Meet This Woman-Owned Powerhouse: Carmen Rad of CR&A Custom, Inc.

As we close out Women’s History Month, we are leaving you with some inspiration from a female vendor who is killing the industry! Meet Carmen Rad, the founder and president of CR&A Custom Inc.

What began in 1993 as a two-person, custom-embroidery clothing business in downtown Los Angeles, has been transformed into a large-format, digital printing company. Today, they specialize in made-to-order advertising products like billboards, event booths, and displays that wrap around buildings. Her clients range from the Lakers and Clippers to Paramount Pictures and Microsoft Theater.


I am the Founder/President of CR&A Custom – a large format digital printer with over 27 years of experience producing and installing all types of signage from retractable banners to wall murals to vehicle wraps to billboards. A combination of an award winning, in-house design team and owning the latest state-of-the-art equipment available, allows us to assist customers from concept to manufacturing to installation. Our service capabilities reach all 50 U.S. states, Canada, South & Central America, plus the Caribbean.

Getting Started

While I was 4 months pregnant, and extremely frustrated by the difficulty of getting paid by my employer at the time, I self-funded the launch of CR&A out of my home. Over the last 2 decades, I have spearheaded the growth of CR&A to 43 employees and we now operate out of 34,000 square foot headquarters in the heart of LA that exceeds all City of LA environmental requirements.

Company Milestones

• From small businesses to non-profits to Fortune 500 Corporations, we have served nearly 2,000 clients.

• In 2013, CR&A exceeded $5 million in annual revenues.

• Only certified Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise in the U.S. with large format

printing capabilities.

• First printer in the U.S. to purchase the eco-friendly HP Latex 3000 – a water based printer, with

0% emissions of HVOC’s & completely odorless inks, expanding our technology portfolio.

• CR&A featured on Fox News for success as a booming Latina-owned business despite economic


Community Involvement

I am the former President for the LA Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). With far-reaching clout and impact, NAWBO is a one-stop resource to propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.

I also participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. In 2009, I was a member of the Speedo team that raised approximately $498,000, the second largest amount in California.

Carmen is definitely a female that fuels events and we’re so excited to have her company in our network! Connect with her at:

We’re here to help.

Here at Vendorspace, we’re committed to supporting vendors and organizers during these uncertain times. While the event industry is still trying to find new ways to host events, we strongly encourage our members to adhere to safety regulations by WHO, CDC, and federal and local governments. 

Although there are a lot of cancellations and adjustments to our everyday gatherings, we want you to stay inspired with creative ways you can still do events virtually. Our goal is to serve as a resource to connect you with unique virtual event opportunities and gigs, as well as find virtual event services to make your next online event the talk of the internet! 

Things to remember: 

  • When you find a virtual event or gig, ask as many questions as you need to before committing. This is new for all of us and we want you to feel comfortable participating in your online event. 
  • Research the platform that will be used. There’s nothing worse than finding out the technology the event is using is not compatible with your set up. Research and make sure you can still provide quality service with no glitches. 
  • For organizers, try something new by adding a vendor to your virtual event. We don’t know when this pandemic might end so let’s spice up our virtual events and support our local businesses. Supporting vendors now goes a long way to making sure they are available post-COVID to support your in-person event. Consider a host, singer, entertainer, decorator, audio/visual production or DJ for your next event.

We will continue to update this post with resources for planning virtual and socially-distant events and ways vendors can get involved. Check back regularly for new posts.

Event Assistance

Our team is on standby to help with your event needs. Please send us a message if you need additional assistance or have any questions or feedback for improving your experience with Vendorspace.

Live events will come back stronger than ever, we just have to work smarter until then.

Why Vendors Need Digital Advertising Now

Vendors are a part of the DNA of events. 

Can you imagine a conference without a videographer?

A brunch without a caterer? 

A company retreat without tables and chairs?

Just because we can’t gather in large groups right now doesn’t mean that vendors should be forgotten when organizing groups online.

