Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 3 Jewelry Overload!

The first day of the Cash and Carry jewelry buying is always exhausting, while exhilarating at the same time. This market, both Linda and I felt that there were much larger crowds than usual. Good and bad. Good, because that may mean the buyers are more confident in consumer shopping. Bad because you just can't take a step due to crazy crowds. And, I might say that the crowds can be quite entertaining to say the least!

Every year, I chide myself for not documenting how the crowds are, really. Cameras are strictly forbidden on the sales floor, so sneaking a photo was challenging...thus, I didn't get the perfect shot to give the real picture.

I mean, really, the crowds are more like a sea of shoppers. It might be rather like that trampling sale at David's Bridal...this photo just can't give you the real feel of things. It's back to back women and a few men here and there. (As you can see, not everyone wears fashionable shoes...)

This is a view of just one of the isles. Can you tell that graphites/ grays and pearls were the item of the day? Don't worry, I'm bringing back plenty to choose from.

At one of our favorite booths, we found out next hairdo. Do you keep a "hair-file"? My hairdresser always loves it when I pull mine out...but how cute is this cut? I did nearly get thrown off the sales floor by a "fashion police" for sneaking this one, even with her permission!

Side shot of seriously cute new haircut! It's definitely a consideration!

Next stop, a favorite ribbon vendor. Silk hand-dyed ribbons, wonderful colors and fabulously luxurious. I first came to know this vendor when I designed a hat and hair accessory line for Nordstrom some years ago...we reconnected and it was love all over again. The purpose of our stop? I am planning to carry these ribbons by the yard for your use in embellishing your own jewelry! Linda and I brainstormed a class to be held when the new jewelry stock comes in with demonstrations and ideas using the silk ribbons to personalize your own jewelry selections. Fun!

This delicious silk velvet ribbon was to die for! The owner of the company was a delight and cut several generous lengths for me to "play" with and delight over. So darling.

Don't you agree that these beautiful taupe-y gray silk ribbons will be perfect for the graphite metals we picked out?! Oh, yes.

This is called "rat-tail". It is a wondrous silk cord used for many details. Fabulous colors.

After a long day, we returned to our room around 8:30p.m. Linda started to sort her personal purchases. I snapped this cute photo totally out of focus. I guess that sort of sums up the way we felt after half a day on the jewelry floor and the remaining doing accessory and floral buying-slightly out of focus! She can be seen here modeling a few of our graphite selections.

Okay, I just had to show you this...Linda's personal stash, yes personal. I mean all for her use, to give, to own ,and to be overwhelmed by! She began sorting and it lasted for some time.

I had to stand on my bed in order to get the bird's eye view I needed to try to show the reality of her purchases! (If you've ever seen Linda in person, you'll understand!)

Well, the trends are coming to Black-eyed Susan soon. Massive amounts of metal, charms, ribbon, embellishments, pearls...layers upon layer of jewels. Just wait till you see!

Tomorrow we hit the floors early to find the best art, lamps, mirrors and accents at the market.

Wonder what shoes will take me through the day tomorrow....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day Two-shoe exchange!

There's not anything more wonderful than a shopping companion who is entertaining, stylish, enduring with stamina, and will change shoes with you when you can't take another step. It's even more amazing that this fun friend can exchange shoes with someone who wears a size 41/2 shoe! That's how things went down around 3:00p.m. after 7 hours of shopping.

The market was busy, which is always a good sign, but this also translates into long lines getting an elevator for the 3 buildings, 20 stories each. A lot of shopping...

That being said, there are equally as many vendors offering "unique", or in other words, hideous options for all manner of storefronts. Thankfully, Black-eyed Susan is not one of them!

At times, it seems that that is all we see for hours on end! Today, the first part of the day was spent resourcing new vendors. Give me your vote on some of the fine options we came across...

I'm always looking for new lamp resources...this one was quite unique. Fully beaded and sequined. Holy moly.

Yet another selection, complete with bleached big-bird costume. This is for real.

Mirrors are another category that we source each market, but really...who buys this?!

You know that I have written about the glamour and allure of glitter many times. I mean, we love glitter as much as the rest of the design world, but this just might be the pink limit (as my darling mother would say)...mountain goats...fully glittered! Oh, my.

