The Expo experience: seminars and prizes part of event in its sixth year
WORTHINGTON -- Most of the people who attended Saturday's Women's Expo Health & Home Show at Minnesota West Community and Technical College could be seen exiting with at least one -- if not two -- bags full of stuff. Just about every vendor had a giveaway of some sort or the chance to win a prize, and attendees took advantage of the opportunity to pick up the freebies.
But not everything they gained at the Expo was tangible -- they also could pick tips about products, services, health topics and cooking. Those who stuck around to the end also could indulge in a wine sampling.
Some vendors took advantage of the Expo opportunity to showcase new products or services, such as Deb's Healing Massage & Day Spa. Owner Deb Anderson and Kaila Meier were staffing the booth, touting new services that are in the offing.
"We're going to have a plastic surgeon overseeing us. We're opening a medical wing," explained Meier.
Anderson has purchased laser equipment and recently completed training through the National Laser Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Spa will now offer laser treatments and Botox injections, all under the supervision of a plastic surgeon.
"We're going to stop aging in its tracks," said Anderson. "We can use the laser to rebuild collagen, and the sooner you start doing the treatments, the more collagen we have to work with. We are so excited to be offering this and to let people know about it here at the Women's Expo."
Deb's therapists also gave free mini-massages and provided information about other available services, including body wraps and manicure products.
Hannah Breiner, a cosmetology student from Minnesota West's Jackson campus, was offering a different type of beauty experience -- providing women with glittery Eye Candy eyeliner applied with a sugar solution and nail stamps in a variety of motifs while promoting the school's salon, The Fringe.
"We are here on our Saturday (off from school), but we get extra hours for doing this," Breiner explained. "We're trying to get our business out there."
With her hair colored a vibrant shade of purple, Breiner was an eye-catching model for the salon's services. She's had at least three colors in her hair since she started attending cosmetology school, and a virtual rainbow of shades in her lifetime.
"Go big or go home," she said about her own style aesthetic.
At the Kitchens and Baths by Greta booth, owners Greta and Scott Kraft were fielding questions about the storefront they plan to open this summer in the former Printers building on Third Avenue.
"The address is 1024 Third Ave., so we're calling it Adorn 1024," said Scott.
"We're getting our name out by being here," said Greta about their booth, which featured some of the wares they will stock in the new store, including kitchen gadgets, linens and décor items.
The Krafts are remodeling the building from top to bottom and plan to install a fully functioning kitchen for cooking demonstrations.
Jeri Kruger, gift manager at Schwalbach Ace Hardware, was hearing a lot of exclamations of "I didn't know you carried that" in her booth, which featured a selection of items from the store's ever-expanding gift department.
"We see a lot more husbands and wives come in the door and veering off in different directions -- he goes to the hardware and she goes for the gifts," she said. "We just added scarves, jewelry and some bags. Today, we can sell you a scarf, tie it on you and send you out the door with it on."
One of the most popular giveaways every year at the Expo is a long-stemmed rose, courtesy of Johnson Builders and Realtors.
"Mike and Steve (Johnson) make a donation to ARC every year in honor of their brother Billy for the roses," explained Realtor Renee Baerenwald. "We have people who come to the Expo every single year to get a rose. They always come up and say, 'Are you giving roses away again?' A lot of them say, 'This is the only rose I ever get.'"
Sanford Worthington promoted its Sanford Breast Health Initiative by offering pink compact mirrors, perfect for stashing in a purse while also reminding women of the importance of getting a mammogram.
"It's something different, and everybody needs something for their purse," said Kelsey Wallace, who works in the radiology department at Sanford. "This also gives us a chance to provide people with info and gives them the opportunity to ask questions."
Attendees could come away from the Expo with plenty of information, much of it from the slate of seminars that ran throughout the day. They learned about cooking with honey and got some new recipes for spring side dishes from food guru Sue Doeden, and absorbed health information during five seminars presented by local medical experts.
Dr. Larry Foster from Avera Medical Group talked to the audience about a subject that is near and dear to his heart -- emergency preparedness.
"I've always enjoyed first aid, and I was the Boy Scout medical director for my boys," he said about why he feels it's important to follow the Boy Scout motto of 'be prepared.' "I also hunt and fish, and I've been in a situation where I've gotten disoriented."
A few lucky audience members came away from the presentation with "in case of emergency" bracelets. The bracelets are made from 15 feet of paracord and can be pulled apart for a variety of uses in an emergency situation.
The Expo concluded -- as it does every year, with a wine sampling event hosted by Avera Medical Group and the drawings for the major prizes. Then the attendees went on their merry way, armed with a wealth of goodies and information.
Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers can be reached at 376-7327.