The best part of ABC Kids Expo, the largest Juvenile Products Convention in the US- is not seeing all of the new products. For me, the highlight of ABC Kids Expo is meeting the faces behind the name.
Unless you were there or have been before it is impossible to grasp the enormity that is ABC Kids. This was my second year attending; my first time was in 2009 when the conference was in Las Vegas. This year it was held in Louisville, Kentucky. Again, I brought my nursling. Everett is 11 months old and still very much dependent on Mommy. I assumed, like his brother in 2009, that Everett would ride in a carrier and nap on me when he needed it. I also assumed he would nurse in the carrier like we have done a million times before. I was wrong.
Poor Everett wasn’t happy at the conference. He refused to be worn more than a few minutes at a time. He wouldn’t nap, and he would only nurse in the quietest of rooms with no one around. We survived, but it was tough. I only had a few days to meet with the close 80 booths I had planned to visit, and at least 30 were cloth diaper related. Luckily my friend Emily from Giving Diapers, Giving Hope was there with me. She was an enormous help. I’m not sure what I would have done without her.
On Day 1 my first stop was at the Pumpease booth but Wendy had stepped out so I ran to the bumGenius booth to get to see their new Freetime, Flip Trainer, and the new colors and prints in person. I have met Jenn, Heather, and Libby before but as always it was good to see them.
I have been tweeting with @HygeiaKate for years and I feel like we have known each other for a lifetime. Kate was a MUST MEET on my list so I hit the Hygeia booth, which was also a beautiful nursing area, and gave lots of hugs to Kate and Syliva (who I met at the HauteGreen Party in San Diego last month.) I finally got to meet Wendy of Pumpease that day as well! Lara (@mamapeardesigns) was working the Pumpease booth and it was fun to see her again too.
Another long time Twitter friend on my list was Marissa Evans, former owner of Growing Green Bums. Funny enough, we were supposed to be roomates for the 2010 ABC Kids Expo, but that was before I found out that Everett was due the same day as the Expo started. Her new baby, born at home not long ago, was snuggled in his Moby and she was so sweet and as nice as I pictured in person.
Amy from Just West of Crunchy was there as well. It was awesome to meet her and her adorable daughter (seriously, she is just beautiful) and I hate that we didn’t get a picture together! She had a ton of fun playing with my Everett and I think she has the baby fever now!
I ran into to Emi from The Cloth Diaper Report in the nursing room while I tried on a few nursing bras. She basically saw me nude at our first meeting!
Allison from Nummies Bras was so busy! I am so sad I couldn’t chat with her more. I love her tweets and she is just the nicest person on Twitter and in real life. The good news is that every time I passed her booth she was talking to buyers, but that also meant I didn’t get to stop in.
I met Tereson Dupuy, inventor of Fuzibunz, and she showed us around the new products coming from the brand.
On Sunday I was able to meet Kim Ormsby, the woman behind GroVia. It was so cool to tell her that her product, Gro Baby, was my first video review and the inspirtation behind what I do today. I’m really excited about their new training pant and I think it is going to be a hit. I also got to peek at Sully, who is just a few months younger than Everett. He was sleeping in his stroller and cuddled up with his blanket. So sweet!
I am a HUGE fan of Mommy Necklaces, and have been for years since becoming a mom. I’ve emailed Raelynn, the woman behind the brand, many times. She was one of the first brands to work with me on a giveaway when I started blogging many years ago. That has always meant a lot to me. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to meet her and talk with her about Mommy Necklaces, their stellar values and customer service, their beautiful photography, and grandmothers. Raelynn and I have a lot in common. I’ll also be hosting a special giveaway for their newest nursing necklace soon.
You know @BabyGuyNYC? I ran into him too! He is tall and handsome and too funny! This guy knows his baby stuff!
It was great to run into the retailers I know from Twitter that recognized me. Then, I got to reunite with old friends like Calley (@TheEcoChic), Katie (@KatiePickles), and Deirdrea (@HotMamaGowns). Deirdra is so great and the lip balm she was giving out was probably the best booth swag there! I am using it all the time now!
The people I got to hang out with over the last few days are some of the most talented, sweet, and amazing people on the planet! If only ABC was every day, but without the sore feet, bad food, and sketchy convention center staff….
It is going to take some time to recover from this trip and the RDIA meetings that end tomorrow. I have so much to share still! I know I am forgetting people but please forgive me, I am exhausted and packing for my flight tomorrow!