The 2015 AmericasMart Summer Interns

Each summer, AmericasMart offers an excellent internship program for students to gain experience in their field of interest.  The internship program helps students practice real-world business scenarios and gives them a chance to develop their professional skills and techniques.  By the end of the summer, each student will have gained a multitude of experience and increased their professional value by an extensive amount.

This summer we had a great group of interns. We are pleased to introduce you to our nine summer interns, a set of talented, skilled and bright young women who have chosen to extend their college careers at AmericasMart in Atlanta, Georgia.  Below you will find a biography and photo for each of our interns!


Morgan McLeod

MorganMcLeodMeet Morgan!  She is an intern in the Fashion Office here at AmericasMart.  She traveled to Atlanta for the summer from Benson, NC and attends college at East Carolina University.  Morgan is a rising senior and she plans to graduate in the spring of 2016 with a degree in fashion merchandising.  Although she is not quite sure what her plans are after graduation, she is enjoying her time here at AmericasMart!  In her free time, Morgan enjoys running and her dream job would be to own her own resort wear boutique in a southern beach town.

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “Planning the fashion shows and meeting new and interesting people every day.”


Holli KulpHolliKulp

This is Holli!  She is interning in the Retail Services department where she has gotten the chance to become the Retail Services Project Manager for VOW New World of Bridal.  Holli is from Giffin, GA and she attends college at Auburn University.  She is currently a junior studying marketing with a concentration in retail and plans to graduation in the spring of 2016.  When she graduates, she is hoping to secure a job as an apparel buyer for a specialty retailer here in Atlanta.  However, her dream career would be to become a global brand ambassador for a prestigious clothing brand!  In her free time she loves to go shopping with her mom and catch up on her favorite reality TV shows.

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “My favorite part about interning here at AmericasMart is interacting and building relationships with our customers on a daily basis. I enjoy representing AmericasMart and proving exceptional customer service to buyers from all over the country.”


Monica Mendoza

MonicaMendozaMeet Monica, the Atlanta Convention Center Sales intern here at AmericasMart!  She is from Newnan, GA and she attends Georgia State University, where she will begin her senior year this fall.  She is majoring in marketing with a concentration in marketing management.  Once she graduates in the spring of 2016, she plans on searching for a job or possibly another internship.  She would also like to continue her education with the hopes of earning her Master’s Degree! In her free time, she loves to go shopping, try new restaurants, go on walks, and watch Netflix.  We asked her what she would choose if she could have any career in the world and she said, “Being a famous actress would have been a cool career choice.”

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “I like that all of the staff in the company are very nice and friendly and being in Downtown Atlanta is also a plus, I love being in the city!”


Kate White

Meet Kate!  She traveled from her home in Cincinnati, Ohio to intern in the Marketing Department KateWhiteat AmericasMart.  Kate is currently a senior in college at the University of Alabama, where she is majoring in fashion merchandising.  She plans to graduate in the spring of 2016 and although she is undecided on what city she’d like to live in, she would love a job in the fashion industry.  In her free time, Kate likes to go shopping, find great hiking spots, hang out with her friends, watch TV shows or movies, and find new places to go, especially in Atlanta since she is new to the city! Her dream career would be to become a marketing editor or a stylist for a company.

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “My favorite part about interning at Americasmart is being able to learn the ins and outs of the industry and getting to see how everything for the markets come together.”


Morgan Tracy

MorganTracyThis is Morgan! She is currently interning in the Logistics department as the Operations Intern at AmericasMart.  Morgan is from Greenville, SC and she attends Clemson University.  She is a senior majoring in marketing and plans to graduate in the spring of 2016.  Once she graduates, she is hoping to land a job doing something she loves, like fashion marketing or advertising.  She thinks moving to a big city like New York or Los Angeles would be cool! In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends, take advantage of Atlanta’s great shopping, and travel back to Clemson on some weekends to hangout on Lake Hartwell.  When we asked Morgan what her dream career would be, she said, “Anything in fashion. I would do anything from working at a fashion magazine to helping with runway shows or photoshoots.  It’s the only thing that I’ve ever really been interested in and wanted to make a career out of.”

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “Seeing the tradeshows in action and knowing all of the hard work that goes into them behind the scenes in all of the different departments.”


