Southern Women’s Show – Jacksonville

kid's clothing

I learned of the show by a coupon available in a junk-mail magazine. I went online to get more information and see if I was interested in going. The event was scheduled for four days, Thu-Sun, and I watched the video on their website. It showed a bunch of rich, old ladies trying meaty foods and applying copious amounts of make-up; not my idea of a good time so I didn’t think about it again.

Every Saturday, Mar-Dec, under the Fuller Warren Bridge is the RAM (Riverside Arts Market). We go on occasion, either when we remember and don’t have anything else planned or when we feel like some time away from our dogs. This is the first time we have ever gone for two weeks in a row; what a treat. We were introduced to many new artists and companies; more about them in another post.

Theresa Best Apparel - jewelry & dresses

On this special Oktoberfest day, I happened to notice an especially green tent. I went to unknowingly take a picture of it and quickly got invited in. The tent was educating others like me that were unaware of the amount of people affected by Lyme disease each year. We took with us a new outlook on tiny ticks along with some educational material. Then, Capt Vic Tison asked if we were going to the Southern Women’s Show.

Of course I had thought about not going, but wasn’t hesitant to say that I was glad he mentioned it as we could definitely go tomorrow. Another hesitation was that tickets are $10 per person and we only had one coupon for $2 off; not an investment I was willing to make. Our lucky day; the Captain offers us two complimentary tickets. Well, obviously we wanted to go now. Upon our arrival downtown at the Prime Osborn Convention Center there were city workers, or smart individuals, charging $5 and $7 to park across the street.

Felt Frankenstein for carrying Migi Nail Art

We drove up two blocks to an empty parking lot reserved for the hospital across the street that happens to be closed on weekends and saved another $5. We were one of the early arrivals, but upon checking out the booths of free stuff, with information on helping the less fortunate, were not so early in line. Free things continued to find their way into our free bag while we waited. As soon as the doors opened at 11:00am, we were greeted with a baked treat from Panera Bread. Caleb tried to grab one for himself, but wasn’t allowed as the treats were meant for women’s breast awareness.

We suffered through the free perfume section. The scent was only on paper cards, but was still overwhelming. We walked past many jewelry, make-up, and purse booths. We filled out a survey to win a pink insulated lunch-bag, but not the Chevy Traverse that caught Caleb’s attention, especially with 40mpg/hwy. We got cookies and tried tapenades. There were handouts for shawls, children’s clothing, and aromatherapy, and an opportunity for teeth whitening or to iron-out your wrinkles.

table of face gunk

Something I noticed was that the vendors wanted you to have lots of money but little self-esteem. Many of their products: bigger boobs, comfier heels, more concealing make-up, lightning-fast weight loss, shinier jewelry, and such were geared to make you feel bad about yourself until you purchase all these must-have items. I noticed a pair of jeans hanging and Caleb thought they were cute. I thought they were for children but the lady selling them informed me that I could try them on.

I laughed as I walked away. I am not that small. That wouldn’t help the other companies trying to sell me products to help me quickly lose 20 pounds. I know they realize that would diminish my health while fattening their wallets. I told Caleb I prefer the Men’s Show. It consists of guns, knives, hot sauces, tools, etc. Caleb says they also consist of pills to lose your gut, waxes to un-caveman yourself for the wife, and sprays to add hair to your head for the 9-5.

soap cupcakes

Without watching TV I forget that marketing is based on low self-esteem. I recently watched a film online that had a surprising part in it. According to this video, makers of high-heels and other ‘in fashion’ products change the height and design standards seasonally to ensure people are buying new shoes every year, whether they need them or not. I am glad to say that I have high self-esteem; so much in fact that I can wear what others don’t even deem worthy of donating or attempting to sell to others.

Other vendors at the show were You purchase a bag of peppercorn-size seeds, add them to your plant bowl, water them, and they turn into tapioca pearl-size beads. The make-up booths were more than willing to give eight year olds a makeover; not that they need to know about those yet. There was a guy selling mini-solar products that would be great for camping and on-the-go. I got one nail painted with a flower on it and got the temperature of my neck taken to measure the alignment of my spine; I am mostly normal with a bit of mild nonalignment.

handful of fruit

There were plenty of healthy ‘save-your-life-while-you-eat-like-crap’ drinks and weekend getaways only a subscription away. There was soap in the shape of baked goods, beds, water fountains, garden decorations, home alarm systems, a fashion show, and a Rock-It speaker (portable vibration system that turns pizza boxes and coolers into a boombox). There was a Lindt chocolate booth that seemed to be our last stop, but oh how I wish there was a more local chocolate show for me to attend.

Overall, the amount of giveaways and the free lunch made it worth the free entry and free parking. It is a great way for certain vendors to market towards rich women, ladies with low self-esteem, and mothers that want shiny things for their children. It is also a great way for new and local vendors to get their product introduced to a new market of consumers.

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