The minute I heard there was a trade show dedicated to makeup I had to check it out!
And check it out, I did!
First off, let me tell you a little bit about this fabulous event!
The International Makeup Artist Trade Show is the make-up world’s biggest gathering.
Thousands of make-up artists, exhibitors and enthusiasts discuss, display and collect the best the industry has to offer.
Before IMATS, there were no trade shows specifically designed for make-up artists, although cosmetic companies had expressed a desire for such an event.
In response, Emmy Award-winning make-up artist and Make-Up Artist magazine publisher Michael Key held the first IMATS in August 1997 in Los Angeles.
It allowed artists to customize what they wanted to see and it offered a diverse mix of products, demonstrations and education from industry leaders.
IMATS expanded to Europe in 2002, with the debut of IMATS London.
Continuing this commitment to artists around the world, Make-Up Artist magazine acquired the Canadian Makeup Show in 2009 and launched IMATS Toronto.
That same year IMATS Sydney launched, and in 2010, IMATS Vancouver, British Columbia debuted.
Since Vancouver is the closest city to us, my husband, Sheldon, and I decided to make a summer vacation out of it in 2011.
The trade show blew my mind.
That whole vacation was actually so great, we got to see Florence and the Machine live (which I highly recommend, she is unreal live).
Sidetracked, back to the IMATS event.
The quality of brands represented there were amazing including Ben Nye, Makeup Forever and Eve Pearl.
Tyra Bank’s personal makeup artist was even there as a guest and did a live tutorial on the main stage.
It was so cool to watch him work!
When I started my business with Younique, Sheldon and I knew we wanted to make a splash in the makeup industry and get this amazing brand in the hands of top artists.
So my wonderfully supportive husband instantly thought of IMATS!
He started to get things in motion and found who the contacts were that booked the vendors.
We applied and were accepted!!
Younique was going to IMATS and I was the one representing it there!
I was so excited for this incredible opportunity, a little freaked out too to be honest!
But since I love the brand so much, I knew this was a great place to share my passion for high quality makeup!
So May 29, 2015, Sheldon and I flew to Vancouver.
First time away from our daughter (so tough!).
You should have seen the amount of luggage we had!
And it wasn’t for clothes!
We had one carry on for clothes.
Our three other HUGE suitcases (hello checked baggage fees…) were full of stock, signs and samples.
And I mean FULL!
Friday night, we walked over to the convention centre and checked out our table.
I remember feeling such a surreal moment standing there with all these other huge brands.
I have had some pretty cool moments in my business, from promotions, to meeting amazing women, building a team with friends, all so amazing.
But this was just surreal.
We woke up early Saturday morning, grabbed our much needed Starbucks and headed over (with our 3 gigantic suitcases)…
I set up product, while Sheldon set up our banners and signs.
Our table looked so YOUNIQUE!!
The doors opened to the public and ZOOM…the day flew by!
I could talk makeup and our great products all day and that’s exactly what I did for two days straight!
Sheldon would walk around and hand our info cards and direct customers over to me where I showcased what we had to offer.
I know what you are wondering! Was it successful?!
Well let’s just say we took three EMPTY suitcases home with us!!
We completely sold out of all our stock!!
it was so incredible and so rewarding!
People were so excited to see us there and snatched up our products to take home with them.
Our top seller?
Our 3D Fiber Lash Mascara and our Stiff upper lip lip stain.
Our feet were sore, our throats dry and our hearts were full!!
Full of love for this incredible weekend and the confidence!
I came home a way more confident women and business owner!
With a response like that from some of the makeup industries top artists?
I mean we SOLD OUT!!
I knew we were onto something very special.
Did I mention that the headliner for that year was Joel Harlow?
Yup, Johnny Depp’s personal makeup artist.
So I see Joel walking around among the tables and I point him out to Sheldon.
My husband, being a very outgoing guy, strikes up a conversation with Joel when he walks by our table.
I introduce myself (barely, talk about star struck!).
Joel notices our banners and asks me about the line.
I show him the mascara and BOOM!
He buys one for his fiancé.
JOHNNY DEPP’S MAKEUP ARTIST BUYS A MASCARA FROM ME!
Then as we are leaving for the evening, we run into Liza Coggins. Craig Furguson’s makeup artist and Sports Illustrated Swim Suit artist for five years.
We are now friends on Instagram and connect often.
Is this real life?
Yes, yes it is! When you put yourself out there, even when it’s scary and unsure, incredible things happen.
I will never ever forget Sheldon’s and mine IMATS experience.
You might even see us there again in 2017…