Friday, November 16th was such an amazing night for me. As you know, it started out with meeting and interviewing Rosie Pope, one of the sponsors of The Mother of All Baby Showers, along with small fry society, and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital. It was promised to be THE educational and celebratory event of the year for expectant and new parents in the Tampa and surrounding areas. I will tell you it did not disappoint, and delivered everything it promised, and more! For the advanced ticket price of $25, the adult only event featured a Try It Before You Buy It Area, complimentary spa services, tasty treats and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), amazing educational sessions featuring health, wellness, financial and juvenile, along with maternity products, over $20,000 in giveaways, and a three month Glazer Children’s Museum membership. Most exciting was Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels”, who would be attending the event, signing her new book, “Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy“, and speaking. For those who chose to wait to purchase tickets, missed out on the museum membership, but for $15, were given access to all of the other offerings…a great deal!
As the crowds gathered into the museum, you could see the excitement on their faces. The first 500 guests along with VIPS were lucky enough to get a swag bag, filled with products and discounts from event partners. Guests had a choice of three floors to browse from and were able to interact with over 75 businesses, all of whom were friendly, excited and ready to make an impression. As a mompreneur, it was really amazing to see how many moms had created such wonderful products and businesses to share with the world. I was off and ready to mingle, learn and have fun. Right away I noticed an amazing booth set up that I could hardly believe. Photographer, Kymberly Boswell, owner of Kymberly Boswell Photography, had set up her station to mimic someone’s living room. It was bright, inviting, and her beautiful images of tiny babies adorned the back wall. When you think of a typical booth at a trade show or event, this is not one that comes to mind…very cool. You can see the picture below:
As I was looking for a great shot to share with you all for this article, I noticed one vendor, Zippyz, who had a large crowd gathered around them. I was curious as to what the excitement was about and wandered over to investigate further. It is a footed pajama that zips from the foot to the belly, which allows you to keep your baby’s chest covered and warm, while making diaper changes quick and easy. As a mother of an eight month old, I knew this was a practical product that moms would fall in love with. In fact I loved it so much, I bought it for a friend who just had a baby. It was really nice to meet Lisa Youngelson, creator of Zippyz who actually launched her product that night. Lisa is the perfect example of why I started the Mommy Master of the Month, which I suggested she sign up for. It’s all about supporting women and their dreams, and helping to spread the word!
As I turned around, my attention was focused on Smarty Pants, a children’s boutique which offers the most beautiful clothing for little ones, along with personalized gifts, toys, hair accessories and more. I met Giselle Rosa, General Manager of the store, who was very excited about the event and meeting moms and moms to be.
Just around the corner, a really cool product, called ciao baby, caught my eye. “The-go-anywhere-highchair” is such a convenient product that is perfect for the family on-the-go. The ciao! baby folding baby chair will make travel, camping, tailgating, picnics, and trips to grandma’s house more convenient. Created by a mom of three, this product is a must have!
As I took a moment to look around and check out the scene, the venue was filled and the event looked like it was in full swing. I heard parents and parents to be talking about the latest and greatest products, Rosie Pope, the food, and more. Everyone seemed happy and enjoying themselves, including me. I decided I needed to get off my feet since they were killing me from my shoes, jot down some notes and take a few minutes to plan my next move. I headed to the second floor and it wasn’t long before I said hello to the women sitting next to me, Marisa Huffman. I asked the expecting mom what brought her to the event and she said it was the amazing products and a look into what to expect with her first child. Marisa was very excited about the bibbitec, the ultimate baby bib, that she said I definitely needed to check out. My break was soon over and I immediately headed back to the third floor to see this unique bib for myself. I was greeted by a demonstration of syrup that was promised to disappear without a sticky trail. I was so impressed with bibbitec, I wanted to help spread the word to moms around the world, so I will actually be doing a review on it soon. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that I cannot use any other bib anymore…just does not compare! I’ll tell you more about it in my review…you will definitely want one!