There are many advantages to advertising during virtual events. Here are some of them:

  1. Continue to monetize in times of economic despair.

    Let’s face it – we are living in an uncertain and challenging financial climate. Thus, staying active in your industry is imperative, not only for your current monetary situation but also for your future.

    When you advertise during virtual events you are able to bring in the same income (or near the same) that you were getting before. Technology has enabled many workers to stay relevant during this quarantine and vendors should be included in that category. Take advantage of the internet and get your money!

  2. Reach a potentially larger audience

    Have you been watching any of the “versus” music challenges on Instagram? It’s when two popular artists pit their songs against each other – in a light-hearted, fun manner – to judge whose music is better.

    Whether you’ve caught one or not, the “attendees” reach in the hundreds of thousands, far more than any concert hall could hold in person. Imagine if your brand was plugged during one of these events? Can you say “ka-ching”?

    While it is more likely to get marketing exposure during a virtual business event, digital gatherings simply reach a wider audience, especially during these times, and your brand could benefit from the larger “crowd”. Don’t underestimate the power of what virtual events can do for your company.

  3. Perfect a new strategy to implement when things go back to normal

    At some point, things will get back to the way they were before Covid-19. Face masks will come off and “non-essential” businesses will re-open. But this doesn’t mean that virtual events will go away. In fact, they may even become more popular due to the fear of Corona returning and the comfortability we have acclimated to. When this quarantine ends, part of our new normal will include digital events.

    Why not get a jump on the market and figure out now how to master the digital space?  With the way things are going now, this is a tool for your toolbox that will continue to pay off long into the future.

    An entrepreneur once said that if you want to be rich then find out which direction the world is going and get there first. You already know digital events are the new wave. Learn to ride it now so that you are ahead of the pack when others figure it out, too.

We sincerely hope you are able to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Which digital events will you pitch your services to this month?

Vendors You Should Hire For Your Next Virtual Event

Dear Event Organizer,

We know you are interested in working virtually, yet some of you just don’t know how. 

So, we did some work for you and compiled a short list of virtual vendors that could add value to almost any event.

Check them out below:

  1. Outsnapped – The Virtual Photo Booth

    Who said you couldn’t capture your memories during online events? They don’t all have to be participants passively looking at a screen for hours. Now you can memorialize the moments with an awesome photo company that services virtual events, in addition to other events.

    Built for virtual marketing campaigns, webinars, trainings, keynotes, and more, Outsnapped outpaces its competition by adapting to the times and taking advantage of a growing need in the events industry. Featuring everything from snap still photos, animated GIFs, boomerang looping videos, and customizable overlays, your photos are instantly sharable via email, text, and your favorite social media platform.

    The best part is that you don’t need to download an app on your phone to use it! It can work directly from your mobile device or computer.

  2. Fanomena Events – For Digital Swagbags

    Gone are the days of stuffing generic pens, stress balls, pen pads into plastic bags for hours. Most event attendees do not care for them past the event itself and they can take up so much time to prepare. Go digital instead!

    Fanomena allows you to include important information about the event, upload PDFs and include rich media, such as videos and integration with Google maps. You can also create coupons and discount vouchers to be used at different times.

    The best part is that you can send your marketing material privately to registered attendees or create a public link which can be shared widely.

  3. The GoGame – For Virtual Games

    Teambuilding is essential for team success and playing games is essential to teambuilding. When you can’t play games together in-person, try them online with The GoGame.

    The GoGame sits at the intersection of technology, exploration, and creativity. After 10 years in the business, they have perfected games such as hunting for clues Amazing-Race style and shooting 80s-style music videos that engage everyone from marketers and lawyers to engineers and teachers.

    The best part is that when you book with them you are assigned a Game Producer who helps organize your game and the best method to administer it. 

As you can see by this list, there are many ways to engage online vendors at your next event. Try out one of our suggestions or let us know of another that you recommend.

5 Reasons Your Brand Should Do More Events

Entrepreneurs start businesses to be leaders in their industries. 

They do their research, gain competitive advantage, and position their brand to stand out from the pack. 

However, while this approach may get you started out on the right foot it doesn’t ensure your long-term success. 

