Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Trip to the Merchandise Mart in Atlanta

We just got back from our annual January trip to Atlanta to order for Fall and Winter of 2011.  We brought our employee, Emily Murphy Saksa, and our friend, Susan Medart who makes Knollwood Lane products for our store, to help us order.  Our flight left at 6:30 a.m. and it was actually 2 days later than we had originally planned to leave because of the ice in Atlanta.  The photos are on my IPhone so the quality isn't perfect, but bringing a huge camera just wasn't practical.

Angie and Susan on the plane.  We were so tired at 6:30 a.m. but excited!
 When we got to Atlanta, we dropped our luggage at the Twelve Hotel and took a cab straight to market.

Angie and Susan in the cab.  We actually made friends with one driver and we called him every time we needed a ride. 
 When we actually got out on the roads, we realized just how unprepared Atlanta was for the ice storm they had just gotten.  The streets were filled with things like sand and kitty litter.  Nothing was plowed or salted.  It was kind of a mess!
This is what the streets looked like!
The first thing we did was to go to our favorite showroom, Creative Co-Op.  It was pretty crowded but we still got to work with our favorite rep, Harriet, and we met the owner and chatted with him for a while.

Angie looking at all the fun, french merchandise.  It was really overwhelming!

Angie and Susan taking a rest on a sofa in the showroom.
We ordered the mirror in this picture.
After we ordered the "everyday" items in this showroom, we looked at some of their Christmas stuff.
Some vintage looking Christmas stuff we ordered in Creative Co-Op

On the same floor is another of our favorites, Peacock Park.  I didn't get any good pictures because you're not allowed to take photos in most of the showrooms, but I snuck a few.

An overall picture of people shopping.

A cool dress form and some french stuff.

We visited a few more showrooms the first day and then went back to the hotel and got room service and made plans for the second day.  We were all so exhausted from getting up at 4:40 to catch the plane so we went to bed really early.

The second day, we split into two groups so we could cover more ground.  Emily and I went to lots of showrooms that were filled with Christmas and Halloween.  The first was Bethany Lowe, one of our favorites.
A shelf of Halloween at Bethany Lowe.
We ordered some cute headbands and hats for Halloween.

I asked Emily to model one of the headbands and she struck a pose.

I tried on a skull hat.
 We ordered some cute, vintage looking things like the pumpkin lantern below.
This lantern comes with a light inside.

The Bethany Lowe Christmas area.  We ordered lots of glittery, amazing stuff designed by our favorite designers.  It was really fun to see all the 2011 designs.
The next showroom was ESC.  We get most of our cute bunnies, snowmen, and angels from ESC.
Some fun snowmen and a burlap banner we ordered.

A bunny snowman

A display in the showroom that had lots of queens and angels.
A queen I ordered for Christmas.
Some more fun snowmen I ordered
A fun glittery sleigh that says, "Winter Magic"
After Emily and I ordered at ESC, we went to Midwest/Seasons of Cannon Falls to get our Wendy Addison goodies and other designers.  I didn't take a lot of pictures because it was unbelievably busy and really overwhelming.
We're having an aqua themed Christmas section for 2011 and got a lot of it here.

A Wendy Addison display.  My mom wanted the burlap chair but it wasn't for sale.

The second day was coming to an end, but we had one more showroom.  This is the place where we get our belsnickle santas.
We also ordered the cutest Halloween stuff including the tablecover below and the lace covered pumpkin sitting on it.
It comes with the black tulle attached!  So cute!
A fun standup raven that has a note that says, "Nevermore"
At the end of the second day, we had dinner in the lobby of our hotel.  Emily ordered a bleu cheese olive martini and was disappointed to find that instead of stuffing the whole olive, the just put the cheese in the opening of the olive.
A sad martini.
We shared desserts and scraped the plates clean...
A molten chocolate cake we devoured.
After a couple of cocktails, we all went up to the room and got plenty of sleep so we could have the energy for another 10 hour day of ordering.

Day three was probably my favorite day because we got to meet Cody Foster!!!  He's been one of our favorite designers for a long time.  Remember the cool, mercury glass whale ornaments we had this past year?  And the really elaborate paperpulp houses?  He designed those!  Here's a picture of me and my mom with Cody Foster.
We felt like we were meeting a celebrity!
After placing a huge order in Cody Foster's showroom, we looked around at other booths in the High Design section.  Here's a picture of the aisles.
Another thing we found in the high design area was Jill Schwartz jewerly.  We've had a few of her pieces before and they sold, so we decided to re-order.  Here are a few examples of her work.
After ordering the cool jewelry, we witnessed something really strange...suddenly a band started playing and weird people started dancing.  I snapped a few pictures but still have no idea who they were or why they suddenly started playing.  It's so strange!
They had weird costumes and puppets!
They were marching so it got a little blurry.
The band was really loud, so we moved on to other showrooms.  I didn't get any more pictures that day.  I kept forgetting to take them because we were so excited about the things we were ordering!

Day four included a couple of places with cool french furniture and accessories.
This is the showroom where we get our cool canvas bags.  We re-ordered all sized of them.
We ordered mercury glass here and those cool panels hanging in the background.
 Here are pics from Blue Ocean Traders, a place with old items that can be ordered.
You can see Susan in the background looking around. 
A fantastic chair with a burlap back.
We had been looking for a good place for pillows that were reasonably priced the whole market, and finally found them!  Below are some examples of the pillows we got.  We felt really bad for the rep in the showroom because we kept throwing pillows around and changing our minds.
Some of the pillows we ordered.

This is my very favorite picture from the trip!

Our last stop for the day was K&K where we got some great holiday goodies.
A cool striped wall.
A tree that was all done up for Christmas.
Halloween wall decor
The fourth day was really productive and with only one left, we had some margaritas at a Mexican restaurant and called it a night.

The last day of market was a lot of fun!  We got to hang out in the cash and carry section.  There were strict rules against taking pictures here so I only got a photo afterwards of some of the rings we got.
Our very last stop was in the booth of Glenda Gies handbags.  I have wanted a Glenda Gies bag for years now and we finally ordered some.  They're not inexpensive but they're soooo special that we thought maybe we'd carry a couple and see how people respond to them.  And if they don't sell, we can always take them home! :)

I didn't get any photos there, but found some online to give examples.
One of my favorite bags ever!
I'm pretty sure we ordered this exact bag.
Overall, this was a great buying trip for The White Rabbit.  We can't wait for our customers to see the great stuff we ordered.  It will be coming in gradually.  It's so hard to wait for all of it, but we have to follow the budget!  I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip.  Please come in and see the new stuff because some of it will be in the store soon!


  1. Hi
    Did you know that Wendy Addison is designing also for Tinsel Trading Company in NY? She has done an amazing job!

  2. Yes and we can buy wholesale from them. We looked into it recently. We love Wendy's stuff so much! And I've heard that she's from Missouri. Maybe she'll visit The White Rabbit someday!

  3. This looks like heaven! I love those big angel wings. I haven't been to your shop, but I will definitely be coming in soon!

  4. Oh my gosh!! Please let me know when the Glenda Gies bags arrive!! I love the pink flowered one! Laurie LaVenture

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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