2013 Americasmart Atlanta Market Trip – January 10 – January 13
We arrived in Atlanta for the 6th Year! Can’t believe it’s already been that long, but it’s always an exciting trip for us. My mom and me arrived late the evening on Wednesday so we could be geared up and ready to go first thing Thursday morning.
Being that my sister-in-law, Karen and my girlfriend, also a Karen planned to meet up with us on Friday and Saturday we elected to buy for the 2013 Holiday Season first. Our first stop was to Demdaco; they always seem to have unique items for Christmas and Everyday Gifts. We wondered what the main theme for the holidays would be, and they had two very striking displays as we approached the showroom; a Nutcracker Theme, very colorful and bold, and for the first time a holiday themed Kelley Rae Roberts collection that was absolutely gorgeous!
Those of you that already collect or give Kelley Rae plaques, angels, ornaments, etc. are going to be awed by the beauty of her first ever holiday collection called “Peace on Earth”, with its gold sparkly accents and vintage themed ornaments, trees, bottles and more. Below are a few photos I took, but the collection looks so much prettier in person.
The Ugly Sweater theme is not over; with many vendors, including Demdaco, who added an entire medley with knit sweater ornaments, banners, bottle and wine holders, beverage glasses, koozies and more! Looks like we’ll be having an Ugly Sweater Holiday Event at Grande Trunke Home!
My other favorite within this showroom was all the Vintage/Retro Holiday signs and plaques. They make you feel like you’re back in the “It’s a Wonderful Life” era! Me and my mom loved all of these and purchased quite an assortment! This will definitely be included in one of our holiday Mantel Sessions.
We added a few other favorites from Demdaco’s holiday showroom and moved over to the the other “Everyday Gift” showroom. I really loved the cute Santa Advent Calendar and the Santa Canvases too! Too much to choose from.
Here we were excited to see the new Kelley Rae Roberts angels and plaques and several other of our favorites. She added cute wallets, bracelets, earrings and more. I especially liked the new cameo pictures. Check them out below!
After spending a good chunk of our morning here, we moved onto another great vendor out of California that has really fun Christmas signs, plaques and blocks. I’m sure you will recognize the style from the pictures. They added quite an extensive collection of new holiday decor.
From here we walked over to the Market Club to grab a quick bag lunch and chatted with a couple from Illinois who have had a gift store since the 80′s. It’s always fun to meet new people and find out what items sell well for them, and obtain recommendations on which vendors they like to do business with.
Following our Turkey sandwich lunch we headed up to the 19th Floor for some more holiday shopping! At Raz we found beautiful burlap and glitter silver deer. Really, we went deer crazy! They had so many to choose from, and they were all beautiful; from the gold vintage tones, to rustic, to the new trend of burlap. Believe me, you’ll have plenty of different deer to choose from this holiday season! Your mantels will look out of this world!
In the ornament arena, they had many vintage jewel toned designs from drops to balls. Again, I think Vintage is going to be huge for Christmas decorating, and you can choose to go with an elegant theme or very nostalgic.
Angels in mixed metals and fabrics adorned much of the showroom too. One of our favorites though was the Santas of the United States. We bought the one for Michigan riding on the reindeer. It was cool; they had 50 different Santa, each representing their State.
We walked through a few more showrooms, but nothing really stood out until we found one that had these cute little bunnies peeking through the window. Across the hall they had a separate showroom for all their Christmas; lots of fun snowmen and beautiful wreaths and floral pots. You had to pick and choose, but we ended up finding quite a few items that we think you’ll love.
My rep from Michigan met up with us and wrote up our order and then we headed over to Building 2, where most of the Gift items are located. He wanted to show us these fun new Beer and Wine Glasses from Top Shelf. They are all hand painted and have very fun sayings on them. I really liked the Beer Mugs, and this is nothing that Lolita offers right now. These mugs will make great guy gifts! They will be arriving at the store 1st Qtr. of this year!
At this point it was already 7:00pm, and I think we were the last ones in the mart so we headed down, met up with my girlfriend Karen who just flew in from Detroit and made are way back to Kennesaw to stay with my brother and sister-in-law one last night!
