The 12th Man

Gotta love stumbling upon a Hemp Fest during your trade show lunch break. Makes for an easy afternoon 🙂


After spending a few short days in Seattle, it’s pretty obvious why the Pacific Northwest has seen a huge influx of new residents seeking vibrant economic centers with access to Mother Nature’s majesty and consistently comfortable temperatures.

The technical reason for our journey was to exhibit at another Urban Expositions gift trade show being held at the Washington Convention Center (which is a spectacle of a structure with an incredible amount of natural light).

Made some great connections and met some really cool store owners. Ironically, in Washington of all places, we smoked alcohol for the first time. Best stick to convention… Many thanks to Laurie Block of Elope who kept us well nourished with homemade sandwiches and solicited passerbys to our booth.

Also, in case you didn’t know, Washingtonians love the Seahawks.

A few trip highlights (not necessarily with photographic evidence):

– rooftop beers 1 block from the Amazon headquarters at our friend’s $3,800/mo studio apartment while discussing how Amazon is the new Wal-Mart; bro, thank you for making that opportunity possible

– progressive social legislation and Hempfest

– purchasing another Starbucks before finishing the previous Starbucks

– meeting the Pike Place Fish Market bros

– the city itself – awesome public parks and awe-striking geography

Conclusion: the PNW is the ideal place to live in the US; better migrate fast before everyone else does! (or has already..)

West Coastin’

Beaches, hot tubs, comedy, and parking lot shot-guns all make for a superb Southern Cali excursion.

California dreamin’ finally came true as we headed out to LA for the California Gift Show hosted by Urban Expositions at the LA Convention Center.

The vibrancy in LALA land is tough to beat. So many people out away from home taking risks trying to pave an unconventional path in life. But this electricity is perfectly tempered by good, relaxed Cali vibes. It seemingly has the best of both worlds if only it didn’t cost so much to live anywhere close to the beach and car traffic didn’t exist…

Purchasing representatives from retail outlets and vendors converged, and business went down. Check out a few pix of the experience below.

A few trip highlights (not necessarily with photographic evidence):

– meeting the Senior Olympic Women’s Basketball team from New Mexico in the MSP airport; these women are our super heroes

– kickin’ it alongside the BOS Drinkware fellas who have your cocktail cup needs covered and are putting their $ toward a great cause

– appearing on Business Rockstars in Santa Monica with Nate Holzapfel from which is hosted in the old Google headquarters

– exchanging one Mini Beer Pong table to this a man named Rodney in front of the Staples Center for an idea for the next best game ever

– sitting front and center at a killer comedy show at The Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach and drinking beers in the parking lot

Finally, you’re welcome for bringing the rain, LA, at least for a couple days..

Shark Tank Audition

We’ve heard from day 1… “You should try out for Shark Tank!” Well, we did.

We’ve heard from day 1… “You should try out for Shark Tank!” Well, we did.

An open casting call happened to be held at our alma matter, so we swung in, gave our pitch, and got a call back the next day.

The casting agent then requested we make a video pitch for the producers, so we did the best we could with 1 night and limited camera battery…

…we’re still waiting for the call, ABC. (But for real… money, connections, exposure – totally overrated…)

Coincidentally, we received a call from a casting agent for an NBC show a few weeks later for a lesser well known show. We’ll see wassup wit dat wassup… Top notch performance skills must be hard to ignore!!

Shark Tank Audition
Mini Beer Pong makers Danny, Derek, and Sam at Shark Tank Audition from Minnesota Daily Newspaper.

Vegas Workation

Nelly, T-Pain, Pool Parties – now, that’s a tradeshow! Especially when you end with a wedding certificate and lower back tattoo..

Our first tradeshow experience couldn’t have been any more memorable. The Night Club and Bar show in Las Vegas had some of the most spectacular booth displays that money and creativity could produce (maybe, I don’t know, it was our first tradeshow…). Everything from energy drink Hummers to showroom rave parties, and if we would have worn only Speedos, we would have been on par for the dress code of scantily clad exhibitors.

The only downfall of this show was not having enough energy to take advantage of all the VIP passes and night life. We finally realized that pool parties are definitely the best kind of parties, hands down.

We learned a valuable trade show lesson – anti-fatigue mats are a life-saver.

A few trip highlights (not necessarily with photographic evidence):

– lounging poolside with Rachael of the I Love Wining blog who took us rookies under her wing and gave us shelter from the mayhem

– seeing Nelly and DJ Nick Cannon (yup, he’s turning tables) at the Palms pool with all the free Bud Light we could stomach

– $10 steaks and priceless characters at Ellis Island!!!

– relegating our diets to exclusively foot-long hotdogs to save green


– sleeping through the T-Pain set, the Aviici party, and some other party stuff…

– standing, walking