First of all, I have to say how much I love attending this conference. It's a gathering of people who all have the same goal - to get high-quality merchandise to the customers who need it. There's a feeling of teamwork and friendship like you don't find in other venues.
Before we head into my pictorial journey, let me take a second to explain that this convention is not open to the public, so I'm not trying to get you to come next year. :) I'm showing you the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to bring you the merchandise that shows up in your favorite LDS bookstore. A lot of time, planning, and effort goes into it, and it's awesome to see all the new merchandise on display and to know that those things will soon be on store shelves for everyone to see.
Here are the pictures of the booths I visited on Thursday. They each took a moment to share with me what makes their products special.
Look at all the great artwork on display - LDS merchandise is so wide and varied.
This booth belongs to DownEast Basics, a company that makes modest clothing.
Their fashions are sold in many of the LDS bookstores and in all the major malls. You can visit their website here.
As an example of how cute their clothing is, here my friend Andrea Pearson shows off one
of their cute lace tops, perfect for layering.
Covenant Communications is one of the largest publishers in the LDS marketplace.
They feature both fiction and nonfiction titles, and have given us some of the best
LDS authors out there. You can learn more about them at their website, or visit any Seagull Book
and Tape store. Kathy Gordon of Covenant told me that their fall line-up this year is one of the finest they've ever had.
I am very familiar with Brigham Distributing's booth. They are the distributors for
Walnut Springs, my publisher, (check them out! They're awesome!) so I'm good friends with all of them and I've signed there several times in the past. Brigham is run by some of the best people in the business, and I love working for them. They're some of the people responsible
for getting books into the stores. You can visit them here.
My good friend Angie Lofthouse signing at Brigham's booth. She also publishes
with Walnut Springs.
Another author friend, Chrisy Ross.
My good friend Jeff Lambson runs the business Scripture Stickers. They specialize in removable, transparent stickers you can place over your favorite verses. You can check out their full product line here.
Mikarose specializes in beautiful dresses that are also modest. It was fun to look at their styles - their clothing really is so pretty, they have sizes up to 2XL, and they're affordable, too. Check out their website to see what I mean.
This booth belongs to Cherished Moments, a company that manufactures jewelry for special occasions. Some of their bestsellers are tiny little bracelets for baby blessings, and beautiful necklaces for baptisms. Each piece is so lovely, and they are manufactured in the USA. Visit their website here.
Muggli Graphics is run by Glorianne Muggli, who has served in Primary for over 35 years and knows the ins and outs of the program and what teachers most need. She has created a fantastic line of printouts and lesson supplements for every aspect of Primary. I was amazed at all the word strips, lesson ideas, song teaching materials ... basically, if you're in the Primary, you need to check out this website.
This is the display set up by Cedar Fort, one of the largest publishers in the LDS market. Those squares up on the wall are all e-readers featuring different Cedar Fort titles.
Ringmasters is the largest manufacturer of LDS jewelry in existence, and they've been in business for twenty-five years. This picture shows some of the LDS-themed necklaces they offer, but they also make rings in all styles, tie tacks, bracelets, scripture totes ... their selection really is amazing. Check out their website here.
This booth was run by the S.A. Lifeline Foundation, which is committed to teaching others about the dangers of pornography and how to escape its snare. Steven Croshaw, who runs the foundation, shared with me that 90% of all college-age men are involved in pornography in some way. His wife, Rhyll Croshaw, has written a book about pornography from the wife's perspective, which will be released soon. You can learn more about the foundation here, and I will be doing a full-length feature about Steven and Rhyll in a few weeks here on the blog and I invite you to join us then.
I really had a fantastic day on Thursday at LDSBA. I'm excited about all the new products that are heading into the stores, and appreciate the workers at the booths for sharing their information with me. Be sure to check out their sites, and look for their products at your local LDS store.