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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!!
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.
Their Halloween decor was fantastic. Lots of new unique pieces. Check them out below!
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!
I 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Burlap and Driftwood pieces continue to expand and I saw these piece types in almost every home decor showroom.
- 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.
- Lighting continues to surprise me with all the new designs, types, materials used and even color.
- Pillows are absolutely everywhere. If you don’t have decorative pillows in your house you need to get some!
- Tear Off place mats in a variety of patterns and colors.
- Scarves and Fashion Accessories were everywhere. Lots of larger, chunkier jewelry in brighter colors, however Vintage is still very much in.