To be successful long-term you need to take care of your existing customers, continually invite new ones into your orbit, and solve communication and organizational issues along the way. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to have some fun and enjoy your work while you’re at it!

Luckily, engaging in events can take care of all of this. 

If you haven’t thought about what events could do for your brand, here are five benefits they can offer. 

Events Gather Your Tribe For a Common Cause

Cambridge dictionary loosely defines a tribe as “a large family or other group that
someone belongs to”. For our sake, let’s think of your customers as your tribe. 

When your tribe comes out to support your event they make face-to-face
connections, not only between your team and them but also between each
other. This builds camaraderie and gets people speaking the same language, which in
turn builds trust in your brand and a stronger collective identity.  

Tribes with a strong collective identity work hard to make sure they all survive and thrive.

Events Create An Opportunity To Grow Your Tribe

Tribes grow every day. You don’t need to be born into one to join one. And it’s no secret
that larger tribes dominate society and the global marketplace. 

When you contribute to events that speaks to more than your already established
following, it creates an opportunity to gain new followers.

These newbies can test out your brand through the event experience and, if impressed,
they will surely sign up to be part of your family. 

But don’t worry, for those you are still unsure about you after spending a few hours with
your brand, you can always ask them for their email address to send them more
Information later. 

Events Leverage Your Brand’s Creativity And Resourcefulness

Events show both newcomers and existing customers what your brand is capable of.
From creative decorations to creative collaborations, they use their occurance to bring
teams together and bring out the best in one another.  

Every tribe needs to evolve and that comes through new ideas and experiences. Events
are the perfect way to either test these out or reinforce the ones you already have. 

When your team develops your brand gets a boost, making it strategically
advantageous to better compete with your competitors.  

Events Create Buzz

Everybody wants to hang with the cool kids. And in this day of social media, your event
can show everyone just how cool your brand is. From live streams to event pics, video
clips to good ole’ fashion word-of-mouth marketing, events create a buzz for you that
is simply invaluable. 

They get people talking about your brand and wanting to get in on the action. This can
not only attract new clients but also help to keep the ones you already have. Moreover,
both segments can provide you with valuable customer feedback, all at the fraction of
your traditional marketing budget. 

Events Can Generate Revenue For You

All businesses want to make money. When you have an event you are literally inviting money into your domain and asking it to stay. 

Whether you upsell, meet future business partners, or cater to returning customers, events are a great way to keep attracting money to your brand. 

Events Are Fun! (BONUS)

Businesses want to make money, maybe even better the world, but more than anything they want to enjoy the work they do.   

If you have ever organized an event you know that the planning stage can be gruesome. But there is nothing like seeing all of your hard work come to fruition. 

Smiling faces. Affirmative handshakes. Meeting new people and showing appreciation to those who have supported you from day one. 

Events are the best way to party with a purpose. 

All in all, whether you book an online or in-person event, they can provide great value to your brand. Not only can you make money, grow your tribe, and impress your existing family members, you can also get a lot of enjoyment out of them! 

What event do you plan to take part in next? Let us know in the comments below.

Vendor Care Package

There is a great quote I like about the nature of charity. 

It says, “Helping one person might not change the world, but it might change the world for one person.”

In these trying times, as much as we would like to ease the struggle of so many who are hurting, there are just too many people who are in need of assistance right now. Luckily, there are some great resources out there that could mean the world to a few vendors. 

Take a look at the list below and try to get assistance where you can. 

Good luck and please share this information with others who you think might benefit from it!


The Meetings Industry Fund

When life takes an unexpected turn, The Meetings Industry Fund is there with an immediate lifeline. We provide confidential financial assistance to those individuals in crisis who are directly involved in the planning, execution, delivery and support of meetings.

Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program Loan

SBA PPP loans provide financial assistance to small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 to help them keep employees on their payrolls. OnDeck is an approved SBA lender for PPP loans and is participating along with other banks and financial institutions.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

SBA Express Bridge Loan

Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

Facebook Small Business Grants

Facebook is up to 30,000 small businesses with 2 – 50 employees loans worth up to $100 million dollars.

