Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Atlanta Day 6 ...more santas?!

Just when we thought we had wrapped up Christmas purchases, we made a quick side-trip into a favorite vendor and got caught up in the holiday spirit again! Just look for yourself and you'll see why...I mean how could we leave these glass glitter houses out of the 2012 season?!

This house looks like it could have been transported right out of Bucks County!!

Ignoring the damaged window, look at the gables! Another Bucks County historic look in glass glitter! *sigh*

Cutest ever mercury glass vases with "joy", "wish" , and "celebrate". Lighting prevented a very good camera shot, but how cute will these be with fresh evergreen cuttings?!

Although we swore off buying any Halloween this year, we were sucked in by glass glitter pumpkins. I'm pretty sure Cinderella had a hand in them. Trust me, you're going to love them!

We headed to the High Design temporary exhibits in search of art and accents for the store as well as the Designer House. Here is just a hint of my color pallet this year for the Bucks County Designer House. We will be doing one of the major rooms.

Bold color...oh so Susan!

We spent the remainder of the day sourcing retail inventory, lamps, art and accents. Feet begging to be done for the day, we headed back to our room for room service. Tomorrow is our last day and we head back with a heavier load than we came with...it's that darned cash and carry!

I'll try to report on one more successful day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Atlanta Day Five

Today we completed the Christmas purchasing. Whew!

The good thing about 5 intense days of Christmas scouting and purchasing is that the whole picture is available and you can edit at the end of each day. The bad thing...you get really tired of Christmas offerings day after day. There are so many bad things-bad, bad, bad, so bad! It takes a lot of searching and sorting to find the best of the market finds. Five days. Make that five 10 hour days.

Tomorrow, we start fresh with new and fresh things to source! Accessories, art and lamps. New resources, old familiar favorites. Finally off the 5 floors of Christmas vendors. Yes!

In the rush of our work today, I neglected to document anything...so boring! Tomorrow I'll do better . For now, we're tallying our orders to see how many wreaths, vintage style houses, tinsel trees, garlands, ornaments, santas, (and so on) we have purchased.

As for now...hopefully, no more visions of sugarplums.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Underestimating Your Desires

Several years ago, one of the main vendors we love (Jim Marvin) introduced fabulously trendy colors in shatterproof ornaments. Now there are plenty of shatterproof ornaments on the market to find, but none set the bar as high has his. No seams. Bold colors. Delicate colors. Matt colors. Pearl colors. Shiny colors. Over the years, other vendors have stepped up and now we can find additional suppliers and assorted colors. Oh the beauty, charm and practicalities wrapped up in all sizes from soccer ball to baseball...

Since then, we have always offered an array of our favorite picks for indoor as well as outdoor use. Last year, we vastly underestimated the demand for this category! I even hoarded them in my stockroom, shielding them from employee purchases until my outdoor urn event (well into the first of December). Sadly, we sold out in one day. Wow. We grossly underestimated the demand!

So, today, we bought hundreds of shatterproof ornaments in the most delicious colors, finishes and sizes. 374 ornaments to be exact. Just wait till you see them. Cherry red, apple green, persimmon, burgundy, chocolate, and rust. We listened and we're prepared.

And look at this array of roses marrying all the colors together. Ahhhh. This one's for you, Mary!

Just as this was selected for our client, Mary, we can source your special requests too. Market trips always include a list of these "hearts desires" for many Black-eyed Susan clients. Feel free to add your name to the list!

I'm already looking forward to next years color stories and designs. Can't wait!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Atanta Day 4...8a.m.to 8 p.m......

12 hours is just too long for these...

Linda was the sensible one. Me, not so much.

I can only tell you that I have worn these boots all day for multiple days at work, and on my feet most of the day and well into the night. So, perhaps it's that first day that ruined my feet for the week. I actually did okay, but must admit that I could use a good soak to prepare for tomorrow!

Most of the day was spent resourcing new Christmas inventory and as usual, we found many things at the end of the search that we couldn't help but entertain you with.
It's no surprise to anyone that owls are big. I mean big. Take a look at these and you'll see that the whole market has gone crazy...let me know how many of which you want to special order.

On the other hand, we found this one...glitter and all, that we thought could ward off any unwanted spooks around the store. I think you'll like it.

A stop at Whitehurst ( a yearly tradition) proved fruitful. Here is a sneak peak at some of the colors you can expect to see when the 2012 Christmas is presented next fall. Fabulous colors and finishes...matt, satin and shiny in multiple sizes. Ahhhhh.

Oh. My. Gosh. The possibility of chartreuse!

This is quite possibly one of the most beautiful trees we saw. 9 1/2 feet of glory. Special orders are taken for any size and style you may want. Every year, the artificial trees get more and more realistic and fabulous. Pair them with our famous balsam and cedar diffuser and you'll have a winner!

And just in case anyone is interested , these plush pigs could be yours for special order as well.
Just kidding.

That was our day. Thankfully, we took this photo as we were leaving the room. Right now, we're not so fresh...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Atlanta Day Three....Brrrrrrr!

It's rare for Atlanta to take such a turn for cold weather. However, last year we drove into an ice storm in January! Today we really could have used winter coats and gloves...of which we had neither.

Thank heavens our adrenalin served us well on the way to Cash and Carry ( jewelry finds galore). You'll be pleased to know that I'm bringing back loads of new inventory for your selection. We're happy to be back in our room and have the heavy load of today's purchases put away. I can tell you that those steps are a bear with 20 extra pounds of jewelry each!

After battling the crowds and check out lines, we headed back to the Merchandise Mart to resume our Christmas purchasing and designing. Here's just a peek....

Every year there are some common themes throughout the market. We always search for an inspiration that takes us to a less common look, something that requires our own imagination and contribution. This year, one of the most common themes so far seems to be what I will call "novelty"...Oh. Dear.

We found WAY too much of this...

...and not enough of this.

Here is a corner of a beautiful mixed wreath with blue spruce, eucalyptus and silver ornaments. *sigh*

We found this beautiful unexpected color in only a few showrooms...rather Sapphire-ish. Ahhhhh.

As you can see, there is something for everyone at the Market. As the owner and buyer(s) for Black-eyed Susan, we're just thankful that we can be selective and have another day of scouting.

More tomorrow...but right now, we have to make a hard decision on what shoes to wear when we start that search on day 4.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Atlanta Day 2 Trend Report

I find myself in my room at the end of the day without a single self portrait of Linda and I! Sad.

Day two, our first full day was packed. Sadly, 15 minutes into the walk to our favorite breakfast cafe (Corner Bakery) my shoes were telling me I had made a pour choice. Even sadder, they were my "backup shoes" for when my high heeled boots hurt. Ugh.

We spent the first, actually most of the day, doing interior research for client work. Rugs, rugs and more rugs. Color reigns and bold graphic modernism is so fun to source! I'm working on several teenage girl projects and one young man's, along with several dining room and family rooms projects for adult clients.
Here's a few of the favorites for today:

Lime green graphic print; a request from a darling 12 year old client.

or....she might be persuaded to consider this wow orange rug! I'm sure you know that Pantone named an orange as the color of the year. I'm all on board with that one!

This taupe and chartreuse one was really calling my name. I have several projects this one would be perfect for!

We scouted out an entire floor of custom bedding as well. Lots of cute graphic color blocking and bold prints...

Look at this young adult pallet in warm stone and coral! Oh so Susan. Machine washable and delightfully punctuated with color- what could be a better formula?

Polka dots. Personal favorite and just look at the range of colors , including several in the purple family- another big trend to follow.

Then, realizing that our first appointment for Christmas order writing is one day away and we have no color stories decided upon (eek!), we swiftly headed to the 18th floor to get inspired and find direction for the 2012 Christmas offerings. There's always distractions along the way and we stopped to place several jewelry orders, along with some home decor and floral accent orders.

We loved this happy display of a large succulent surrounded by vibrant green glass ornaments and clusters of miniature ornaments, all nestled in assorted colored glass and green pea gravel. So cute.

Just before leaving the Mart, my fine friend offered to stop and switch shoes. Best. Friend. Forever. I guess she knew it was her ticket to a real dinner tonight.

Thanks, Linda. I owe you one.

Tomorrow, day three...the real work begins for the Christmas buying. Oh, right after the frenzy of cash and carry jewelry buying, that is. Reports to follow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

News Flash! Atlanta Market Report January 2012

Alright, I know I've been absent from the blogging world. Let me explain.

A new project in Charleston; mid December crazy busy Black-eyed Susan Christmas season; night after night of the "late shift" merchandising gig; holiday travel to Charlotte, NC; take- down and reorganizing of the entire retail store; haircut, manicure, pedicure; Bucks County Designer House organized and planned...just in time to catch a plane to Charlotte in preparation for the drive to Atlanta for a 7 day marathon buying trip! Altogether, these are the things that have preoccupied my blogging schedule.

I always like to give you an inside vision of what happens here...the good and bad. The daily finds, and a little entertainment to tie it all together!

So, let me start with our color picks for the week's wardrobe. (No prior discussions were held between Linda and I.)

It looks like shades of gray, taupe and black dominate. Two fur vests-yes, Linda brought one, I the other. Two sequin tops, one T shirt, one vest-same color! Animal print boots, skirts and belts. Black boots...some more practical than others. Coordinating jewels for all and companion rolling carts (photo tomorrow).

We put in a good half day after driving through drenching rain all the way-hairdos not worthy of self portraits. Three good orders were placed and some serious scouting for the days to come. I'll remind you that this trip is mainly about Christmas 2012. Yes, you heard correctly. The last ornaments from 2011 just got put away today...2012 is in the works!

Stay tuned. I'll keep you posted.

Sorry for the December no-shows in posting.

January 2012. A new start!

See you in the morning.