Tickets Now on SaleIt’s on sale now. Your ticket to the home and gift industry’s biggest night – and always a sellout.

Announcement of 2014 Honorees, celebrity entertainment and an evening of celebrating the power and promise of innovation.

Make sure you’re there. There’s nothing else like it…anywhere.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303

Purchase your tickets NOW!

Tips for Success in the Temporaries

Are you planning to exhibit in the Temporaries? It’s the perfect time to start your pre-market planning! Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Plan your booth
Before you arrive at Market, you’ll need to plan your booth and decide how you are going to display your products, especially if you’re new to Markets. Remember to order display components such as tables, shelving, curtains and table linens well in advance. Review the floor plan and your booth space so you can anticipate and plan ahead for any columns, electrical boxes and height restrictions. It’s a smart idea to test your booth layout in your warehouse or garage to decide on the most attractive and efficient placements.
floor plan2. Invite your buyers
Don’t rely solely on walk-up business; advertise and promote yourself leading up to Market, letting buyers know where to find you. Be sure to include show dates, your booth number and any special offers in your promotional materials.
ad3. Pack your products
Organize and label everything for easier unloading at Market.
crate4. Ship your crates…early!
Ship early and use AmericasMart Logistics to get free storage and delivery to Market.
logistics truck
Looking for more tips from experienced exhibitors? Click here to view our helpful videos.

Ready for Kickoff: Game Day Looks


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Shopping for fall in the South and beyond isn’t complete without stocking up on your game day fashions. Football fans used to search high and low for outfits in their teams’ colors, but more and more designers are listening to their … Continue reading

Tribal Influence


Pattern and embellishment certainly isn’t new to fashion. Neither are native and tribal prints. But fresh interpretations revise and revamp the concept for the coming season. New looks are all over the floors of Atlanta Apparel this April.

In homage to a bigger trend concept of the influence of lineage and personal history, designers looked to native textiles and art for inspiration. From sequins to embroidery to overall prints to oversized and small scale, versions of tribal looks are on myriad pieces across segments and price points. Almost any retailer should be able to find a version that will work for her customer to stay on top of the trend curve.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the standouts from the Young Contemporary collections.

Young Threads

Young Threads



Timing Lumiere

Timing Lumiere

On Twelfth

On Twelfth

Flying Tomato

Flying Tomato

By Together

By Together




Market Tips From Tony Bowls

Tony Bowls speaker at AmericasMartThe VISION social occasion Market kicks off tomorrow. In preparation for this spectacular fashion event, widely successful prom dress designer Tony Bowls has shared his tips for a successful Market experience.

MAKE A PLAN. Decide what you want to accomplish at the Market and share it with your team.This will help you manage their expectations and get more done.

MAKE APPOINTMENTS. Set up a time to meet with your rep in the showroom. If they know you are coming, they will be better prepared to give you their undivided attention and show you looks that are curated for your store.

TAKE THE TIME TO SEE THE WHOLE LINE. Coming to Market allows you to see more of the collection than you can see with traveling reps or online. Seeing a gown on a model or a mannequin can change its whole look.

Tony Bowls Fashion Show at Mon Cheri Showroom At AmericasMartATTEND THE FASHION SHOWS. There is nothing like seeing how a gown moves in person. In addition to the VISION fashion show on Wednesday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m., attend in-showroom shows and presentations.

EDUCATE YOURSELF. Use the Market’s educational opportunities to learn tips for growing your business. Atlanta Apparel presents a great speakers’ series – including industry experts like me – that is completely free of charge. I give the VISION Market’s keynote presentation “Retail Success from a Designer’s Perspective” on Wednesday, April 2 at 8:00 a.m. The whole list of Market events and speakers is available at AmericasMart.com/VISION.

SHOP OTHER CATEGORIES. It may be tempting to spend your whole market on the social occasion floors, but make time to explore the rest of Atlanta Apparel’s expansive collection. The April Atlanta Apparel Market’s overlap with the VISION market on April 3 allows you to see its complete showroom and temporary collection of apparel, accessories, jewelry, shoes, swimwear, activewear and intimates. Exploring the collection will keep you up to date on ready-to-wear trends and you may find pieces to supplement your social occasion offerings.

USE AMERICASMART AS A RESOURCE. Want to book a hotel for the next market? Looking for a place to have lunch or dinner? Need to find a particular line? The AmericasMart staff is always willing to help. Look for help desks next to the elevators or visit AmericasMart.com for all of the information that you need.

The new AmericasMart app, available on in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, is also a great resource. Use it to discover new and existing exhibitors, categories and lines and make note of Market events and promotions. On the app you can browse exhibitors by floor map or in a list, record favorite finds, and plan, organize and manage Market details to optimize your visit.

HAVE FUN. Take advantage of networking and social events to get to know your fellow social occasion retailers and celebrate our special industry.


Social Occasion Trends for 2014


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The VISION social occasion market (April 1-3) will be here before we know it. In preparation for the Market, we have compiled the top social occasion trends that we’re expecting to see on the runways. WAIST DEFINING The feminine form … Continue reading

Here Comes Peter Cottontail – Check His Wallet!

