Surtex Journey

Building a Surtex Booth on Site : Part 2

Surtex Booth table setup

After designing our Surtex booth and ordering banners and all other details for Surtex we were ready to build it at the Jacob Javits center. We traveled light, everything fit in our suitcases and extra packages were checked in with us, we didn’t ship anything and we grabbed a cab from our place in NYC to the center.

Dariela at surtex booth

We came with 2 banner rolls, the chalkboard package and a small suitcase, this year we bought the cart to place the banner rolls which are super heavy AND we made sure the apartment we rented from Airbnb had a elevator, nothing easy to find in NYC!

Surtex booth business cards

Decisions Decisions

  • First things first is always to hang the banners with the 3M Command strips.
  • Next, on the green wall to the right, we wanted to hang the circles with a little dimensional effect, so we used stacks of foam board, tape and command strips for that.

How to hang Surtex booth signs

  • Then the chalkboard. That one was when we had to make changes, because it was supposed to go on the left wall (see original design) but the shelf we got was smaller than the chalkboard and both of them would not really fit there, it was too messy.
  • And something else was not working too! We were planning on using last year’s table banner (polka dots) but when we opened it, it was very very wrinkled because when we go back we don’t roll up the banners we fold them inside our suitcase. So that was not going to work.

Dari design Surtex booth step-by-step 2014

Making Changes

  • We had a flag garland we made with one of last year’s banners for the table and that looked good so we decided to hang that. We tested the chalkboard on the green wall, we tested on the other wall side-by-side to the shelf but nothing.
  • The best way it looked was on the table, so that’s where it went! I was a little sad at the beginning because let me tell you, I loved my chalkboard which I made with much love and wanted to hang it high but oh well, the shelf looked very nice by itself too and it all worked out at the end.
  • Even though we weren’t expecting to change anything we never know what can happen so it;s good to be open to anything, and learned that along the 2 times of being at Surtex.

Chalkboard for Surtex booth

Table Setup

Little presents: Last year we brought brazilian chocolates and it was good, so we did it again. Everybody wants a pick-me-up and we love how they are colorful and match our designs.

Surtex 2014 booth giveaways

Our giveaways: The notebooks. We love to give these away because they are useful and our designs and info are included.

Daridesignstudio booth table setup

Portfolio: This was a huge change from last year when we bought 2 big binders with all our portfolio printed, they were heavy and costly to obtain. This time both of us had tablets so we made our portfolio in a pdf and set both tablets there to browse. We liked it better but next year we want to bring some kind of taller stand so that they call more attention.

Dari Design Studio Surtex booth
Surtex logo sign

All in all our Surtex booth was easy to make and we were happy to be recycling graphics and banners from last year. This picture below is how we left the Javits center the last day: Super light and ready for next year!

Surtex booth in suitcase

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Building a Surtex Booth Step-by-Step: Part 1

Dari Design Booth Surtex 2014

Surtex 2014 has come and gone but we have tons we want to share with you. First is how we build Dari Design Studio’s Surtex booth this year.

Our booth designs are not so complicated in terms of building elements but it is always fascinating to see the design process of anything isn’t it? And meanwhile I’m sure it might help many of you on inspiration, ideas and useful information on building your booths in the future, we never know!


This was Dari Design’s last year’s Surtex booth, the design on paper or in the computer and the final booth in real life (click to make it bigger):

Dari Design Booth Surtex 2013


Surtex Booth 2014

This year we advertised in many licensing magazines and we made a video, everything with the same branding, the blackboard circle with our logo. So we decided to take that branding to our booth as well.


Dari Design Booth Surtex 2014 - Step1
This was my first attempt. It is always hard because we would love to include so many patterns on those walls but it won’t look good! And not many of them can go together either. It’s the hardest part of the process, decisions, decisions!


Dari Design Booth Surtex 2014 - Step 2
So we started taking some patterns away, and using more toned down colors; less is more right? Right and wrong. It is better in a way but there was too much beige, that’s definitely not us! We do have a cheerful and bright personality in our designs so our booth had to reflect that.


Dari Design Booth Surtex 2014 - Step 3
Then we added back some bright colors and switched around some patterns so they look nice by each other. For example the black pattern in the middle was too much contrast so it got replaced with something else.

