While most of the 60 exhibitors at the inaugural Makeup Show Orlando used colorful backdrops and interactive product demonstrations to attract the attention of the 2,000 attendees, the Powder Group was forced to take a different route. Hurricane Sandy knocked out power and access to the company’s storage unit in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, meaning the team had to travel to the Peabody Orlando
without its colorful 10- by 20-foot collage-style backdrop. Instead, executive director Michael DeVellis came up with the idea of hanging a simple, handwritten message.
“Dear Sandy,” the sign began. “Thank you for our super cool new booth design! We think it's looking really minimalist and modern!!”
“Humor is a big part of our brand,” DeVellis said. “We take this industry very seriously, but we have fun while we do it. So this is our way of saying yes this isn’t our usual booth, but it was more important for us to be here than to have all our stuff. The fact people are smiling when they read it is huge to me.”
The Powder Group is a networking and community resource for makeup artists and students and also produces On Makeup magazine. The company had plans to distribute more than 2,000 complimentary copies of the magazine at the show, but the latest issue was also trapped in the storage unit. Program director Jeremy Meek brought the few copies he had in his apartment, and the company was able to get 15 copies that were still at their printer.
As for what happens to the sign when the show wraps up Monday, DeVellis said he’s definitely not going to throw it away. “I might put it up as art in my apartment. Or maybe auction it for Sandy relief,” he said.
The Makeup Show is produced by Metropolitan Event and Production
. Shelly Taggar, the show's vice president and co-owner, said the storm caused three exhibitors to cancel and also forced her and several of her staff members to drive to Orlando rather than fly.