Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting ready for market in Atlanta

    To market, to market we go!!!  We can not even begin to explain how excited we are for market this year.  We have never been more experienced, more confidant, more organized, or more ready for our buying trip. 
    For those of you not familiar with market, just imagine several huge buildings filled with showrooms that contain everything you could possibly order for a store.  Everyone who owns a store (a store that carries "new" inventory anyway) goes to one of a few of these to order products.  We have been to Dallas, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Chicago and have found Atlanta to be the best in terms of selection.  There are 6 million square feet of showrooms.  Some are boring and cheesy and some are the most glorious experience ever!

What we do at market, basically, is that we look at all the merchandise that will be available for 2011 and some of 2012 and tell the sales reps what we would like to order.  We have to decide things like whether to get 6 of the cute lamps we like or 24 and get a lower price.  It's really hard!  Then we tell the sales rep when we would like the merchandise shipped to our store.  It's really frustrating because you want everything all at once because you're so excited about it, but have to spread out your ship dates to keep the budget in check.  Lindsay is in charge of the budget....always...

The reason we are so prepared this year is that we have made "mood boards" that tell us what we want for different sections of the store.  I think we got the idea from one of the fashion reality shows.  We watch waaaaay too much of those shows!  We basically started by cutting out pictures of things in magazines (and I mean we have hundreds of magazines) that we love.  Then we looked through them and tried to find common themes between some of the images.  It became clear that  while everything was sort of vintage inspired, some of the things we liked were really "cottag-ey" and others were more "French-ey" and others more "european Rustic-ey".  We separated the different areas and took a really fun trip to Anatols in Brentwood to look for fabric that could go with each section.  I gathered a few paint sample cards and voila! a mood board was born.
The cottage area will have blues and greens and creams.  It will have starfish and shells and an overall casual feel.  This area is fun and bright with clean lines.  Nothing sophisticated or "rich" looking.  Just a casual, no-fuss, family feeling.

Here's the Glamorous area below.  This is Lindsay's creation.  She wants a little more drama in the store.  This area is all about velvet, silk, pattern and gold, gold, gold.  Not yucky, shiny gold; the good kind of gold that looks old and rich.  We're going to experiment with some sheer gold washes on painted furniture too like the blue cabinet pictured below.  Ooh can't wait!

Below is the area we like to describe as Rustic European.  It will have tan linen, burlap, faded writing details, old suitcases, branches, watch faces, and darker colors in general.  Angie has always kind of had an affinity toward things that look like they're falling apart and those things fit right in with this look.

Above is an area really similar to the Rustic European area but a little more clean lined.  We will probably mix these two looks because they're not much different.

Below is the feminine area.  This has more traditional shabby chic elements to it.  It will have cream linen, white denim, floral fabrics and lots of white, cream, pink, and aqua.  The furniture is the white, shabby type that we have always offered.

Each of these boards is about 3 feet by 2 feet so we've just taken pictures of them with our iphones (The photos shown are actually taken with an iphone) so that while we're ordering, we can reference them.  This way, we won't end up with a bunch of merchandise that doesn't fit into any area of the store.

I hope you enjoyed peeking at our mood boards!  I will take pictures during market and blog about it when we get back.  See you soon!

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