Vegas to us is Christmas, our time to teach, learn and create, and where we get to watch Kendall lose $100 on table games. (If you haven’t met my sister, she's the frugal one - like when we were kids she would take the money our Grandpa would give us, go to the dollar store with her $100 and buy 60 things, and have $40 left over. I would spend my $100 at the mall and have the best wardrobe around. And then she'd steal it. You see, I'm the older sister.)
Anyways, back to Vegas.
It all started when we both joined our family's business. We begged and pleaded to go to Luxury: “Dad, we can make this work!”
We just needed a shit ton of money for a booth at JCK.
Why he believed in us, we'll never know. But he did. We showed up in Vegas with 2 suitcases and a Claw Machine from craigslist.
We were in the back corner of the Luxury ball room, set up for failure. But with our wit and the claw machine, people started to notice us. By day 7 we had moved locations, stayed out too late more than once, lied about where we were staying at least a dozen times (Excalibur, $29/night, baby), and took more pictures of 60 something ladies in front of the claw machine to send to their grandchildren than we could count.
We made friends with the LeVian girls and a diamond company who laughed with (at) us.
We spit pitches and rolled our eyes at the know-it-all jewelers (people who said “you have two minutes, why should I hire you? GO!")
We played hardball.
We picked up 5 retailers that first Vegas trip, and knew we'd be back next year.
We got the letter inviting us back, with a special request to "leave all large electronic games at home." So we brought an industrial size popcorn machine (again from craigslist) instead.
Once again we made our mark, burned a few batches and made the whole place smell like Orville Redenbacher.
Last year was our third year. Another booth at Luxury. No fancy tricks, we brought folks in the old fashioned way - with booze (spiked Arnold Palmers to be precise). In addition, we made our debut at CBG. We also bulked up our staff. What started with my sister and I had grown to four sales executives and, well, our Mom (still a family business!).
While my Mom was closing deals, Kendall was dancing on stage in front of a hundred retailers. Instead of the "claw machine chicks" or "popcorn ladies" we became known as “the marketing girls.” (And guy!) People wanted what we had, because it was working for our customers!
Now its 2016…..and our Dad is finally joining us in Vegas. He's going to see for himself what his belief in us four years ago has become. We've got an eye on craigslist, but we don't need a claw machine. We'll be ourselves, make new, great partnerships, and keep working to shape the industry we love so much.
With that, I'll leave you with the sign that hangs on our office wall as we prep for Vegas:
WHY WE'RE HERE:
To make our partners fall in love or “back in love” with their business.
To build, to innovate, to test our will, and to rock this thing!
Because the world has enough accountants and lawyers.
Because we don’t wait for shit to happen, we make it happen!
We’ll see you in Las Vegas May 31 through June 6 – During the day we’ll be at CBG. At night, we’ll be at the $5 Harrah’s tables. (Kendall will have a southern accent and be singing Toby Keith songs, you can’t miss her.) I'll be rocking my side pony: