Okay, well first things first – As you all know, I’ve been trying to get to BurCon for quite a while now. And thanks to my family out in California, Aunt Doree and Uncle Jeff – my son Phoenix and I made it!
BurCon was an incredible opportunity because it would be my jewelry’s first West Coast exposure in the US. A completely different demographic that I’ve never had the chance to tap into and meet.
Thanks to my my family’s generosity using my ClickStartMe campaign: http://tinycs.me/9T I was able to fly over from New Jersey to Los Angeles and see a part of the country I’ve never been to. And my son has NEVER been on a plane or left the tri-state area, so this was a special treat for him as well.
This trip wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Thank you, Doree and Jeff. I love you.
My incredibly supportive husband, Merrill, as well as our oldest son David, our younger son, Jaden and our daughter, Raven all are the most amazingly understanding people on the planet and I love all of you so much!
What made the trip extra special as well was that one of my cousins from Tennessee, Alexis, and her beautiful son, Zane were going to be there as well – a rare treat getting us together!
Upon arrival, seeing my aunt, my cousin and her baby boy were a heartwarming welcome.
Unfortunately my trip was mostly business, which meant I spent most of my time at the convention working while my family took care of Phoenix. But we did sneak in some quality time together and will be doing much more of that in the upcoming months, which I look forward to more than anything!
My first night there was spent learning that the rumors of LA traffic are TRUE! We spent forever on 405N. It was literally a parking lot. For those who chose not to turn their cars off while we waited learned the hard way and there were many stalled cars once the lanes opened up again.
I arrived to the convention late, but still had JUST enough time to set up the majority of my wares. I was very excited about the new coffin jewelry boxes I hand-painted and lined them up along the front of the table.
My very patient aunt Doree waited until the vendors room closed and we went back to her home in Santa Monica.
The next day I was to get a much earlier start and Doree drove me into Burbank. It was great! Almost no traffic! For me. After Doree dropped me off, she got stuck in traffic for hours on her way to work. Sorry!! I still feel terrible about that.
It was a great day. Many people stopped by to check out my table and budget the weekend away. Everyone was trying to figure out where and what to spend their money on. There was so much great stuff around like a makeup table, movie posters, books, a rare gem jeweler, and CLIFHANGERS!
Yup – I was Clifhanging again! I had a great table lined up with Clifhanger shirts and beanies (including rocking grey ones!). My beautiful friend Shannon designed the gear and owns the company with none other than Clif Kosterman – the shirts are amazing, the beanies are rockin’ and you NEED to get the edge and WEAR THE GEAR!
Come visit the Clifhanger page at http://www.facebook.com/Clifhangers
Saturday continued to be pretty eventful for both Phoenix and me. Doree and Jeff took Phoenix to Disneyland! How cool is that?!? He refused to wear the mouse ears, but did get an awesome Jack Skellington baseball hat!
As for me, I met some guy named DJ Qualls….a few weeks ago I had tweeted DJ asking him to come by my table at BurCon so I can give him something. He replied back saying he would. Oh SURE he would!
Would you believe He SHOWED UP?! I showed him the bracelet I made for him and he asked me to put it on him, gave me a huge bear hug and a kiss. I hereby declare that DJ Qualls is one of my favorite people ever!!! What a nice guy!!!
Saturday was when things started to pick up a bit. More people arrived, the excitement was building.
You think that would be the icing on my cake of a day, right? Nope. I had dinner with one of my friends that I hadn’t ever had the pleasure to meet in person. We’d been friends via internet for years, but never had the chance to sit in a room together.
Here’s the view of the other side of the dinner table:
We had such a great time catching up and talking about our businesses, our kids, life in general. Julie Anne is the owner of http://www.personalchefapproach.com – I’m a proud member and her services have literally changed the way I cook and my family eats. If you’re a busy person – and who isn’t – this website will save you countless hours. Julie Anne has dinner all planned out for you or you can plan it out yourself with her menu builder! Check her out and tell her I sent you!
