And so my report on ACEN continues! I stayed with a friend on Thursday night, because I was concerned about getting back to the convention center early enough on Friday morning. She was graciously hosting two other friends from out of town, so Thursday evening involved trips to the airport and early Friday morning a house bustling with frilly girls. ♥ As volunteers at the Angelic Pretty booth in the convention’s Dealer’s Hall, we had to get there bright and early! Everyone was out of the house by 7am, and after running a quick errand we hurried to our destination!
Helping out at the booth was a really fun experience! I was very thankful to have something to dedicate myself to and focus my attention on, even if it was only chit-chatting with customers and neatening clothing racks. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not particularly fond of attending conventions; knowing that I was “working,” even in the loosest sense of the word, kept me both from boredom and anxiety. I did my best to follow any instructions or suggestions from the official employees; they were all very adept at their jobs and very knowledgeable as can be expected.
The Angelic Pretty pop-up shop was a highlight for everyone in the community, even those who usually don’t purchase their clothing from the company. For those with different style preferences, the booth offered a wide selection of garments and accessories not only from Angelic Pretty, but also from Chantilly, Atelier Pierrot, and Black Peace Now. With fluffy frilly cupcake princess fashion on the Angelic Pretty side and elegant dark lovely enchanting fashion on the Harajuku Hearts side, there was a little bit of something for everyone! (h.NAOTO was also represented at the convention, providing even more of a variety, but as that was at a different booth I didn’t see it. I really didn’t leave my post during the weekend!)
As a result, whenever anyone from the local community wandered over I had the opportunity to chat with them while they browsed through the shop. It was lots of fun, and I don’t think there was anyone I missed an opportunity to say hello to~ I also spoke to many lolita (or starry-eyed-dreaming-of-lolita shoppers) I had never met before. Everyone was so nice, and so friendly, and the time passed so pleasantly! I really hope I’ll see some of my new acquaintances again sometime!
Paradise Rose, in Artist Alley–one of my stops during my lunch break!
A little bit later on the in the afternoon I took a break to eat lunch, give my husband a call, and say hello to two friends with tables in Artist Alley. (I had other friends with tables as well, some of which I sort-of knew about and others that I learned about as the day progressed, but I wasn’t able to visit everyone…I could only remember the numbers for the two who told me.) I briefly considered wandering around the hall for a bit, but the crowds seemed a bit too daunting; I hurried back to the booth to continue fluffing dresses and encouraging sales.
Maki and Asuka had signs advertising the fashion show taped to their purses, and Maki had one on her back as well! It was adorable!
When I returned the shop staff had printed flyers for Saturday’s official Angelic Pretty fashion show. Everyone present was asked to help spread the word and pass out flyers. Maki, Asuka, and RinRin were very dedicated and efficient at engaging passers-by, even though Maki and Asuka don’t speak very much English. I think they were simply too cute to ignore or refuse a flyer from, even for the convention patrons who weren’t stopping by the booth for any shopping. ♥ With the help of the other volunteers, fashion show flyers wound up in the hands of nearly anyone who walked by. I had a very clear view of this from my position on the outer corner of the booth’s space.
All of the excitement and promotion for the fashion show made me feel rather nervous, but also exhilarated! ☆
The rest of the evening before the Dealer’s Hall closed passed by in a happy blur! I didn’t attend any of the other lolita fashion events that day, although I know there were some, but I still had a nice time just fluffing around the booth. I was an opportunity I am very thankful for! I’m not about to run off and seek my future as a shopgirl, but getting to do anything–even the smallest of things–for a company I adore so much was absolutely fantastic. After everything was draped and secured, I filed out with my friends, still thrilled from the experience! By the time I got to my hotel room and took off my shoes my feet ached from standing all day, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. ♥
I intended to go to sleep early, to get plenty of rest for the fashion show the next day, but I was too wound up to fall asleep immediately. It went just fine even with that minor kink in my plans, and I enjoyed chatting with my little sister while she worked on some last-minute preparations for the Independent Designer Fashion Show occurring in the evening. We had no idea what would be in store for that!