I had a lot of fun, and did a ton of great business at Expo West this year. It was my 26th year or so going. Expo West is the single largest natural products trade show in the USA. There were over 80,000 attendees and about 3,500 exhibitors. I can always create reasons to not go (too busy, too far away, you know the drill…) but when I get there I’m always happy I made it. I get to see people I’ve grown up with…my brand and me! It’s serious business but it’s also like a big family reunion.
I’m happy because my people are here - the community of entrepreneurs who have chosen business as a platform “for good;” to introduce new ideas and create cultural shifts. Everything you can buy that’s natural, organic or gluten free, cleanly sourced and eco-friendly has made a splash here.
In 1992 I set up a booth and filled it with my “tiny” idea, let’s “clean up the planet one bag at a time” with reusable bags, my enthusiasm and my parents. I had an idea about a cultural shift I wanted to see. There wasn’t a category for me then. Now, there are aisles of brands for zero and waste-less living.
One thing is sure - this is a community of people who get things done. When you decide to “show up” you will find yourself being woven into communities. With a “tiny” business you get to choose the ones you want to be part of.