For the second post on my new Crescent Moon Gifts blog I’d like to recap the 2010 International New Age Trade Show, or INATS for short. INATS West is held annually in Denver, CO.
It’s always held on my anniversary weekend so I usually take the hubby on a ‘workcation’. (This year we celebrated 10 years of marriage on our trip). INATS is a trade show, a place where vendors and retailers come together to network, look at new products and hopefully place lots of orders! It is also unlike any other trade show I have attended because in addition to the typical vendor booths, there are educational seminars, book signings, musical performances, amazing floral displays and special events all weekend long- it’s a trade show that is good for the soul!
Floral display with quartz crystals
It’s hard to say exactly what my favorite part of INATS was, I really enjoyed connecting with my shoppe owner family, catching up with my favorite vendors, meeting new authors and finding new music and merchandise for the store. Here’s a brief day by day with highlights:
Thursday- We flew from Seattle to Denver, everything on the flight was seamless, a good experience from boarding the plane to picking up the rental car. We checked into the hotel and grabbed a late dinner at the Cracker Barrel, I really love this restaurant and sadly there aren’t any in WA. We decided to head to Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Park, it was getting dark quick so when we arrived the almost full moon was shining magnificently!
Red Rocks moon
Friday we got an early start since it was seminar day, just like being in school again! I love to learn new things and always leave with lots of fresh ideas and inspiration to implement at the store. BTW- one of the classes was on how to start a store blog 😉 Friday night was the networking party, a chance to meet new store owners and catch up with old friends. The entertainer for the evening was Paradiso, a didgeridoo artist who was fabulous!
Saturday we were back up at 6:30am (for me that IS early!) to get an early start to the day at the COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources- a trade group I am a member of) breakfast. Speakers at the breakfast were Marianne Williamson and Denise Linn, both spoke about the general population awakening to the shift of energies that before have solely been considered “New Age”, as well as how spiritual stores are really what’s needed to rejuvenate during times of crisis. New Age is now mainstream! Not that I would say our store is a New Age one, but it’s a crossover in specific areas, and I found both speakers to be really good.
Look what Lisa Steinke painted during breakfast!
After that it was time to hit the show floor. Now being the organized shop owner I come prepared with pre-written orders for companies that I currently do business with, leaving plenty of time for book signings and checking out new things. Saturday was hectic and fast running from one signing to the next, stopping to check in with my favorite vendors and placing lots of orders. I was workin’ hard!
Me & Jacki Smith Coventry Candle Goddess
After a long day of work, it was time to attend the COVR awards banquet. Since last year at INATS I received the distinguished award of ‘Retailer of the Year’, I was asked to present the award to this years’ winner during Saturday night’s banquet & awards ceremony. Fear of public speaking aside, I happily agreed, and it actually all went very well. The entertainment for the evening awards was Arvel Bird, a very talented Native American/Scottish fiddle player. I was so impressed with his music I decided to buy most of his cd’s for the store! After dinner we went back to the hotel to look over product catalogs and once again called it an early night so we could get up very early in the morning for another author’s breakfast…
Me & Micki Bauman of Deva Designs
Sunday’s breakfast had the speakers- Joan Borysenko, Gary Zukav, and Julia Cameron. Being not so New Age myself I had never even heard of these author’s before I heard them speak. Once again I was very impressed by all three and found them to be very insightful. Now I was thinking that there would be some more books added to my reading list! It was then time to hit the show floor. The overall feel of the show was a bit more relaxed today, the highlight for Dan was talking with Stephanie Pui-Mun Law while receiving a signed copy of her new Shadowscapes Tarot, which he absolutely loves! He also picked up The Book of Witchery from Ellen Dugan while I met with Jacki Smith in the New Age Retailer booth (a trade magazine that I write for) for an Akashic records reading! It was really helpful and as always a little suprising, but apparently great things are in store for Crescent Moon Gifts, especially around February of 2011.
Me with Suzanne & Nyla of Dryad Designs
After that reading I headed down to the Dryad Design booth to sample some of their delicious new magickal chocolates! I’m SO excited to bring these into the shop, specially charged for prosperity and who couldn’t use some of that! To wrap up the end of the day there was a special event called “Connecting with the Other Side” featuring psychic mediums Lisa Williams & John Holland. (Fun fact- one of the tarot decks that I use for readings at the store is the one he created, the Psychic Tarot). I have always been skeptical of the t.v. shows so I though why not check this out live with people I know in the audience. It was one of the coolest events I have been to, and I can now say from experience that it is definitely not a hoax, and now after seeing these people in action I have decided to add a couple new books to my reading list. (Good thing I read almost nightly!) Since it was our anniversary tonight we decided to head downtown to eat at a Belgium Brewery called ‘The Cheeky Monk’ where we had lots of fabulous food and drink, if you’re ever in the Denver area I highly recommend this place, I know we’ll be going back again next year- YUM!
Monday rising early once again (spot a trend here?!) we attended the COVR board members breakfast so we could find out the inner workings of the group and see where we could be of service. Then one last stop in at the trade show.
Me & Micki Mueller artist of the Hidden Path & Well Worn Path oracles
We stopped around and said pur goodbyes to friends. I dropped off my selections for Best Of Show in the Pagan products category to my editor, then ran into Ellen Dugan as I turned the corner. We had a nice chat about the Garden Witches’ Herbal and she then showed off her garden pics to me, yep I was envious for sure! One day… Dan and I decided to stop at the Botanical Gardens on our way to the airport. Since one of my hobbies is photography I took loads of pics and got some inspiration of plants to add to my backyard. It was HOT and I must say that I was anxious to get back to the cooler weather of WA.
We arrived at the airport very early but that made for lots of time to wind down and relax while we recapped the trip. All in all I felt rejuvenated, inspired and ready to come home and implement some of the great ideas I formed while at the show. The trip home went just as well as the one there, and I got right back to work the next day. Lots of new merchandise ordered, and some products already arriving, I look forward to next year’s trip to INATS!
Whew- ok THAT was a lot of writing! I hope not too lengthy and a wee bit interesting? Seriously, let me know if you liked reading this or not, I want to write about my personal experiences but not at the expense of the reader.
As a follow up I’ll be writing some book reviews on what I added to my reading list this trip 🙂
Anubis at the Denver airport