Saturday, March 1, 2014

Caper '14 Part 1 - The Road to Vegas

As many of you know, this blog has been on hiatus ever since I started school. And for that, I apologize because I do miss the interaction. However, I have to admit, school has taken over my life in the best way possible. I have been completely immersed in the Paul Mitchell universe, and I can only hope I can stay here forever. What I'm trying to say is, I love school. So, when the time came for me to participate in a thing called Caper, I jumped in head first.

Caper is an annual event held in Las Vegas for Paul Mitchell students from all over the United States. It's part hair show, part motivational seminar, part specialized training, and part networking event. Combined, it is quite possibly the most invigorating school function ever invented. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. To get to Caper, you must sell promotional goodie bags stocked with Paul Mitchell products. This starts in October, and the idea is, you sell a certain number of bags in order to get your "ticket" to Caper. There is no actual "ticket", though. Believe me, I asked.

So, I sold the required number of bags, which wasn't all that difficult. There were seven bags to choose from, and they varied in content. For example, if you have fine hair that needs volume, there is a bag full of Extra Body products that is perfect for you. If you have a stinky but lovable dog, there's a bag with awesome pet care products (Paul Mitchell products are never tested on animals, by the way). If you're like me and your hair is, let's say "thirsty", the Tea Tree Lavender Mint products are life savers. Based on each person's needs, the sale was relatively easy. Some bags contained what we call ProTools, like a straightener/smoothing iron. That particular bag was worth 5 regular bags. Some people only focused on selling 9 of those and voila, they're all set. I took a different approach. I held lunches for my friends, visited people at their homes, pretty much made myself available to everyone and had them look at some of the bags and place orders. I wanted people to get something they would actually use, or better yet, something they could give as a great gift to a loved one.

Facebook was a great tool in selling bags. Paul Mitchell Schools' Facebook page really helped us out by posting perfectly crafted promotional pictures for us to share and there were even YouTube videos advertising the different bags. My Facebook friends would like and comment on my posts and I would follow up with them and some of them bought bags. I am pretty sure each school had a different number of bags they had to sell based on how much it would cost to send them to Las Vegas. Our magic number was 45. I reached my goal in November, which was a lot sooner than I had anticipated. But I was so happy when it was confirmed that I would be going to Caper.

Bad news was, it was November and Caper is in February. I had a whole 3 1/2 months to wait for the day to come. I mean, of course, I would get my resume and business cards together. I would make sure to get all the appropriate luggage and outfits. And I would certainly have done all my research on all the educators and professionals that would be in attendance. Oh wait, I mean I did all that at the last possible minute. I was scrambling the week before the trip for everything.

Our school owners, D'Ann Evans and Erik Pedersen made sure we had our itineraries and details a few weeks before the event. That made me feel a lot better and I loved having the schedule for each day. Even with that reassurance, I literally stayed up all night before having to be at the school at 5 am to get on the bus to Vegas. Even though I was excited, I was very anxious. I had no idea how this was all going to work, which for someone like me who likes to plan everything out, felt like a freefall. And I have to admit my anxiety was starting to creep up inside me. Fortunately, I was sitting next to Alyssa on the bus, who was just as nervous about everything as I was. We talked and calmed each other down. The bus ride went really well. I was able to sleep, we watched movies, and at a certain point we all started to do our makeup. With all the jostling the bus was doing, that was no easy task but we all did a bang up job. We looked great and were super excited!

Part 2 will be posted soon! Stay tuned!