By T.J. Reid, Editor of Fashion Advantage 

TJ ReedThis year’s late Easter will keep all retailers waiting on edge to see if the extra time will bring a larger basket of bucks.  Spring will already be sprung, and certain early season apparel groups almost headed for the sale racks. Start promoting those summer brights and early pastels on arrival; can’t wait for the bunny.

But never fear, consumers are on schedule to spend $17.2 billion dollars before the April 20th holiday.  Although a large bundle of that is for food, decorations and candy, there is still a sizable figure making its way into the Mom and Pop local stores.

National Retail Federation figures say 25.4 percent of shoppers will spend $3 billion on clothing, $2 billion on chocolates and candy, and $2 billion on gifts and greeting cards.  Over 80 percent of all Americans will participate in Easter, an average of $145 each.  Surprisingly, men will spend 17 percent more than women, although at all other times of the year, women outspend them.  Let’s hope they’re spending it in apparel stores, buying jewelry, clothing and gift cards for their significant others. (Offer Chocolate bunnies with each gift card! No girl can pass on that.)

easter 2014, gifts for easter, gifts for easter 2014, selling easterFirst we have to get them in the store. I don’t think price is the answer, because most shoppers will be waiting till close to the date, which always means they are rushed and not caring about the cost, just the time and ease of selection.  I suggest fun events and promotions to attract their attention and creative a festive atmosphere to encourage participation and spending.

In my book, “What Mother Never Told Ya About Promotions”, there are details about “Egg-citing” and also ‘Basket of Savings,” both which are easy, simple and inexpensive to do.

Basket of Savings is placing an Easter basket filled with plastic eggs, the ones that can be filled with candies or other goodies, near the check-out counter or even at the front door.  Inside each one, put a discount number, beginning at 15 percent up to 50percent, and ask customer to “pick an egg.”  You can do this, at the register after they have finished shopping before they check out, or you can allow them to choose on arrival so they already know how much discount they have to use.

I personally feel the latter usually encourages more spending, but some retailers prefer the surprise at the end.  Either way, use the chart in my book to determine discount amounts and numbers, such as in a total of 100 numbers, you have one 50 percent, 5 at 40 percent, 10 at 30 percent, 20 at 20 percent, and finally the balance at 15 percent.  Never go as low as 10 percent, it will make no impression on the customers, and almost make the contest seem unimportant and cheap. When sales figures are totaled, I promise those discount contest markdowns will still be profitable, and fun!

easter 2014, gifts for easter, gifts for easter 2014, selling easter“Egg-citing” is a catch phrase for whatever you want to do.  Some stores have actual Easter egg hunts in the store, placing prizes in pockets and purses, etc.  and offering hints throughout the store from dressing rooms to checkout. Many have coloring contests for the local kindergarten and use pictures as wall display – family members flock in to see their young artists on display.  Use your imagination.  Just do something!

Take the opportunity to post some of the activity  in pictures on your Facebook page as it is happens. Share the fun and friends will want to come join in. Again, don’t forget the chocolate eggs, and why not add some bunny ears on the staff?

To learn more about this and other promotional ideas, you can attend my workshop, “Planning Special Events – How-Do, How Much, When and Why” on Saturday, April 5, on AmericasMart Building 3 Floor 8 during the upcoming April Atlanta Apparel Market.  And LIKE Fashion Advantage on Facebook.  I try to post on a regular basis with new creative ways to help you entertain and reward your customers.

T.J. Reid is editor of Fashion Advantage magazine, and author of several books on successful retailing. For more information about her, please visit www.tjreid.com.

A Look into the Past…Blue Ocean Traders

Blue Ocean Traders3Blue Ocean Traders was the recipient of the ICON HONORS 2013 Innovation Honor for Innovative Product Design.

“Fact is…new or old, everything springs from something vintage.”
-Jason Mulvene

Blue Ocean Traders4There are many sources of inspiration for innovation.  Find out how Jason Mulvene finds the right pieces for Blue Ocean Traders in this video:

                                                                                            It’s the last day to enter your work or nominate your heroes for ICON HONORS 2014.

A Look into the Past…Urban Ava Boutique

Urban Ava BoutiqueUrban Ava Boutique was the recipient of the ICON HONORS 2013 Contribution Honor for Community Contribution and Influence.

Their fundraising events have grown tremendously year after year.  View this inspiring video to find out more.

The 2014 call for entries closes Friday.
Nominate your heroes or enter your best work NOW!


With Americans making up the largest wine market in the world, there are a lot of empty bottles and discarded corks around.

Artisans are making use of those libation leftovers by crafting them into charming gifts.

Deby and Scott Cowdin of From the Blue Bag use common glass trash from local bars and restaurants to craft their one-of-a-kind flattened bottle serving dishes that are food functional and oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

bottle bottle 2 

Not to ignore the bottle’s cork companions, Lori Strickland of Lucinda K crafts pewter cork pets that adorn the castoffs. The adorable pets are hand-molded from Strickland’s wax sculptures and are ideal for preserving corks from memorable bottles or occasions.


These handcrafted upcycled treasures appeal to consumers’ attention to environmentally friendly products as well as their increasing interest in wine and beverage products.

Retailers can find these wine accessories and more in the Temporary collection at The Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings and Holiday Market® through March 9 at AmericasMart.