Awesome first day at Market.
Friday, January 11
Our morning started out with Christmas shopping once more. The agenda was to finish it all today so we could move on to Home Decor and Gift buying. I had an appointment with my rep, Pat Burns at Transpac. This has to be one of the craziest and busiest showrooms. Seems like there’s always 100 or more people in there at one time. Why busy? They seem to have the cutest little Snowmen and Santas, and are always changing up their designs and coming out with fabulous products for all seasons.
This is where I found the Kissing Balls from this season. For 2013, they have added a large crystal hanging from the mistletoe section. It’s really beautiful. We doubled our order for this year so we would have plenty for gift giving. They also added ones for the Fall Season.
Halloween was in a completely separate showroom across the hall so we mosied over to check it out and soon found we were ordering Pumpkins, Cats, Witches and more! I love Halloween; it’s one of my favorite holidays.
By this time, it was already 11:00am, and we wanted to go back to a new showroom we had found on Thursday. They had some really glitzy and glamorous Christmas so off we went!
This showroom certainly validated the trends that we were seeing throughout the holiday floors: Burlap, Rustic, Glitter Glam Silver, Crystal and Chrome mixed, Mercury Glass and Vintage.
In speaking with one of the showroom sales staff about all the beautiful Silver Glam, she stated that they had a couple high profile designers in from New York who purchased quite a bit of the Silver Glitter Glam holiday collection for their stores in New York City. Very interesting and definitely fitting for our South Lyon decorators! Check out some of the items we purchased. These can also go right into the New Year too!
We agreed that one of our favorites though were these cute little Christmas mice. My mom fell in love with them, and now she has her gifts picked out for her sisters and sister-in-laws for Christmas. I really loved their Holiday Book Box Assortment with Santa, Snowmen and Pinecones. Got have them!
They also had a large assortment of all different types of birds, from glitter silver to rustic burlap.
Rustic and Burlap will be one of our themes for 2013 for holiday decorating. We hand picked many trees, deer, snowmen, garland, ornaments and more.
Believe it or not, this showroom also had an entire section, almost one third of it dedicated to Halloween moving skeletons, witches, bats, crows; you name it, they had it. We found some very interesting hand candy dishes, skeleton candelabras, and witches that danced above with their brooms. We’re sure you won’t find these items any where else; they were truly unique!
Great find, however we needed lunch as it was already after noon. Back to Transpac who serves a buffet style lunch in their showroom. A quick bite and we were off to find garlands.
Burnt out on Christmas shopping we elected to go to a showroom one of my reps began representing called “Go Home”. The best way to describe their showroom is Restoration Hardware like, but better. I think one of their designers actually designs for Restoration Hardware, but don’t quote me. With a mix of reclaimed woods, industrial lighting and metals and a twist of vintage it was really refreshing. We found some really cool wine glasses. wine racks, lighting and furniture pieces.
Being that the Temporary Showrooms opened today, we thought it would benefit us to get over there sooner before the crowds arrived on Saturday and Sunday. We headed to the Home Accents temps first, which are in Building 1. Here we revisited a booth that had previously been over in Building 3 and was more child/baby related. They have totally changed it up and added some great sentiment and quote plaques in various colors, and with a pop of glitter. I’ll definitely revisit this vendor.
Walking thru the booths we couldn’t help but get caught up at Jeremie who had a great display of holiday angels and trees made in metals and with wire and crystal. Check out the pictures! They are really beautiful.
Off to the other side of the temps; as we walked the aisles we saw more and more of the burlap and linen trend in headboards, holiday decor, chairs, benches, ottomans, etc.
As we strolled the aisles, we came across a great booth with fabulous canvas art. We loved the color and detail, and in conversing with the sales guys in the booth we soon found out that all their canvas is done by local artists out of California and surrounding areas; very cool! Well, we just had to pick a few out for the store, and maybe one for my home too. The Metropolitan Opera and Chocolat were my favorite, however I really liked the Paris one too! These just arrived in the store last Friday, and we hung the Chocolat on Saturday!