Tomorrow, day 3, I promise to try to document some really cute things. In fact, I'm going to resist photographing anything hideous and only go for the fabulous. It's a promise.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On the Road Again

Well, we're off bright and early for the first day of the Atlanta Market! Linda and I rose bright and early and felt quite proud of being able to get ready in a small 4 ft square bathroom (and all for $300.00 per night...), grab a Kashi cardboard (...oh, protein bar), and hit the sales floor running.

...working shoes!

We were thrilled to hear right off the bat from an energetic sales manager giving a pep talk to his staff that , "butterflies are rock'in"! Please tell me that this will not be the theme of the market.

You know that I always like to document a few really spooky selections that obviously, other buyers are finding cool....for instance, these giant size Easter eggs...more like ostrich eggs. Oh, dear. And just check out the color. These will not be found on my sales floor. Why buys these anyway?

I guess the same buyers who are buying these GIANT hideous calla lily's...same bad color pallet.

Once again, NOT for Black-eyed Susan. Mercy.

First stop-our packaging source where they have the Black-eyed Susan bag out as a prototype! We selected new tissues for fall, ordered the new bags with the Holicong (yes Holicong) address on it, Christmas tissues and raffia ribbon. Then, we bid farewell to the 1 South Main Street address on our current bags. That was a little sad, really.

On the way to the first showroom on our list, we got distracted by a fabulous new jewelry vendor that was in a very unexpected showroom! Great style and great prices! Great find! I think you'll enjoy the new arrivals...I know I certainly will. Oh, yea.

Linda indulged me in some modeling photographs of some of the splashy new styles.

Great "little" bracelet...really, it's cute!

Companion necklace...I'm thinking my granddaughters will love this one! Not to mention Emily, my fashionista niece. Count me in for one too. Any other takers? Just give me a call!

And, I'll have to say that we were happy (not...) to find something in the "rock'in" category.

We spent the rest of the day selecting and ordering new accessories, furniture and lamps for the store, fought our way into the over packed elevator at the end of the day (not for the faint of heart or claustrophobic) and walked the few blocks back to our room and teeny tiny bathroom.

How is it that two of the most high maintenance buyers at the market end up with this gift?

Tomorrow, day 2 and another report. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Mercy! I was all prepared to post photos of some of the cutest new things that just arrived in my store...only to realize that I took all of the photos on Sneelock's camera! So, disappointed as I am, I'll just have to give you the categories of new arrivals. It will be up to you to go into the store and see them for yourself!

Some things that I recommend:

Large trophy vases (use them from bookcases to mantles...or, for makeup brushes!)
More vintage books
Cutest small assorted shabby chic photo frames (some with ribbons!)
Etched flask-type glass vases (with fleur de lis)
Clocks, clocks and more clocks!
New stylish selections in jewelry
Unique posting boards (photo and post card holders)
Mirrors (never can have enough)

Sorry about the photo failure! These notes will hopefully give you the incentive to come in for a visit. Hope to see you soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A little to the left...

We had a great turnout for our "Mantle Magic" event tonight! It was equally magical to have so much room for the crowd that gathered, unlike my small Yardley location. And, to add to my glee, at least half of the attendees were "Yardley-ites"! It was fun to catch up and have the old gang together.

My subject was embraced by all who attended and many came with photos of their problem mantles for discussion and advice.

Your mantle is a place where you can get personal with the collections and things that you love. In all, 7 demonstrations were given, using various styles and themes. Problem mantles, i.e. narrow 4" ones (!) were discussed and I showed at least 4 examples of how to deal with this design dilemma. Lots of comments and even more questions, both general and personal. It was entertaining and conversational, while being educational as well. It was good to see old friends and make new ones.

This demo was presented using favorite items mainly from my home. On the right, framed vintage flash cards leaning and overlapping a vintage mirror. To the left a double framed photo of my oldest grandson, Max. He just turned 15! Overlapping Max, is a snapshot of my oldest daughter, his mother, Michelle. Look, look, oh look! Some of my finest influences in life.

This mantle uses the principals of symmetry. Books are an important element for any mantle design in my eyes. Just gotta have 'em!

Yet another demonstration . I showed 4 good ways to face the challenge of a historic mantle that is less than 4" deep! Ugh. Vintage empty frame...tortoise shells leaning and red coral branch. Of course, the soft taupe-y books, just the right size, with orange accents on the bindings, perfected the story.

Our events are sociable, entertaining and educational. Lots of questions and individual consultations-a successful evening polished off with my home made brownies and cucumber and lemonade cooler.

For a complete list of remaining events through the end of August, call the retail store. Hope to see you at the next one!