June 27, 2011

Licensing Expo 2011: Baby Bot Goes to Vegas

Posted by Cathy Heck

Baby Bot loved Las Vegas … the lights, the sounds, the fun. In fact, as he passed through the aisles of slot machines, he felt uncannily at home … He wondered, “When I grow up, will I be a handsome slot machine, like these popular bots?” We told him that we had higher expectations for him, and that he should continue to do his homework.


We were in Las Vegas for the Licensing Expo, so that we could introduce Baby Bot and all of his bot buddies to companies in need of cuteness. We also met lots of other characters from the world of character licensing. There were so many … but, our favorite fella (I think he was a fella) was this charming Uglydoll who kept sauntering by our booth, dancing a particularly clever jig. We thought he was amazing, particularly since the humans inside the costumes cannot see out very well. Fortunately, all the characters at the Licensing Show are provided with an escort to hold their hands and walk them around so that they don’t accidentally take down an entire booth, get lost, or faint.

This year, we were lucky to have four manning the booth. Ellen and Cathy showed portfolios, while Jim talked to anyone with contract questions. This time, we took a different Hecklette sister, Margaret, to help, and, she was a trooper. One of Margaret’s main jobs was to retrieve items we forgot from our room, which was approximately a mile away, even though it was in the same hotel as the convention center. Some of her other jobs included: set-up and take-down of the booth, replenishing our press kits, and most importantly, checking out the Janet Jackson booth periodically to see if Janet would ever appear. (If Janet appeared, it must have been during one of Margaret’s mile walks, as we never saw her.) All in all, we couldn’t have accomplished it without our extra sister. Thank you Margaret! Here are some pics Ellen took of Margaret dancing with Baby Bot. This is what happens when two sisters are slap-happy during booth set-up … and really just want to go eat supper.

After all the taping, cutting, gluing and shipping, here is a photo of our booth the night before the show opened. (You can never really tell if it is day or night in Las Vegas, which adds to the confusing pretend world that it is.) All in all, we had a great show, and met lots of new friends, and can’t wait to introduce you to our Las Vegas neighbors in the next post.

Oh, and by the way, this time, what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas. Here is our boxed booth, which just arrived back in Austin. We have some unpacking to do!

June 11, 2011

Surtex Scrapbook 2011, Part 2: A Sweet Surface

Posted by Ellen Heck


Now that Surtex is but a floral-striped-polka-dotted dream, we are following up with the new companies that stopped by our booth.  Once again, we were inspired, energized, encouraged and exhausted (in a good way).

Surtex is  a dynamic market filled with artists and licensors exhibiting the newest art and design for companies who manufacture everything from paper to pillows, dinnerware to dog collars.  We described a little bit about art licensing here. This year, we learned of yet another surface that is just waiting to be adorned with pattern: SUGAR paper for cake decorating!  What a fascinating new blend of food and technology … just imagine making art that people can gobble down with a cold glass of milk!

Above is a mockup to demonstrate the way our collection, Bouquet Garden, would look embellishing a three-tier cake, which if chosen by me, would be a Chocolate Italian Cream cake from Upper Crust in Austin, Texas. Mixing art and cake … it just doesn’t get any better than that!

Categories: about us

June 6, 2011

Surtex Neighbors Part 2: Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

Posted by Ellen Heck


We had fun meeting our new British neighbors at Surtex this year, but it was also great to catch-up with old friends from 2010.  Fellow Austinite, Laurie Wisbrun was catty-cornered to our booth again this year, showing off her new Pooches and Pickups among other collections.  Here is a photo of Laurie (right) with her friend Alison, who was helping out.

(note: While Laurie’s pooches riding in pickup truck beds are adorable, she does mention in her blog that she would never let her own pooch ride around in the back without a seat belt.  I guess she’s using artistic <driver’s> license!  yuk yuk) We can’t wait to have some good Tex-Mex with Laurie when we’re both back in Austin and have recovered from the Surtex whirlwind!

More friendly faces from last year were the Cosmo Cricket bunch – Julie and Eric Comstock, and their best friend/partner Lindsay Moore.  Last year, they were Cosmo Cricket (and still are in the scrapbooking world) but this year at Surtex, they are The Comstocks – which makes them sound even more like the superheroes they actually are.

This talented trio has some great new art to show off – I for one love the little mermaids in the “Salt Air” collection (now featured on their blog), and their new fabric group for Moda, “Circa 1934,” is sure to be a hit.  Cathy loved the way their 3D mockups have reflections under them, as if they’re sitting on shiny white tables.  We are already so excited to be next-door-neighbors with The Comstocks at Licensing show in a few short weeks!

Another busy family team and next-door neighbors from last year were Sandy Gervais and her daughter Abby.  Sandy makes quilt patterns through her own company, Pieces From My Heart and also designs fabric for Moda.  This year, the Gervais family had quite a busy end-of-May considering that Sandy had a booth at both Quilt Market (May 13-15) AND Surtex (May 15-17).  We hope you were able to have a relaxing family weekend after that, Sandy and Abby!

Last but not least, here is a photo of Cathy with long-time friend and artist, Ronnie Walter of My Friend Ronnie and Two Town Studios.  Cathy and Ronnie met at the Stationery Show over twenty years ago! (They must have been ten years old!) Ronnie and her husband, Jim, were representing Ronnie’s great group of artists at Surtex this year and will also be our neighbors at the Licensing Show next week.  We can’t wait!

June 3, 2011

Our Friendly Surtex Neighbors Part 1: From Across the Pond

Posted by Ellen Heck


This year at Surtex, we had the pleasure of finding ourselves on what could have been dubbed, “Portobello Road”, both facing and adjacent to booths from the U.K., which was a blast. Our facing neighbors, Delphine Cubitt and Kym Bowles with Diane Potter of Acanthus Design Licensing were as jolly and fun as their artwork.  (It’s always nice to be across from a booth you like, since you’ll be looking at it for three solid days!)

They also taught us New Worlders about some great energy-boosters for future trade shows: fit flops (they were wearing matching pairs) and Kendal Mint Cake, which Sir Edmund Hillary carried up Everest (because sometimes walking a trade show can seem like hiking Everest)!

Our other cheerful British neighbors were the uncle/nephew team of Portfolio Select Art Licensing.  David and Jake were so cute – and not just because of their accents.  As you can probably tell from this picture, they were great crowd-pleasers, selling work from a selection of their 54 represented artists.  (They were also the driving force behind my purchase of the official Geocaching app the day after returning from New York.  Geocaching, if you don’t already know, is a GPS-guided treasure hunt, in which you find a hidden “cache” and can track various items that are hidden inside – a bit like letterboxing.  I’m sure you’ll hear more about this later…)

Delphine, Kym, Diane, David, and Jake, we miss you already.  The best and farthest-traveled geocache we found in New York was you!

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