For the past twenty years I’ve wanted to go to The Southern Women’s Show but somehow never got around to it. This past weekend I finally got the chance to attend by way of a ticket given as thanks for a gratis editing job I performed.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since this discreet sign was posted at the entrance.
I decided to start at one end of the show and walk up and down every aisle, regardless of what was featured. Think themed lanes featuring Shopping! Food! Fashion! Health! Beauty! Fun! by way of hundreds of vendors selling everything from gutter protection to period panties. DO NOT ASK.
What the advertisements failed to mention was Beverages!…and lots of them. I knew southern women liked to drink on Saturday night but was surprised to learn that they also drink – and quite a bit – on Sunday afternoons as well.
Each corner of the convention center featured a stage where show goers could take part in fashion shows, entertainment, or contests throughout the day. I opted out of the Frozen sing-a-long with Elsa, and missed the hands-on cake decorating session by minutes but was just in time to sample the leftover icing disasters. Yum!
Right across from the cake decorating stage on Weight Loss Lane was the ‘Body Shaper’ booth. Fifty years ago women swore by the vibrating belt machine and this past weekend had them lining up to shake it off because”10 minutes on the machine equals 1 hour on a treadmill”. If only.
Power Hoopz, on the other hand, might legitimately help you to lose weight assuming you are coordinated enough to use a hula hoop. Unfortunately for me, and many other southern women in attendance, this was not the case.
Weight Loss Lane flowed into three successive avenues of Food! Free Samples! and Kitchen Gadgets! galore. I believe this man was a ‘Stepford Chef’ because his doppelgängers manned almost every demo booth from ‘never dull’ knives to ‘healing cut mats’.
According to the thousands of dish towels on display, southern women really love their cats, dogs, daughters, friends, beer…
…and wine. Conveniently located at the start of Home Decor Drive, the Little Black Dress Wines staff were kept busy handing out some very generous vino samples. Sadly, seconds were not allowed (or at least not immediately).
The Wreath Stand won the 2016 ‘Best of Show’ award. Who knew there were prizes? It was one of the few booths I did more than glance at, in part because the products were so attractively staged I had to browse.
Next up, Fashion Avenue. My happy place. I really liked the simple strong graphics on these bags.
I love me a good t-shirt (see some of my favorites here) so I made a beeline for this booth. Have you heard about Project 615? It’s a company founded on helping those who are on the path of recovery from homelessness, addiction and mental illness. The t-shirts are epic and their ministry is even better.
How perfect is this Project 615 T for any one who considers themselves to be a Southern Woman (or Man)?
Towards the end of the fashion section I noticed The Funky Knit Skirt backdrop. I regret not getting to speak with Stephanie, the owner/designer/seamster of gigiCreations, about her skirts. I always get inspired when I meet other women who are juggling life’s demands while pursuing their creative dreams. From personal experience it’s not the easiest thing to do.
Having seen it all I was ready to call it a day. The nearest exit was right past the last event stage, where Zoolander’s double was busy making a few lucky southern women even more beautiful. This guy was having so much fun entertaining the audience while snipping away that I couldn’t help but grin. When he saw me point my camera at him he went ‘Vogue’. His Blue Steel pose was was the perfect ending to my southern afternoon.