Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our Trip to the Atlanta Mart

    We're back!  My mom and I just got back from the Merchandise Mart in Atlanta.  We brought our friend Susan and my boyfriend, Chris, to help us make decisions about what to order for this year's holiday gift items, next year's spring and Valentine's Day merchandise, and of course to look for new lines to carry.
Here's a picture of my mom and Susan waiting for the shuttle in the airport parking lot.  Notice my mom's new animal print luggage.  She was so excited about it!

This was taken at like 5:30 am

    Our plane ride was nice and smooth.  It left right on time and as my mom always describes the excitement, we had a "tickle" in our tummies.  See how happy she looks?
Sipping a smoothie

    After dropping our luggage at our hotel, The Twelve (which ended up being really nice, except for the lack of service and the condom wrapper we found on our floor), we went straight to the mart.  I headed with my boyfriend for the permanent decor showrooms while my mom and Susan went to the gift building. 

   First, I visited one of my favorite showrooms, KD Vintage.  I ordered a fabulous collection of beach themed Christmas items.  (Most of our Christmas was ordered in January, but I added a few must-haves) 

This is a picture of the overall showroom:  Looks fun right?  Don't worry, I ordered a lot!
They use vintage furniture to display just like us!

Next, it was off to another favorite permanent showroom, Bethany Lowe.  To my delight, Bethany herself took my order.  She was really sweet and her daughter was helping out too.  I am kicking myself for not asking for a picture of her.  What was I thinking?  Here's her showroom:
The entrance to Bethany Lowe Designs

A spring Display

After placing the Valentine's Day 2011 and Spring 2011 orders, we headed to ESC for more vintage inspired goodies.  The showroom isn't quite as creative as some of the others, but the products are wonderful and the prices are even better.
The entrance to ESC


Here are some little princesses I ordered for the baby area of our store.  They have little crowns and signs with glass glitter.  I think they will be great gifts.


I ordered Valentine's Day here too.  Last year, our V-Day selection was disappointing, so I made special effort this year to get the good stuff.
Valentine's at ESC
Bunnies galore

 Several showrooms and hours later, the market was closing and we met up with my mom and Susan and went back to the hotel.  We spent the evening planning our second day and talking excitedly about all the things we'd found and ordered.  I spent a lot of time entering orders into my budget and calculating cash flow so we would know what could ship and when for our new orders.  The view from our hotel was spectacular.

View from the Twelve Hotel

     The next morning, we all focused more on gift items in the permanent showrooms.  I found a new line of french soaps that were reasonably priced that could easily be picked up for a little gift.

New french soaps

The four of us met up and came across some huge chocolate bars in beautiful, vintage packaging that we HAD to have for the store.  Some say Happy Birthday, some will be for Halloween, some Christmas.  Cute huh?

Chocolate bars coming in September

  My mom and Susan found these glitter chandelier silhouettes that actually light up and hang from the ceiling for the kids section of the store.  They were really reasonable too.  I think they will be around $85.  We got them in pink, white, and aqua. 

See the light in the center?  I would have loved one of these as a little girl.

 One of the gift items for the holidays were these cute, vintage packaged "Grow Your Own" kits.  We got the Chrsitmas tree, Amaryllis, peppermint, and Lavender kits.  Here's what the packages look like:

Little kits would make a fun gift

We spent the rest of the day ordering many new things including lots of jewelry.  My boyfriend was such a good sport!  He didn't complain the entire time even though he really wasn't interested!  He's a keeper!

Chris, my patient boyfriend and me in front of a showroom.

 By the end of the second day, we were exhausted.  However, the real excitement started on the third day when the temporaries opened, so we got a little boost.  Just to give you an idea, here's the view from the top of the building. 

See the clear glass elevators on the right?
Here's the view from inside the glass elevator:
There are a lot of floors filled with booths

  We were too overwhelmed to take any more pictures of the temporary booths.  The reps are literally trying to get you to stop in their booth and yelling out to you or demonstrating products.  It's fun but stressful.  We ordered lots of jewelry and a few baby things in this area.
   On the last day of our trip, we made our way to the cash and carry section.  This is where, instead of writing orders, you can grab what you want and take it with you.  It was crazy!  People get really pushy and desperate when they think someone else is going to grab what they want!  We actually got yelled at for taking pictures but here are the ones we got.
People shopping in cash and carry
more people shopping
The booth where we spent the most time
A bracelet we grabbed

By the end of the last day, and after a delayed flight and broken down van, we were exhausted.  However, I think it was our most productive trip to market ever and we had a lot of fun.  It's the first time we've taken the time to document the trip, so we hope you've enjoyed reading about it.  Now all we have to do is wait for everything that we ordered....


  1. I enjoyed very much - thanks for documenting & sharing! That looks like quite the experience - can't believe the size of it! The displays were really fun to see. And those princesses are just too sweet. I'll be eager to see some of this pop up in the store in the next year! Glad you guys had a successful trip!

  2. oo Thanks for getting more "stars"I cant believe all them,cant wait to see all the PINK,how exciting!! Im so excited about seeing all the new goodies....
    Kathy P.

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