After a whirlwind trip to sunny, warm California to meet beautiful grandbaby #8 and see beautiful grandbaby #4, it was back to cold, damp Atlanta and the daunting task of visiting vendors for three days in three, eighteen story buildings. Hence the daze!
People are always saying how much fun it must be to be able to shop till you drop in some of the world's biggest and best markets. Well, the truth is that you're ready to drop long before the shopping is completed. It is grueling indeed to spend 10 hours a day making decisions on an empty stomach and tired feet. Thank heavens the vendors are very nice at least! They, of course, want to do business with you, but I don't think that's the reason that they are always at the ready with the offer of a bottle of water, a few little snacks, or a chair. Vendors are "people persons"; they usually have a joke to tell or a story to share, trying to make that connection which will lead to a sale as I mentioned in my previous blog.
This was an exceptionally productive market. Mollie and Kelly went before me and did most of the work. Kelly has a wonderful eye for new product in home design; she found several new sources for great painted furniture at a good price and her love of everything French led her to the discovery of other European sources whose product you will soon be seeing on the shelves of the Thistle. Displays are phenomenal at market; Kelly would use all the power on her cell phone daily taking literally hundreds of photos of the thousands of vignettes she saw. But not to worry...in the future she will have her "mighty purse", the purse that can charge your cell phone! I hope that interesting tidbit will pique your curiosity and bring you to the Thistle or to the website!
Mollie is one tough customer. Extremely price conscious, the ticket is the first thing she looks at before she decides whether she even likes the merchandise. Her first question is "What are the show specials?" I on the other hand never think about the price and my first question is "Is there a minimum?" (amount needed to be spent to open an account). Mollie is constantly telling me that merchandise is too expensive, and I am constantly telling her that we have to have a balance. We bicker our way through the showrooms...sometimes she wins, but more often than not, I, being the owner, win. :) Together we achieve a successful balance I think. Mollie can flat out out-shop me, though...she never gets tired and is on the hunt till the market closes for the day for the next best deal. The Thistle owes a great deal to her tireless search for women's accessories and small gifts this past Christmas. We had a great season, one I hope will be repeated this spring...
We return to Lynchburg today to the last vestiges of inventory count at the store. Everything will be topsy turvy, but then the fun will begin when we get to "re-decorate"! The Thistlettes are crazy about moving the store around and changing things up, just as we should all be when it comes to our homes. Changing things up doesn't mean spending a whole lot of money...it means being creative and seeing our possessions in a new light, with new uses in mind. More on this to come as well as more market previews!