Attendee Spotlight: Anita Takemoto

AFCI Member, Anita Takemoto owns an e-commerce business and has been a member of AFCI attending the various trade shows for over 15 years.

Earlier this year, Anita completed the post-Creativation survey that was sent to all attendees. She shared that she did not like Phoenix and wished the show would move back to Anaheim – and she wasn’t the only person who felt this way. So, in conjunction with the City of Phoenix, AFCI invited Anita and four other attendees who had a similar opinion to revisit Phoenix and explore the culture and things to do.

AFCI Members group picture

AFCI Members (left to right): Anita Takemoto, Cheryl Stapleton, Alison Bevis, Brooke Snyder, Cindy deRosier

We spoke with Anita after the trip to learn what she discovered and if her opinion of the location changed.

What are some of the places and things you discovered that Creativation attendees should know about?

“I love the mural artwork on the walls of buildings throughout the city. They are very colorful and creative. In Los Angeles, the artwork would be called graffiti and illegal. But, in Phoenix, the city embraces it and people get to express themselves through art and creativity.


Phoenix art mural


Phoenix art mural

The Downtown Phoenix Ambassador Program is such a wonderful program. They are located all around the Phoenix Convention Center ready to answer any questions you might have like where to eat or how to get to a location. And if they do not know the answer, they will find it for you. I have a personal story about the program from earlier this year. I felt uncomfortable walking to my car alone late at night to the parking garage, so a Phoenix Ambassador walked me to my car. I felt very safe having the Ambassador escort me to my vehicle. They also helped my friend. She had a flat tire and a Phoenix Ambassador stayed with her for a couple of hours and helped arrange for her get a new tire.

There are many great places to eat within two to four blocks, an easy walking distance from the Convention Center. I hope the city will provide a map and highlight the locations and their specials and/or happy hours for the Creativation attendees.

The Heard Museum is an amazing place to learn about the history of this area. The history of American Indians from this area and the artifacts are abundant here; I learned about the different tribes who lived in this area with examples of jewelry, textiles and dolls! They have an interactive room that children can explore how life was for the Indians before computers and cell phones.


Heard Museum exhibit

The Desert Botanical Gardens is a MUST see. I didn’t know so many different succulents and cacti existed! The plants and blooms are truly beautiful. We had a great time wandering through the gardens and reading the informative displays. The Gardens are outside, so be prepared with lots of water and sunscreen. We were lucky to see a ballet performance at the Gardens. The dancers were so graceful and beautiful. What a treat!”

What is the favorite Phoenix business you visited?

Hazel and Violet is a custom letterpress printing shop. They have several ‘old school’ printing presses to make stationery, coasters, potters and more. Hopefully, you can take a workshop from them while you are in Phoenix. It was so interesting to see the process. And the trees around Hazel and Violet are covered with hand-knitted/crocheted/felted decorations. Someone was very creative and talented!!

Anita Takemoto and

Anita Takemoto (left) and Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica (right)

And Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica, has her Mucho Más Art Studio featuring handcrafted Latino/Mexican art. Her shop is filled with beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry, artwork, mixed media, etc. Stop by and say hi to Kathy! She is so much fun and always has a smile. Mucho Mas is part of a unique co-op of shops that includes handcrafted candles and soaps, a juice bar with organic foods and a bookstore.


The Antiquities Warehouse has rooms and rooms filled with amazing antiques for purchase; we loved shopping there. They have fabulous tables and chairs, signs, furniture, doors and shutters and so much more!”

Antiquities Warehouse

Antiquities Warehouse

What was your favorite Phoenix restaurant and why?

“We had lunch at The Vig. I had a delish poke bowl with a light ginger lime vinaigrette. The fish was very fresh and was on a nice bed of snow peas, avocado and mixed greens. The restaurant was hip and had a casual vibe. I would definitely go back!


The Vig, Phoenix

Snoh Ice Shavery was a great dessert surprise. The shaved ice was fluffy and was mixed with yummy ice cream. A definite go to for a cool, refreshing dessert.”

Are you looking forward to going back to Phoenix for Creativation?

“Yes, definitely. Now that I know more about the city, I would like to arrive a couple of days early and explore more – the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix and the Orpheum Theatre (I think they have free tours) to name a few. The Valley Metro Light Rail is great for inexpensive transportation – $4 for an all-day ride. There are hidden gems everywhere. The city of Phoenix has a lot of history and there’s so much more to see than a couple blocks walking distance from the hotel and the Convention Center.”

What benefits do you experience by attending Creativation?

“It’s always great to attend Creativation. The New Products area with the displays is an awesome way to see the hottest new products all at the same time. At Creativation, I can see and touch (and sometimes play!) with the new releases and see the product trends for the upcoming season. Having the opportunity to see in person products and demonstrations is always a plus. It’s also an excellent time to see owners and personnel of the companies and their passion for our industry.”

Register for Creativation

Creativation Logo

Join thousands of creative businesses for Creativation, January 17-21, 2019 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Education will start on January 17; the trade show will open January 19-21. Register for your badge today at Conference registration will open on September 12.

Thinking about extending your stay to explore Phoenix? We’ve partnered with the City of Phoenix to provide you with resources to help you plan your trip. Click here to explore trip ideas, see things to do nearby the Phoenix Convention Center, and find free virtual travel guides.

Need a hotel? We’ve made it easy for you to book hotels near the event in Phoenix through our new hotel booking partner, Hotels for Hope. Hotels for Hope’s 600,000+ hotel partners allows us to expand the number of hotels at great rates available for Creativation, which gives your company more choices of where to stay! Plus, for every Creativation hotel room night booked through Hotels for Hope, $2 will be donated to the Kids In Need Foundation, AFCI’s Charity of Choice. Book your hotel now!

One thought on “Attendee Spotlight: Anita Takemoto

  1. Gloria J Taylor says:

    This year was our my bff roomie and me from past CHA’s in Chicago and LA) first time to spend time in Phoenix. We LOVED it! Delicious food, amazing weather and new things to see!

    I’m the member of CHA for many years and I trust your selection of hotels to choose Americas Best Value Inn at $117/night. 424 Van Buren Street, Phoenix 85003 #602-257-8331…..

    OMG….I’ve traveled to 70 countries, many continents and this hotel had the filthiest bathroom ever and there were cockroaches! I prefer a bath, the rub was so nasty I showered. Please take this ‘motel’, not a hotel off your choice of AFCI places to stay. I took pics and called tried to share with you after the event but you weren’t accepting calls. 😦

    There was a family with two youngl children also attending, staying at the same motel and he told me they were leaving Day 2 to stay at another hotel that was cleaner and quieter.

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