Next door to bibbitec was a demonstration from Baby Brezza, the one step baby food maker, where I learned all about home made baby food. I was then guided in the direction of MomTV, which helps moms all over the world stay entertained, informed and connected. I introduced myself and ended up getting interviewed by Maria Bailey on her live webcast, which enabled me to educate MomTV viewers about my children’s CD, “Music is Magical“. One lucky MomTV won a copy of my CD, which makes a great holiday gift! You can watch the interview below and learn about other great products they were also giving away:
When I finished my interview, I noticed two lovely ladies with the most inviting smiles, a few booths over. I approached the Seedlings table, introduced myself and started chatting away. For those who don’t know, Seedlings is a staple here in Tampa for modern toys and gifts.
After meeting so many people, I worked up an appetite, so I headed down to the first floor for some food and drinks. As I waited in line (which was surprisingly not long at all), I decided to interview a cute couple who were expecting. Tori Baker and her husband were looking to learn about the latest and greatest products and shared with me it was their date night, away from their two and a half year old. The adult only event was the perfect place for them! I thanked Tori and her husband and was ready to eat! There was a nice mix of food that included Subway sandwiches, PDQ chicken fingers, gazpacho soup in martini glasses and more. It was food that was quick and easy to eat, which allowed more time to visit the vendors. Before ending my culinary tour, I headed over to a booth claiming to offer “chocolate milk for grown-ups”, called Naughty Cow. I of course had to try this, especially since I am not pregnant. It was very tasty and had a kick…a nice treat. I talked with some moms who were also trying this interesting beverage and we all agreed it was really good and fun.
Now that my belly was full and I regained some energy, I wanted to start heading over to the booths I hadn’t made it to yet. On my journey, I saw a pampering booth where two women were getting their nails done and another mom to be was getting a massage. How awesome is that? The women definitely looked like they were enjoying themselves. Next I met Kate from Silly Dilly who was so enthusiastic about her business and we had such a nice conversation. Her store offers many unique, heirloom and artisan quality gifts for giddy kiddies of ALL AGES and new mamas, along with a colorful, happy cornucopia of kiddie fashion and accessories, original clothing and jewelry items for older, still giddy gals, and decorative gift items and whimsical holiday decor for the silly dilly home.
The night was going great and I was meeting and connecting with so many amazing people, including Wonder Mommy, Amy Gordon. Her goal is to help instill WONDER in every child. She accomplishes this by providing parents with inspirational ideas to create with their child, innovative ideas in child raising and WONDERful ways to connect with their family.
The time was flying by and as I looked at my watch, it was time to head down to the first floor again and visit the question and answer session with Rosie Pope, along with other reliable parenting experts and resources. The women (and men) were eager to get information and all the seats were filled. As I looked around, everyone was engaged and listening with all ears. The night was coming to a close and as did a lap one more time, I could see the tired pregnant women heading off to rest their feet and call it a night. Even though I am not expecting, I was ready to rest my feet as well. I would say the night was a success but I wanted to hear what Amy Lundy, creator of The Mother of All Baby Showers, had to say. “If the event partners and attendees were/are happy, I am too! My measure of success is their success. So far the overwhelming response has been very positive, so I’m very pleased and eager to start planning next year’s event”. When I asked how Amy thought of such a unique event, she said, “I came up with the idea because I was doing socials on a smaller scale and I knew given my events and marketing experience that I could do it on a larger scale. After surveying some businesses and my expectant and new moms, the response was overwhelming–they all wanted this event!”. Amy was right…they definitely all wanted this event and they all showed up! While the night seemed flawless, I wanted to know what changes Amy would make for similar future events. “Ideally I’d like to find a space that is only 1-2 floors so it’s a bit easier to cover all the aspects of the event within the time-frame of the event, and possibly make the event a bit longer timing-wise.” The positive aspect of the three floors was that everyone was not on top of each other, which was really nice. It never felt crowded and I never felt like I was fighting for space. On the flip side, the elevators were slow since there was such a great turn out, so at times, many people, including very pregnant women, ended up walking up and down the steps, which I’m sure was challenging. In terms of what Amy Lundy is working on next, she plans to do an event in DC in Spring 2013. Additionally, she plans to continue her Small Fry Society terms (next session starts in January) and try to incorporate Pinellas County socials in addition to her current Hillsborough county offerings.
I give The Mother of All Baby Showers two thumbs up. It was everything is promised it was going to be. It had great vendors, cool and practical products, food, drinks, giveaways and of course…Rosie Pope! Definitely a night to remember!
Thanks for reading! TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD™.