August 7, 2009

Industrial Shopping

So I am leaving for New York City next Thursday to finish up this years buying for Daisy’s.  One of the most frequent comments people make when they are walking around the shop is “It must be so much fun to buy for your store.” First I will admit, yes it is SUPER fun. There are a few downsides, like aching feet and the nagging feeling I missed the cutest thing there. So I thought I would give you some insight into what goes on in my head during these industrial shopping days.First, I have to figure out if YOU want to buy the things I think I can’t live without.  Did I buy too much or not enough and can I get more?  Yea a new artist! How much are the shipping charges on those candles? When I see the buyers from Pottery Barn do I shake their hand or kick them in the shin? Picture me walking rows of booths thinking there is nothing but ugly, and BOOM, find that one little gem.  Each of these rows usually begins and ends with weird wind-chime companies that have fans running on high so you can hear the lovely sound (Note: I hate wind-chimes). 

The time line for a day at a gift show is usually the same as trying to put on a wedding in one shopping trip. Be ready for work at 7 a.m. and grab a cup of Starbucks while reviewing the day before your first appointment at 8:30 a.m. Regular show hours are usually 9 a.m., so then it is time to walk those rows looking for the next latest and greatest.  The Atlanta show, that I always attend in January, is 7 million square feet of permanent showrooms and temporary booth spaces.  At about 1 p.m. I realize that I have downed 4 bottles of water and had nothing to eat, so I run to find the closest ladies room and hope the line isn’t out the door.  Then it is time to shop in a larger permanent showroom where they always put out a decent spread for lunch.  Now with an energy boost, I’m back to shopping. At this point I usually try and find a line or two of cards so I can sit for a few minutes and peek through the decks looking for the best ones.  Regular showrooms close between 6 and 8 p.m. depending on the day of the show.  Then it is time to have dinner with a rep or another shop owner I only see at shows. I try to land at the hotel about 9 p.m. Now it is time to turn into a secretary and record my orders make sure they say what I think they said and make notes for the next day.  The night ends falling asleep with my laptop in my lap with an episode of Sienfeld on. 

So that sounded like a lot of whining but in reality it is very energizing.  The creativity in people amazes me.  Things designed beautifully and displayed in such creative ways make me want to  never sleep. When you come see Daisy’s I have a lot of great things to work with in so many different textures and elements it isn’t really hard to make it look good.  However you go to a booth that only has picture frames or nothing but clear glass and see it displayed with such style and panache that you feel compelled to buy it.  Talking with the designers that create all the beautiful items makes me dream of what I would design to make life prettier.

I promise to blog when I am gone and show you what I find each day.  Actually it is we, as I am taking Jillian with me.



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