hotel a few minutes behind schedule and made a beeline for the flower shop we were hoping would have fresh lavender. Instead, we found these:
We arrived at the Beverly Hilton with just enough time to set up (this seemed to be my MO - just enough time!), we secured a cart for all of our boxes and gear (finally), found our table and began setting up. I was SO happy with the outcome. As I stood back and looked at our table, I was so thankful that all of the elements came together and grateful for the hard work of the people who helped pull this off:
Pam Golafshar (designer of the gorgeous signs, vertical banner, gift tags, brochures and product labels), Lee Connolly (Public Relations and my right-hand lady!), my parents (helping me with so many behind the scenes details and taking care of my boys while I was away), my mother-in-law (helping with last minute arrangements), my husband (emotional support during the chaos – while in full-time police academy)…The first day of the event was somewhat of a a whirlwind. We met so many fantastic people, took lot’s of pictures (trying to smile even though our feet were screaming in heels), and gave away lot’s of our organic goodness. I have to admit, I was excited to meet celebs, but not star-struck. Since becoming a mom, and starting a business, I have been totally out of the loop when it comes to Hollywood. I was notorious for asking Lee and our neighbors “who’s that?”… What struck me most about interacting with these VIP guests was that they are real parents with real skin issues and they were genuinely excited to try our products! We consistently heard “Wow, these are like spa products for mommy and baby!” Music to my ears… Here are a few pictures we captured of our table and products: