The Taster’s Choice

To sell gourmet, you have to share products and information

Today’s consumers have a sophisticated palette and are open to new, interesting AWH_PHOTO-8818gourmet products. But, to sell them, you have to let people taste them first. Otherwise, they won’t be able to fully appreciate the intricacies of creative flavor combinations.

Why not just set out samples for people to try? That’s simpler than having a person prepare and serve. Sampling gets people to try something, but doesn’t necessarily get them to buy it. Product demonstrations are interactive. Enthusiastic, educated people can sway a customer by answering questions and offering serving suggestions.

Product demos can be effective any time of year – retailers typically sell 10 times the normal product volume after a successful promotion – but demos are particularly effective during holidays when customers already purchase more food and gifts. When people are entertaining more frequently, they appreciate suggestions and options more than ever. Don’t stick to just traditional holidays; offer demos around tailgating for football season, salads when it’s too hot to cook in the summer or brunch ideas around Mother’s Day.

AWH_PHOTO-2588Here are some tips to create an effective gourmet product demonstration:

  • Sample four or five items in different categories such as a dip, a salsa, preserve or sweet topping and mustard. Consumers like variety but too many options is confusing.
  • Practice making recipes ahead of time.
  • Locate the demo adjacent to the product display.
  • Decorations can be festive, but it’s more important to keep the area neat and clean. This can be easy to overlook when you get busy.
  • Schedule the event to last several hours during high-traffic periods.
  • For best results, hand the item to customers or hold the tray rather than allowing them to pass by and graze. This encourages engagement and captures the curiosity of other shoppers.
  • Make recipes available – and stock the other necessary ingredients when possible. When you provide a complete package, you also provide an instant solution for them to add to their culinary repertoire.

Gourmet products are available in both permanent showrooms and temporaries at AmericasMart during Markets. Explore all the possibilities to spice up your sales with product demos!

Saying “I Do” In Style

Today, the Atlanta Apparel WORLD OF PROM Market comes to a close, which means that all eyes are on VOW | New World Of Bridal in September. This market will be focused on what’s new and next for all things bridal in 2016.

We’ve researched the trends to give you the latest information on what you can expect to see at Market and in stores for spring and summer of  2016. The trends include classic styles, with modern twists and unique details to make any bride stand out…


color

A Mix of Colors: It’s not just all white anymore… brides are straying away from the traditional white wedding gown, and going for something with a little more color. If you are in the market for a wedding dress today, you may find it hard to find an all white dress. We are seeing a lot of cream and off-white, as well as very light blue and even hints of black for a little bit of edge!


embellishments2

Expect Embellishments: Embellishments can make a bland dress beautiful in just seconds, and we have seen them all over the runway for 2016 bridal. Expect to see pearls and metallic stones gracing the bodes of many dresses.


feathers

Ruffles and Feathers: We’re seeing these features show up on the bottom half of many dresses, creating a more full look on something a little simple.


train

The Detachable Train: Many designers are bringing this trend back in a more fashionable and updated way, adding attachments to the sides and back of a more slim gown. Brides can easily remove the attachments for light-weight reception attire.


floral

Fancy Florals: Ranging floral patterns are covering the designs of wedding dresses for 2016. Whether it’s a colorful mix, or a detailed embellishment, you are sure to see this trend walking down the aisle.


backless

Showing a Little Skin: No back? No problem. Brides are loving the chance to show off a little skin with a complete backless dress, while still keeping a classic silhouette in the front.


offtheshoulder

Off the Shoulder: A huge trend in the fashion industry right now is the off-the-shoulder look on tops and dresses. This style shows off the color bone and also allows brides to show off some skin without going overboard. It’s trendy and classic, all at the same time.


neckline

Plunging Neckline: The popular, revealing style extends down to the lower waist. This style can be paired with anything from long-sleeves to a strapless, sweet-heart shape. Mesh fabric can also be paired with this style, creating a illusion of more bare skin being shown.


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We look forward to seeing you at VOW | New World Of Bridal, taking place on Wednesday, September 16 – Friday, September 18, 2015.

PROM 2016 TRENDS

As we prepare for the WORLD OF PROM this month, we can’t help but day dream about all of the amazing prom styles that will be trending for 2016. With so many breathtaking and flattering designs, this could very well be the most fashionable prom season yet.

We’ve gathered together a list of trending styles to get you prepared to shop prom 2016 here in Atlanta. With so many different collections, you are sure to find just the right variety for everyone’s prom needs. From classy and timeless detail, to fun and unique shapes, there is something for everyone to achieve the perfect look they have been dreaming of for a night they will never forget.


TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE

TWO PIECESIt’s easy to see that crop tops have been a huge trend piece during the past couple years, and they are better than ever for the prom 2016 season. While still keeping the look of a traditional prom dress, the idea of two pieces adds a fun touch for young girls. We’re seeing this in many different styles, including pieces with short or long sleeves, as well as full-length and short skirts.


SLEEVES, SHORT + LONG

We’ve seen necklines such as strapless, sweetheart and one-shoulder, but now the art SLEEVESof sleeves is gracing the prom dresses of 2016. Short, long, off the shoulder… you name it and you’ll most likely see it in some shape or form. Although this aspect gives prom dresses a much more conservative feel, it only adds more of a special touch. It also allows plus size women an option to feel more comfortable while dressing for a formal event!


MIDI LENGTH

MIDI LENGTHThis trend debuted in the 1940’s and made a comeback recently in 2011. After dying down quite a bit, designers have decided to try a new take on the midi skirt and incorporate it into formal fashion. For prom dressers looking to embrace a more elegant and conservative style, this trend meets perfection. It’s feminine and classy, just the way a prom dress should be!


LACE, PLEASE

We can’t really think of a time when lace hasn’t been a good idea. Prom dresses covered in lace or with simple lace accents have madeLACE them that much more beautiful. Combining lace with mesh fabric creates an illusion of  lace covering the body, which we’ve seen all over the fashion industry lately. Multiple brands have been incorporating this trend into their 2016 designs, and we can’t wait to see more.


THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF BLING

EMBELISHMENTSEmbellishments have been popular in past prom seasons, and this year they are back and better than ever. We are seeing a lot of fully embellished looks, as well as some partly embellished looks mixed with mesh to create the desired illusion. Dresses covered in embellishments, such as this white Sherri Hill look, make the perfect statement.


RSVP for WORLD OF PROM, the nation’s #1 Prom & Social Occasion Market, taking place during the Atlanta Apparel Market on Thursday, August 6 – Monday, August 10, 2015. Join us for our WORLD OF PROM fashion show on Thursday, August 6 featuring prom trends for the 2016 season!

Resort Wear 2016 at Atlanta Apparel

When you think of resort wear, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Maybe you and your girlfriends lying on the beach in your most recent bikini purchase, sipping cocktails with your flip flops dangling off the side of your beach chair. Well, we have good news, resort wear does constitute the latest in bikini style, but it also includes a multitude of other styles, as well. Think loose maxi dresses, playful matching separates, oversized straw hats and even a bright colored pair of heels. When it comes to resort wear, it’s all about being on trend with the latest fashionable, summer pieces that make you feel effortless and simple, yet extremely chic.

We’ve gathered photos from our previous Atlanta Apparel Daily Struts to show you exactly what resort wear can entail. Basically, there are no limits. It can get as fancy as a killer jumpsuit, or as laid back as a kimono thrown over a stylish bikini. Take note of the styles you favor and visit us next month at the Atlanta Apparel Market to bring your retail store only the latest in resort wear 2016.


Bright Colors

AWH_PHOTO-6739Bright colors are a must for resort wear, and this jumpsuit doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect piece to pack for your summer vacation that can be worn for dinner and drinks mixed with other neutral accents. With it’s loose fabric that flows as you walk, we guarantee this number will turn some heads.


Playful Prints

The palm print swept just about every retail store inAWH_PHOTO-6833 some shape or form this season, and we can see it sticking around. The print on this dress mixed with other bright colors adds a “wow” factor to the simple, white shift dress. Gladiator sandals or summer heels, you choose!


Effortless Bikini

AWH_PHOTO-4057While shopping for resort wear 2016, look for pieces that can be paired with a simple, neutral bikini. Fun kimonos like this one add the perfect touch and can be included in multiple other combinations in a day-to-day summertime wardrobe.


Accessorize Light

Don’t go over board on accessories for your AWH_PHOTO-4006collection of resort wear pieces. It’s important that you choose light and you choose well. Hats play a huge part in turning a casual look into something one-of-a-kind. When it comes to jewelry, go for lighter pieces that can be worn to the pool, or thrown on with a simple maxi dress.


Summer Elegance

AWH_PHOTO-4293We might have saved the best for last. This dress screams resort wear. The incorporated bright colors , “airy” fabric and low-cut neckline all compliment the dress so well.  This flattering look will be sure to get more than a few compliments. Pair with wedges and light jewels for a complete dinner look.


For styles like these and much more, visit Atlanta Apparel, taking place August 6 – 10, 2015.

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.