In July, two members of our team left for Las Vegas to attend the Las Vegas Market held at the World Market Center. For the next three days, they shared our mission and told their stories to multiple wholesale buyers to help expand the Labyrinth Made Goods community. Continue reading for the story by Katie Ishizaka, our Digital Marketing Assistant, as she details her experience at the Las Vegas Market with Shay Tolise, our Sales Assistant.
For those who do not know, The Las Vegas Market is a major trade show for home, gift, and lifestyle industries held at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. Labyrinth Made Goods was invited to attend for the first time as an exhibitor by Keena Co., the woman-owned, brand representative company that has been a major contributor to the sharing of our story and products across the Western states.
Not only did the Keena Co. team make Labyrinth Made Goods’ first showroom event incredibly welcoming, but their profound support of our mission and products truly made our experience so memorable. When Shay and I first arrived at the Keena showroom, we were greeted almost immediately by Keena’s showroom representatives, the showroom designer who put together our beautiful display, and the showroom manager. Almost everyone already knew Shay from other meetings and presentations she had given to their team, and they were absolutely ecstatic to finally meet her in person. She was like a celebrity in the showroom! Shay seemed a little shy after getting so much attention, but I loved every second of it! Shay was getting the attention and recognition she deserved after all she has accomplished, and I just sat back and watched proudly.
Every day felt like a party in the showroom with amazing music playing, and delicious food and drinks provided by Keena. Co. Shay and I didn’t know what to expect during our days at the market since it was our first time at a wholesale showroom event for both of us, but we were pleasantly surprised by the whole experience and were guided every step of the way by the Keena Co. team. By the last day, Shay and I didn’t want to leave!
Katie with some of the Keena Co. sales team
Shay and I spoke to many wholesale buyers throughout the three days we were there. It was a truly gratifying experience to see buyers want to wholeheartedly support Labyrinth Made Goods after learning our mission and hearing stories like Shay’s.
I remember one specific moment with a buyer that made me so proud to be part of the Labyrinth Made Goods team and it was while Shay was sharing her story as a woman who has experienced incarceration.
Being vulnerable and sharing a piece of your history with a stranger is definitely not an easy thing to do. But with Shay, it was as if she wasn’t afraid to tell her story because it showed how far she has come and how much she has accomplished since then. She radiated this sense of perseverance and strength as she shared her story and I truly believe that the buyer saw that too because they did not hesitate to make an order.
Shay representing us in front of our #LVMarket Display
Moments like those underscored the importance of our mission behind Labyrinth Made Goods. We were not only there to exhibit the quality of our hand-crafted, bespoke candles, but, most importantly, we were there to show that we are more than an ordinary candle company. We are a business with a mission to change the narrative for women who have experienced incarceration and create the opportunities they need to thrive in society.
Labyrinth Made Goods exists to amplify the voices of women who have experienced incarceration and be an outlet for them so they can be seen, heard, and valued.
The Las Vegas Market was the perfect opportunity to expand our Labyrinth Made Goods community, tell our stories and mission, and also spread awareness that the lack of equitable opportunities for women who have experienced incarceration in society is a social issue that we all need to address.
Through Shay’s powerful storytelling and the help of the amazing Keena Co. team, we were able to connect with multiple buyers and companies from around the country and we hope that through these connections we will, not only increase sales of our products, but also strengthen our Labyrinth Made Goods community. By spreading awareness of our mission to create opportunities women who have experienced incarceration, we hope to reach other women who have experienced incarceration so they can know they are not alone and that there are organizations that will invest in them so they can feel seen, heard, and empowered.
Events like the Las Vegas Market are the perfect opportunity for us to connect to new customers in broader locations and demonstrate to them the standard that our company works to, both in the terms of our products and our professional development programs. Through these events, we are slowly expanding the Labyrinth Made Goods community and shedding light on the largely overlooked systematic problem of women who have experienced incarceration being ostracized and oppressed in society because of their past.
And with the help of our supporters like you, we are able to continue investing in opportunities for professional and personal growth for our staff by sending them to events like the Las Vegas Market. Not only does attending these events help us increase sales and revenues, and get us closer to sustainability, but they also provide crucial opportunities for staff and apprentices to have real opportunities to network with and learn from other professionals. We couldn’t do it without our loyal customers who return to buy candles for themselves and gifts for others and we DEFINITELY couldn’t do it without the resilience and fearlessness of women like Shay who are willing to step up to new, exciting opportunities and believe that through those opportunities, we can build a different, more equitable future for women who’ve experienced incarceration.