10 January 2009

Market Notebook, Day Five

I don't want to believe that tomorrow is our last full day here. We've seen a lot but no matter how many hours a day you walk, it never feels as if you've seen enough {though rest assured, with the amount of research and pre-planning that we put into our trips, I'm pretty confident that we are seeing the best that this show has to offer for THE BLISSFUL, though you always have the feeling there's something else you might want just around the corner}. Now as far as what we've purchased, like all shop owners, we not only have to keep in mind what fits the look, but what will sell and what people are willing to pay for.

Today shoppers looked tired, worn out, and stressed. Just when I was apologizing to a sales rep in a showroom for the debate Debbie and I were having in front of her about whether to bring in just four fragrances in a pillar candle collection or all six {we went with all six}, Debbie whispered, "Look at her," and gestured to another buyer standing about five feet away from us, rubbing her forehead wearily while she had a similar conversation with her buying partner and a sales rep. We're all feeling it: this is the day when Market gets tough, when we're all weary and a bit worried. Have we found enough that's new? What else do we still need? What elusive items have we been dreaming of but haven't found yet? Can we find it in the time we have left? Will we still like what we ordered when we're unpacking it in our stores a few months from now?

Debbie described the vibe today as panning for gold. We're all dipping our pans down in the water, bringing them to the surface, and shaking and sifting for those shiny wonders. She also said that the buyers wearing Ugg boots are probably doing it the most comfortably. Man, those million plus square feet of concrete floors sure take a toll on your back, legs, and feet, not to mention how the catalog-stuffed totes and bookbags we all carry dig in to our achy shoulders. I've been popping Advil like breathmints this week. Sorry there aren't any photos in this post; I finally had to take my camera out of my shoulder bag this morning because I could feel even its few ounces of extra weight.

Before I shut off this laptop and try to fall asleep, I should mention that mine eyes have seen the glory of Sid Dickens' Spring 2009 collection, "Madeleine." Fans who were surprised by the direction of his last collection, "Tattoo" {which I think is terribly cool}, will be relieved that Sid appears to have returned to his more classical and traditional roots with this one. I didn't have a chance to read the backs of the Blocks for the names and sentiments to catch the through-thread of the collection, but there is a cherub, a Virgin Mary, a breathtaking bright cobalt blue and off white tapesty-esque design, two red botanical tiles that are probably going to make it onto our bestseller list, one that says Labyrinth, and a black and white crossword puzzle/gameboard-ish one.

When I arrived in Atlanta five days ago, I said that I needed this show to be a good one. I needed a fresh vision for the year, mostly for myself, but also for the shop. Running a retail boutique is a lifestyle of continuous questing. You are always in search of the next thing, the next story, concept, theme, motif, trend, color, moment in design, etc. And that's just about the merchandise! The constant search can become psychologically and emotionally taxing. Every shop owner I know is in chronic need of more time to relax, let down her hair, get refreshed, and live in the moment. I am happy to say that this particular Market has yielded much in the way of inspiration and actual finds to bring in to the shop, but more than anything, I am starting to get my inner groove back. I hope others at this show are feeling the same way.

You'll catch me in the Gift and Home Furnishings Temps tomorrow!


Moonlight Hollow Musings said...

Thanks for your Market Notebook. I have read each day and feel like I am right there with you...and my feet don't even hurt! I used to work at the Dallas Gift Market. It was SO much work, but such great fun!

Put your feet up, relax...its over!


Jeanneoli said...

It sounds fun and tiring all at once. I hope you found beautiful things to had to your shop and enjoyed yourself. It sounds like you guys had a blast.

Shawn Duncan Associates & Structure said...

Sounds like sooo much fun to be there with you, although like you said very very taxing @ the same time...I do hpoe that you feel much refreshed in your outlook for the new year , even though it may be different this year, don't let that ruin your drive and enthusiasm...but don't forget... DO, DO, DO take time for YOU, YOU, YOU !! Keep your chin up and that beautiful smile on...it'll all work accordingly!
Hugs, Darcy