Julie Anne is extremely passionate about her membership – it’s a cyber family that she cherishes and appreciates so much!
Phoenix was absolutely beside himself to meet her – she inspired him to start his own food blog:
Sunday was a huge day because Phoenix would be with me for the day – I barely got to spend any time with him.
Phoenix was jet-lagged and a tad cranky, so I decided to take a break from the table and walk him down to the Random Acts table. Random Acts is a charity founded by Misha Collins. They had some cool activities to do at the table, so he decided to write a note in a book to Misha and color a Misha drawing in.
We made a donation and Phoenix’s name was entered into a raffle. Which he WON! Phoenix became the proud owner of a Random Acts journal signed by none other than Misha Collins!
So the lesson Phoenix learned from all of this is “get cranky and miserable and you’ll win an autographed prize from Misha Collins.” YAY!
Then it was photo op time! Phoenix was getting a trio op with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins – WOW!!
When it was his turn, he showed Misha the journal. I then asked Phoenix if he wanted me in the pic – Misha grabbed me and said, “Of course he does!” and pulled me into the shot. Then Jared tried to pull my Clifhanger beanie off my head for some reason…I’m sure the photo came out well and we’ll have it in the next few weeks.
This was Phoenix’s first photo op and he was very VERY happy.
So what were some of my big sellers? My coffin jewelry boxes were a big hit!
Some other big sellers of mine were my leather cuffs with stamped plates! Such as this one:
The highlight of my weekend? Meeting YOU!
Leah was one of the most interesting people I met – she collects quotes and gave me a couple of her faves”
“No artist tolerates reality” – Nietzsche
“Normality is a paved road – it’s comfortable to walk but no flowers grow on it” – Van Gogh
I had the incredible fortune of meeting this young woman, Shanaya Fastje. She is an accomplished author who specializes on the subject of bullying, which all of you know is near and dear to my heart. I obtained a copy of her book, “Bully in the Mirror” and am sitting down with my son to read it tonight. If you’d like more information, please read on at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanaya_Fastje
There were so many more of you – if you can send me a pic of yourself wearing the jewelry you bought from me to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll publish your photos in an upcoming post!
And next week’s feature is going to be great! It’s going to be a Featured Customer of the month starring Melstiel!! Keep your eyes on this space!
As of today, I am 30 days away from the end of my Click Start Me campaign: http://tinycs.me/9T
I will have exactly 30 days to meet my goal to raise funds which will go 100% towards building my handmade jewelry business:Eldwenne’s Fantasy
If you are in need of a gift idea this Black Friday or Cyber Monday – I have FANTASTIC offers!!!
If you donate $25 or more, you will receive a gift certificate from me worth the exact amount of your donation PLUS an additional $25!! Spend it on yourself AND use it to buy gifts – including custom orders!
If you share my Click Start Me campaign with someone who donates – they will receive a gift certificate in the appropriate amount – and YOU will receive a gift certificate for $25! It’s a win/win that costs you nothing!
My business is a primarily online presence which I am in the process of building in two ways: developing my own domain:www.eldwennesfantasy.com – which is currently under construction. In order to get the domain to a point where it provides my customers with an excellent shopping experience, it will cost me in fees and possibly bringing in developers.
The second way I am working on this is to put money into advertising on both Facebook and on Etsy.
I am also building my brand as I tour the convention circuit for Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. The travel expenses I incur just in airfare and hotel alone are vast and while I am trying to build a strong presence, I am in need of support to get me to the locations that will be successful for the business, such as the upcoming The Vampire Diaries convention in Florida in a couple of weeks.
The supplies I buy are expensive and the funding will help cover those as well.
If you donate to my campaign, know that you are investing not only in my handmade jewelry business’s future, but you are also helping a woman realize her small business dream.
Thank you for reading and sharing!
And THANK YOU to DOREE, JEFF, ALEXIS, JENNY and ZANE!! I MISS YOU GUYS!!