Friday, July 10, 2009

A Week in the Life of a Gift Shop Owner - Day 3

Another great day! Heather, Swagger's Store Manager, arrived this morning and it was great having her shop with my mom and I!

We started off the day giving our (valuable:)) opinions to the design team at Bungalow. What a fun thing to do! We got to see all the new patterns they came up with and pick our favorites. We also got to see what types of items they were thinking about adding to the line. Wow! I hope we get to do this again - it was really a lot of fun!

Today was a much more relaxing day - but we did a LOT more walking around! We only had one appointment at noon and the rest of the day was free to roam around the building and find "new" stuff! My philosophy has always been to make sure to check out every square foot of every floor! You never know what could be displayed in the corner of same random showroom! I think stores get "old and stale" when they buy from the same vendors over and over again and don't really get any variety!

We found several new vendors today - even new concepts that we have never seen before! Today we found some men's gifts (lots of you have requested that and we are trying REALLY hard to deliver), books, beautiful aprons, more monogrammed stuff (of course), and lots of really cool RANDOM STUFF - you know - the stuff that makes us "gifts with attitude" :)! And we definitely bought some attitude today! My favorite phrase from a gift line today was - "Bitchy is the new black" - love it! :)

I have been to over 15 markets now so it was interesting to see a fresh look through Heather's eyes today! She said market wasn't anything like she expected, but she wasn't sure what to expect. Cameras aren't really allowed at market, but I snuck one in (don't tell anyone:)) and I took some pics so you guys could "visualize" market. There are basically two types of places at market - the Permanent Showrooms and the Temporaries. The permanent showrooms are set up more like a gift shop - the visual merchandising is amazing! (We always try to steal a couple techniques from these pros!) The Temporaries are more like booths at a trade show or junior league show. For the last three days, we have been in the permanent show rooms but we head to the temporaries tomorrow! Here are some pics from today!

Isn't this beautiful? I think we should hang some of these lights and flags from the ceiling at Swagger!

Lots of people everywhere - and even a few men!:)

Heather said this was her favorite showroom because she felt like she was in Myrtle Beach! Probably b/c everything here was blinking and very tchotski -ish:) And you know we bought some of that flashing jewelry for the Holidays - you know you love it!:)

My mom and I engaged in a mean air hockey game - we bought this for the store! Convert any table you have to an air hockey table - hells yeah!

Finally, we ended the night at a great italian place in the Inman Park area of Atlanta called Fritti! I highly recommend the Gorganzola, Pineapple, and Balsamic Vinegar pizza if you go - Molto Bene!

I see a lot of you liked our Facebook Friday of the Week giveaway this week! We love the comments! Thanks for participating! We love you guys! Good Luck on winning!

Till tomorrow - Mandy

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That is some VERY drool-worthy visual merchandising! SUCH a fun week for the eyes :-)

PS - I love the idea of white/clear lights in the store. By far, one of my favorite d├ęcor ideas for home, office, events, and retail!

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