Wednesday, August 3, 2011

retail warrior

my article for July 24th follows—I apologize for not having the gumption to make additions to my blog beyond these articles.  I hope to find the time to share more frequently . . . soon, but there are a few things that must change first.  more on that later . . .

Well, the retail warrior has returned. I wouldn’t exactly describe the event of the July Market as a conquest, but I would call it successful. I found many wonderful items I will be proud to offer to my customers at Hodgepodge, but they’re not here yet. A common misconception about retailers attending the market is that they bring stuff back with them.

There are a few “cash & carry” markets, plus the jewelry vendors almost always have cash & carry opportunities at most markets, but usually, we just place orders and have stuff delivered. That’s what I did at this market.

While ordering new stuff is the main focus of these markets, I find that I go to seek inspiration and attend seminars. There is always something to learn, be it walking through the showrooms or sitting in a classroom. I’d love to get in the heads of the folks at Park Hill Collections—one of my favorite vendors. Their displays are amazing and stir my imagination like none other. The true wonder of that showroom is that people do not have attacks of claustrophobia! You think my shop is crowded and overwhelming—honey, you haven’t experienced overwhelming until you’ve shopped that showroom with about 50 other retailers! There are a few other vendors who put together displays that make we want to run back to Hodgepodge and get to work, but nothing like this crew.

I also enjoy attending the seminars. I like sitting in on these classes for two reasons: (1) I usually learn at least one new thing from the speakers; (2) misery loves company—and I’m in “good” company with the other attendees! So many of us are trying to keep our heads above water—hoping that we can keep our dreams alive. I look forward to when they offer that long awaited seminar with the Swami who reads tea leaves and crystal balls. Although, it will probably be offered while I’m in the Park Hill showroom with my jaw hanging slack and I’ll miss the all-seeing soothsayer!

So, what does all of this mean to you? It means that I’ve come back with fresh inspiration and new ideas to share with you. Shortly, we’ll start transforming the shop for fall and you’ll see some of the ideas I’ve gleaned from these design stars. Yet, while Patty, Jennifer and I keep our noses in magazines, books and blogs trying keep-up with trends, sometimes the best stuff we offer are new twists on old concepts. Most of those come from our own little heads.

First, however, I need to put some finishing touches on the most amazing wardrobe I’ve ever seen! It was a special request/order for a favorite client and it has turned-out better than I anticipated. It was constructed using new materials, married with recycled louvered shutters. We’ve painted it an incredible shade of blue and I’ll be adding a sheer coat of toner to “antique” the finish (some of that stuff from Caromal Colours®). This client also chose some new bedding—which was our inspiration for the color of the wardrobe—with her permission, I’ll add some pictures to my blog in the near future.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I apologize for the lack of pictures—that’s half the fun. isn’t it?

Thanks for your indulgence  . . .


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