Earlier this month I was lucky enough to attend Indie Expo Canada in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as official press.
In part one of my post – I did an event overview and highlighted all of the amazing vendors who came. In this post I’d like to give you a real feel for what it was like at the Hyatt Regency.
When you first exit the elevator on the mezzanine level of the Hyatt, the attention to detail and love that has gone into the planning of this event is apparent:
There are tables set up for ticket holders and for people to place bids on the silent auction for Paint it Forward – a platform dedicated to raising money and awareness for charitable organizations. For the silent auction, Pam (creator of Girly Bits Cosmetics and organizer of all things Indie Expo – with a strong support team of course) has chosen The Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre as the recipient. So many amazing brands made prize donations! You can check them out here: 2017 Contributors. More on the silent auction later!
When the doors opened for the early-admittance VIP ticket holders, the crowd was a-buzz! Lines formed everywhere!
During this open shop marketplace, I got to meet some amazing people!!!!
Then I got to meet Pam herself! I’ve been wearing her polish for years. It was like meeting some kind of superstar!
Katie from Harlow & Co. was there (with her hubby too!!!) And let me tell you she is just the cutest and sweetest ever! She sidled up to me and I swear she could have been wearing a trenchcoat and sunglasses disguise as she opened up what looked like a black leather brief case containing the newest ILNP collection – and she let me pick one! I’ll have swatches in the near future!!!
Next I ran into the beautiful @nailexperiments – I think I found my nail sister here!!!
I SnapChatted our meeting!!!
In the midst of all of the shopping and selfies and networking, tutorial tables by some amazing bloggers were happening on the right ide of the grand ballroom. I managed to catch some of them!
Elena from @nailexperiments taught Special Effects Powders using various Girly Bits products!
I even gave it a whirl and created a multi-chrome to multi-chrome gradient on a test nail! Thanks for showing me the ropes Elena!
Watermarbling with Melissa from @honeybee_nails.
Stamping 101 with Jenne from @polishedpathology!
Tammy from @canadiannailfanatic taught advanced stamping!!!!
Pam made them their special tutorial tees – basic black with their names in holo! They were amazing!
They discussed the importance of indie brands in the nail and beauty communities, and the impact and influence they have on both consumers and mainstream beauty industries. It was very inspiring to it and listen to them discuss the indie industry – we gained some personal insight into them as people as well as businesswomen and social media influencers. I thought it was a very lovely touch that fit in with the event theme very nicely!
For the second half of the day, Pam’s daughter Jen Knight and her bandmate played for the crowd. She’s a crazy talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist!!!!
And finally we are closing in on the end of the day and the silent auction. The best thing about the Paint if Forward foundation is 100% of the proceeds go to the recipients!!! That means that 100% of the money raised from this silent auction will be going to Mount Sinai.
None of this could have been possible without the generosity of SO MANY PEOPLE! So thank you all for your kindness!
NEWS ALERT!!! In the middle of typing up this post I received the donation total!!!! Thanks to all of the vendors who donated prizes and the people who opened up their wallets and hearts to bid on them, a donation of $1857 CAD will be made to Mount Sinai on behalf of the Paint it Forward foundation. That’s incredible!!!!!! I am constantly amazed by the kindness and generosity of the indie nail and beauty community!
It was a whirlwind of a weekend but it was truly one I will never forget! I hope there are many many more like this. I consider myself blessed to be involved in what is one of the most supportive, kind, generous communities out there. I’m sure you agree with me! I hope you enjoyed my coverage of this inaugural event and perhaps I will see you next year!!!! Until next time, happy painting!