Roxanne Bennett walked down rows filled with hundreds of vendor booths at Will Rogers Memorial Center wanting to try a little bit of everything.
Unfortunately, her title as founder of the Texas Pinners Conference forced her to do some work: give consumers the best shopping experience possible.
Attendees at the 10th edition of the Texas Pinners Conference Sept. 22 and 23 shopped for hundreds of goods and services between participating in demonstrations and workshops.
Bennett started the conference to fill a void she saw in the market.
“I felt like there was nothing for the consumer,” Bennett said, walking past vendor demonstrations on how to use their products. “Is there a chance for a consumer, the biggest buying power in the world, to try new things that are up-and-coming?”
The answer in 2013, when she established the Texas Pinners Conference, was a firm no.
As Bennett walked past, hardware manufacturing company Ryobi showed attendees how to use a glue gun. She also walked past Magnolia Design Co., a Fort Worth-based company, which led a crafting workshop.
Originally named after the social media platform Pinterest, Bennett said the conference now covers all sorts of social media shopping.
“You know, you’re scrolling through Instagram, finding things you like but don’t know if you’d use it, or be good at it,” Bennett said. “Now’s your chance to try it out here.”
Wearing her red Texas Pinners VIP shirt underneath a purple “crafting apron,” Fort Worth resident Mary Heinz said she goes to the conference every single year.
“We never miss it,” Heinz said. “Always love learning how to do a ton of crafts and it’s just such a fun girls get-together.”
Heinz was in line for a ghost-paining craft class, one of more than 80 classes scheduled throughout the weekend. Other classes teach attendees about home restoration and decor or cooking.
“Pinners conference is where Pinterest comes to life,” Bennett said. “For us to be able to have an experience, and experience in-person shopping from all these cute stores we see online, it allows for better product enjoyment.”
Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.