Twelve thousand people.
Two giant bottles of bubble soap.
A dozen (or more) coconut waters and a similar number of Wize Monkey coffee leaf teas (thanks Max and Arnault).
Twelve hours on our sore feet.
One clothesline with the most adorable baby garments in the world. Yep, we're owning that.
Add all that up and you get Vancouver's Healthy Family Expo, our first "show" of 2017 and a heck of a kiddie (and parent) party.
Last Sunday marked the 3rd annual Healthy Family Expo in Vancouver. The Expo is a tradeshow meets kids carnival that's growing rapidly in size each year.
We figured it was the perfect venue to show off our best selling, organic cotton Kids Pants in person for the first time. Yes, you read that right. While they've been available now for 6 months, because we only sell online (and through some awesome partner stores) we rarely get to interact in person with our customers. So when the opportunity presents, we get pretty excited. So excited, in fact, that we build outlandish and amazing things like trees just to make sure we put our best foot forward.
And we feel we did just that.
With a bubble machine running for the duration of the show - "baby crack" as one parent aptly pointed out - we personally introduced our Pants to thousands of people.
Here's 3 fun facts about the show.
1. A Partnership with Wawaha
A brand you should know about is Wawaha. Rachel's sister, Leilani, is the owner and designer and her products are the perfect complement to ours.
Healthy Family Expo marked the first event in which we displayed our products side by side. Her adorable, hand painted winged onesies pair perfectly with our organic cotton Baby Pants, while her pinafores act as the perfect layer come crafting time.
2. Bla Bla Dolls are the Perfect Kids Pants Models
Baby mannequins are a little scary. I think we can all agree on this. But when you're selling Baby Pants, you need to show them in action.
Enter the Bla Bla dolls.
Our daughter was gifted a Bla Bla doll and it's her absolute favorite. They're hand stitched in Peru and are built for optimal cuddling. They also come in 3 foot high options.
We reached out to our new friends at Bla Bla and before long, our ridiculously cute "mannequins" were on their way to us.
They were a massive hit, so much so that we had to tie them down because so many kids wanted to carry them around the show with them.
3. Bringing the KOOSHOO Booth to Life
"We want trees and we want to make a splash".
That's what we told our friends at Robazzo, a Victoria-based industrial design studio and home to think-it-and-we'll-build-it genius designers.
That conversation took place 12 days before Healthy Family Expo was to kick off in Vancouver.
A plan was hatched to use pvc piping, 3D printing, laser-cut wood and some extra fabric to bring trees to life - well, almost to life. We then spent several days refining the concept, using the ultimate designer, mother nature, as reference. We eventually agreed on a maple-like tree that would both represent the natural world that our fabrics and processes so celebrate and provide the center-of-balance required for a clothesline.
When we launched our super-popular Kids Pants via crowd-funding campaign, one picture captured the cuteness and ode-to-nature that the pants represent better than any other. That picture was shot of our Kids Pants blowing in the breeze of a Norfolk Island's summer day (our happy place)!
From there the concept was taken to the 3D printer and the mind-bending math skills of the team at Robazzo. Every joint you see in the trees above took about 20 hours of printing and, given our tight timelines, we didn't have room for a 20-hour mistake. To make matters more complex, as the tree moves upwards the PVC gets smaller. This is so that the smaller pieces could be "nested" inside the larger ones for ease of packing. While this intuitively makes sense, it also greatly complicates the math involved in 3D printing joints that fit just the right amount of snug.
With the joints printing away, attention was turned to both the "bark" and the leaves.
For the bark, Robazzo found a gorgeous white and gold fabric that resembled the natural color-blending of a birch tree. With every piece of PVC cut exactly to size, the team then used the fabric to wrap the PVC to brilliant effect.
The leaves were then designed with both the symmetry and irregularity of nature (I know that's counter-intuitive but look at a leaf and you'll see the magic that I mean), laser-cut from wood and then painted.
With bags packed to the roof, we arrived at Robazzo's studio at 10am on Thursday, just 3 hours before our ferry departed to Vancouver for the show. The Robazzo team had been up late printing and piecing together the final elements of the trees and this is the brilliant sight we walked into that morning:
To see them in real life (and us!) find us this summer at Victoria Car Free Day, Whistler Wanderlust and elsewhere.
And the Winner of the $50 Gift Card is
During the Expo we had a sign up sheet going for a giveaway of a pair of Kids Pants. Thank you to everyone that entered.
Yesterday we randomly drew a winner and the lucky person is Na Li. Congratulations Na, we hope you absolutely love the baby pants you'll be picking out.
Thanks to everyone that came out. Look forward to seeing you again soon!