This year, Shecky's switched venues from the venerable
Moore Building downtown to the Catalina Hotel on Miami Beach.
Parking-wise, it sucked about the same - downtown Miami and South Beach
aren't exactly known for their easy parking situations. In terms of
layout, this beauty blogger prefers the Moore. Giving each vendor their
own little space illustrated two things - First, the rooms at the Catalina
are teeny, and second, shopping is best done in an open and free-flowing,
rather than enclosed and confining space. Rooms were either crowded
beyond belief, or seemed echoingly empty. The three-storey maze-like
setup seemed to prove to some vendors' disadvantage, especially when a
rumor that no vendors were on the third floor proved to be false. A
little map would have helped, or at least signs indicating which way to
go. And having the gift bags all the way at the back of the venue by
the pool proved to be super annoying when the gift bag guardians
started getting stroppy about collecting their tickets.
Honey Shine was held in a very curious location - a mansion far off the
beaten path, in Pinecrest. Parking was free but quite honestly, the
sheer number of shopaholic, cell-phone obsessed housewives driving
giant SUVs along the narrow street made navigation difficult. The
layout of the venue turned out to be quirky and fun. Vendors were
simply everywhere - tables were set up in the living room, all along
the back patio, out front, in the enormous kitchen space, and
hilariously enough - even in the bathroom, which boasted huge mirrors
and the biggest shower stall we've ever personally laid eyes on. But
the at-home setting and lack of walls dividing the vendors from each
other made for a better browsing experience. Honey Shine won this
Shecky's being a known quantity, means a collection of
vendors who are well known - it seemed almost everyone had a print out
from Daily Candy or a page from In Style or Allure to brag about. The
available items included timeless and lovely jewelry by Louisiana
Sin, to Atlanta's Beryl Blush
Blond. The usual laser hair removal and Botox-shilling
vendors actively courted customers with offers of steep discounts,
there were purses galore, and I personally was enthralled by the skills
of JFishKicks. Local
entrepreneur Jason Fishbein's company produces fly handpainted sneakers
that can be customized any way you want. The Sean Taylor Miami
Hurricanes kicks were truly notable.
Honey Shine tended to hew more closely to their target demographic, so
there were lots of cool handmade kid's clothes, home décor items,
delicious bath and beauty products, and jewelry, jewelry, jewelry.
Almost everything was made with love right here in Miami, so from a
local perspective, it was really cool to meet entrepreneurs who call
the 305 home. The creators of Aromessence Body products,
Eittige Jewelry, and Amaloa
Jewelry were all extremely warm and receptive, and excited
about the turnout - Honey Shine's bazaar was an all-day event and
reportedly traffic never slowed down. And it was really cool that Honey
Shine founder Tracy Mourning was greeting customers as though she knew
them each personally. It gave the event a special kind of warmth.
Shecky's won this category hands down - from entry visitors were being
handed samples of Crest Whitestrips, and there were mini bottles of
Dove for the taking. Cocktails by corporate sponsors Cointreau and
Anheuser Busch kept the ladies feelin' groovy. And then there were the
giftbags, which were truly heavy and filled with items of note. Schick
Intuition razors, big super dark chocolate bars from Lindt, and
astoundingly refreshing Borba water made it worth the while. Honey
Shine doesn't yet have any gift bags, so perhaps that's something to
come as the event matures. But admission was free, so no harm, no foul.
The winner - all of the beauty loving ladies of Miami! Both events
brought out crowds and the attendees all seemed happy, celebratory, and
ready to shop. Most notably, the crowd at Shecky's was diverse and
festive. Honey Shine brought out the moms and their little ones, and
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everyone seemed to have a good time. There were excellent discounts to
be found, and it seemed to us that almost everyone who attended walked
away with something new and cool for the holiday season.