Courtney MurrayCourtneyMurray

This is Courtney!  She is from Thomasville, Georgia and is interning in the Fashion Office. Courtney is a rising senior at Furman University.  Her major is communications and she will graduate in December of 2016.  After graduation she plans to further her education through graduate school, but says she still has a little time to figure that out! In her free time she loves to read, be outdoors, and spend time with her family and friends.  As for her dream career, she absolutely loves fashion and says a career working in the fashion industry would be a dream.  She would enjoy owning her own store or working for a fashion house.  She would also love to live in Africa and do philanthropic work with local women and children!  She is hoping that one day she will be able to combine both of her passions.

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “There are so many great parts about interning at AmericasMart; however, at this point my favorite part has been working on the different fashion shows and interacting with all of the vendors during market.”


Emily Grant

EmilyGrantMeet Emily!  This summer, she is interning in the Gift and Home Furnishings Department at AmericasMart as their temporary sales intern.  Luckily, she didn’t have to travel far for her internship because her home is right here in Atlanta, GA.  She attends Clemson University where she is studying marketing as her major and psychology as her minor.  She is currently a senior, planning to graduate in the spring of 2016.  After graduation, Emily hopes to work at a company similar to AmericasMart.  She values the energy and the variety of responsibility that the jobs demand here. In her free time she loves to spend time with friends, no matter what they are doing, and her dream career would be to become a personal shopper.

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “I love the environment in which I work.  The Gift & Home team is welcoming, lively, and hard-working – I love them!”


Jayne Berry

This is Jayne!  She is interning in the Fashion Office JayneBerrythis summer.  Jayne is from Tampa, FL and attends college at Troy University where she is a senior majoring in business marketing.  She will graduate this fall and plans to go into the sales side of marketing.  She is hoping to become a sales representative for a fashion company, so you may see Jayne in your favorite showroom at AmericasMart in the near future!  Jayne loves the fashion industry and says sales are her niche, but she’s still undecided on what her dream career would be.  She was raised a Florida girl, so in her free time, if she gets a chance to soak up the sun, she takes it!

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “Interning at AMC has so many perks such as hands on experience with vendors, planning fashion shows, and working with premiere and upcoming fashion companies.  My favorite part would have to be creating relationships with vendors and putting together fashion shows to showcase and market their items during market.”


Payton Anderson

PaytonMeet Payton!  She is interning in the Publishing Department as the Public/Media Relations intern at AmericasMart.  She is from Pensacola, FL and attends college at the University of West Florida.  She is majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing and business.  She plans to graduate this fall, but doesn’t have any set plans for post-graduation.  Although graduate school, another internship and/or moving to a new city could be in her near future. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family and friends, go to the beach, go on walks, and explore new places to eat and shop, especially in Atlanta.  If she could have any career in the world, she would choose to be the head of social media for a major fashion brand, company or department store.

Favorite part about interning at AmericasMart: “I love how friendly everyone is and I am so thankful for all of the experience I am gaining.  I also love getting to take part in market and seeing all of the work that goes into each one!”

You Buy, They Give: Children’s Brands that Embrace Charitable Causes

Over the past decade, many different retail brands have been incorporating a chosen charity into their business model. Think companies like TOMS, The Honest Co., Warby Parker and Burt’s Bees. A handful of these companies have implemented a one-for-one partnership, or simply donate money or product to other charitable organizations in need. It’s safe to say that this growing trend in the retail industry is here to stay, and that doesn’t disappoint.

We’ve done some research on the Children’s World brands inside and outside of AmericasMart to find which companies are exercising this trend for the little ones. We’re highlighting six companies and their efforts in giving back, each with a unique way of following through.


Rockin’ Baby

Rockin’ Baby began its Mother to Mother program in 2011 to help make a difference in the world and for mothers. For every sling or pouch purchased, it donates an Rockin Babyorange Hero sling to a mother in need in either Haiti or Kenya. Throughout this act of giving back, Rockin’ Baby has the chance to teach mothers the important role a sling can play in a baby’s life, helping her transport a child to find water and nourishment, ultimately creating a better life for a mother and her child. The orange color also helps deter malaria-carrying mosquitos. (Teacup Tots, 13-S351)


Bunnies by the Bay

This brand has a charity program called Half the Sky, which offers love and care toBunnies By The Bay children in China who have lost their families.  When you purchase an item from Bunnies by the Bay’s Red Thread Collection, part of the proceeds from each sale goes toward funding Half the Sky. They money goes toward nurture and stimulation for babies, innovative preschools, personalized learning opportunities and permanent foster homes for children with special needs. (Summer Place Reps, 13-S333)


Stephen Joseph

Stephen JosephStephen Joseph has created partnerships with three different non-profit organizations to provide care to children in three main areas, To Eat, To Learn and To Play. No Kid Hungry, Children’s Scholarship Fund and Little Kids Rock all play a major role in Stephen Joseph’s efforts in giving back. For example, Stephen Joseph donates $1 for each Lunch Pal sold to honor their partnership with No Kid Hungry. (Laura Ann & Associates, 13-N103)


Persnickety Clothing

Persnickety Clothing gives back through their charitable program called Buying IsPersnickety Logo Giving. When you purchase an item, it donates part of the proceeds to children in need. A trip to Nicaragua in 2009, lead to partnerships providing clothing to children and employment to families in the area. Persnickety Clothing not only hopes to put food on their table, but also to help them break the cycle of poverty and in doing so impact future generations. (Joyce Nilsson, 13-E113)


Dondolo

DondoloAt Dondolo, making a difference is key. It extends its efforts to Colombia, providing clothing to children in need and jobs for single mothers. By exercising the one-for-one business model, for every article of clothing purchased at Dondolo, it donates another article to a child in need of warmth. This company strives to empower womanhood and believes that giving back begins with its customers. (Dondolo, 13-E330B)


Bella BlissBella Bliss

Bella Bliss, created by two mothers raising their families, likes to give back in a variety of ways. It gives an average of $10,000 in cash donations each year to leukemia and lymphoma charities, as well as the American Heart Association. Bella Bliss also donates clothes and gift cards to more than fifteen other charities each year. (Bella Bliss, 13-E107)


To find children’s brands like these and much more, plan your visit to Atlanta Apparel next month, taking place Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10.

Sweet 15

Tradition Reigns with Quinceañera

The Hispanic 15th birthday celebration known as Quinceañera commemorates a clear transformation in the lifestyle and concerns of young Latina women. The long-held downloadtradition of Quinceañera formally confers responsibility and maturity upon a young Latina. What does this mean for the formalwear retailer looking to tap into potential customers?

Participants’ countries of origin spanned the Spanish-speaking regions in the Western Hemisphere, all with substantial niches in the U.S. population. A study published on Latino resource ZonaLatina.com makes the case that marketing to this group is different from traditional teens. Traditional U.S. demographics lump ages 12-17 together, which goes against Latino culture wherein there is a distinct difference between ages 12-14 and 15-17. As examples, following the rite of passage that is Quinceañera, girls significantly increase spending on beauty products, and their attitudes about perceived value in clothing shift away from peer influence.

Mori LeeIt’s critical to understand the components of the ceremony surrounding Quinceañera which traditionally begins with a religious ceremony followed by a reception. The festivities include food and music and often a choreographed waltz or dance performed by the honoree and her Court. She chooses special friends to participate in what is called the Court of Honor. Usually, these young people are her closest friends, brothers, sisters and cousins.The Quinceañera’s Court of Honor can include all young girls (called Dama), all young men (called Chambelán or Escorte or Galán) or a combination of both.

The Quinceañera traditionally wears a ball gown, with her Court dressed in gowns and tuxedos. Guests usually receive small tokens to commemorate the celebration, andAllure it’s customary for the honoree to receive a tiara, a cross or medal, a Bible or prayer book and rosary and a scepter.

To outfit the entire court as well as her family and guests, exhibitors at Atlanta Apparel are ready to showcase the latest styles in gown, tuxedos and accessories during August Market. Find everything to make the entire Quinceañera celebration one to remember for everyone.

 

ICON HONORS 2015 Winners Revealed!

AWH_PHOTO-9454The sixth-annual ICON HONORS celebrated the best in global innovation as top achievers and superior achievements were recognized on the most anticipated and important night in the home and gift industry.

As a centerpiece of The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, the July 9 event attracted a capacity audience of more than 1,000 to applaud the six ICON HONORS 2015 Honorees, which were selected in rigorous adjudication of a broad field of entries.

Here are the ICON HONORS 2015 Honorees:
The 2015 Innovation Honors
Product Innovations
Kuhn Rikon Switzerland

The 2015 Contribution Honors
Community Influence
Lamon Luther

The 2015 Branding Honors
Branding / Identity
Poketti

ICON HONORS 2015
The AmericasMart Medal of Excellence Honor
LEE Industries

ICON HONORS 2015
The Lifetime Achievement Honor
Howard Henschel
The Norman Group

ICON HONORS 2015
The Gift and Home Trade Association / Gift for Life Honor of Excellence
RM Innovation

An exclusive performance by legendary duo Hall & Oates added to the excitement of this momentous event.

ICON HONORS was founded and is staged by AmericasMart® Atlanta and is sponsored exclusively by the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and Progressive Business Media.  The ICON HONORS 2015 celebration took place Thursday, July 9 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Visit www.ICONHONORS.com for information about ICON HONORS.

Back To School with Larry Lucas

Back to School in Style with Larry Lucas

Larry Lucas has been a familiar face on the AmericasMart campus since the 1970s. Lucas recently retired from his eponymous showroom, Larry Lucas, Inc. after nearly 40 years. Prior to his wholesale career, Lucas owned a successful 10,000-square-foot gift and floral shop in Sandy Springs, Ga.  He will periodically share his expertise with us on the AmericasMart blog.


AWH_PHOTO-9993The back-to-school season can be extremely stressful, not only for parents and teachers, but for the owners of your favorite kid-friendly shops, too. They may not be rummaging through shelves of school supplies at the craft store, but they are making their way to Market to shop the latest trends for children to wear throughout the school year.  It can always be a little tricky getting customers to visit your store to update their children’s wardrobe for the school days to come. Try implementing these tips into your store during the back-to-school time period for a successful season.

When preparing to visit Market, make sure you research the needs of children kindergarten through sixth grade. Use search tools such as Pinterest, Instagram and your favorite parenting fashion bloggers for inspiration on what’s to come.

As a helpful tip, try sending friendly reminders to the elementary school teachers in your area, letting them know what your store has available and how you can help them andAWH_PHOTO-3229 their students during the back-to-school season. Whether you have fun, new backpacks or a great selection of children’s shoes, it’s helpful to get your name out to the community. Also consider offering them special discounts or create a contest including the students, ultimately bringing new customers into your store.

Set yourself apart from other children’s boutiques or department stores by carrying items that are unique to your store. Visiting Market gives you a great chance to visit showrooms that carry leading product, offering a chance to physically see and feel its AWH_PHOTO-9913quality. Don’t forget add-ons like backpacks and lunch boxes. Also remember that rainwear is a big seller in the months of August, December and April.

Succeeding in getting back-to-school shoppers into your store can be a benefit to your store in multiple ways. Not only are you gaining business, but you’re also capturing new customers, as parents with little ones visit your shop for the first time. Good customer service creates loyal customers, so keep them coming back for years to come. Ask for feedback on what your customers want to see for the seasons to come. Offer them reasons to come back, such as promotional emails or special deals. While signing them up for your mailing list, be sure to ask for the child’s birthday so you can send them a special note or discount. As long as you are able to provide your customers with what they are looking for, your name will be at the top of their shopping list this fall.

Fall 2015 Trends and More with Larry Lucas

Larry Lucas has been a familiar face on the AmericasMart campus since the 1970s. Lucas recently retired from his eponymous showroom, Larry Lucas, Inc. after nearly 40 years. Prior to his wholesale career, Lucas owned a successful 10,000-square-foot gift and floral shop in Sandy Springs, Ga.  He will periodically share his expertise with us on the AmericasMart blog.


Although the fall brings cold weather, there are always so many great things to look forward to during the season. New fashion trends, college football, the holidays and so much more. Throughout the Atlanta Apparel Market at AmericasMart, we have the chance to see exciting fall trends before anyone else. Throughout this blog post, you will find trends to look forward to for the Fall 2015 season, as well as helpful tips to incorporate in your retail store.