The circles on the right were added to balance the blackboard. And we came up with the idea to use the printout patterns we had hanging last year with clothespins on the back wall for the circles and glue them on foam board to give that wall a little three dimensional effect too, that way we would save a lot by not having to print all those.


Dari Design Booth Surtex 2014 - Step 4
This was our final design for the booth in paper. At the same time we are designing all this we are thinking of how are we building each part, the banners are just banners, but how are we building the blackboard? How are we building the circles? How big are they? Because we usually take everything with us in the plane, we don’t like to ship anything. Oh and we decided to use the same banner that covered the table last year (that’s why you don’t see it in this year’s design).

So we proceeded to order banners (We printed them this year with Smart Press thanks to this post, and we LOVED them, great prices and turnaround!) and get making everything else.

We designed for a shelf underneath the blackboard to place some mockups of our designs, we got one at IKEA for about $5 and my sis bought a chain to hang it, she is the master with these kind of things and the result was super great!

Chalkboard inside surtex booth -

Getting the wood for the blackboard was something else, I’ve never ordered a circular piece of wood so I went first to Home Depot where they don’t cut wood in a circle, then to a lumber yard that doesn’t do it either and then finally to another home/lumber store that did (Dixieland and I love it BTW). I sanded it and spray painted it with chalkboard spray paint. The only bad thing is that at the end it didn’t fit on the suitcase but we wrapped it really well and checked it in the plane with no problem.

This is about 3/4 of the process of creating our Surtex booth because once we arrived to the showroom other things happened! Watch for part 2 in a post coming next week to see the process of our Surtex booth once we were in NYC! Because as you can see the end result was a little different than the one in the sketch.

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We are headed to Surtex 2014

#sutex Dari Design Studio is happy to present new collection for all ocassions

Heading to Surtex 2014 next week is a great come back post after almost 3 months of not stoping here to give you some love.

We are ready and excited to be in  NYC once again showcasing our work and our passion. Remember how we were able to make it last year? We did a crowd funding campaign and raised our way to The Big Apple.


This year we have done things a little different, we are so grateful to be able to afford our own participation in Surtex and we are being able to learn from our past experience in many ways.

It really comes in handy to write stuff down and do a summary at the end of the show, because it is amazing how much we can forget in one year. Specially writing down to the penny how much money we spent with all designated details. Now we know better what to do and what not to do. It is still a learning process of course.


We are very open and enthusiastic to keep learning and gaining much experience as time passes by, this is only our second year so in the big scheme of things we are still Surtex babies.


I remember how we thought we were going to be able to blog a lot when we came back and sometimes I even thought we could blog while there. This year I know better, so I wont promise anything. We’ll be keeping you posted often of our journey through our social media channels, specially Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Can’t wait to see you there and feel your support!!

Oh and by the way, did you like the sneak peek of our new Surtex collections I posted?

Hope you did!!! It makes me very happy to share what we are up to and where we are headed!

Now is your turn. What have you been up to?

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Friends at Surtex

Surtex 2013 friends

We made great friends at Surtex and we were happy to meet friends we only knew online, it was great to share the different experiences and thoughts we were all having during the conference and looking at the different artists we all are. I wanted to share with you today some of our friends at Surtex featuring each of them and their booths.

Iza pearl surtex booth design

Meet Melissa from Iza Pearl, her booth is very famous at Surtex, I think it’s lovely and so her. It was her 3rd year, she always captures her adventure in her blog, for more of Melissa’s info check her Surtex 2013 Adventure.


Patricia zapata Surtex booth

I met Patricia loong time ago through her blog A Little Hut when I started to blog at mami Talks, I loved her work and started following, then we met in person at Alt Summit 2011 and now again at Surtex, talk about paths crossing! It was Patricia’s first year at Surtex and at Licensing just like us! Check out Patricia’s site and her blog A Little Hut.


tan tam surtex booth

Tamy was our next door neighbor, she has great stationery designs, she has been many times to the Stationery Show and this was her first year at Surtex! Check out her beautiful designs here.


leah hoelscher surtex booth

We met Leah at one of the networking events of the show, we shared our experiences and thoughts, this was her first year too and we are both learning kind of the same things at the same time. Find Leah’s work over at her site.


msia Soups Surtex Booth

Misa was right in front of us! She is local from New York and this was her first year too, she was saying how next year she might bring us food because now she realized that we all needed to eat the overpriced food at the show, thanks Misa!


gina martin surtex booth

We met Gina at the networking night too, I love her designs and her booth, she already has some cool fabrics made, this is her second time at Surtex and she really helped us out recommending a licensing consultant that we much needed. Check out Gina’s site.


elizabeth olwen surtex booth

A twitter friend that became or real life friend and neighbor at Surtex! She was in across from us, Elizabeth’s booth and designs are amazing, can you believe it;s her first time at Surtex?! Here is Elizabeth’s website.


ampersand studio surtex booth

Ahh, we go way back with the girls from Ampersand: Morgan and Carrie. We stumbled upon them last year and we felt identified with them, they are 2, they were working from separate places but still together like us and last year was their first Surtex, they were great help answering questions for us before the show. They have a super colorful and fun website and blog!


Art Licensing LA

We met Jeanetta through Twitter a couple of weeks before Surtex when everybody was running around preparing for the conference, we knew our booths were close so we made sure to connect over there plus she lives in LA! Jeanetta is part of Art Licensing LA agency as well as Sara Berrenson who we met in NY.

And there were many others but I didn’t have a chance to take photos! Check out Rebeca Bischoff, Alex Colombo, Natalie Timmons and Khristian Howell.

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Dari Design Surtex Booth: How we did it


For our booth design at Surtex we started dreaming big, we were thinking chandeliers, pretty table, stylish chairs, etc, etc. Well, thank goodness we didn’t go that route, actually, we couldn’t, it would have been too expensive. Shipping is crazy expensive and then we have to ship things back for what? What would we do with the furniture afterwards?

One of the best tips we got from attending the booth design webminar that Surtex offers all exhibitors was: Think really well what you will spend your budget on, will it bring you the clients you want? Will having a stylish chair give you that great deal? We were already looking at the high costs of furniture and the shipping and we were cutting back so this made us cut all the crazy ideas and feel good about it. We went for straight-on banners on all walls and we used the table that Surtex supplies with the booth and it was fine, we felt great about that decision – Hey! Not spending tons extra money feels good of course!

Here is how the Surtex booth came together:


It doesn’t look hard right? And it really wasn’t.

We traveled with everything, we brought the banners in a big tube, it was very heavy and we paid extra for it but it was only $50. We weren’t sure how we were going to hang them, we were thinking of using a wooden rod at the top (the banners came with a slot for it) and hanging them with hooks that Surtex supplies you with. We were thinking in buying the rods over there in NYC but when we got there we thought, wouldn’t be even better to hang these to the wall how we did the table? With command strips! And I LOVE them, I’ve been a fan of these ever since they started selling, I use them as lot at home. I brought several command hooks to hang the wire on the back wall and some command strips to stick the table banner but I didn’t bring enough for all the walls.

Our Salvation: 3M Command Hanging Strips

So we went out in the search of the command strips, they weren’t easy to find! We wanted to go to Target but there is no Target in Manhattan!! How do you NY citizens do it?? LOL, well you have many other shops around but if you are not from the city it is hard. So we finally arrived at a Kmart and we found about 2 of them, just 2!!?? We had already chose another alternative but I wasn’t kind of sad and worried they wouldn’t work but we kept looking and there it was a full wall of command strips! Yay!! My sister took a picture of me because she said I was too much, haha! Hey, they really helped us and I know many other booths that use them too, they are perfect!


Down here you can see how the top of the walls look like exactly, for me it was a mystery and even though I now know I think sticking the banners is the best and easiest way to do it. Of course it depends on the look you want to achieve overall too.


Here is how we did the banner on the table of our booth, super easy too. We were back and forth deciding if we got a tall table or a regular one (they give you those 2 options) but at the end we liked the tall table cause people that come to the booth don’t have to feel forced to sit and you are not so low sitting down for when they approach the booth.

The day we were mounting everything we had some discussions of how to arrange the elements on the table and if we wanted the table to the side of the booth, it was hard because I wanted to the side and my sister on the center, we did nit want to give in (I admit it, I am the one that has the hardest time giving in!) But the day it started I was so nervous that I told her, do whatever you want, I really don’t care, it will look beautiful anyways I know! And it did :)


One of the things we were a little disturbed by was the shine on our logo on the back wall. It was hard to avoid, we just couldn’t! If we moved the track lights to some other spot, the wall would be dark, maybe that logo was too shiny and next time we might be careful and do something really matte, we’ll see! We loved the end result, the only thing is that we have those banners now leftover and we don’t want to waste them, we are thinking in up-cycling them for next year, make some products with them, yes!

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Our Surtex Booth Design


I can’t believe it’s already been more than a month since Surtex and since all that stress of putting together our Surtex booth design among many other details to get there. All the hard work and the expectations are over, oh but it was so worth it!

And this first experience will be paving the way for our business in this new area of surface pattern design that we for sure love and want to keep at it.


Today I wanted to show you some beauty photos and some details of how our booth turned out. Tomorrow I will bring more details and step-by-step of how we put it together because we did take lots of pictures of the process.

Surtex postcard

It wasn’t really complicated because our booth design was pretty simple but I think it’s useful for anyone who is doing a Surtex booth for the first time. There were many doubts we had, we asked a lot and we took one of the free webinars that Surtex offers on booth design tips which really helped us. So if you have questions, ask away, we’d love to help however we can, even though we’ve just been there one time!


For example, we replaced the hall sign with our own, we just aded printed a logo in 2 11 x 17″ paper and taped it with double stick to both sides.

Replace_the_sign_of_surtex_boothBut as soon as we hanged it we realized we could have made it nicer, definitely adding a nice design to it not only the logo, oh well! Next time for sure! Those are the kind of details that you miss in the first time, not really that important on the long run but something wee can improve on.

All the design process from start to finish came together very well at the end, it wasn’t as much cost-effective as we wanted it and we did have to improvise a little over in NY, I’ll tell you more details tomorrow!


filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

We are ready to fly!!!


Can you tell we have been busy? I’m writing this at about one hour before we head to the airport to go to NYC for Surtex 2013. I have so many emotions and feelings bowling inside me. I’m very very excited!!! so much that I feel giggly and I kinda laugh about everything .

Yesterday as I was picking up the last prints for our booth, the guy from the printer told me that he had printed 2 of each wich is why the whole bill was going to be $500!!!!! (when we had budgeted for $120) … I started smiling and then laughing… I wanted to talk further more about the misunderstanding in a professional way of course (and I did, everything ended up working out) but I think in the end he must’ve thought I was going coo coo!. I found myself inside countless episodes like that one in the past couple weeks.  I’m in a very prolonged natural buzzed state (and I almost never drink). Don’t get me wrong is a GREAT feeling!.


Together with that feeling I also feel many other ones, to name a few: I feel bold, I feel courageous, I feel curious, I feel like a beginner, I feel confident, I feel scared, I feel transformed already (in a very good way), I feel unprepared (even though we prepared for a whole year), I feel part of an amazing team and I feel the unknown knocking at our door.

Anyways, please give a round of applause to my sister and I who made it this far! Now we are stepping into the real essence of this journey and we are ready!!! We are setting up the intentions of the next week to be filled with the perfect learning experience for us, the perfect matching buyers and uplifting and transforming partnerships for our business. We are ready to rock this show!!! These are a couple of reminders for us (you know we come back to the blog an actually read our own posts all the time lol)

• Be ready and open to learn. Show up always with a beginners mind.

• Document everything, for our readers and because next year we are going to forget everything.

• Share your knowledge and ideas.

• Ask for help and ask questions if needed.

• Remind each other how much of a good job we have done and how much we like working as a team.

• Stay focus and organized.

Above a sneak peek of two of the collections we’ll be exhibiting

Here is to our creative journey!!! send us blessings



filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Surtex Campaign Perks

Dari Design art print mailer

We sent the Indiegogo perks a couple of weeks ago. Many of the perks were sets of art prints, some of them web-classes that were sent digital. In case you’re out of the loop, I am talking about the campaign we made to help us go to Surtex at Indiegogo. We are very grateful for all of those who contributed and it was fun to send out these prints! My sis Dariana was the one in charge to pack and ship, she sent me one so I could photograph it and I got to experience how fun it was to receive a pretty mail piece!

art prints from Dari Design studio

These are just a preview of some the collections we have and that we design every week for Surtex. I have to say, it is hard to keep designing for ourselves among all of the other responsibilities, like our clients, the blog and all the other Surtex preparations. But we are passionate about this and will keep going until we get there! You can still contribute right here if you are so inclined to, thanks a million friends!

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

5 Lessons learned during our Indiegogo Campaign


If you are thinking of raising funds through a crowd-funding plattform, weather is through Kickstarter or IndieGoGo this post is for you. As first timers doing a crowd-funding Indiegogo Campaign– let me tell you it was challenging! we didn’t reach our goal, ok lets just say it we didn’t even raised $1000 through Indiegogo.

However, in retrospect I don’t know how we could be where we are NOW ( So close to reaching our goal) without Indiegogo. Besides the fact that the funds we raised were very helpful, it worked as a huge microphone. Our Indiegogo Campaign amplified our Dream reach and the world knew we were serious and that we had a definite goal. From that point on everything else started aligning perfectly as step stones to reach our goal.

5 Lessons Learned during our Indiegogo Campaign

1. Be open to help others. I’m now more open to help others. I even schedule a little time to listen (click on a link and read) about other peoples goals, dreams, projects in social media (and real life too!). If we all did this the world will change for the better immediately, don’t you think?

2. Make a decision and take the first step. When you take the first step towards your dream not knowing how it would all unfold, the Universe takes over and shows you the way. For us our “Indiegogo Campaign” was more like our 2nd phase first step (after staring our portfolio almost a year ago).  Once we made the campaign live (besides the money raised through the campaign) we started receiving family donations, big  design jobs and ramdom sponsorships offers that we never thought possible in a million years.

3. Practicing problem solving skills. Through the whole process there was failure, challenges and obstacles. Some were small some made us feel self-doubt and discouragement. Powering through all of those feelings with a mind set of creative problem solving and possibilities is key.

4. There is always a way. The thing is it might not look the way you thought it was going to look. So staying open and letting the whole process unfold allowed us to welcome any  other different way or new possibility to reach our goal.

5. Make a plan. Even though I believe there is a force that is helping you and guiding you always through challenging times. You also have to do your part. Getting organized, as to, how are you going to market your campaign (social media) is the biggest thing you could do for yourself and  it makes it easy for your contributors as well.

A lot of these lessons I already new but is only when you experienced them over and over that they sink in more and they become renovating. They also start becoming a new and helpful habit that take you to a better level of doing business and a higher place of being and relating to your goals and to others.

Overall I loved the experience and I would be open to do it again putting in practice what I learned this time.

Also, there are many things I would do differently, to name some…

• I would create the crow-fundingcampaign in our own site first. Once the momentum is going I would add it to Indiegogo to raise another part of the total funds.

• I wouldn’t try to get it into kickstarted (wich we tried this time). In my opinion Indiegogo is way better even though is less popular. Here is a great article about it.

• I would start sending emails and calling prospect contributors (not friends and family) before the campaign is up. We only did this once the campaign was up and running.

• I wouldn’t do it close to the Holidays. We all have greater expenses through the Holidays to cope with and is harder to budget for extra donations or expenses.

Our journey continues…

You are welcome to keep supporting us through June 2013

Screen shot 2013-01-07 at 8.09.10 PM
Our campaign now lives in our website. If you still want to support us and contribute please do it here. If you do, please pick one of the perks we offer as our thank you! we would also hug you if we could !

Are you about to start your journey towards a dream? are you considering crowd-funding? we can share and help each other…

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

We have a Dream!

Have you checked out our Indiegogo campaign? Indiegogo is a crowd-funding online platform that allow us to share all about our Journey to Surtex. Better yet, Indiegogo is a place where you can come in and contribute to our project by donating financially and or sharing our campaign with your friends. In exchange we offer different perks for our supporters. Go check it out here! Also, if you are a blogger and would love to support us by featuring our work and our Indiegogo Surtex campaign in your blog, please contact us we have a great deal for you!

What do you think? We can totally make it right? We think everything is possible! We’ll keep sharing our progress here and all of our experiences on our way to reaching our DREAM!  Thanks for being here with us. This is so exciting for us!

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends