My Market Trip Highlights – 2014 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishing Market

AmericasMart Atlanta 2014 Trip Highlights

After the holiday season I always look forward to heading down to Atlanta; this will be the 7th Year!  This market houses the world’s largest product collection, all contained in three buildings and is where I discover design debuts, new introductions by my favorite artists and vendors, and world-class premieres. It’s really amazing!  I’d like to share a glimpse of our trip and hopefully peak your excitement  for all the new and amazing products that will be making its way into Grande Trunke Home this coming year.

Day 1 

Me and mom flew out early Thursday morning, January 9 and arrived to the AmericasMart Atlanta by noon.  The temporaries, showrooms that are solely set up for this market, had just opened so we thought we’d start our market journey here where there are always new and different product and new artists.  We headed to Building 1, Floor 7 and began our search.

It didn’t take long for us to discover some really cool pillows with abstract maps printed on the pillows, each representing a state or a place.  We spoke with the owner, Bhaval, and she explained she came up with the designs that would appeal to those who want to express their love for where they live or where they have traveled or come from.  I asked her if they did custom, and she said they could.  Currently she offers all the states and larger cities like Boston, Chicago, etc., however she said she could do the smaller towns.  Check out the pillow of Michigan.   Pillows are the #1 Trend and they continue to grow.  They surfaced last year at market, but have grown exponentially.  More and more vendors now offer them in their lines.


Michigan Pillow by Cartoloji

We passed a few more booths and came to one that had really cool signs of all kinds and shapes made of metals, canvas and reclaimed wood.  All of their signs are custom, so virtually they can do almost anything you want including printing photographs on them. Their signs look very genuine and they are all made in the U.S.A.  Have a special event; wedding, graduation, milestone b-day?  You can have one custom-made with all your own words!  Super cool.


As we walked the aisles, we passed a booth that had custom wine inspired lazy susan’s, wine trays and wine barrel tables along with other furniture that complimented the entire wine theme.  We loved the look, but not the price, and were happy with the new lazy susan’s and round wine trays that we received right before Christmas from a company out of Atlanta.  If you haven’t seen them yet, you have to come in.  They make a really special gift, again another item that you can personalize and make it your own.


Talk about one of a kind vintage pieces, Second Chance had some amazing wall pieces from shelves to hooks, door panels and more.  They were beautiful.  They take old doors, windows, etc and completely refinish them and turn the piece into a unique piece of art.  If you ever need a one of a kind piece, this is place!



I don’t know what it is with me and signs, but I just can’t get enough of them!  Me and my Mom found another great company out of Utah that made some really nice wood plank signs with some wonderful sayings, a few being really funny too.  One of my favorites was, “I wouldn’t be such a smart ass if you wouldn’t give me so much to work with”!  They range in size from 6 X 6 to 18 X 36.  Check them out in the picture below.


Look for them at the store very soon!

As we strolled down the linen/pillow aisles my mom fell in love with “Couture Dreams”, they make beautiful window treatments, throws, comforters and duvet covers.  She couldn’t resist and bought window treatments for her bedroom and event a throw.  I think you’ll agree they are fabulous!



We exhausted the Building 1 Temps and moved over the regular showrooms by mid afternoon.  Our first stop was Saro, who carries beautiful tabletop dishware, glassware, linens, fashion scarves and accessories, and lots of other little home decor items.  We strolled their showroom sipping on one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had!  Their showroom was really amazing.  The pictures just don’t do it justice.


I found some wonderful scarves, which is still a huge fashion hit!  They offered a really nice assortment of fabrics, styles and colors.  In addition, we added little animal trinket boxes for jewelry in all different assortments.  They were all jeweled and blingy; very pretty, and makes a great little gift.


From Saro we walked around the aisle to Lulu & Co. out of South Carolina.  Lulu has the best collection of Lanterns, and just introduced a couple new styles.  These have just arrived in the store along with a few small accent tables made of glass and metal.


Continuing around the 9th Floor me and my mom walked into a great little showroom that offered a variety of writing tablets, journals, wine charms, cards, wall art, pillows and small unique accent pieces.  One of my favorites is a wall piece called Letter for Sophie.  A picture of the piece is below.  It’s so special.


Audrey Hepburn Quote Art Metal Shelves

From here we hit a few more showrooms that looked interesting and then headed up to the 18th Floor in Building 2 where we knew we could grab a quick bite to eat in one of the showrooms before our final stop of the evening to Evergreen where my rep Christine was planning to walk us thru their showroom and introduce us to their new Baby Line called Blossums and Buds.  Evergreen always has great outdoor flags and garden accessories as well as home decor and yes, pillows!

Evergreen Baby 1

As the Baby category is getting hotter and growing, Evergreen has developed a very cute line of baby apparel and accessories.  I really like the frames, hats and booties; so adorable!

We ended our first day at Market.  Tomorrow we are meeting up with my sister-in-law Karen who lives in Atlanta.  She’s an amazing decorator and has a great design eye!

Day 2 – Friday

Up early and over to Building 2 Temporaries first thing before Karen arrived.  Sid Dickens was our first stop to check out the new 2014 Spring Collection and to place our re-order after the Holidays.  I was hoping Sid would be there, but he had other business he was attending to.  My new rep Erynn showed me the new Memory Block collection; check it out below! I love it.  It will arrive in the store in  March, and our replenishment shipment with lots of hearts for Valentine’s Day will be arriving late this week before Valentine’s Day.

Spring 2014 Sid Dickens

We left the Sid Dickens booth and started strolling the aisles for new finds.  In order to see everything you really have to walk down each aisle or you could miss something amazing.  We came across Studio Vertu who had a beautiful assortment of tumbled botticino marble coasters in over 800 designs and they are made in the U.S.A., always a plus and has been growing each year.

STone Coasters

Always so beautiful, Lifetime Candles by White River Designs in Arkansas had several new introductions, one with orange monarch butterflies, another with Red Berries and Ferns and a new collection called the “Metal Dragonfly”.

For those of you who have purchased these candles in the past and need oil refilled; you can purchase a pure paraffin oil or we can order the oil for you at any time.

New designs will be arriving in time for Mother’s Day.

As we neared the end of the last aisle we found some really beautiful lighters.  The display was gorgeous!  I know, you’re thinking lighters, really?  Really.  These will make a great housewarming gift, wedding or shower gift and more!  Pair it with a candle, and it’s just perfect.  The lighters are all refillable, and Grande Trunke Home will be able to refill them for you!  My favorite was the Mosaic!

Mosaic Lighter

Social LIght Lighters Me and my Mom will have to return to this booth to place our order.  My sister-in-law, Karen just arrived so we were off to meet her back in Building 1 at the High Design Temps.  We strolled the floor, however didn’t see much new in terms of design trends from last year.  Pillows are still huge and can make a high impact in any room.  The linens were all beautiful, and we did see several lucite pieces, which is a more modern look, and can really give the room an open feel.

High Design LanternsHigh Design Lucite

Done with HD and onto finish the floors we missed the day before.  Our first stop, Floor 10.  I recognized the name of the vendor. but the look of their showroom dramatically changed!  Very cool driftwood pieces (bowls, trays, mirrors) and some great looking lanterns and accessories.  I placed my order and off we went.   Done with Floor 10 and 11 we moved onto Uttermost on the 12th Floor, which is always one of our favorites, and Karen’s too.  We had lunch first and then met up with my rep, Michelle Postma who took us on the “Grand Tour” of their massive showroom.

Barreveld Driftwood BowlBarreveld 2 Driftwood You can see by all the photos below that they had lots of new introductions in all categories.  I really loved a lot of their new mirrors and accent furniture pieces.  Karen and my mom picked a few up for their own homes.  There were quite a few glass tables with antiqued gold, brushed gold and even silver; very pretty, and several reclaimed wood pieces were added.  This category has continued to grow.  I discovered this probably 3 to 4 years ago and now reclaimed wood is everywhere.

Uttermost Wood Long Mirror

Uttermost Lamp Ceramic Uttermost Artwork

Uttermost Round Hanging Mirror

Uttermost Wood Side Table

Console Table

Uttermost Full Length Mirror

Uttermost Glass Table

Uttermost Furniture

Uttermost globe art

Uttermost Wine Cabinet

Uttermost Metal Candle Sconce

Of course, Uttermost Lighting is fabulous.  They just had their Lighting Reveal at the Dallas Market this past week.  If you need lighting you really should check theirs out!  It’s unique and priced very reasonably, and we can usually have it in the store within two weeks.  My mom ordered this one for her dining room — Gorgeous!  Not the best picture, but trust me, in person it’s amazing!

Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 9.47.40 AM

After spending more than 2 hours in the Uttermost showroom off we went to meet my rep Shannon at Grasslands to put in my Spring and Holiday orders.  They had some really unique garden pieces; dragonflies and butterflies continue to be popular and due to the success and growth of the fairy gardens, they added lots of new pieces.  I’m looking forward to seeing the Fiddlehouse Fairies booth; their quality and attention to detail on their pieces is amazing!   I finished with Garden and moved to Fall and Holiday.  Their holiday collection was somewhat disappointing compared to the previous two years.  Not too much new other than one new snowman collection, which was very cute.  Seems like their Product Development was halted.

Had to get out Grasslands to go and meet Vern Yip, which no one at market seems to know; crazy!  He is one of the judges on HGTV Design Star and Designer for the annual HGTV Urban Oasis home.  He also runs his own design company in Atlanta, Vern Yip Designs.  Regardless, I was going to meet him in the One Coast Showroom, where he was introducing his new line of premium candles and accessories, called Boulevard.  Check out my mom with Vern Yip below!

Mom & Vern Yip

After meeting Vern, we stopped in The Import Collection and found a few ceramic  pottery pieces we liked, but not enough to put an order in.  Over the last three markets I just haven’t found much that I love at this particular vendor, and their showroom really needs an update.

TIC Ceramic Vase Set

TIC Mercury Glass

Off to Ashton to see all the new Terry Lawrence art pieces and my other favorites.

Wouldn’t you know it, I just missed seeing Terry!  My rep Len said she had just been in the showroom looking over all her new pieces.  She added different size prints, which I think is really smart.  Customers have asked for a bit bigger to go over their couches, and she is delivering!   I chose numerous prints by Terry Lawrence and a few others before heading to Furniture Classics, just around the corner.

Wow to Furniture Classics!  It’s done a complete 360 in Design.  From a frumpy old traditional showroom from the 90’s to furniture with clean lines, lighter reclaimed woods and great designs.  So refreshing to see the change.  They have even added bathroom vanities and bar height tables and chairs.  I really liked their furniture and the prices were great too.  Will need to check out further.

Furniture Classics

Sideboard Furniture Classics

Farm Table Furniture Classics

Onto our last stop of the evening, meeting up with my rep Shari who represents several different vendors, a few being Imax, Beaucoup and Caffco.  I intended to walk the Imax showroom, but me, my mom and Karen were starving so we headed to Caffco to do a little holiday shopping while munching on some pulled pork sandwiches!  I found some cute little choir angels and a great collection of twig trees and wreaths, all with a little gold glitter!  Glitter is still bigger than ever!

Choir Angels

It was 8:30pm and our feet were sore.  Day 2 was over so fast.  Back to the hotel to get a some rest and prep for the next day.

Day 3 – Saturday

Traffic at the Market definitely picked up, however it still doesn’t seem as busy as last year, mostly due to the bad weather.

With Home Decor behind us, me, Karen and my mom headed over to Building 2, the Gift Building.

Our first stop was Locker Lookz who introduced an entirely new collection for 2014.  Joann Brewer, one of the founders and owners was there and walked me through all their new designs and product additions.  She has definitely done her homework!  The girls are going to absolutely fall in love with the new chandeliers and wallpapers.   Bling is it with both.  The chandelier is more of a shade and is embellished with little diamonds all around, and the wallpaper has glitter throughout.  They added fun new colors and patterns and the best part is the pricing has actually come down, which is great for our customers!  Locker Lookz is introducing a new foldable shelf too that inserts into your locker for extra storage.

Joann Brewer Locker Lookz

We’ll definitely be having a party at Grande Trunke Home for back to school!

Our next stop happened to be the Donnie Osmond showroom; I know kind of odd and not expected at this type of market, however their line (Donnie and his wife Debbie) is really cool and diverse.  The first is called the “Home Heritage Series” and features shelves and mantels made with reclaimed wood and salvaged from old barn structures.  They’re available from 24” – 72” lengths.  They can be hung with or without corbels and are available in several different finishes.  Definitely more substantial than anything you would see at Pottery Barn. They were first introduced at High Point in the Fall, and I had provided feedback in offering more than one depth to the shelves.  At this point it doesn’t look like they have considered offering various depths, but hopefully in the future.

Pearl Mantels Their other line is 3D Peel and Stick squares and are made of a very light weight material that can be painted and stuck on a wall.  They are available in various patterns, have a ton of texture and can totally transform your room – super cool!  Much like wallpaper, however with texture, and can be easily taken down.

Donny Osmond Peel and Stick Off to the next showroom, DHR & Co where we were able to check out numerous  vendors.  I loved the cute little Wine lamp featuring the burlap shade and metal base, however the remainder of the line was just so so which equates to a no go.

Burlap Wine Lamp

On the other side of the showroom we met a gal named Shellye Fox who started her own Gourmet Specialty Food company.  The drink mixes were really yummy, and each one makes five drinks.  In addition,  on the box it provides the recipe for garnishing and making the cocktail!  Make a fabulous gift item and is priced right too!  We all wanted one of these cocktails!  Can’t wait for these to arrive in the store; they will be great for Summertime!

Drink MixesShe also showed me another product that is an eyemask called Hot and Chilled.  You can pop it into the refrigerator or microwave and use whenever you need it and the mask stays good for over a month!  Another super fun gift idea that you could pair with a candle so you’ll feel like you went to a spa!Eye Masks Under the same showroom, I found a few crosses, boxes and some fun drinkware items at Haven, and then we headed over to Imax to meet up with my rep Shari.

Imax always has great and well priced accessories, art, furniture and even jewelry now.  I’m not quite sure I see the connection, but many of the larger Home Decor vendors now offer jewelry as part of their line.  This became very prevalent during our recession a few years back.  Us women still want our fashion accessories to make us feel good!

Imax Showroom 1 As you can see from the pictures I found several items for the store and they also came out with several pieces of art with words, which always performs well in the store.  It’s easy to connect with these type of pieces.

Metal Console TableImax Wood Metal Lanterns From here, Shari walked us over to the Good Bead to see all the new pieces in the Ginger Snap line.  Lots of new Snaps, plus a couple new style bracelets, new keychains and more!  If you don’t have one of their rings or bracelets, you have to get one!  They are so much fun and really dress up an outfit.

Ginger Snap New BraceletWe left Shari and moved onto the Virginia Gift Brand showroom.  This is where the Ribbonwick Candles are displayed, and my rep Colleen had told me prior to the Market that they were coming out with a slew of new designs and scents.  The biggest surprise is their new “Reserve” line of candles which is tailored to the male in both fragrance notes and styling of the containers.  The candles also have a wood wick so they will crackle.  Some of the scents include:  Leather, Spruce, Humidor, Ember and more!  We loved these and can’t wait to get them in!Woodwick Reserve

I also ordered my all time Ribbonwick favorites, such as Brownstone and Red Chai, and added several new ones including Moonstruck and Coral Sands.  They also came out with a really cute Pink Glass Heart with the scent of Pink Cupcake, which we will have in the store very soon!  The new Spring scents just arrived this week!

After leaving the Virginia Gift Brand showroom we walked the rest of the floor looking for new gift ideas.  I spotted a really beautiful line of cards that were very feminine, fun and adorned with embellishments.  I decided to start with the small cards, which you can write a small note or include a gift card.  They are really pretty, and just arrived in the store this past Saturday!  They are a really nice addition to the Dolly Cards and our fun Shoe Cards.

Notecards I looped back into another gift showroom to purchase blingy keychains with pepper spray.  The founder and owner was there, Andi Atteberry, and she told me her dad would buy her pepper spray from the hardware all the time, but she would lose it.  She came up with a great idea to make it girly, blingy and with purpose by putting it on a key chain that can clip to your purse.  Check it out!  Great Valentine Gift Item, and they just arrived in the store last week.

Bling Sting Pepper After finishing my order we walked back over to Building 1 because I really wanted to see Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV’s “Income Property”.  He was presenting on a couple different topics, but honestly I just wanted to see and meet him in person! Scott McGillivray

We arrived at the Seminar Room and there were quite a few people in the room, and already seated.  Needless to say, I didn’t want to waste 90 minutes listening and then meeting him after so we just got a few initial peeks of him at the start of his presentation and went back over to the Gift Building.  Darn, I would of liked to get a picture with him!  He is hot!  Next time for sure.

Our first order of business was with Corkcicle.  Me and my mom had stopped in their showroom briefly the first day and wanted to get back to order this really cool beer item, called the Chillsner.  You basically pop it into your beer bottle after taking it out of the freezer, and your beer stays cold all the way to the end!  Us gals will love this.  I always have a problem with the last few sips being luke warm, which I hate.  This keeps your beer chilled all the way to the end.  It’s a very cool gift item too!

They introduced a couple other new items that will be coming in the Spring, The Vinnebago wine holder that will keep your wine chilled for 24 hours and the new Corkcicel Air Cork.  You wine lovers will fall in love with both of these items!

Off to Top Shelf, where their Designer was doing a special signing and giving away a wine glass!  We currently buy from Top Shelf now. They offer fun wine, pilsner and beer mugs all hand painted and boxed in a very attractive gift giving box.

Check us out in picture below!

Top Shelf

Right across from Top Shelf was Govino.

Govino was originally created as a trade tool to help professional salespeople showcase their wines whenever and wherever proper stemware wasn’t accessible, which they learned firsthand, was often!  They began testing the market, and realized there was an even bigger need for govino in the consumer sector, particularly at settings where breakable glass is an issue. After all, how many times have we all had to endure drinking good wine from bad glasses?  My one, pet peeve.

Govino is made from a food-safe, BPA-free polymer, which reflects a wine’s color and aromatics much like crystal. It is recyclable (#1), but better yet it is reusable.


They wine glasses will be great for Spring/Summer to use anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking, and even if you leave it you’re not out a ton of money.  They are priced great!  These will be arriving in the store in March.

Exhausting this floor, and getting a bit tired and hungry we went down to see Creative Coop to check out their Holiday line and new Home Decor.  Last year we were disappointed because they didn’t have very many new introductions, and thus didn’t purchase anything.  This year I was pleasantly surprised; not only did the entire showroom change, they also expanded the showroom and their holiday introductions were fabulous!  Check out some of the pics below.  We couldn’t stay too long as I had an appt. in the One Coast Showroom with my rep Beth at 6:30pm, but I did make arrangements to meet my rep Jaime in the morning.  At this point I haven’t done any holiday shopping!!

Creative Coop ShowroomCreative Coop BathBeth greeted up promptly, whisked our bags away and handed us some cocktails! Yahoo!I noticed right away all the new frames by Mud Pie.  I’m sure you have seen them in Grande Trunke Home with the burlap bows and distressed wood in various styles and colors.  They have expanded the line even greater offering larger frames for 8 X 10 photos, sentiments and new colors.  A few have arrived over the last week, but several more will follow soon!

I ordered lots of great tabletop pieces, even a octopus wine stop and Ice or Ice Cream Scoop – great for you Red Wing Fans!

Mud Pie Baby was amazing as it always is.  I hand-picked a personalized ceramic cross that you could write on, a few new piggy banks, and some other fun baby items.

Beth took me over to a new line they just got called “Angelica”.  These will pair very nicely with the “Sol” line of bracelets that we carry.

The nice thing about these bracelets are:  they are made in the USA using recycled metals, are easily adjustable, include charms that denote a feeling or belief, come from a company, Royal Chain Group who is one of the country’s leading and most respected manufacturers of jewelry, and the best part is $.25 from each bracelet is donated to Generation Rescue, an organization committed to improving the quality of life for those affected with autism.


I also like the additional Rose finish that they offer, including sports designs like basketball, hockey, lacrosse, etc.  Pricing will be very similar to Sol; they mix well together.  These should be arriving in the next few weeks!

We finished up across the hallway purchasing some new Lolita Acrylic Wine glasses and cocktail napkins and headed back to the hotel around 9:00pm.  Super productive day with many great finds.

My sister-in-law Karen had to head back home.  She was a huge help.  I appreciate her coming each year for her feedback and all around fun!

Day 4 – Sunday

Christmas here we come!  Our first order of business meeting with Jaime at Transpac and other vendors to choose our 2014 Holiday items and themes.

Transpac is always such a zoo that you have to get there early or you just can’t move in the showroom.  9:00am sharp we got started.  I’m always pleased with the holiday items at Transpac.  The product is fresh, and I can always find that unique item.  Snowmen, and more snowmen were the theme here.  Lots of new looks and textures.  I found some unique Star Wall hangings/trays that can be used in a variety of ways.  The one item they didn’t have was Trees.  They are usually known for having a variety, but we just didn’t see that many.

Cute Snowmen Transpac

Rustic Snowman

Their Halloween decor was fantastic.  Lots of new unique pieces.  Check them out below!


Halloween Wreath

From here we walked over to Creative Coop which we had scoped out the day before.  They had plenty of wonderful and distinctive holiday items, including my favorites, mercury glass hurricanes, small nativity sets and big white hanging snowflakes.  Here’s a few pics to get you in the mood for 2014!

Mercury Glass Hurricane

CC ShowroomI also did quite a bit of damage on the Home Decor side with clocks, small art pieces, birds, accessories, metal word signs and some garden pieces.  Creative Coop also debuted their single sheet wall coverings in various designs.  Great statement pieces for one wall in a bedroom or study or could be used as a backing in china cabinet.  Just another clever idea to dress up your walls without using permanent wallpaper.

cc Art

cc Antique Clock

I quickly stopped into Lenny & Eva as it was across from Creative Coop for a little peek of the new colors and styles.  Wait til you see them all!  I love the new Lenny & Eva Jewelry holder too!  We just got a couple more in!

New Lenny & Eva

Lenny & Eva JH

From here, me and my mom walked over to CBK with Jaime and picked out a few more holiday items, trees, floral picks and some great little dip bowls and appetizer plates!  These had more of a nordic theme, which makes me think of that winter wonderland at a ski resort.

We grabbed lunch here before heading back to the temps to wrap up our unfinished business from earlier in the week.

My mom ordered a beautiful throw and curtains from Couture Dreams and I ordered these really unique wood and wood plank sign boards from a family business out of Utah.  The colors are perfect and the words meaningful and relatable. I think my customers will love them!  It’s always a great feeling to find  something that not everyone has out there.

We stopped at a few more of the temps in Building 1, placed holiday orders and were heading back to the Temps at Building 2 when I found a great little booth with woodsy signs all made out of real trees.

Wood Plank MI

Come to find out, Mike is from East Lansing and the signs are made from the Amish!  What a small world.  He said it took about a year to perfect the look he wanted.  This will be a great addition to the store for gifts or for your summer cottage, house or cabin!  I really love them and I’ll be able to go and pick them up.

Wood Plank & Artist

Ok, last Temps stop of our visit.  We had to get back to Social Light where they had those really beautiful and cool butane lighters.  These will pair perfectly with the Reserve Candles for that great guy gift or pair the beautiful Mosaic Lighter with some Mercury Glass Hurricanes for a beautiful one of a kind wedding gift.

After placing our order, we headed back to Building 2 to Demdaco to check out their Holiday, Halloween, and new Kelly Rae Roberts.  Last year we hit it big with the vintage/retro plank wood signs for both Halloween and Christmas, as well as fun items for you Ugly Sweater lovers!  Due to the success of these in 2013, they added a new sign collection and even a Nutcracker Trophy for the Ugliest Sweater winner!  Sweet.  Also worth noting was a really cute Snowman collection with figurines, ornaments, and artwork.

Trophy Ugly Sweater

Ugly Sweater

Hearts Tree

New Demdaco Wood Plank Holiday

Because me and my mom were in such a rush; we had to leave by 5:00pm I didn’t get snapshots of all the new Kelly Rae Roberts, however rest assured it’s beautiful!

Lastly, for my Yoga girls I chose cute little tumblers and mugs with the reindeer posed in all different poses.  Sorry, no picture of these; it will be a surprise!

Off we ran to the Gardens so we could at least get a glimpse of the new Fairy Garden items and houses by Fiddlehouse Fairy.  This really grew last year, and I predict will be even bigger this year based on what was introduced and how darn cute it is!  Check out this cute little patio set with cocktails and all!

FFairy Garden

Shell Garden

One final stop on the way out, as my mom had met a gentleman at our hotel from Ann Arbor, MI who sells Garden products.  We quickly stopped by Echo Valley and talked with Mike Bodo.  He definitely had some interesting and unique garden decor.  I loved the frogs and the new Lumispheres; solar lanterns!  I will have to visit Mike’s showroom in Ann Arbor as we were just out of time and had to get to the airport!


So much we missed, however we also accomplished much.  Next year, I am planning for an additional day! 

In terms of trends or hot new items I noted the following:

  1. No one particular color stood out like a couple of years ago with the tangerine and greys, however Blues were very noticeable in all shades and across all products from tabletop to linens to even lighting.  I did notice lighter pastels – yellows, pinks, oranges and greens throughout.
  2. Wall coverings are up and coming from large pieces that are 9 ft. X 12 ft or smaller squares and that can be easily adhered to the wall.
  3. Burlap and Driftwood pieces continue to expand and I saw these piece types in almost every home decor showroom.
  4. Reclaimed Wood furniture is stronger than ever; wondering what the next new furniture trend will be as this one is over saturating showrooms in my opinion.
  5. Lighting continues to surprise me with all the new designs, types, materials used and even color.
  6. Pillows are absolutely everywhere.  If you don’t have decorative pillows in your house you need to get some!
  7. Tear Off place mats in a variety of patterns and colors.
  8. Scarves and Fashion Accessories were everywhere.  Lots of larger, chunkier jewelry in brighter colors, however Vintage is still very much in.
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2013 Americasmart Atlanta Market

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!

Nutcracker Display Nutcracker Canvas

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.

Peace on Earth Collection

Peace on Earth Collection

Seeker Plaque and Gold Glitter Trees

Seeker Plaque and Gold Glitter Trees

Kelley Rae Holiday Angel Collection

Kelley Rae Holiday Angel Collection

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!

Team Santa Drink Stuff North Pole Tumblers

Ugly Sweater Collection

Ugly Sweater Collection

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.

Holiday Vintage Signs

Holiday Vintage Signs

More Vintage Signs

More Vintage Signs

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.

Santa Advent Calendar

Santa Advent Calendar

Santa Canvases and Santa Figurines

Santa Canvases and Santa Figurines

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!

Cameo Frames - New by Kelley Rae

Cameo Frames – New by Kelley Rae

Kelley Rae Zip Wristlets

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.

Adams CO Holiday

New Holiday Collection

New Holiday Collection

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!

Burlap Covered Deer

Burlap Covered Deer

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.

Fat & Cute Bunnies

Fat & Cute Bunnies

Melting Snowman

Melting Snowman

Moose on Skates

Moose on Skates

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!

Beer O Meter Mug

Beer O Meter Mug

Big Buck Pilsner

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.

Cutest Snowmen Ever!

Cutest Snowmen Ever!

Fat Pinecone Santas

Fat Pinecone Santas

Pine Santa

Pine Santa

Cute Santa Hat Birds

Cute Santa Hat Birds

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.

Fall Owl

Fall Owl

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.

Spider Pumpkin

Spider Pumpkin

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!

Glitter Glam

Glitter Glam

Glitter Deer Glitter Skates

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!

Christmas Mice

Christmas Mice

Pinecone Garland and Balls

Pinecone Garland and Balls

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.

Snowflake Hurricanes

Snowflake Hurricanes

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!

Skull Candelabra

Skull Candelabra

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.

Numbers Wine Glasses

Numbers Wine Glasses

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.

Audrey Hepburn Quote

Audrey Hepburn Quote

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.

Metal Angels w/ Sparkles

Metal Angels w/ Sparkles

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!

40" X 40" Chocolat Canvas Art

40″ X 40″ Chocolat Canvas Art

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!

Wood Crosses with Metal Flowers

Wood Crosses with Metal Flowers

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.

Rock Bottle Dispensers

Rock Bottle Dispensers

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.

Fairy Garden Jeremie
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!

Us Girls & David Bromstad from HGTV Color Splash

Us Girls & David Bromstad from HGTV Color Splash

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.

Imax Showroom

Imax Showroom

Vintage Decorative Bottles

Vintage Decorative Bottles

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.

Rolling Reclaimed Wood & Metal Piece

Rolling Reclaimed Wood & Metal Piece

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.

Poesy Slide Charms

Poesy Slide Charms

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!

Poesy Bracelet with Slides

Poesy Bracelet with Slides

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!

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps

Toggle Bracelet with Snaps

Toggle Bracelet with Snaps

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.

Uttermost Rug Collection

Uttermost Rug Collection

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.

Uttermost Showroom

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
New Linen covered Chair

New Linen covered Chair

Antiqued Mirror Panel

Antiqued Mirror Panel

Great Table for Storage & Display!

Great Table for Storage & Display!

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.

Gallery Lamps Showroom

Gallery Lamps Showroom

Geometric Pattern

Geometric Pattern

More Geometric and Linen

More Geometric and Linen

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.

French Country Table w/ Iron Base

French Country Table w/ Iron Base

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.

Mercury Glass Lantern Collection

Mercury Glass Lantern Collection

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.

Lazy Susan Tiered Tray

Lazy Susan Tiered Tray

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.

Wine Collection

Wine Collection

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.

Snowmen Collection

Snowmen Collection

Vintage Holiday Collection

Vintage Holiday Collection

Holiday Serving Pieces

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.

The Light Garden Showroom

The Light Garden Showroom

Sconce with Burlap and Pheasant Feathers

Sconce with Burlap and Pheasant Feathers

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.

Lantern with Candle Assortment

Lantern with Candle Assortment

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!

Ode to England

Ode to England

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.

Colorful Ceramic Bud Vases

Colorful Ceramic Bud Vases

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.

Lenny & Eva

Lenny & Eva

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.

Sports Frames

Sports Frames

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.

Natural Life - Prayer Box

Natural Life – Prayer Box

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.

Decorative Frame with Burlap Bow

Decorative Frame with Burlap Bow

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.

Wood Serving Piece with Sentiment

Wood Serving Piece with Sentiment

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.

Vintage Santa Pictures and Traditional Cardinals

Vintage Santa Pictures and Traditional Cardinals

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.

Wall Art

Wall Art

Hydrangea Plaque

Hydrangea Plaque

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.

Chevron Baby Blankets

Chevron Baby Blankets

Animal Baby Banky's

Animal Baby Banky’s

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!

Fun Trendy Watches

Fun Trendy Watches

Scarves and Headbands

Scarves and Headbands

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.

Teapot House

Teapot House

Fairy Village

Fairy Village

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.

New Lulah Bath and Body Collection

New Lulah Bath and Body Collection

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.

Lulah Body Lotions

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 .

Mirrored Side Table

Mirrored Side Table

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.



Lulu Lanterns 2

Karen, in her shopping frenzy, fell in love with this cute little bench!

Lulu & Co. Upholstered Bench

Lulu & Co. Upholstered 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.

Teak Table

Teak Table

A & B Home Showroom

A & B Home Showroom

I found lots of cool accessories, including Hour Glass Timers, Ceramic pieces, Wine holders and more.

Hour Glass Timers

Hour Glass Timers

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.

Holiday Cardinal Collection

Holiday Cardinal Collection

Cardinal Collection

Cardinal Collection

Glitter Glam

Glitter Glam

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.

Coffee Table Trunk Style

Coffee Table Trunk Style

Cool Lighting & Shelving Unit

Cool Lighting & Shelving Unit

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
  • Rugs
  • 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

If you’ve read this entire blog you deserve a treat!  Mention you read my blog and receive 15% off your entire purchase (Valid February 5 – February 16).  Cannot be combined with any other offers/not valid on Sale Items.

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2012 Americasmart Atlanta Shopping Trip!

Blog for Atlanta Market 2012 – January 12 – January 15

Day 1 – Thursday

We arrived, me and my mom, at the Atlanta Americasmart Thursday afternoon via the local Marta Train system, and had about an hour and a half before our first appointment, so we made our way to the Uttermost showroom; it’s always one of our favorites!

New Uttermost Floral

The first thing we noticed was all the big florals on canvas, but with a shiny finish, and all in very bright colors. They were very cheerful and great for Spring/Summer. Other notables; small furniture pieces in the reclaimed wood look (Restoration Hardware), a couple great trays, the tray table was one of our favorites (see picture below),  a very versatile piece, and several more bird items – vases, mirrors, lamps were added to their line-up.

Coyne Tray Set by Uttermost

Included below are some pictures from the Uttermost show room and also sneak peek pictures of Uttermost’s new Lighting Line which launched in Dallas last week!  Love, love them!  We have many of them on order and they should be arriving in the store over the next couple months.

Toler Slipper Chair by Uttermost

Believe it or not our next stop was to order Christmas, 2012; hard to believe, however if you don’t do it early you don’t get the gorgeous decor and gift items.  We met with my rep Shannon and she walked us through the showroom.  Of course, they had many new Holiday Salt and Pepper shakers, so cute, however the bigger theme was outdoorsy.  Animals of all kinds, especially polar bears were popular.  We found beautiful water globes and animal ornaments, and fabulous tabletop items.

Snow Globes

Everyday Gift glasses, serving pieces, wine glasses and friend plaques were also discovered in this showroom.  We reordered our fun Black and Pink Blingy wine glasses in various sayings!  My favorite was definitely the Wine items; maybe it’s because I love wine so much!  See the picture below of their new stemless wine glasses.

Stemless Wine Glasses

My mom loved the table runners – Lots of detail and well made, and at a great price too.

Our next stop was to meet my rep Beth over in the One Coast showroom.  Beth walked us through the new Mud Pie line.  Lots of really cute new baby girl and boy items.  Our favorite though was all the new Bathing Suit Cover-ups.  We don’t carry these, but we sure wish we did!  They had beautiful patterns and colors.  Maybe, we’ll just order a few??

Beth walked us across the hall to show us the new outdoor Lolita Collection and wouldn’t you know it Lolita was in the showroom; so exciting!  Of course I had to get my yearly photograph with her.  She added a whole new look to her her stemware – Strawberries, Floral and Fish, and added Margarita and Stemless Wine glasses along with trays and pitchers, and cool coffee cups!  Lolita also made improvements to the Melamine, adding more thickness to the stems and lip of the glass.  They looked really nice and very fun!  These will be arriving in the store over the next two months.  What a great girlfriend gift!

Me and Lolita

Unfortunately, our time had run out with the showrooms closing by 7:00pm this day, so we gathered our luggage and I went and checked in at my hotel.  I’m definitely excited for day two!

Day 2 – Friday

I arrived at Building 2 by myself a little after 8:00am on the 8th floor where they were having Breakfast at 8 for us early birds.  I discovered a great little showroom that carried winter knit headwraps, similar to what I had in over the holidays, but with a bling embellishment in the flower.  They also had the cutest rubber cowboy boots, similar to the rain boots in all kinds of fun colors and patterns. Flower hair pins, headbands and really cute key chains filled the back of the showroom. I really liked what I saw, and will go back later to put in my order.

I moved on through the hall and stopped in a very unique showroom that had an array of items.  My favorite though was the pewter wine bottle holders. If you remember the ones we had during the holidays; a skier, a fisherman, etc.  The breadth on their designs were far greater.  They had a bride and groom, waiters, a drunk guy, musicians, cowboys, and more!  So cool, and what a great gift!  I ordered many of these and they will ship in February!