COVID – 19 Ancillary Costs

The HealthWell Foundation just announced a COVID-19 Fund that provides up to $250 in assistance with ancillary costs associated with COVID-19. Grants awarded through the fund will provide reimbursement assistance to at risk or quarantined individuals for delivered food, medication, telehealth copays and transportation costs associated with COVID-19.

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hello Alice’s Covid-19 Business Resource Center

Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus

Live Nation Covid-19 Global Relief Fund For Live Music Crews

Live Nation, the world’s live entertainment company, in collaboration with the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, a non-profit organization,has pledged an initial $5 million dollars and will match an additional $5 million pledged by artists, fans, and employees to support live music crews who have lost work during the Coronavirus.


SCORE Mentoring for Small Businesses

SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education.
As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE provides support to entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources. Mentors are available to participate in remote mentoring sessions via phone, email, and video.

National Small Business Town Hall Series

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will team up for a sixth virtual National Small Business Town Hall to help small business owners alike navigate the programs that are available to them.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – Local Chapter Support For Small Businesses

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. They have local chapters around the nation providing support for women entrepreneurs. 

Start Small Think Big

A great non-profit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs is on the pulse of posting information about workshops and resources needed during Covid-19.

*You can also check with your local small business development organization for more workshops.* 


How To Best Manage Coronavirus Anxiety

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has made the effort to compile a comprehensive guide to managing anxiety and/or depression during these times.

How To Best Control Your Time During Covid-19

The American Psychiatric Association offers helpful tips on how to control and manage your time during Covid-19.

World Health Organization (WHO) Mental Health Considerations

The ever-important World Health Organization has provided a 6-page document outlining factors and elements to look for while experiencing this pandemic.

Self-Screening for Mental Health

A national non-profit, Mental Health America, has created a self-screening test for individuals to take to determine where they stand on the mental health spectrum. 



Stream thousands of live or on-demand workouts from top studios around the world. Try everything from yoga to strength training to HIIT and more.


GymCube membership unlocks the resources you need to lose fat, tone up, increase fitness, gain strength and lead a healthier, happier lifestyle. Burn calories at home with online exercise classes like HIIT, Abs, Combat, Dance (similar to Zumba), Indoor Spin Cycling, Yoga and Pilates.

Alo Moves

Get access to unlimited yoga, fitness, and meditation classes for only $20 a month, featuring the likes of Dylan Werner, Sri Dharma Mittra, and Melini Jesudason. 

I hope you find something useful on this list. Remember, we are all in this together. Please share any additional resources you think our community can benefit from. 

Take care.

5 Tips On How To Choose The Right Vendor For Your Event

Relationships are tricky. 

On one hand, you get to spend time with someone who cares about you. They believe in your potential, look past your flaws, and give support when you need it. 

On the other hand, they can be clingy, not reliable, or even worse, take your presence for granted (don’t you just hate that?).

This is why choosing the right vendors for your event is so important. 

Relationships are the perfect analogy for events – you have a common interest, an exchange of value, and both parties are in service to one another.  

So, who you choose to experience this with is critical.

You want vendors who share the qualities of the former, not the latter. 

Here are 5 tips on how to pick ‘em well.

Timing Matters

Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for the pretty girl’s number. Say something early
before someone else catches her attention. 

Likewise, many event coordinators wait too long to seek vendors. What they fail to
realize is that good vendors are booked often and can’t always squeeze your event into
their schedule at a moment’s notice.

Start seeking your vendor early so they can get a chance to clear their schedule and
accept your date request. You never know, it could lead to another one. 

Make Sure They Represent You Well

There’s nothing like an odd couple. They stand out like a sore thumb as soon as you see them and their interaction is just weird. 

When it comes to vendors, don’t be the odd couple. Find vendors that share your values and vision, ones you would be proud to take home to your “family.” 

Your vendor should be able to represent who you are when you are not available during the event. Make sure you’re comfortable with how they would do that.

