After an incredibly busy 2010 leading up to the launch of Portobello West, we ended up having a wonderful weekend introducing our baby to the world through the inaugural spring market in Vancouver. When we conceived our brand concept last August, I don't think any of us thought we would make such great strides and actually be in business for the spring. Even when we booked our booth, we were taking a risk that we wouldn't be ready in time. Actually, we weren't ready in time. But you have to start somewhere!
For the days leading up to the market, we had very limited product and were camped out at our local manufacturing office, cracking whips and plying our team with cookies and other bribes, in the hopes to have product to sell. In the wee hours, we were threading organic yarn in our recycled hangtags and snapping photos of our own babies for our display. In the end, we all took a much needed breather (except for Rachel who we have discovered doesn't breathe for the 12 hours prior to launch).
The show was such a proud moment. Anna walked in with boxes of fresh product so we had eight of our Originals on display including two of our favorites for boys. We had to wait until day two to show off our line of ruffled organic bloomers in our Naturally Dressed line, but what a day to see almost half the stock dwindle before we could even tag them and put them on the table.
I think my highlight was watching the faces as people registered just what our brand is offering. Their eyes drift across the clean white table to the twill clothesline dotted with different styles of playpants. They stop in their tracks (and not just moms and grandmoms... men, children, and animals too). They move to touch and pick up a teeny tiny size 1 pant off the table. And then you hear it. The gush. The sigh. The squeal of pure delight to witness such impossible cuteness. One expectant father became quite passionate about choosing the best print for his son due in April. His wife was about to purchase a pair of "News" originals and he felt strongly that "Lawn" would be more stylish, and perhaps slimming. It was such fun to participate in the decision making and listen to feedback. I'm not sure the word Cute has ever been used so much in the course of 48 hours. Knowing you can put a smile and laugh on someone's face before even talking to them about your product is such a thrill. I am now addicted to that rush and can't wait to hear your stories as we bloom together.