About Mary Sanford Perdue

Media Public Relations Summer Intern

Here We Grow

Expanded categories and new Floorplans for Temps in July

With so many distinct product collections, the Temporaries at AmericasMart are always evolving to better meet the needs of buyers and effectively reflect the marketplace. Here’s a glimpse of what to look for.


David Smith of David Christopher’s Collection appreciates being a part of Americasmart because, he says it seems to be the place more retailers from North America are attending. He sees customers from California to New York and Canada to the Caribbean. His Temporary exhibit is part of the newly reconfigured Holiday, Floral, Baskets and Cash & Carry sections in Building 3, Floor 1, which was executed to improve flow of traffic and ease of shopping.

Alex Carol Jewelry, also a part of this section, has been in business for more than 30 years and looks forward to seeing returning customers and welcoming new buyers from all over the world at Americasmart. 

What should buyers expect in the newly reconfigured areas? “Many of the exhibitors remain the same and the ease of shopping for both holiday and floral products with a flow into our immediate delivery area for quick jewelry and accessory needs have not changed, but the floor plan will facilitate smoother shopping,” says Mary Ellen Jackson, executive director of Tradeshows at Americasmart.

Rick McCormack with M & M Jewelry is excited about the reconfiguration. “I am sure the new layout will increase traffic and certainly make it easier for buyers to navigate the floor,” he says.


Lexie Robinson with Wild & Wolf also is excited to be part of the growing On Trend Gifts section. While Americasmart has a General Gifts Temporary collection, this area was created as a curated stand-alone to house what Laura Dadisman, director of Sales at Americasmart labels “modern, quirky, all funky and just fun” gifts.

The On Trend gifts section, housed in Building 3, Floor 5, has been growing by leaps and bounds, and over 40 percent, Dadisman estimates, are international vendors. All are on top of trends and bring fun and clean lines to buyers, she adds. Sam Herrbach, director of Wholesale— North America for Australia-based Sunnylife says the section “exposes us to new buyers, creates brand awareness, and gives us the opportunity for face time with our existing customers.”

The section hosts fun happy hours and “really cool giveaways,” Dadisman says, as extra incentives for buyers. “We do temporary tattoo bars—all complimentary for buyers. They’re only going to get the whole experience of AmericasMart by shopping this collection.”


Seeing that tabletop and entertaining was moving into higher-end territory, the expanding section is on a floor above High Design in Building 2, Floor 2, sharing buyers. “It’s more aligned to it name now,” says Amy Schlick James, executive director at Americasmart. The section has a lot of neat, colorful and design-driven products for entertaining and tabletop, James says, adding that Americasmart works hard on grouping products together in a very category-specific fashion so buyers can shop with ease.

Jennifer Williams of Sobremesa by Greenheart, a tabletop vendor says she loves being a part of Americasmart temporaries because the Chicago-based company can garner a wider audience at Americasmart.

“Americasmart has built a strong reputation as being the premier destination for buyers in the gift and homeware industry,” says Eric Damer with Merritt International, a tabletop vendor that will be introducing fresh melamine and acrylic lines along with new stylized lacquer trays with gold leaf highlights for the summer market.

Vendors are gearing up with show specials and a whole host of incentives so expect continued excitement as the temporaries evolve.

For more information: Alex Carol Jewelry, alexcaroljewelry.com; Art by Amy, artbyamy.com; David Christopher’s Collection, davidchristopherscollection.com; M & M Jewelry, mm-jewelers.com; Merritt International, merrittusa.com; Sobremesa by Greenheart, greenheartshop.org; Wild and Wolf, wildandwolf.com; and Sunnylife, sunnylife.com.

Images courtesy of Art by Amy, David Christopher’s Collection (Butler Studio), Merritt International, Sobremesa by Greenheart and Sunnylife.

Recipes for a Fantastic Fourth of July

Looking for some inspiration for your Independence Day menu? We asked some of the chefs who’ll be in the Demonstration Kitchen this July to help us prepare the perfect summer meal:

Sloppy Joe Burgers with Grilled Onions
Created by Chadwick Boyd

Heirloom Tomato Coleslaw
Created by Hudson Rouse

Savannah Lump Crab Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce 
Created By Gerry Klaskala

Bandoffee Trifle With Candied Bacon
Peach Party Liquor

Created by Kevin Gillespie

Sloppy Joe Burgers with Grilled Onions                                                                   Copyright © 2017 Lovely & Delicious Enterprises, Inc.                                             Created by Chadwick Boyd

Sloppy Joes are about as American as you can get. And they were a big part of my childhood. As kids, we would eat them at least one night a week. Classic ingredients of ketchup, yellow mustard, a bit of brown sugar and a tich of apple cider vinegar come together for that signature BBQ sweet and tang that makes these sandwiches irresistible. This recipe, featured in my show “Reel Food,” uses all the classic Sloppy Joe flavors, yet reimagines them as burgers. They are great for summertime grilling, but can easily be done inside on a grill pan or a large 12″ cast iron skillet any time of year. The sauce is lip-licking good, so I suggest making a double batch.


Makes 4-6 burgers, depending on how hungry you are


For the burgers

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion – one half diced, the other half thinly sliced
  • ½ medium green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4-6 brioche buns (find them at a local bakery or use hamburger buns as a substitute)
  • For the sauce
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat grill to medium high heat – 425°F-450°F.

