Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Many people ask me what it is like to shop the Atlanta market. Everyone thinks it is days full of fun and excitement. It is fun, but it is a lot of work and a lot of walking! The following is a snapshot of the days we spent at market.

Friday, July 10th

Busy day! We left Barnwell at 4:30am for a very long day at market. As our shuttle bus pulled up at the market, I was amazed at the very large attendance! This is such a change from the January market where there was a low attendance. We waited in a long time to get our market badges then quickly went over to the merchandise mart building to catch an elevator up to our first floor of shopping. We start off visiting some of our favorite designer showrooms to pick up on emerging home decor trends. Vintage inspired looks are everywhere! We begin buying Spring and Easter 2010 which will be shipped December 26th. You are going to love these great designs! We added to our handcrafted made in USA designer jewelry collections (think vintage Coco Chanel). We picked up many catalogs and walked many, many floors searching out the truly unique treasures. As the day winds down we attended several buyer receptions. We made it back to the hotel at 8:45pm and prepared for a busy Saturday.

Saturday, July 11th

We started the day off early with a 9:00am breakfast meeting with one of our new vendors. This was an exciting new showroom and we added 3 great lines you are going to love!! After our meeting we attended a seminar on Avante Garde Christmas decorating. I love to attend these seminars to learn great new design techniques. Unfortunately, the speaker was only given 1 hour notice that she would be giving the seminar and is was apparent by her presentation. I felt bad for her as many of the attendees left during her presentation. How rude!! We stayed for the entire presentation and went down to her showroom to purchase some of the great product that she used. We then went down to the High Design floor. This is a juried group of vendors that show cutting edge designed products. I admit that we rarely buy from this floor, but I enjoy seeing what will be the trends 3 years from now. The people on this floor are as "unique" as the product they are selling! I know we seem like "country bumpkins" when we enter this area! We were lucky to meet many of our designers today. We met Jim Shore, Beatriz Ball, Andrea & Charles Sadek, and Cyndi Bloomshire. These are positive people who are very proud of their product, as they should be. They are gracious and always want to know our concerns and recommendations for their lines. Today we added a total of 7 new lines for the shop. We got back to the hotel around 8:30pm and go through all our invoices and catalogs to prepare for Sunday.

Sunday, July 12th

I didn't have an appointment until 10:00am, so I went to our favorite book vendor and ordered a lot of great children's books. Dot always has the most unique children's books that sell out quickly. She can literally recite any book in her showroom and make the best recommendations for us. We always love seeing her! Most of our reps seem like family to us. Today we had several appointments with our key vendors and added all the new goodies they had to offer. Aromatique always adds 1 new fragrance for the winter season. This year it is peppermint (very refreshing). Those of you who attended our Evening of Design will be glad to know that we have added a wonderful new collection of entertaining items that will make your holiday entertaining a breeze. We added a lot of color to our home decor selections with great urns, prints, and lamps. Most of these will arrive before our fall open house in September! Several celebrities were at the market today. Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, and Jim Brickman all have new product that they were introducing at the market. We arrived back at our hotel around 6:30pm and went to one of our favorite restaurants in Atlanta (Einstein's).

Monday, July 13th

This is our last day at market, so we have to be very aware of our time. We still have 15 showrooms to go see. One of our favorite reps Caroline showed a new line of linens that we went crazy over. These have great fall colors that are truly unique (you will not see this at any big box chain!). We added a great new line of scarves that are going to be "the fashion accessory" this fall. We had a wonderful rep who, I think, tried everyone on for us! She earned her commission that day! One of our lamp vendors offered us great savings on some of their unique lamps. I couldn't resist ordering these at such great prices. Most of these are so unique that you would only see them in a designer's boutique. And now you will get to see them in Barnwell and put them in your beautiful home! Did we over spend our budget? Yes. But, now is the time to make our homes beautiful and festive for the holidays. We hope to see you soon in our shop and see all the treasures we purchased with you in mind!

Cameras are not allowed in the market, but I snuck one in to give you an idea of what it looks like inside the market. There are 4 buildings with 10 to 20 floors of showroom and temporary vendor space in each building. Showrooms (don't call them shops) are beautifully decorated and give such great inspiration on design ideas.

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