I started off the new year in Los Angeles, I had traveled out for a big business trip that came a little unexpectedly. My menswear line had been producing their products in Bandung, Indonesia through a small brand and manufacturer called Applecoast Indonesia. Over the previous year myself and the owner, Digong, became pretty familiar with each through constant emails and texts. He was excited to be working for an American company, and was eager to get more business in the states so he had asked me about tradeshows in my country. I told him I had heard of a few, but especially one called Agenda Show, so he dropped the cash on a booth, hired me and my business partner on as a sales reps, and we flew out to meet each other in LA.
My business partner, Frank, and I caught a plane on New Years Eve and found ourselves in LAX, bustling around in search for where ever Digong could be. It took us almost 20 minutes to find his terminal, weaving through people and their families. Eventually, we found him, nearly hidden behind the amounts of luggage that surrounded him. He greeted us with a big smile and a handshake. We spent the next half hour chatting in a Starbucks, in the foreign sector of the airport, discussing some general business ideas and then we told him how to get to his hotel. We left shortly after the talk to settle down in our own apartment and go to a concert to ring in the new year.
After a couple days of preparation (buying hangers, business talk, eating Indonesian food, converting money, and numerous other things that might eventually make it into their own blog post) we where ready to hit Agenda Trade Show. Frank and I met up with Digong at his hotel where we picked up all of the shirts, jackets, hats, backpacks, bags, and denim to carry over to the convention center. With no car or cart to carry the items on we used our luggage and bodies to move the gear. Needless to say it took a couple trips.
Once we got it all in our booth we had to steam and prepare all of the items for showcase. The event space was huge, hundreds of people where pouring in just for set up day. After several hours we steamed the shirts, stuffed the bags, and organized all the displays. The next day two days would be some of the biggest in my life, I would be working next to designers, owners, and all others sorts of artists who I had looked up to for years. It really hadn’t even crossed my mind that I would be missing out on a couple days of class, but I knew it would be worth it.