Happy Bulge launches at Phoenix Pride!
What a trip! It was months in the making and Happy Bulge finally picked up stakes and left frigid Canada to attend Phoenix Pride. And, boy, did our team have a good launch!
There were some frantic moments when UPS changed delivery dates early in the week and we nervously watched the shipping updates. It looked like our boxes of inventory would arrive in Arizona a day after Pride. Perfect timing! But thankfully our CEO is a ball buster and got on the line with the UPS corporate office executives and made it happen. Our boxes arrived at the hotel an hour and a half before Pride was set to begin on April 6. A quick Uber ride got our entire product line to Steele Indian School Park minutes after the Pride festival kicked off.
Once our booth was set up we learned something very quickly: the gays love their camo! And their pastels. They love their camo and their pastels! (Note for next time: We'll have more camo and pastels on hand.)
As revelers passed by waving flags and saying, "Happy Pride" we noticed people enjoying our sarcastic line of T-shirts hanging from the booth. Lots of people were taking pictures of the shirts that made a statement. Also, our mascot on the Happy Bulge logo was getting a lot of attention. (And to answer the many questions: No, he doesn't have a name.)
Several attendees pointed out that we were the only clothing/underwear/swimwear exhibitor at Pride. And because of that, we got a lot of foot traffic. In fact, we were the only booth that stayed open until Pride wrapped up at 9 p.m. on Saturday. It was such a great time chatting with people from all over the Phoenix area and hearing their suggestions for what to do while in town.
As day 2 rolled around, we saw some familiar faces. Customers from the prior day were coming by and talking about how comfy their new swimsuits were. (ahem: second purchases made on day 2!) In fact, a few people were even rockin' them at Pride. We also had a couple talk about how much they loved their camo swimsuits and the splash they made in the hot tub the night before. (They didn't share any pictures. Booooo!)
A special shoutout goes to the straight guy who was intrigued by the spandex and wanted something "kinky" to surprise his girlfriend with the next night. He passed by several times and even took pictures of some of the swimsuits on the Happy Bulge table to tease her. He later bought the gold singlet outfit. (Thankfully, he DID share pictures with us and... yeah, lookin' good!)
As we packed up the booth on Sunday night and headed back to the hotel, we concluded that our first Pride was a success.
After a few drinks, we decided that we will do it again in a few months. So, be on the lookout: we might be coming to a Pride near you this summer!