From there we discovered a little booth with a huge spark of color – pops of turquoise, red, gold in beautiful wood crosses with metal flowers, large lit up letters, wood boxes and more! Really different things. Because the booth of full of people we didn’t get a chance to meet the designer, but grabbed one of her cards to follow-up later. I think you’ll agree the crosses are beautiful!
Done with the Home Decor Temps we moved onto the Gourmet Food, Gift and Garden Temps in Building Two West. On a hunt for those wine chillers that pop into your bottle of wine to keep it chilled. We did find the original “Corkcicle”, however it was pricy and you had to remove the piece to pour your wine; not very functional.
As we walked the aisles we ended up finding a new one in colorful bright tones that not only chills your wine, but also has a drip free pourer on the end so you don’t have to remove it; now this was exactly what we were looking for. The demonstrator said they should be ready to ship in February. I’ve had several customers ask about these so I’m very happy we found the latest and greatest and a reasonable price point.
The last really different item we found in the temps, which makes a great guy gift is this really cool drink dispenser made of rock. Check them out! Need to follow-up on this one for Father’s Day.
Trends for Gardening included bird watching and feeding items, but the hottest is by far is Fairy Gardens with their cute little houses and furniture.
Time to go as we really wanted to meet David Bromstad from HGTV Color splash. He was doing a signing of his new coaster line in one of the showrooms. We got there about 5:45pm, and lucky for us there was no one in line! We all had our pictures taken with him and chatted a bit. David is just as genuine in person as he is on TV. He was sooo cute and very nice!
At this point, it was almost 6:00pm and we were starving! We had an appointment to meet my rep Shari at Imax to check out the latest Accessories, Art, Clocks and all the other great Home Decor they are known for.
No food, other than a few munchies, but wine and beer; right up our alley! Grabbed a few morsels and a glass of wine before making our way around the showroom.
Again, the burlap and linen trend was evident, and Imax also launched a new line of pillows. There really wasn’t one big color pop, rather a mixture of turquoise, oranges, greens and purples; all the brighter jewel tones. I also noticed much more of the reclaimed wood mixed with metals in furniture pieces, accessories, trays and clocks.
I chose a mixture of really nice items for the store, including a reclaimed wood/metal rolling shelf piece that I thought was really unique.
We wrapped up at Imax, walked over to Building 2 to Caffco with Shari where we found some great new decorative frames, and then finished the evening looking at all the new jewelry pieces from the Good Bead.
The vintage look of their new Poesy slide charm line is really fun and fresh. The bracelet is flat with a toggle end and the vintage charms slide on it. Poesy will be arriving at Grande Trunke Home very soon!
The other new line is called Gingersnaps, which have round jeweled pieces that pop into a leather or silver bracelet. These are really trendy and you can switch out the snaps to create your own fashion look or match your clothing. This line will be coming out in April, so hopefully I will have it by Mother’s Day!
Our day Two at Market was completed and our feet were sore! Tomorrow we begin our shopping for Home Decor and Gifts.
Saturday, January 12
Fresh and ready to roll, well kind of – don’t know what me and Karen were thinking when we decided to go out for a late dinner and wine in downtown Atlanta. Had a lot of fun, but didn’t get in until after 12:30am! Coffee here we come.
The morning began at Uttermost who just launched a brand new Rug line, all made in India. Mac Cooper, CEO of Uttermost spent the last two years developing this new line with his team. All I can say is Wow! The rugs are fabulous, and what’s really amazing are the price points; very competitive and so beautiful. The designs, textures and colors are varied to appeal to everyone, whether they want a casual look or a sleek modern style.
I ordered a small 5 X 8 for the store so you can see the quality and beauty firsthand. We just received it last week so next time you stop in take a peek! Samples in 6″ X 6″ should be arriving soon of all the rug styles and colors.
Other trends that I noticed in the Uttermost showroom included:
- Heavier Metals on Furniture Bases
- More Antiquing on Mirrors
- Reclaimed/Driftwood pieces increasing
- Natural Linens on upholstered chairs/lamp shades and varied textures
- Colorful Ceramic Lampshade bases
Yes, we all ordered something for ourselves, and a good assortment of items for the store, which just arrived last week. We are still unpacking, but much of it is out on the floor for your shopping pleasure!
Off to Ashton Art to check out new art and new pieces by Terry Lawrence, our local artist/photographer from Whitmore Lake. Terry is Ashton’s #1 Artist! Grande Trunke Home carries many of her pictures. She travels all over the world from England to Turkey to Mexico; Prague, you name it; she’s been there.
From Ashton, we walked over to the J. Douglas Showrooms, which is a collection of vendors, each with their unique products and designs.
Gallery Lamps out of Texas, one of the vendors, offers a beautiful assortment of lamps. My favorite is the shades. Shown in natural linen and burlap along with the new Chevron and Geometric patterns, there is definitely plenty to choose from. Many of the shades were in the bright Spring Green color too.
On our way over to Cyan Design hoping they would change up their design styles from the past two markets with their odd Chicken Coop Marketing Campaign, and different shaped accessories and lighting.
Well, they did change … I guess, to a more modern design strategy with far more colored curvy glass vases, bowls, etc and even funkier lighting. While, it’s not my taste nor my customer base, however I can say that it’s different; they must be appealing to a more modernistic consumer, or perhaps Designers.
Checking out a few more showrooms, we found a great dining table with an iron base and several smaller accent tables. The base wood was also available in different shades, and the table in various sizes.
Back to Uttermost for a little lunch and then onto a new showroom called Light and Living out of Norway. They offered a complete line of lighting and home accessories. One of the most unique pieces we found was a floor lamp that was at chair level, which I found clever. I don’t know one vendor that makes a shorter floor lamp for reading. Most of them you have to bend over to get it at the right angle. These were actually made just for that purpose, and were probably about 12 inches shorter than a typical floor lamp.
Their showroom had four unique styles, one being bold industrial with bright chromes. Another, much more elegant with European influence – beautiful Mercury Glass pieces with sentiments. Other pieces had raw nickel on them, natural roping on lanterns and linen shades.
I hand picked some beautiful pieces; Mercury Glass Hurricanes, Serving pieces, Votive Holders and more. Can’t wait to get these in; they will make beautiful Wedding/Anniversary gifts.
From here we wanted to check out new gift and holiday at Grasslands. This is where I buy those cute salt and pepper shakers of all types and they have awesome wine accessories too.
Their nature/animal line expanded for this coming holiday season and the tabletop is definitely more vintage. You can also see the burlap trend some more in pillows and snowmen.
On our way over to Park Hill, we stumbled across “The Light Garden” which was amass many other vendors under the Southern Link Showroom. They had really unique lanterns and had them displayed beautifully, filled with flameless candles, burlap, and even added pheasant feathers. I really liked the glass thin sconces too. I ordered an assortment of different style lanterns.
Seems as though lanterns have replaced traditional candle holders, which makes sense since you can use them in so many different ways and also display them both inside or outdoors. Lanterns were bigger than ever throughout the show.
We did a quick breeze through Park Hill, and yes they had great lanterns too, and made our way over to Kalalou. I love Kalalou for their large glass hurricanes with trays that you can use and change up for every season, cast iron pieces and twig crosses.
Walking into the showroom they featured one of a kind furniture pieces, which is what my girlfriend Karen ended up buying for her son’s room!
They also had large glass lanterns with thick rope handles, which were very cool. I picked out some brightly colored ceramic bud vases in all different colors and sizes which you can place almost anywhere in your home, along with my staples and wood pedestals.
From here we split up into teams to try and make the most of our “Gift Finding” escapade. Unique gifts get more difficult to find each year plus my sister-in-law wanted to see if she could go and meet David Bromstad who was holding a seminar on Color.
Me and Karen ended up finding a great showroom called Tango, and within here I found a cool line of jewelry called Lenny and Eva. I describe it as very hip, and the sentiments are amazing. Pick a bracelet and pick a sentiment and you have a beautiful piece that reflects you. It can also be gender neutral.
