Monday, August 2, 2010

Gathering of the Vibes

This past weekend I attended Gathering of the Vibes, not as a vendor, but as a barefoot, sparkly, movin' to the grooves hippie, because sometimes you just need a three day party. Don't get me wrong, I would love to vend at this festival. Making sales and getting the word out about your company while rocking out with a great view of the stage sounds great, but Revel is not ready quite yet.

Altough most of the vendors had the same tye-dye, corduroy, generic hippie wears, there were a few worth mentioning. My partner Amanda and I walked up to one booth where we were each greeted with a hand massage. Aaahhhh, the ultimate sales hook, it felt so good. The owner of the company had my full attention in explaining the product, I would have listened for hours as long as that hand massage was still going on. The products are 100% natural candles, which come in many tantalizing aromas, and melt down to not wax, but to hand lotion! With an innovative, all natural, made in the U.S. product, fresh booth and packaging design, and creative and amusing logo and marketing scheme, DR. SOFSKIN'S was by far my favorite vendor.

I took a walk through the gallery of Jerry Garcia's artwork, which is impressive, but I've seen it so many times, I was itching for something new. Larry Carlson Studio was the booth that gave me the eye candy I needed. The layers of pattern and design reminded me of Shepard Fairey, except with a much more digital look. Most pieces were landscapes in beautiful colors, adjusted to help develop a unique environment.

Another designer worth checking out is Nature Girl Designs. Ruthie Lopp makes custom photo belt buckles. The designs are beautiful, but I don't think she creates them herself. Ruthie did however, come up with the process to create the belt buckle with the image, which creates a good looking, high priced product.

The thing I missed the most at this Vibes was the multiple panel canvas in the middle of the concert field. Last year one was set up and roped off to 4 or5 artists each creating their own masterpiece. It was incredible to walk by throughout the weekend and see the progress they were making.

Of course the rest of the festival was an incredible time, fun people, great music and of course good vibes. I'd have to say Zach Deputy won the spot as my favorite performer, with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings coming in second. I look forward to next year.

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