This is a continuation of the blog I wrote earlier on my awesome experience at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. In this piece I am singing the laurels of the natural body products section of this vast show. While there were also an amazing number of supplement and vitamin exhibitors, I find these products daunting and didn’t give this area more than a cursory look. I met many nice people in the natural body products area, but one person in particular stood out in the crowd. Shannon Graham and her husband Goeff started their company Grahams Natural Alternatives as a response to their son Ryan suffering from eczema at 14 months of age and the lack of available natural treatment options. Based in Australia’s Gold Coast region, Shannon is a native of Canada and as such has a unique and delightful hybrid Aussie/Canadian accent. I was attracted to Grahams Natural Alternatives not only thanks to Shannon’s considerable charm, but because this product line has helped many children and adults with eczema and psoriasis. I visited this booth several times and chatted with Shannon about their products and how Jeff and I have suffered from dry skin and bouts of an eczema-related condition. She generously gave me several full-size eczema products and Sooth-it Balm, advanced therapy ointment for dry, cracked skin to use at home.
I accompanied my daughter to the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim last week and was blown away by the enormous array of products, people, tastes and sounds. By day 3 I was operating on sensory overload and couldn’t coherently digest much more, literally or metaphorically. I have been to food shows before – the National Restaurant Show in 2011 (and will go again this year) as well as the KeHE Specialty Food Show Chicago 2011. But this convention was by far the most remarkable, mind-blowing experience on earth – it is a must for anyone involved in any aspect of the natural foods and products business. The world of natural products is a far cry from the stressful, politically fraught, backstabbing work environment in which I toiled from 2004-2011. I met some of the nicest folks at this show and whether any of these encounters translate to business deals in PR or brokering is secondary. My daughter already has an impressive clientele list for whom she does demos and independent sales – and boy was I impressed with her networking skills.