The other think I like about the jewelry is the use of natural elements; leather, brass, pewter, etc. The displays are actually made in Holland, MI too!
The founder and designer was a school teacher who wanted to follow her passion to express her feelings and created this all on her own! Grande Trunke Home will carry this line and start with the bracelets and sentiments.
All of us were very hungry and we knew one of the showroom would be serving coney dogs and hot dogs from the famous Varsity Drive-in out of Atlanta, which was established back in 1928. They served them with hot apple or peach pies and coleslaw – very yummy!
Strolling the showroom after dinner I found some cute sports frames, and an assortment of great girl fashion accessories; knit headwraps, flower pins/clips, umbrellas and headbands.
Off to my final appointment with my rep Beth at One Coast to see all the new items! Their showroom is massive and is divided into sections. We started with fashion and gift items from Natural Life. This is a great line for the younger girls. I chose some fun new glitter hair bands and headbands, new zip wallets, prayer boxes and some really cute magnet plaques.
From here, we restocked on all the cute baby banks, frames and socks and then moved onto their home decor section, where they carry an awesome line of serving platters, wine accessories, tea towels and frames. I carry quite a few of their wood frames with burlap and special sayings and was so elated to see the huge expansion in this category. They added quite a few new color frames, and many different new words! It was hard to choose which ones to bring into the store. Here’s a pic of a few of them.
Finally, I wrapped up the evening here finishing in the wine/entertaining category choosing some beautiful serving pieces with sentiments and fun wine glasses and tea towels. All done for the day! It was already 9:30pm and we were all exhausted.
Last Day at Market – Sunday, January 12
Back to one of our favorite showrooms, Uttermost, to meet my sales rep Michelle and grab some breakfast. We did a preview walk-thru on Saturday, and now needed to place our order with Michelle. Michelle took us through the showroom and pointed out all the new items added to their line; many great furniture pieces, lamps and art, and of course the rugs that I described earlier. We wrapped up about 10:30am and moved onto to finish Christmas.
Up to Old World Christmas to hand pick our favorite collectible ornaments. We chose MSU and U of M Collegiate Hoody Sweatshirt ornaments that were really cool! I would have liked to take a photo, but unfortunately no pictures were allowed in their showroom. I picked the popular sports ornaments, ice skates, hockey and even some wine and beer ornaments for us girls and guys. They had fabulous Santa and Snowmen Ornaments too!
From Old World Christmas we found this little showroom out of Pennsylvania that had all types of bells. I particularly liked the bells found on the long leather straps, like the Clydesdale Horse straps. I think these would really be great for holiday decorating, either hanging on a front door or incorporating into your tabletop or mantel display. They also offered doorknob bells.
Don’t be surprised when you see Leather Bell Straps this holiday season!
We took a quick detour and stopped at Gift Craft, one of my vendors that I currently buy home decor and holiday seasonal items from. I wanted to take a quick stroll through their showroom to see what they had new in holiday. Vintage and Fairies were their themes.
Moving on we headed to another new company that my rep Amy had told me about. She said they had really nice home decor wall art, plaques, inspirational signs and an assortment of other home decor items. I also was very interested in seeing their small wall plaques that looked very similar to Sid Dickens line of collectible wall art. Check them out below.
I met up with Amy upon returning from Market, and we will be getting in an entire collection of these art pieces along with some frames and word art pieces. I think you will really like this line!
We made a couple more stops at various showrooms before heading to meet up with Jim Massing, who I purchase some of my art from. They had a beautiful showroom and a wonderful variety of art from very traditional to modern. I spent some time picking art pieces, and we also had a great lunch here; Chili and Grilled Cheese sandwiches!
Moving onto Baby, I headed over to Scene Weaver where I purchase all my soft and furry baby blankets and bankys. I love the quality of their products. Again, you’ll see the Chevron pattern even in the baby category as a hot new trend. We ordered these, and you can expect to see them in the store around March/April.
From here we moved onto another area within the huge Gib Carson Showroom. I felt like I hit the jackpot here. Scarves, headbands, watches and even collegiate beer and wine glasses. It was a mixed bag, but all very good fashion or gift items!
