2013 Women’s Expo
Again themed “It’s All About You,” the fourth annual Vacaville Women’s Expo on Saturday proved to be a window on myriad female-oriented services and products in northern Solano County, from beauty and health to travel and finance.
At any given hour during the free all-day event, visitors to the Ulatis Community Center, its traditional site, would likely conclude the expo was, indeed, about them, as smiling vendors sitting behind exhibit tables interested passers-by with information, advice and lots of free samples to take home in tote bags.
After two hours, some 500 people had passed through the center, and event coordinator Shauna Manina said nearly all raved about the offerings and many made connections with merchants. By day’s end, more than 1,000 people will have passed through the center’s doors, she estimated.
“They love it,” she said. “There’s so much for them.”
Manina, special events coordinator at The Reporter, the major sponsor along with presenting sponsor Sutter Health, set aside space for more than 60 exhibit booths and 55 vendors, filling the center to capacity. She could have accommodated 20 more vendors (demand was high), if space were available, she said.
New among vendors this year was, curiously, Revolve Solar, an Austin, Texas-based solar energy firm with an office in Fairfield.
Vendor Terri Stout, wife of sales manager and locally known musician Ken Stout, called the green business “so now,” adding, “It’s thriving.”
Saying “We’ve had lots of female customers,” she asserted that women are often “the decision-makers” for home improvements.
“They have a big influence on it,” added Stout, who estimated that more than 30 people had stopped to inquire about the business.
Nearby, Carrie Robinson, manager of Fentons Creamery, welcomed visitors with more than just a smile: free samples of four flavors freshly made at the Nut Tree ice cream emporium and restaurant. Choices were Swiss milk chocolate, toasted almond, mocha royale and seasonal pumpkin. By 1 p.m., she and employees Vanessa Bucci and Jaqueline Sanchez had dished up 250 single-scoop servings in small paper cups, a barometer of its popularity.
Travel agent Nick Schulz enticed visitors with videos and brochures about overseas travel, while financial adviser Lacy Butler, of Edward Jones, and Loli Martinez Lonso, a senior loan officer at Solano Mortgage, offered advice about making the most of investments.
Nicole Martinez, the enrollment adviser at Blake Austin College, a medical and beauty school in the Nut Tree shopping complex, said the school will host auditions in early December for “America’s Next Top Model,” the reality TV series on the CW and UPN networks.
Follow Staff Writer Richard Bammer at Twitter.com/REBammer.