Read on to hear all about our first pop-up store experience at the Wild Spark event in Mount Isa on Friday March 8.
Our Wild Spark adventure kicked off in Brisbane on Thursday morning where I met up with my mate, Kelli Stedman (STEDMAN!). We boarded our flight to Mount Isa with about 100kg of luggage between us (yes… for only three nights) and set on our journey to meet up with our amazing friend, Edwina Pilch (Miss Bubbles) at her first Wild Spark event with Danielle Doyle (Miss Chardy).
Our arrival at Mount Isa airport was a hot one to say the least, vaguely reminiscent of when you open a fan forced oven at 180 degrees and get a warm blast of hot air straight to the face. Regardless, we were excited to be there and were ready to get cracking on the set up of our pop-up store. In no time at all, we were putting the finishing touches on the stall and decided it was time to put the nerves to rest at the local rodeo bar, Red Earth Hotel.
After awaking bright and early after an uneasy sleep on the fold out couch I was ready to face the world and embrace it like the Sunday Cowgirl that I am; with a small hangover and a large long black. We arrived at the event to be greeted by many happy faces and were excited to see the day kick off with an incredible presentation by Tahlia Nicholson from Birdsnest. Confession: I had never heard of Birdsnest! But after hearing their story, I feel that I must have been living under a rock! They have an amazing model where you can order a $1000 wardrobe, return any items you do not like and only pay for those that you keep (and by return, I mean in the pre-paid post bag that the birds in the nest provide to you… talk about convenience!). Sign me up, birds!
Tahlia was followed by another cracking speaker, Fiona Mitchell from Cloud Bookkeeping NT. For a self-confessed extreme introvert to stand in front of over 120 women with all different backgrounds (and to have shocking IT issues with the presentation not projecting), she did an amazing job. By the end of the day there was not a lady in sight that didn’t say; “I’m going home to change my password to 16 characters”. Fiona’s experience was a testament to the fact that remote living does not exclude us from running a business or supporting others who are in the same boat. Speaking of boats, you should ask Fiona how she gets her grocery order home in the wet season!
Next up was Shelly Hawkins from Trekwest whom I had the pleasure of chatting to the night before where we developed an immediate connection and fast friendship. I was already huge fan after I heard about the adventures Miss Chardy and Miss Bubbles had been on earlier in the year with Trekwest but now can’t wait to embark on my own sometime very soon!
Kirsten Smith from Skin Boss was the next to step up to the plate where she shared her amazing ‘from little things big things grow’ story which similarly to mine, involved bugging her husband enough about an idea to secure his approval! Throughout the day, I unfortunately had limited time to browse the other stalls but during Kirsten’s presentation, I vowed to track her down. When I finally got there, she was already packed up but without hesitation, was only happy to help. I came away with a pack of two divine facial oils and a nourishing body oil that I couldn’t wait to use, but in typical fashion, my daughter has already claimed them as her own. Kirsten, you’ll be hearing from me soon to order another set!
Kristy Withers from Incy Interiors was the next to blow my mind. In a no props required presentation, she explained how a small idea could show love, family and a clear vision for the solution she was using to rectify an issue that she saw within the world. I really resonated with Kristy’s journey, particularly how she started in the corporate world but found her passion for running her own business and being very good at it.
Joy McClymont from the Off the Track Training could not make it to the event in person but oozed inspiration and motivation through a very fun 10 minute video that got everyone moving. Now we know I’m built for comfort (definitely not speed), but seeing the fun she was having rubbed off on everyone else in the room. She had me punching the air above me while singing “All Fired Up” from the top of my lungs! If Joy can find time on the station between all the jobs for some self-care, surely I can too! I loved to hear how her brain works and agree with her sentiment that if your cup is not full, you aren’t able to fill the cups of others.
Miss Chardy and Miss Bubbles then kicked into panel mode where the engaged audience had the opportunity to ask the panel any questions (consisting of Shelly, Heidi from All Quotes Direct, Annabelle and Elisha from Cattle Sales and myself (definitely a ring in).
Like all good tribes, it was great to see everyone come together for the day and chip in to assist each other where required. The support both myself and our little pop-up store received was truly overwhelming; we sold out of all cowhide shoulder bags and clutches! I would like to say I had a major contribution to the sales from the day but all of the credit (for selling every single bag) goes to Kelli – an amazing friend who has always been one of my greatest supporters; you are one of a kind mate.
The weekend ceased with some amazing Thai food (shout out to RedEarth Thai), more retail therapy at Worn out West, many glasses of champagne. Most importantly though – so many laughs… mostly at a couple of inappropriate photos of Ed’s pet, Minge. I am also happy to report that I now have a ‘party tit’ (it’s the right one, the left one is for calming) – Thanks, Dan; you crack me up!
I’m truly inspired by this amazing group of women who came together at Wild Spark and am honored to have been a part of it. A massive thanks to Ed & Dan for making me feel so welcome… as Dan would say “It’s better to be born lucky than rich” and I’m certainly feeling like one very lucky cowgirl! And in case you didn’t know… Dan is “kind of a big deal”.
Please follow Wild Spark for updates as the Mount Isa event will now have a fixture on the annual calendar with more locations to be announced soon. I should also mention the amazing sponsors; RABOBANK, and Therapy Solutions because without them, this incredible event would not have been possible.
Thanks for reading, Cowgirls; I hope to see you at the next one. Amanda