We’re back from Atlanta, where we had a booth in the License and Design section of the International Gift and Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart. Imagine every thing you ever wanted to find under your Christmas tree … it’s there. Somewhere. You might not find it right away in the 7,700,000 square feet of stuff, but it’s there! And, happily for us, much of it needs to be adorned with clever and trendy art and we were there with a boothful.
Before we began with our booth-setting-up task, we had to deal with an important issue at hand: HUNGER. Normally, being the foodie that I am, I like to try the hippest new restaurant in town, but starvation had set in, so we went to the restaurant across from our hotel, Bricktops. Happily, we were able to start our week with tasty southern fare to boost our energy: a plate of Deviled Eggs and Sugar Bacon. Sugar Bacon! … as if bacon is not perfect enough. Just add sugar and it’s even better. (My earlier ode to bacon here.)
I was instantly transported to my tween years living in a small West Texas town, when a birthday Kidnap Breakfast meant the possibility of Sugar Bacon. Perhaps it is because I live in a big town now, or maybe it is the fact that the Weight Watchers point values for sugar bacon are a tad high, but I rarely see this famous southern comfort food served in Austin. However, if you find yourself in Atlanta, I highly recommend this delicacy for a boost in trade show get-up-and-go. I think we were on a sugar-bacon high, when we completed our booth set-up by lunchtime!
Our booth was light and airy like you might imagine a new baby’s room first thing in the morning. We filled it with our baby collections and a Look Book full of art for grown-up products, too. We were required to have our booth set up in a matter of hours due to the 5:00 arrival of cocktail party guests, and as you can see by Julianna’s proud smile, we made it!
After set-up, we zipped up to the C.R. Gibson showroom for a Meet The Artists party and ribbon-cutting for their exciting new showroom. Then, back to another Meet the Artists party in our own showroom. (A lot of meeting and greeting goes on at a trade show.)
After our first day of noting trends in giftware, we decided that we needed to note trends in our dinner fare, as well. We popped over to Flip Burger Boutique, a hip restaurant by chef, Richard Blais. Since Jules is an avid follower of BRAVO’s Top Chef, and Chef Blais won Season 8, she was a little star-struck just being inside his restaurant. He’s known for innovative blends of flavor, so we were ready to be daring. We even began with dessert, by choosing one of the Liquid N2 milkshakes. We weren’t brave enough to order the foie gras milkshake, but rather chose the Nutella and Burned Marshmallow offering. It was Italian Picnic meets American Summer Camp. Pure heaven.
Back to work, here are a few pictures of our sugar-induced perky booth activity from left clockwise: (1) Julianna studying the show directory. (2) Our flowers, created by TLC Florist, looked good, smelled good. (3) Cathy and Ellen ready to seize the day. (4) Okay, well, our dear friend and talented artist, Ronnie Walter, told us (actually taught us) about Cash and Carry. Although I was a bit afraid I might lose Jules to the miles of showrooms willing to allow cash and carry, even I fell prey to a couple of value-minded purchases. These are my new chartreuse gloves, because you can never have too many warm gloves in Austin, Texas.
Because it was a bit uncomfortable to take photos of ourselves showing work to clients, our not-so-shy neighbors posed as clients in the photo below: Connie Haley (far left), Ronnie Walter of Two Town Studios, and Michael Rhoda. As you can see, trade shows are an excellent venue for friend making.
All in all, we had a great show and even finished taking our booth down in time for dinner, where we topped off our time in Atlanta with one more plate of, you guessed it, Deviled Eggs and Sugar Bacon. Next posts: New trends and new friends from Atlanta.