Attitude Over Looks

Ladies love the bad guy. He’s carefree, handsome, and usually has a great
body. But, the good guy usually has a better attitude, is more creative, and actually cares
about who you are as a person. 

Events are not about what looks good on paper. They are about the experience
you want your audience to leave with and talk about long after it’s over. 

Choose the vendor that will be more pleasant to work with, someone who cares about
your event goals and will be dedicated to making it a memorable experience for all

Reputation Matters

SUITS character Harvey Specter once said, “Hustle until you no longer have to introduce
yourself.” Not all of your vendors may be well known, but someone should be able to
vouch for their work. 

Ask around. 

Read reviews and testimonials. 

Make sure you know who you’re getting in bed with – literally. 

They Need To Fit In With The Family

Remember when I said you should be able to bring your vendor home to your  “family”?
Well, that wasn’t only to assess their first impression. As in any relationship, if things
work out there are going to be more interactions and you need to know it won’t cause
friction because they’re around. 

Vendors need to fit in with your family, in this case, your other staff members. It’s not only awkward when they don’t, but it can also sabotage your event. 

Vet your vendors thoroughly to determine if their persona would compliment that of your already existing team.

Whether assessing a relationship or event, who you bring into your personal space is paramount to keeping your sense of self and sanity.

It’s not possible to know everything about vendors before you work with them, but you should also try not pick any random person from off the street. 

Timing, Representation, Attitude, Reputation, and Family Fit are just some of the ways to select the best vendor for your event. Whether you use these metrics or others, making informed decisions will greatly benefit you. Your event will be much better if you choose your vendors wisely.

Planning a Holiday Party in 1–2–3

So your co-worker just started playing her holiday playlist, and five minutes later you find out that you’re in charge of planning your job’s holiday party. Your only experience with planning parties was for your niece’s 2nd birthday. What do you do? Well, fear not, Vendorspace has you covered.

In three simple steps, you can plan your corporate party!

Step 1: Visit

Step 2: Sign up as an event organizer.

Step 3: Search for your vendors.

Suggested vendors for a corporate party:

DJ:  You’re going to want great music to get the party started. Sure you can rely on your Tidal playlist, but there’s nothing like a good ole fashion hype man.

Caterer:  Good food can make or break your party. The rule of thumb is if there will be alcohol, then you should have food.

Photobooth:  Usually the purpose of a corporate party is to create a team bonding experience while also allowing everyone to feel more comfortable than usual. A photo booth helps to capture the experience while also sharing the fun on social media.

Planning a party for the holidays? Tag @joinvendorspace in your pics on social media!

Meet Our Vendors: YummY’s Funnel Cakes

The world is full of unique vendors, especially Atlanta! Every week, we’ve decided to highlight some of our favorite vendors right here in the city. Doesn’t matter the size of your event, these are people you should know — they’ll definitely make your next event one to remember!

This week, we’re highlighting YummY’s Funnel Cakes. The fact that we don’t have to wait for a carnival to get our hands on these yummy treats makes them our favorite food truck right now! Check out our interview below:

What’s your name? What’s the name of your business?

My name is Keyania Richardson, I’m the owner of YummY’s Funnel Cakes Food Truck


When did you decide to become a full-time vendor?

I decided to become a full-time vendor in May of 2015

Name one thing you love about vending and one thing you hate about vending.

One thing I love about vending is having customers come to my window with so much excitement because they’re about to have something that they love. One thing I hate is the winter season when vending days slow down because of the weather.

What has been your favorite event so far?

My favorite event thus far has been the concerts at Cellaris Amphitheater at Lakewood. Not only did we get to serve 1000’s of customers, we got to hear some of my favorite artist preform.

What’s your dream event to vend at?

My dream event involves tons of happy people and music. Vending at an event like Coachella would be a dream!

Where can we find you? (website, social media, next event, etc.)

YummY’s Funnel Cakes Food Truck can be found at: or

For Booking:

You can find us at YOUR event, book us today!

Catch them around the city at an event near you! Trust me, you’ll thank us later!