Moved up to the 20th Floor for my first appt. of the day, and to continue my holiday shopping for 2012.  Amy walked us through the K & K Showroom where each room is filled with a different theme.  The first was very traditional, lots of glitter and snowflakes. I loved the theme, and added snowmen, canisters and wall plaques to my list.

Snowflake Plaques

Cute Glitter Snowmen

The second was more rustic, I chose several of their new plaid plaques and signs, and added the glittery deer plus lots of great sprays and garlands, which will be perfect for our mantel decorating sessions.

One of the new holiday trends too is more of the garlands and branches are incorporating the LED lighting. These were everywhere throughout market and we even saw them shaped into big snowflakes.

I added a few Halloween items; acorns, berry balls and glittery signs and moved on to our next showroom where everything looked like the old fashion Christmas; collectible ornaments, vintage wall art, cards and more.

Candy Witch Jar

Me, my mom and my sister-in-law, Karen spent quite a bit of time picking out just the right ornaments; collegiate, dogs, sports, music, beer, wine, dance, music and more! What’s really cool too is that they retire the ornaments so they truly are collectible!  We loved the Cigars!  Check them out.

Cigar Ornaments

Still on the hunt for more great holiday items, we went down to Floor 19 to one of our favorites.  New, new, and more new was the theme.  They added lots of new Santas and Snowmen; traditional and country, a brand new Kissing Ball Mistletoe that you will love (wonderful gift), wood advent calendars shaped like trees with little doors and snow covered bird houses that are just too cute!  Check out the pics below.

Cute Country Birds

Snowmen Faces

Snow Covered Bird Houses

Holiday Door Plaques

Advent Calendar

Mistletoe Ball

We had lunch here and then moved down the hall to a new showroom, Sage & Co.  The showroom had a very modern/transitional flair; the trees and garlands were fabulous, as well the glass mercury ornaments. The garlands we purchased were covered in a heavy white snow that will look gorgeous on a mantle with these beautiful snowflake glass hurricanes and votive holders.  The glass mirrored trays were also a great buy!

Mom with Squirrel

Snowflake Votive Holders

Holiday Trays

After a couple more stops we landed at one of my favorite holiday showrooms; lots of glitz and glamor.  They debuted several new collections, including Fifi on Fifth – a pink poodle with attitude with an assortment of pink complementing ornaments.  They also had a elegant Harvest Wine Collection, and our favorite; lots of great high heel shoe ornaments!

Fifi on Fifth Collection

Pink High Heel Shoe Ornaments

Harvest Collection

Skeleton Mirror

A few more stops completed the day, and we discovered a relatively new artist that has created a wonderfully scented candle with an embellished candle holder – lots of bling; a great $20 gift for a girlfriend!

We stopped briefly at the Novo Bead showroom area as well and it was packed!  Several new beads are coming out soon.  I think everyone really loves that these beads are made and designed in the USA.

Had dinner at this showroom catered in by Varsity, famous for their chili dogs and some nice cold brewskies!

We headed out at 8:45pm, exhausted after a very productive day.  Tomorrow we will concentrate on Home Decor and Gifts.

Day 3 – Saturday

Since my mom and sister-in-law, Karen, were staying at her house outside Atlanta about 30 miles I had a little extra time in the morning before they arrived so I headed over to Building 2 to start checking out gift items and grab a bit of breakfast.  A showroom out of Utah caught my eye on the way to the Market Club, and I was pleasantly surprised at all the great holiday items they offered for all the holidays – many really different wood signs, blocks, frames, plates and glittery metal ribbons for decorating!  We will be getting a few of their items in as early as next month for St. Patty’s Day and Spring! Yeah, what a fun find!

Merry Christmas Sign

Jesus Believes Plaque

Thanksgiving Plates

Fun Halloween Decor

St. Patty's Day Decor

I headed over to Demdaco where I purchase all my Kelly Rae Roberts Art and many gift items, and met up with my mom and Karen.  Luckily my rep Tessa was available so she was able to take us through the entire showroom, and we were able to get all our holiday  and gift ordering done!

The new Kelly Rae Roberts Collection is wonderful – I love the new wall plaques and they now have a brand new frame collection in three colors that you can pop the canvas art plaques in to, which gives them a totally different look.  I will have these very soon!  Kelly Rae also introduced a brand new line of small wood crosses, globes, canisters and magnet boards.

New Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae New Crosses

Two brand new lines in their showroom I thought were very design forward; something totally unique that no one else has.  The first is called Dogs Rock and features retro looking artwork of dog breeds doing human style activities, such as listening to music through headphones and drinking coffee!  They were really cool, and the piece we loved the best was the door stops and magnet boards.  Can’t wait to get this in!

Dogs Rock Door Stops

Dogs Rock Coffee Mugs and Wall Plaques

The other was called the Lyricology Line, which consisted of wall art featuring catchy phrases from well known rock songs, such as “Yea, you really got me now” or “Here comes the sun”, or “I will survive”.  These were super cool and great for a kids room, furnished basement; the “Man Cave”, really anywhere.  They are very different and would appeal to men, women and older kids. Check out the photo below.

Merry Christmas Wine Glasses

Officially done with holiday shopping, we made our way over to India Handicraft to search out Wedding Gifts – They have the most beautiful and reasonable pewter serving pieces.  We picked out a great assortment of platters, bowls, spreaders, and servers.

Fleur Di Lis continued to be a huge trend throughout the market, and was used across many items from accessories to jewelry, to glassware.  We discovered a showroom that is from the south, and from the looks of their showroom about 60% of it had a Fleur Di Lis theme.  I chose some very elegant wine glasses; a great wedding gift, frames, chargers, and even fashion accessories.  It was a different kind of showroom, but well worth the visit.

Pineapple Welcome Charger and Stand

Fleur Di Lis and Crown Wine Glasses

So exciting was our next stop because we found the coolest collectible hand painted wine, martini and pilsner glasses; one glass and two views!  Not only were they painted on the outside, they were also painted on the inside with a message.  You could look into the glass through a little peak hole on the outside on many of the glasses, which we thought was so unique.  They also were just beautiful and had many different themes, including wedding, anniversary, birthdays, sports, St. Patty’s Day and more!  I can’t wait to get these in; unfortunately it won’t be until April :(.

New Painted Wine Glasses

New Painted Pilsners

Alexas Angels where we purchase our Positivity Bracelets, Stretch Rings and Gratitude Bracelets added some fun new fashion jewelry items.  The Zoey Prayer Box Bracelets are one of my favorites; colorful clay beads with a prayer box charm attached.  The artist, Darcie was in the showroom and she told me she named the bracelet after her daughter Zoey; so cute!  The picture below is of me and Darcie!

Artist and Designer, Darcie from Alexas Angels

They also expanded their Positivity Bracelets, and they are available in 6 fun new colors.  I also chose jeweled bead bracelets, cross necklaces and bracelets; great communion gifts.

Que Spaces, a newer showroom featured high end looking clocks that were reasonably priced.  We really liked the designs.  I purchased one of their clocks a short while ago and loved the distinctiveness of it.  It was nice to see their showroom and all of the items they carry.  Lots of grey and tangerine were also shown.  Tangerine is the new trend color, and greys continue to be very popular.  Another trend that continues to grow is wine corks and openers.  Shown in art, coasters, glassware, tabletop, and linens.

If you like the canvas/burlap look we saw many new lamps and pillows with this texture, and they were embellished with fun flowers, fringe and tassels.  One of these pieces would be a great accent for your home.

For sure, one of our favorite showrooms of the market; Park Hill.  They showcased their lanterns beautifully, and they were very well priced for the size.  The look was definitely the reclaimed “Restoration Hardware” look, but they added their own flair, which was nice to see.  We’ve seen a lot of this look throughout market, but this is a little more unique, which is a nice change.  I also loved their birdhouses, key boxes and small framed art of birds and other animals.  Birds continue to be popular as we saw throughout the showrooms.

Park Hill Showroom

Bird Pictures

Bird Mirror

We switched focus and walked over the Gardens to check out what was different and new for the outdoors, and ended up in one of the showrooms that has been selling the “Real Flame” gel for the firelights for many years. The gentlemen we met gave us the run down on the latest status of the Gel.  Their gel is different from Napa’s in that it does not contain ethanol alcohol, and their flame burns very bright (more yellow vs. blue).  They are awaiting final government approval and hope to have gel for sale soon. Once we can order, I will let everyone know so those of you with Firelites can use them again.

Check out the pictures below of some new Garden Items we thought were fun.

Back over to Home Decor to do a quick run through of another one of our favorites.  Following are some of the pictures from the showroom.  Again, you can see that Birds are definitely in.  In addition, they had some nice pottery choices and they also received licensing for Kelly Rae Roberts.  They had unique pieces, such as clocks, book boxes and even pillows and furniture.

Wine Cork Bench - Wine Corks were prevalent throughout Market

Bird Themed Recipe Book Holder

Bird Pictures

Kelly Rae Book Boxes

Off to Cyan, which was one of our favorite showrooms last year as they are always ahead of trend and/or the trendsetter.  I always seem to find several unique pieces, but unfortunately not this time.  As we approached the showroom the entire front window had chickens all over the floor in green grass; very weird, and it just did not resonate with any of us.  As we walked through the showroom we couldn’t understand why they designed some of the pieces they did.  Cyan does have a modern style, however the new designs were terrible; nothing I would ever consider putting in the store or my home.  We left very disappointed.

Guildmaster, however was a very different story.  I fell in love with a few furniture pieces that were out of this world, and I can’t wait for the Highpoint Market in April because their showroom there (North Carolina) is so much bigger.  My favorite piece was a grey cabinet with leaded bubble glass.  Unfortunately, you are not going to be able to see the detail, but trust me this piece is beautiful and one that I am ordering for the store!

Guild Grey Cabinet

A couple more small stops (Baby and Gift) completed Day 3, and we were all ready to hit the hay!  We had a productive day and did a ton of walking.  Only one more day left.

New Red Nek Glasses

Day 4 – Sunday – Our Last Day!

Loved, loved Baggallini!  They are launching two new collections from February thru July.  I absolutely fell head over heels for the new Leather Trimmed Collection that will launch in July.  The Elena Tote is my favorite (see picture below).  This collection is all trimmed in leather and the material is a little different than the nylon you usually see on their bags.  It’s hard to explain, but I loved the look.  This entire collection is named after girls names (Audrey, Tessa, Kathryn Jessica and Maria), similar to Vera Bradley, and surprisingly enough their new catalog resembles the Vera Catalog and format quite a bit.  I found this very interesting.

New Baggallini Elena Tote

The other new collection is called the Quilt Collection.  The fabric has a quilt stitch design, but still in the light nylon fabric.  My favorite bag is the Geneva, which is a crossbody that is similar in size to the Vera Mini Hipster.  The best new feather in this collection is that several of the bags will hold an IPad/Tablet, which is fantastic.

Baggallini Quilt Collection

In their International Collection, I loved the new Dublin bag which featured a hand hold on the back for easy access, a convertible padded strap for shoulder or crossbody functionality, and it could hold an IPad.  This bag will be available in February.

Baggallini New Dublin Bagg

I have to say Baggallini is on top of things. I really liked their new bags and think you will too!  They are also introducing three new colors.

New Colors

On the same floor I stopped in a showroom that I had purchased holiday decor from a couple years back.  Wow, had their showroom changed, and for the better. Not only did they pick up some great new artists, but some of their holiday designs were totally unique.  Most notable, the Driftwood Angels, Trees, Manger and Wreath with Iron Accents.  I started talking to a another store owner that was from Texas and she said she had purchased the Driftwood items this year, and she couldn’t keep them on the shelf.  They are so beautiful and so different.  Take a look for yourself!

Driftwood Angels

I met up with my Mom and Karen and we headed over to the 7th Floor Temporaries (small booths that artists/designers rent for this market only).  We were hoping to find some unique home decor items, however everything was very old and outdated except for one booth that had some really cool French Country Jars that were partially covered in a burlap with a Paris motif.

Paris Burlap and Glass Jars

Later in the day we discovered another buildings temporaries floor, which was far better. Live and learn.

The Mart also features a High End Design Showroom, and we went there just for fun, since we really can’t afford anything on this floor, but it’s great to see what the trends are – Big round shades in burlap mixed with iron and glass, reclaimed wood in many different pieces, French Country design in all areas, including linens, pillows and purses.  These also had on them many embellishments being added, flowers, metal keys, fringe, etc.

We then headed over to the all new “Made In America” Temporaries section in Building 3.  This was added to highlight all the wonderful products that are made in the USA.  One of our favorites was there, Mpressions.  Mary Boling makes the personalized baby and wedding frames that I have been carrying since I opened.  She walked me through all her new items, magnet boards, framed plaques, as well as new plaques with openings of 2 – 8.  I ordered samples of many of these new items for your viewing pleasure!

Uniquely designed frames and crosses were the other items we found in this Made In America area.  The frames are changing from just a frame to an actual piece of art.

Off to meet Shari, my rep that covers several Home Decor and Gift Lines.  We were hoping for a small miracle because we just hadn’t had that total “Wow” moment in Home  Accessories products.  Well, Imax did that for us!  There were so many unique items that we hadn’t seen in a variety of designs and textures; ceramics, glass, iron, mosaics, wood; you name it.  They also had tangerine influenced pieces, however not overdone.

Tangerine Jars

Iron Wall Sconce

Metal Wall Rack

My favorites were the Vino Pottery Jars and Photo Frames, however it was hard to choose; so many great decor items!

Vino Jars

Embellished Frames

By far this was one of our favorite showrooms.  Just too many good choices.

Mosaic Bottles

Wood Wine Plaques

We made stops at several smaller showrooms and then to Bauble Lulu Beads.  Numerous new bead introductions and accessories.  The new catalog is awesome, it’s all organized by color of the bead and the silver rhodium plated beads are broken down by category, which makes it very easy to pick beads out!

I purchased a much bigger display rack so now there will be only one vs. three and many of the new beads and new accessory items.  The new catalogs will arrive in the next couple weeks so be sure to pick one up.

Our last great find of the day is for those Tweens and early Teens.  We know how they love to accessorize.  Now they can really have some fun when school starts up again this Fall decorating and personalizing their school locker.  Pick a wallpaper, pick a carpet, a flower or mirror and add a chandelier – wa la , take a look!  It all sticks on by magnets too.  We thought this was so cool, and from the response from my 12 year old daughter, Emma, she thinks so too!

All in all it was a great market.  We just had to dig a little deeper.

To summarize, following from my perspective, are the top Market Trends and my own personal Market Highlights.

Market Trends:

1. Lit Branches have expanded into many new designs and colors, including new snowflake and star designs.  The downside of some of these is that they are made with a transformer vs. a battery pack so it’s very difficult to place within a home.
2. Battery powered candles were numerous and all seemed to have their own individual patent the flame or wick technology.  They are also starting to show solar powered candles.
3. Cork Openers in the design sense was shown throughout the market and could be seen on pillows, benches, art, glassware, tabletop and home accessories.
4. French Country style still very prevalent.
5. Burlap and Linen being utilized in more products from lamps, pillows, furniture, fashion accessories, lighting and more.
6. Silvers continue to be shown in many tabletop items.
7. Made in America products are gaining momentum, which was showcased in the new Temporaries Section of the Market this year.  Although there was quite a bit of duplication in product choices, I think this is very positive.
8. Pet accessories and wall art are getting more attention as shown in Demdaco’s new “Dogs Rock” line.  We also saw many other showrooms showcasing pet items.
9. Fleur Di Lis Design continues to be popular across all product lines.
10.  Frames are being embellished with ribbon, jewelry and personalization of all kind and various materials are being used layering woods, fabrics and jewelry to create an art piece.
11. In art Horses were shown in many showrooms as well as birds and owls.
12.  Lanterns are on the rise.  All sizes and materials and are being used in many different ways.
13. Tangerine is the new trend color, but was not overdone like the purple tones last year.  This color was shown with greys, browns and greens.

Market Highlights:

1. New fun Glassware hand-painted on the inside and outside with messages on the inside of the glass.  We loved the peek hole and really thought this should be a collectible glass, similar to the Lolita line.
2. Baggallini – new leather trimmed line was fabulous.  They are mimicking Vera Bradley, however I liked the new styles and loved the fact that many of the new designs could hold the IPad/Tablet Sleeve.
3. Driftwood Items in Holiday Decor were unique and one that could be handed down.  Great for the Rustic look.
4. Imax had a varied and extensive line of new home accessories all created differently.
5. Guildmaster’s new grey wash cabinet with the leaded bubble glass was one of a kind.
6. Sage and Co. showroom really showcased a transitional/modern look even though much of it was traditional.  The flow and layout was fabulous.
7. Locker Accessories – so much fun, and what a great idea.  I’ve seen bits and pieces, but never a entire package!

If you have read this far, congratulations!  I know this blog is very lengthy, however I wanted to capture our trip.  We have a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work, and picking just the right item is so important.  We definitely are thinking about all of you as we shop.

As a special gift for you, mention you read my Atlanta Blog and receive 20% off Any 1 Item in the store (excludes all jewelry and cannot be combined with other sales or discounts).  Valid thru this Saturday, January 28th!

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My trip to Utah – Jewel Kade’s 1st National Convention

My Trip to Salt Lake City Utah – Jewel Kade National Convention – August 4 – 6

I know it’s been awhile since I blogged.  Time just gets away so quickly.  I just took an amazing journey to Utah.  I’ve been to quite a few buying Markets, Business Conventions and Shows, however this trip was like none other that I have been on.  For one, the state of Utah is amazingly beautiful with mountains surrounding you on all sides.  Secondly, I am  absolutely in love with Jewel Kade even more now than I was before.  Jewel Kade is handcrafted vintage styled, yet modern inspired charms and jewelry that is designed by Janet Kinkade.  You’ll hear more!

Janet began designing jewelry just for herself as a way to create unique pieces that would keep her children close to her heart.  She just wasn’t able to find anything out there that met her need for a sentiment art piece so she began experimenting on her own. Soon friends and family members began asking her to make pieces for them, which quickly expanded to the local boutique stores in and around the Salt Lake City area.  She knew then that it had to be more than her own personal passion, and so in 2009 Jewel Kade was formed.

The Jewel Kade Conference:

I really didn’t know what to expect from the first ever Jewel Kade Convention, but I knew I wanted to go and see and learn more about this company; the beautiful handmade charms and jewelry, the opportunity to grow this business and interact with other women in this business.

I’ve been selling Jewel Kade since November of last year, holding in-store and out of store parties, taking customer orders, and I just can’t get enough of it.  I wanted to find a better way to share it with my customers, friends, families, neighbors; everyone; my ultimate reason for going. So, let me take you on my little journey over the last three days in Alpine, Utah and Thanksgiving Point to share the Jewel Kade Gift!

JK Stylists – Julie Perry from Alaska, Sophia Fisher and Me

On Thursday I was invited to tour the Jewel Kade Home Office for a personal tour and to take part in their “Seconds Sale”, charms that have been retired or don’t live up to their quality standards.  Needless to say, I had no problem picking up retired Halloween Charms, Monogrammed Charms and more!  It was a shopping frenzy!

When I arrived I was also given a special JK Gift bag with lots of goodies and a special 2011 Jewel Kade Convention charm that was made just for us!

I was pleasantly surprised how small and quaint the JK Home Office was, and even more so when I saw the gals sitting at their tables with all their supplies hand making each piece of the charm.  From cutting the canvas paper, to cutting the glass, and adding the glitter.  It is truly an amazing sight – no China produced pieces, no machines, rather employees using their personal touch and skills in order to make each charm unique.

After our Home Office Visit we had the rest of the afternoon to go out and explore Utah.  We ventured downtown to Salt Lake City where we dined at the Red Rock Brewery.  Awesome food and better company as I began meeting many Jewel Kade Stylists from around the country, from Alaska to New Jersey to share our Jewel Kade stories.

The Official Start of the Jewel Kade Conference

I arrived bright and early at Thanksgiving Point on Friday morning to listen to Janet Kinkade make her keynote address.  What I observed was a very humble, emotional, authentic, and modest person that is truly talented. She spoke about the power of desire to guide each of us and her journey with JK.  Janet also shared with us the new Fall and Winter Catalog pieces, and we were first to get our hands on the new catalog.

JK Stylist – Julie Perry getting ready to open the new JK Catalog

Even better she gave each of us her new “Unfold your Wings” Butterfly charm and we were able to see each and every new piece from the Fall/Winter JK Catalog and order them right there and then.  You can check out the first ever Video of Janet and Jewel Kade.

Now down to the real nitty gritty – the business, the gift, the opportunity.

Ginny Lyke, Jewel Kade’s National Sales Director who joined Jewel Kade during the 1st Quarter of this year presented several big announcements including:

New JK Care Pieces to benefit breast cancer and cardiovascular disease research.  5% of the sale of these items will go directly to research and finding a cure

I was so happy to see the breast cancer pieces added as I have had several customer suggestions asking for this, plus they are just beautiful with pink and silver rhinestones.  You are definitely going to want one of these pieces either as a gift or for yourself or both!

Expanded Host Rewards for those Hostesses  – more host gifts, greater opportunity to earn lots and lots of Free and 1/2 Off Jewel Kade pieces.

Believe me gals, you will be so excited, and your guests will have no issue in finding something they love!

Club JK – this is an exclusive new Collector’s Club that will be introduced in 2012. You will have the opportunity to purchase each month one limited edition special JK Charm.

New JK Stylist Kit for only $249

I was so happy to hear this because I know when I decided to join Jewel Kade I second guessed the opportunity a couple times based on the price of the kit.  For those wanting to join the JK Team this makes it so easy and affordable, and they are even offering additional perks where the kit could cost you virtually nothing when used toward your launch party.
After dinner and several beneficial breakout training sessions I headed back to the hotel   exhausted, but excited about the next day and peeks at more new JK charms and jewelry.

Day 2 – JK National Convention

I was excited to begin Day 2, our final day of the convention.  Jewel Kade has been working with Jane Deuber, best selling author, international speaker and sought after business consultant who has helped thousands of women turn their passions into reality; helping them build their business and fulfill their lives.

Jane spoke of us going through our own “personal transformation” by giving ourselves permission to want more, whether its making more money, developing friendships, building stronger relationships; whatever we want it to be.  She took us through a success accelerator model discussing in detail the 4 Realms of Direct Selling Success delving into the 4 pieces:

Mindset, Prospecting, Interviewing and Personal Power.

It certainly made me think of my own personal transformation over the last 4 years, going from a corporate professional in the automotive industry to an entrepreneur of a small Home Decor retail business. Had you asked me 10 years earlier of where I would be, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today.  When I left the corporate world I wrote down my short term vision and top priorities and made it happen.  Jane’s presentation reminded me of what I had accomplished and got me thinking of “What’s next for my personal growth”?  For me, I can say it’s Jewel Kade – it’s an unbelievable company and an opportunity & gift I just don’t want to miss, and one I want to share with others.

So, don’t be surprised if you hear me talking about the Jewel Kade opportunity and gift next time I see you!

After listening to Jane, Janet gave Stylists the first look at the upcoming Halloween 2011 Collection. These bewitching charms are so adorable; pumpkins, a witch; you will love them! The charms will debut September 1, plenty of time to wear them for the Fall/Halloween season.

The afternoon was filled with several breakout sessions from hosting a successful JK party to sponsoring JK Stylists.  All very good and applicable to building a successful business.

Back to the hotel to get ready for our final event of the evening – the JK National Awards Dinner. All dressed up and charmed out with new necklaces and charms from the Fall/Winter line. We arrived to a beautiful barn decorated in Janet’s vintage and elegant charm.  There were also great JK Stylists photo opportunities in the JK Photo Lounge and Photo Booth.  We all had a ton of fun adding boas, masquerades and more to our outfits.

Me & Janet Kinkade

Dinner, Awards and Dancing wrapped up the evening – what a grand celebration!  I’m so glad I went. I saw and learned so much more about his wonderful company and met many smart, funny and loving JK girls from across the country!

I know this is an unusual blog entry as I’m usually at a market buying fabulous new items for the store or sharing new trends and colors, however this I just felt a need to share the love of JK and truly be charmed. It’s an unlimited opportunity for anyone and can change your life!

Susan Stowe – JK Stylist

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Atlanta Winter Market – January, 2011

Day 1 – Thursday

We arrived at the Atlanta Americas Mart Thursday afternoon, and after the long slow drive from the airport to the mart due to the “Big Snow Storm,” we were rearing to go; let the shopping frenzy begin!

Home furnishings kicked us off and did not disappoint.  We were looking for a few key pieces of furniture for customers and the GuildMaster Showroom was fantastic.  They had several new credenzas, tables, chairs and more, and the finishes were amazing; a distressed finish, with a warm tuscan feel and look.  Our favorite piece was the the Wine Credenza!  We have this piece in the store in a lighter color.  Check it out below.

Across the hall we discovered stacks of all different trunks covered in canvas and purposely made for younger girls and boys with princess, retro and sports themes.  These would be great in a kids bedroom as a furniture piece;,and they could store their toys or books in them.  They also had retro wall art of the Beatles and a few other older bands.  Retro was definitely one of the themes throughout the market.

Cyan Design had all new very transitional lighting that could easily fit in almost anyone’s home, made of mostly metals, but also others that were very brightly colored; again the retro  theme with an elegant touch. Inspirational pieces were also added to their line; cross wall art and large wood crosses.

Retro Lighting

A quick stop at Uttermost for a bite to eat led to us browsing the showroom.  How could we not, their new Mirrors, Art and Clocks were fantastic.  Lots of silver and coppery silver finishes on the mirrors, and a few new metal bird pieces were added that I fell in love with – yes, they are on order!  They continued to add art with many different textures, which I really like and trended toward Vintage.  I saw this trend starting in Highpoint this past Fall.  Uttermost also purchased a clock company, Timeworks, which expanded their line of clocks at least three fold.  The clocks ranged from small pocket and desk clocks to large faced wood clocks, some with a European flair.  If you are looking for a clock, it’s worth your time to check these out.

Uttermost Glass Containers

Red Ceramic Vases - Uttermost

Late in the afternoon we switched from Home Decor to Garden and discovered a great wood weaved basket for a front door and some fun and bright florals to stick in the basket – these will make a wonderful gift for someone and would go great on any front or back door!  They were substantial and would make anyone feel welcome!  You’ll see these on our front store door in the next 6 weeks!

Our last stop of the day was at a showroom that had the lit branches displayed in various ways, and they cleverly used crystal stems, feather stems and others to make them look just beautiful!  We just received our long branch brown stems in!  Lots of great ideas for you.  Check out the Gazebo picture – how beautiful for a wedding or other special event.

Gazebo with Lit Branches & Florals

Like Bird Houses?  These are so different and made in Canada, and if you haven’t heard birds are in – sporting birds, collecting birds, feeding the birds – all of it!  These houses would make the perfect Mother or Father’s Day, and/or Wedding Gift!

Off to my dinner at Wisteria with one of my vendors for a Roundtable discussion on their products and services.  I met some great people and the exchange of information was invaluable.  Lilly from Missouri was a wealth of information; she owns a 11,000 square foot retail home decor and gift store.  Lilly recommended us visiting a vendor I had not heard of; rare for me because I do a lot of research and am tuned into what is hot and new.  It will definitely be my first stop in the morning!

Day 2 – Friday

Yes, Lilly was right, their showroom and product was amazing, fun cupcake gift items, unique drinkware and frames, adorable baby items, and by far the best garden and holiday items that I have seen!  The most distinctive – their Salt and Pepper shakers for literally every holiday and theme – they are really unbelievable; wait til you see.  I have ordered many beginning with Easter.

Easter Chicks

This was definitely a great find, and I spent nearly 4 1/2 hours in their showroom.  All seasons ordered for the year.  Ok, I think it’s time for the first beverage of the day!

Off to the temporary showrooms in Bldg. 3 to search out brand new gift items.  If you have ever been to a giant craft show with 100’s and 100’s of vendors then you can relate to the temporaries.  They are small booths and no two are the same.  One could be jewelry and the next Jack Daniels gifts.  It’s really bizarre, but there is also the reward of finding the diamond in the sand.  We did just that after several hours of going down aisle after aisle.  Our favorite; the Wine Steward, designed and developed by a Chicago Bartender, Marge.  Seems like a simple idea, but I wouldn’t have thought of it.  It’s a reversible wine charm that also will hold your wine cork or a screw off cap.  What’s great about these is you can have them personalized in a matter of a few days – how cool for a special birthday party, wedding, anniversary or other party.  Ours, I’m ordering “It’s always Five O’Clock Somewhere in South Lyon” along with other more generic ones.

Another fun vendor out of Boone, NC had lots of fun wine and beer accessories.  I’ve actually been to Boone; reminds me of a small Up North tourist town.  My picks a beer insulator that said “ In Dog Beers I’ve only had 1” with a picture of a Dog on it and a Men’s half apron that said “Grill Men Drink Beer”  – “Gives new meaning to a 6 Pack”.  At the bottom of the apron there are 6 slots numbered 1 – 6 for each can of beer – ha ha!   They also had cookbooks, drink insulators, cocktail napkins and lots of other fun gift items.

Fabulous Furs anyone?  Yes, we couldn’t resist the finest and softest faux fur throws, pillows and coats!  Unique animal prints and patterns crafted by Donna Salyers. I splurged and bought a long sleeveless coat with a hood – can’t wait to get it!  We also purchased a few pillows and throws.  We will have one at the store as display for you to check out and order if you like!

Glitter Fine Framed Art – I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s actually the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen!  Elegant pictures or objects touched lightly in specific targeted areas with glitter.  They were absolutely stunning.  Out of California, they have been around for some time, but always in the temporaries.  We picked a handful of pictures and will be looking forward to receiving these!  You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see them.

I found my tried and true source for our Mango Wood Candleholders.  We were down to the last few, and couldn’t find my contacts.  My mom, sister-in-law and girlfriend discovered them as I was conducting other business. They have added all new candleholder styles as well as great fruit stands.  How lucky can we get!

Off for a quick bite and then to a 6:00 meeting with one of my reps in their showroom to order Christmas and everyday Home Decor.

As we walked into the showroom to meet Kim the Vintage trend plus lots of burlap items  really popped.  After seeing pieces here and there throughout the last day and a half, and noting that even the holiday items had these elements, I knew this was the new trend.

Spending more than two hours in this showroom we accomplished a good chunk of our holiday buying and our Home Decor and Accessories.  My favorites were the clocks and some of the art pieces.  Check them out below.

Day 3 – our last day; so hard to believe and so much to do!

Trekking through almost 30 showrooms today we made some fabulous finds.  From great display pieces to fun collectibles for kids, vintage jewelry, great new mirrors and bird decor from Uttermost, updated Photobox Frames, Silver Serving Pieces, fun Scarves and Stretch Rings, Garden Figurines and so much more.

My top 5 favorites were:

  1. Holiday Trees and Figurines of all kinds from a fantastic new holiday vendor.  The holly berry trees were made of high quality berries and twigs and in a unique style.  They also had great Halloween Spiders and Spider Webs.

2. String Dolls on Keychains with great sayings; my mom thought these were                    really corny, until she started reading them.  I think the kids will love them, and                  even the adults.  These should arrive in the store early the week of January 23.

Wally Lifts the Weight Off your Shoulders

3. Kelly Rae Art and Gifts – I was fortunate to meet her again in person.  Kelly                     was a Social Worker that decided to follow her passion for her unique art.                             Her new art is by far the best yet!  Plus she has added solid angels to her line,                       beautiful sketch books, and new everyday ornaments.  You will be awed when                       you see her new items!

4. Vintage Accessory Jewelry – glamourous crosses in bracelets and necklaces,                    blingy, but fashionable stretch rings, fun and unusual hoop earrings.  My mom                      was our model!

Mom, our Jewelry Model!

5.  Metal Holiday Decor for all Seasons, including great lanterns, garden pieces               and even fun Birthday items.  I had never seen this company in the past, and after              meeting the owner he told me they have been in business for over 20 years, but had            always been located in the temporaries.  This was their first year in the permanent              showrooms.  Their showroom was nicely laid out by season so it made the buying                very easy – wait til you see the giant metal pumpkins!  Can’t wait for Pumpkinfest                this year.

Other great new or updated gift items – Flip Flop Wine Coasters – 4 new patterns and new wine bags for them to fit in – these will be available in March.

Brand new inspirational plaques, clocks, crosses and cute boxes by two new artists that one of my vendors took on.  You will love them both!

Beautiful new beads and display pieces from Bauble Lulu.  They now have added new bling beads; a little more expensive, but well worth it!

Our final stop of the day at 8:00pm was the K&K showroom – their holiday was amazing.  We took several pictures of the trees, florals, ornaments and more.  Fun Easter items will be arriving!

All in all, the market was a huge success.  Next year, we are staying an extra day.  Too much to see, and just not enough time.  Our legs were falling off by Saturday night.  We all said we are taking a pedometer next year to see how many miles we walked!

We will keep you updated as our new items arrive!

Happy Shopping!

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Spring Mantel Event at Grande Trunke Home

We held our first Mantel Decorating Session of the year this past Thursday, March 31 with Designer Betsy Rackliffe! It was a full house with over 25 Gals attending. Our focus was “Spring”!

We began with the mantel set up in a fun and festive Easter Theme with Beaded Garland strung along the mantel, Easter Eggs tucked in lanterns and florals and Easter Bunnies scattered throughout the mantel and placed in lanterns.

Converting to a Spring mantel was a snap by pulling the Easter items out and adding birds. The big Floral Tea Balls really added the outdoor Spring element to the mantel, plus they are so versatile and can be used on Candleholders, inside Lanterns or just lying on the mantel.  These sold out this evening, but we should have them back in the store within the next week!

Betsy changed up the Green/Bird theme to a Red themed Spring Floral by switching out the picture to a bright Red Floral and adding a Red Ceramic Bird, Red Ceramic Finial and changing out the lamp to a more traditional style. Check out the picture below.

Nature Girl was the theme of our 3rd Mantel Design.  “All Natural” was the theme with lots of color. Betsy really loves all the Kelly Rae art; this was her inspiration for this mantel theme. The Kelly Rae print was propped up on the right side of the mantel, and then she added the Natural Branch art, which was hung in the center of the mantel. Aside the art, a large glass vase was placed and filled with florals and green seed balls, and yes, another one of the Tea Balls.  On the left hand side a “Love” Plaque made of wood and metals with birds sat atop an easel and two candleholders were placed forefront of the plaque. One, a bright ceramic candleholder that really popped the picture and another more natural metal candleholder. The mantel was finished off with yellow beaded garland running through the pieces and a birdhouse placed next to the Kelly Rae Art. Wa La – Nature Girl! We took away the picture to show everyone that the design still looked great without the art. We mixed in a few other pieces to show how easily the mantel could be changed up.

Our last mantel of the night was a symmetrical traditional mantel using a large black metal clock with gold accents and two gold sconces.  We hung  one on each side of the clock and places complimenting gold frames on each side of the mantle.  A black ceramic Napa Firelite was placed atop a book on the left side and a large Fleur Di Lis statue was placed on the right side.  We finished it off with a Green Berry Ball.  Gotta love the florals!  They always bring in a spring feel and look.

Lastly, Besty made a few variations by using other accessories and colors to show how easy the look of your mantel can change.

It was a really fun night, and the Gals that attended were wonderful!  Lots of good questions were asked and shared with the group. Look for that Kinkade print at our next session!

Thanks to Betsy for her time and designer expertise!

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