We pre-ordered all our collegiate glassware knowing that if we didn’t there would be a pretty good chance we might not get them. While me and Karen were doing this, my mom somehow made her way over to Oneida, where she was picking out silverware for herself!
Following her silverware buying and Karen’s wine glass buying at Oneida we headed over to the Gardens to finalize our Fairy Garden order. The more that I saw these, the more I thought they would be a great little garden item to have; not all the little pieces, but the houses and maybe a couple little gnomes. Here’s the ones I picked. I think they are adorable.
With only a few hours left before heading to the airport, we decided to walk back over to the Ivystone showroom where we had all previously tried this new body/bath/hand lotion from Lulah. It smelled really fresh and went on very smooth; no greasy feeling afterwards. It’s also made by the same company that makes Thymes Lotions, however this is targeted to a younger demographic; my guess Gen Y, the younger girls.
It’s a brand new Bath & Body collection with striking luxe aromatics and skin-enhancing ingredients and is offered in five sophisticated fragrances. It’s packaged in bright colors; lime green, fuschia pink, lemon yellow, etc. and the retail price point is very similar to Bath and Body Works.
Off to Floor 9 – Home Accents and Fine Linens. I wanted to check out a couple new places and then also go to one of my favorites of Table Runners, Fashion Accessories, Throw Pillows and more. They had a great showroom, and the pillows were embroidered beautifully with bright colors and with butterflies and flowers. We had fun trying on scarves and putting flower clip/pins in our hair. Will definitely order more of the flowers and some runners for the store when I get back home.
Across the hall Lulu and Co. had a very unique window with all different kinds of mannequin heads; it’s actually what drew us into their showroom. Once in, I found some really pretty small metal/antique glass side tables; both rectangular and round. They’re perfect for the side of a couch for your beverages .
On the other side of the showroom showcased on a big table they had several different sets of Lanterns that were stunning! The price was really good too, considering their size and quality. I definitely will be buying these for the store.
Karen, in her shopping frenzy, fell in love with this cute little bench!
I quickly put my order in and off we went to A & B Home. We had about an hour left; so much to see, but very little time left!
Sheryl, my A & B Home Rep was in the showroom, lucky for us! Upon entering we noticed right away all the Teak Wood; tables, chairs, bowls. I’ve noticed a lot of teak wood throughout the market over the last few days.
I found lots of cool accessories, including Hour Glass Timers, Ceramic pieces, Wine holders and more.
We were ready to move on, but Sheryl said we had to see the Christmas. I’m really glad I spent a few minutes looking at everything. It’s absolutely stunning. I think my favorite collection was the Cardinals, but I loved all the Glitter too! Also showcased was an Owl and Quail Collection.
From A & B Home, we had time for one more showroom so we headed to Four Hands. Their showroom was completely revamped with a totally new look; lots of furniture, lighting, and even shelving units.
Our time was sadly up, and we had to make our way out to pick up our luggage and catch a taxi to the airport. Overall, I feel really good about our finds, and what was accomplished in the days we were in Atlanta. We had a great time, but also worked hard to find some very unique and hot items.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip and getting a peek at all the goodies coming in!
To quickly recap the top Trends according to my observations:
- Chevron and Geometric Pattern across all categories from furniture to fashion accessories
- Burlap/Linen shown on furniture, lighting and accessories
- Teak Wood – Furniture and Accessories (Outdoor/Indoor)
- Not one Color Trend, however Turquoise, Spring Green and Oranges were prevalent
- Greys are the new neutral from browns/beiges
- Mercury Glass continues in popularity
- Lanterns hotter than ever; greater variety available
- Flameless Candles category growing
- Fairy Gardens
- Industrial Style growing – Reclaimed Wood, Metals, Functionality
- Sentiments being shown on unlikely home decor pieces and servingware
- Bright Chrome – mixed with glass, roping, burlap, linen
- Antiqued Glass being shown on more furniture pieces and wall art
- Scarves continue to be a hot fashion accessory
- Vintage Jewelry and Jewelry with Sentiments
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