This year broke a record with over 1,000 submissions for recognition of talent in specific greeting card categories. Of course, I submitted, too, as a 'Rising Star' but did not make the Finalist cut. No worries - I was thrilled to cheer on my fellow 'paper people.' The entire event was put together by a GCA committee chaired by Kate Murray of Quick Brown Fox Letterpress.
We are encouraged to plan our #louielewks in advance, so I chose a sequin motorcycle jacket (subtle, right?) over a black dress. If I'm a finalist in the future, I'll fully design my own dress using my illustrations - but I'm getting ahead of myself (ha!)
The Louies took place this year on Wednesday April 26 at The General's Residence at Fort Mason Park on the waterfront in San Francisco.
The General's Residence, Fort Mason, San Francisco
We were greeted by a Bubbly Truck before entering, with a choice of Prosecco or non-alcoholic treat. I chose non-alcoholic with a sprig of fresh rosemary and it was delightful.
The Bubbly Truck
This is my 'I can't believe I'm lucky enough to be here right now' face...
The view was breathtaking - sunset over the San Francisco waterfront.
There were fabulous passed appetizers and a beautiful spread of Spanish cheeses and wines. Very quickly it was time to sit and witness the announcements of winners.
Mingling with the Stars at the Louie Awards
They did a brilliant job of keeping things moving along. Winners stood for applause rather than come up to make a speech. I happened to sit between a finalist -- Nikki Tyler of Little Lovelies Studio -- and Nancy Yusko of Dear Beni, a Louie winner!
Nancy Yusko of Dear Beni is a Louie Award winner!
The speeches were heartfelt, featuring Kate passing the baton - quite literally - to Alyson O'Conner of Rust Belt Love who will chair the Louies next year. There was recognition of volunteers and gratitude to the sponsors of the event.
I felt particularly moved when Amy Loewenberg of NY Now acknowledged the meaningful contribution that makers bring to the world and praised the community spirit of the Greeting Card Association.
Amy Loewenberg of NY Now
Of course, you can see all the Louie finalists and winners here on the GCA website.
As a newbie, I did not know many folks, but everyone was kind and friendly. There was genuine enthusiasm as each winner was announced, and I could tell there are long-standing friendships among members of the GCA. It was a terrific first experience with the Louies!