By Roselyn Poon
Susi Engl is driven by her passion to help people grow both personally and in business. She is a great example of a successful business person, whether it is a man or woman. It was obvious from the get-go that Susi takes full responsibility for creating her future and she is determined to make a success of every challenge she sets her laser focus on. Unlike a lot of businesspeople, Susi understands that she has to believe in herself, and if her business is to grow, she needs to back up her belief with investing cold, hard cash into promoting her business. Belief alone is not going to cut it.
Susi is the CEO and owner of the award-winning LV Craft Shows. The show was originally founded in 1999 by Judi Palumbo, who decided in 2015 it was time for her to sell and explore the United States. Susi took it over in late 2015, but it was much smaller than what it is now. At that time the show had fewer vendors and lower attendance. Palumbo helped Susi a great deal and gave her all of her leads, her website and mentored Susi for the first year.
It was hard going; however, Susi believed in the show and decided that the best way to grow was to advertise. She knew that the main problem was awareness. People interested in crafts needed to know that the show existed and, at the same time, she knew that vendors would participate in her show if they could see it was being promoted. Susi invested her time and money to improve the shows for both vendors and attendees by advertising wherever she could: TV, radio, banners, billboards, social media, newspapers and the list goes on.
Over the next couple of years, the attendance went from a few hundred per show to over 1,000 and over 2,000 per show last year. During Easter time, the show attracted 5,400 guests, and the M Resort show had 8,000 guests over the three days. These days, Susi has a new problem, and that is finding venues large enough to accommodate her craft shows. They have become so popular she has a vendor waiting list and is now in the enviable position of being able to limit vendors to those who genuinely handcraft their work. These are the types of problems any businessperson would love to have.
LV Craft Shows has won the Review Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” award three years in a row, and this year they won three categories: silver for “Best Arts and Culture” event, and double bronze for “Best Place to Buy a Unique Gift,” and” Best Antiques and Collectibles.”
Susi is always looking to the future and she is now working toward adding more three-day shows with quality vendors at exciting venues while still running some one-day shows, but at more selective locations.
Susi’s mantra is “quality over quantity.”
She attributes their three “Best of Las Vegas” wins to widespread advertising and an amazing group of vendors who are obviously super supportive. She is not content with her current level of advertising and promotion and is actively seeking some serious sponsors to help expand her marketing so that she can help her vendors get even more exposure and success.
Speaking of exposure, she asked me to invite everyone to the big three-day Arts, Crafts, & Gift Festival coming up Nov. 22 to 24 at Texas Station. You have to love a woman on a mission.
Susi’s mission started somewhat different to what you might imagine. She was born in 1965 in Munich, Germany into an entertainment family. Her mother and stepfather were actors and her mother also taught dance at her own studio. Susi started modeling and acting on TV, movies and theater from the age of 4. She also learned to dance and subsequently taught dance, yoga and fitness. All of this before she was 20, when she embarked on her global travels.
In 1992, Susi, at age 27, moved to California where at first she taught dance and fitness. However, it was not long before she was the lead dancer in shows like “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Nutcracker,” where she was also the assistant director. She joined a dance troupe and was fortunate to spend three seasons in Japan followed by a season on a cruise ship where she met the love of her life and musician extraordinaire, Jeff. Now a couple, they decided to set up in Las Vegas where Susi continued teaching dance, fitness and yoga, while Jeff joined the local music fraternity.
Many years prior to LV Craft Shows, Susi became interested in product promotion and event planning. Susi was a personal trainer to a Las Vegas family, and the mother was a fledgling author of children’s books. Susi is multi-lingual and noticed that some of the author’s French phrasing was not quite correct, and this was the start of her move into publishing. Her client subsequently asked for some editorial help with the children’s book and one thing led to another. Before she knew it, Susi was up to her eyes in the book production and promotion industry. Her enthusiasm to get involved and help whenever and wherever possible is not limited to business.
Susi has personally been rescuing animals since 2004 and, in 2016, she joined forces with a dear friend and they co-founded Sir’s Rescue Rangers, a local nonprofit organization. The charity is in memoriam of Sir, her friend’s dearly departed English mastiff. They focus on rescuing animals and placing them in loving foster homes while local veterinarians bring the animals back to good health, at which point the animals are placed into permanent homes. They ensure that the animals are placed into not just any home, but the right home. Susi’s craft shows participate in the fundraising by conducting specific raffles for Sir’s Rescue Rangers. All the monies from these raffles go toward the charities ongoing vet bill at the Grand Montecito Animal Hospital.
Since Susi was born into the entertainment industry and started life as a trained dancer, actor and model, her education was centered on entertainment, not business and marketing. However, she never let the absence of formal business training get in her way. She is a wonderfully energized self-taught role model for anyone who wants to grow their ideas and make a difference.