In 2006 I attended my first closet expo. I breezed in, gathered a little info from vendors, then breezed out without attending the conference. Not much effort.
In 2014 the conference came to New Jersey. They were featuring “Designer Days.” I was intrigued and signed up for the entire conference. I made a few connections and explored the Expo. It was at that time, encouraged by “The Mayor of Hardware,” I joined the ACSP. Once again, sitting back and waiting for the magic to happen. You guessed it…. nothing.
In 2015, I attended the conference again, this time with the right mindset. I joined the Board of Directors for the ACSP and got involved with the Education Committee. Connections were made with new vendors and designers from across the country growing my “closet circle of influence.” I put more into it and got more out of it tenfold.
If you are wondering how this has helped me grow in my career, let me tell you. A few years ago, as I was driving to an appointment, my client called with a very specific request. It was something I was unfamiliar with. I made two phone calls, one to a competitor in the East, another to a designer in Chicago. By the time I arrived at my client I had two photos sent to me, how to build it, where to buy it and a good price to charge. Several times, I have been stuck on projects and made calls to my “circles” in Canada and Arizona. Each time coming back with solutions and increased knowledge. This year I started my own company with a partner I met at the conference in Chicago. I know this would not have been possible without the support of the contacts I have made throughout the industry.
As you return from this year’s conference, follow up with the connections you’ve made and put in the effort to grow your circle. Getting involved in your industry, sharing your knowledge will help you expand your knowledge.
I look forward to 2019 serving as the president of the ACSP. We have a lot of great things in store for the coming year. Keep your eye out for our Closet Design training course at the end of the month.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.