Last week was BERNINA University (BU) 2019 in Jacksonville Florida. You might be wondering what is BU. BERNINA University is the annual convention for all BERNINA dealers to gather in one spot and learn about all things new with BERNINA, meet BERNINA Ambassadors, take classes on sewing, selling and teaching. This year was especially nice for me as I got to teach four times, have a booth, meet new dealers and bring my boyfriend Joey.
The journey for BERNINA University
The journey begins months before we step foot into the convention center. Preparation of new products, planning for future events, printing flyers and thinking about booth layout. The first step for preparing for BU was to be invited. It might not sound like a big deal but this is my second year and being invited was such an honor. One step further was to be asked to teach some classes. I was honored to teach two different classes, one about my new notion the EZ Point & Turner and the other was about Customer Loyalty and the We All Blog series I wrote called Embroider-Along.
This year BU was in Jacksonville Florida. Best part of that…we got to drive. We left early Monday morning and were able to take our time, drive at our own pace and about 4 hours later arrived at the beautiful Hyatt downtown.
Setting up the booth
Starting with a blank canvas of a booth can be really exciting. Plus what was cool is this was Joey’s first time ever setting up a booth at a sewing convention so I got to see the whole experience through his eyes. He had excellent points and ways to lay things out. It was such fun.
Teaching is my favorite thing in the world. To prepare a presentation for folks who will learn something new or a new way of thinking about something is exciting. This BU I was asked to show off my new notion, the EZ Point & Turner in one class and teach a 1-1/2 hour class on Creating Customer Loyalty with the use of my We All Sew blog series, Embroider-Along. This was such fun. The second class topic was taught to three different groups. The response was great and I enjoyed getting feedback from the shop owners afterwards.
Booth Dress Code
Dressing up for an event is always fun. BERNINA challenged everyone with the same dress code.
- Day 1 – Polka Dots
- Day 2 – Embroidery (designs from Enchanted Steampunk)
- Day 3 – BERNINA Red
Not everyone participated in dress up days, but I must say, everyone was excited to see what we were wearing the next day.
Speaking of eating out
As foodies we love eating out (just never at chain restaurants). I put Joey in charge of finding new restaurants for us to try out. He found two different cool restaurants.
The Stuffed Beaver (funny name but excellent authentic Canadian cuisine)
The Blue Fish (best drinks and atmosphere)
One of the best parts of sewing shows is to reconnect with friends. Shown below are some fellow designers and creative souls I love to partner with and am lucky to call friends, click on their photos to check out their websites.
At BU this year some fun new machines were announced, new notions released and new teaching programs showcased. Be sure to ask your local BERNINA shop about some of the new things. For me the most exciting of all was the Tula Pink new sewing/embroidery machines. Just look at these beauties. Unicorns really do exist!
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