Mellow Yellow

This fall, yellow will make a strong comeback in many different styles. We’re already AWH_PHOTO-8632beginning to see it debuting in shops around town, on the Instagram accounts of popular bloggers, and used by leading designers in new collections. We will see a rich, sunflower yellow, deeper in tone than the daisy yellow of spring.

When it comes to choosing which yellow items would best complement your existing wardrobe, turn to your favorite fashion bloggers or Pinterest account for suggestions. We’ve seen the trend add a pop of color in just about every style or shape, including dresses, skirts, pants, shoes and bags.

We may be kissing summer goodbye at the end of August, but prepare your closets to take a little inspiration from the sun this fall. Pair your yellow pieces with a rich brown, gray, black or orange to channel more of a fall look, resembling the leaves at the end of the summer.

Accessories – Not Just an Impulse Buy

Not only will yellow be making a statement this fall, but so will those easy and affordable add-on accessories that you just can’t seem to stay away from while you’re out shopping. Think along the lines of scarves, hats and jewelry. We’ve seen hats make a huge fashion statement over the last few years, and we are thrilled to see them sticking around.

AWH_PHOTO-0168Trendy accessories continue as a growing factor this fall, including new and old pieces. They can easily add to any woman’s personality and complement any look, depending on her style of choice. They have the advantage of being an affordable item that customers can easily pick up during a shopping trip.

Accessories should be an integral part of a retail business. There are different styles with a variety of quality to choose from, depending on the direction of your store. Select accessories that complement the apparel you’ll be selling for the season.

Show Your Spirit

In addition to bright colors and trendy accessories, collegiate items of state schools remain in the spotlight. Each fall, these items make their way back in some new form orAWH_PHOTO-9476 fashion. During the June Atlanta Apparel Market, collegiate T-shirts and stylish Game Day collections made appearances throughout showrooms and during the Daily Struts.

Shortly following football season, Christmas will be here before we know it, with all of its festive holiday fashion. During the holidays, it’s important to let your customers know what options your store has for gifting. Try showcasing your smaller items near the check-out area, or create a small gifting display. Your customers will appreciate that everything is in one spot, and they can easily find what they are looking for.

What trends are you most looking forward to for Fall 2015?

The next Atlanta Apparel Market will take place Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10, 2015.

“Fresh Food – Delivered Fast” with Classic Fare Catering

Having trouble choosing what food to serve in your showroom during market?  Or do you have the perfect place in mind, but the timing and pricing just aren’t right?  Look no further than Classic Fare Catering, AmericasMart’s on-site catering service, lead by head chef Martin Smetana.  Chef Smetana and his team of talented individuals make Classic Fare the perfect go-to destination for all of your catering needs here at AmericasMart, offering delicious and fresh food choices, excellent service and great pricing.

Recently, Classic Fare has released its new menu, created specifically with Showrooms in mind.  The new menu features a wide variety of options, including decadent French pastries, house-smoked pulled BBQ pork shoulder and fresh waldorf bleu salad. These mouth-watering options are sure to impress your guests and leave them coming back for another delicious bite during the next Market!

Chef Smetana and his team at Classic Fare Catering were kind enough to share one of their unique recipes with us to pass along to our readers.  Below you will find the recipe for their Watermelon and Spinach Salad, along with their Peach Vinegarette which is used to dress this light, summer salad.  We highly recommend trying this at home!


Watermelon & Spinach Salad

Ingredients:

1 oz BABY SPINACH

5 each SEEDLESS WATERMELON, SLICED INTO SQUARE SECTIONS

3 Tbsp. FETA CHEESE, CRUMBLED

2 Tbsp. PECANS, CHOPPED

1 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL

1 tbsp. BALSAMIC GLAZE – DRIZZLE

2 oz. PEACH VINAIGRETTE – OPTIONAL

Directions:

On a plate, alternate watermelon sections and baby spinach, as shown.

Top with feta cheese and pecans, olive oil, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Catering 2     Catering 1

Peach Vinaigrette:

Yield 5 servings

1 PEACH, PEELED AND DICED

½  cup RICE WINE VINEGAR

1 cup SALAD OIL

Pinch of SALT


For more information on Classic Fare Catering and our other dining options, visit our Food Services webpage.

For all other inquires and to book services, contact Milena Hernandez at 404-220-2258.