Meanwhile, heat a large 12″ cast iron skillet on the stove to medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes to get it good and hot. Add the olive oil and heat through for 1 minute. Place the diced onion and green peppers in the skillet. Sauté until soft and translucent 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Place the beef in a large mixing bowl. Add in the jalapeno, chile and chipotle powders, celery salt and pepper. Mix well with clean hands or heavy handle wooden spoon. Add in the cooked onions and peppers. Mix until fully incorporated. Form into 4-6 patties, depending on how large you want them to be. Place on a large plate.

Add the rest of the onions to the skillet and let soften and char, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside on a plate.

While the onions are cooking, place a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Add in all the ingredients for the sauce. Using a whisk, vigorously stir and bring the sauce to a low bubble – 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer while grilling the burgers. Stir occasionally.

Place the burgers on the grill and cook 4-5 minutes until the burgers are browned on the bottom and have grill marks. Place the brioche buns open face along the side of the burgers to warm and crisp up, usually 2-3 minutes – set aside on a clean plate. Using tongs or a large spatula, flip them over and continue cooking another 5-6 minutes until medium or slightly pink in the center. Remove the burgers from the grill and place immediately into the brioche.

Thickly slather the burgers with the sauce and top with the grilled onions.

Serve. Use the extra sauce for dipping.

**If cooking indoors in cast iron: Place the patties in the large skillet and cook 7-8 minutes until the bottom is fully sealed and dark brown. Flip and then cook 7-8 more minutes, or until slightly pink in the center.

Savannah Lump Crab Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce                                                Created By Gerry Klaskala


  • 6 oz. – All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbl. – Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. – Salt
  • ¼ tsp. – Cayenne
  • 8 oz. – Jumbo Lump Crab
  • 4 oz. – Sauteed Scallions
  • 6 oz. – Water


1. Combine dry ingredients
2. Add crab, scallions and water. Mix just enough to incorporate ingredients.
3. Carefully scoop or spoon mix into ½ oz balls and fry in 350 degree oil until cooked through.

Thai Dipping Sauce


¼ cup – Mae Ploy
1 ea. – Thai Peppers, minced
¼ tsp. – Ginger, minced
2 Tbl. – Lime Juice
1 tsp. – Cilantro


1. Combine ingredients and stir well

Heirloom Tomato Coleslaw

Created by Chef Hudson Rouse


  • 1 table spoon celery seed
  • 1/8 cup pickle brine
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickles
  • 1 1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaisel
  • 3 heads of cabbage thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots grated
  • 1 vidalia onionthinly sliced
  • 4  heirloom tomatoes sliced


Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add cabbage, carrots, onions; toss to coat with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours. Toss in sliced heirloom tomatoes before serving.

Peach Party Liquor                                                                                                       Created by Kevin Gillespie

The name is inspired by the show Squidbillies on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. I recently became a Squidbillies cast member, playing myself. The show is hilarious. It’s not for everyone, but I love how it explores the idea of these ultra-redneck characters that are, absurdly, squids. One of the characters, Early Cuyler, makes something he calls “party liquor.” One weekend when the cooks at Woodfire Grill were getting together on Sunday for some fun, I said, jokingly, that I would bring some “party liquor.” And it would include moonshine. “You can’t bring moonshine,” they said. “We’ll all go blind!” I wanted to show them it wasn’t so bad, so I mixed the moonshine with really strong tea and juiced peaches. It tasted like Snapple peach tea and you could barely detect the moonshine. It was so good that we drank all of it. We got to goofing around and thought it would be fun to have a dart tournament. Someone had brought a blow dart gun. Before long, one of us had a brilliant idea and asked, “What if we shot someone with one of these?” That soon digressed into a series of retaliatory dart wounds. That’s when I knew it was time for me to go. Just as my wife, Valerie, and I were walking out the door, I felt this pain in the back of my leg. I craned around, and there was a blow dart sticking out of my calf.


  • Water – 2 cups
  • Black tea bags – 4
  • Agave nectar – ½ cup
  • Peaches – 8 ripe baseball-size ones, pitted and peeled
  • Moonshine – 2 cups
  • Lemon juice – 1/4 cup


1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Add the tea bags, and steep the tea in the hot water for about 30 minutes; you want to end up with very strong tea. Add the agave nectar to the tea and stir until blended. Cool the tea to room temperature.
2. Using a juicer, food processor, or heavy-duty blender, puree the peaches until they are completely smooth. Pour into the pan of tea along with the moonshine and lemon juice, stirring to blend. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids. Cover, chill, and serve ice-cold.

Moonshine / White lightning or moonshine refers to any illegally distilled, unaged white whiskey made in an unregulated still at home. But you can find perfectly legal white whiskey called moonshine in just about every liquor store across the country. Any corn-based liquor will do just fine in this recipe. If you can’t find white whiskey, 80-proof Cathead Vodka from Mississippi is finished with corn and makes a great substitute.

Bandoffee Trifle With Candied Bacon                                                                       Created by Kevin Gillespie

My restaurant Gunshow has no investors. To raise money I did a series of fundraising dinners all over the country. I customized the menu for each group—except for dessert. I’m not much of a pastry chef, so I stuck with my slam-dunk combo of bananas, toffee, and candied bacon. I made it several different ways. At first, I plated it as a deconstructed modernist dessert. Then in Seattle I served a much bigger group of folks and the modernist plating turned out to be too time-consuming. Out of sheer necessity, I made it into a trifle, and that’s what made the dish even more successful. It’s a layered dessert of vanilla custard, Candied Bacon (page 139), crushed shortbread cookies, fried bananas, toffee caramel, and chocolate ganache. You can totally make this at home. The layering makes it look awesome in a glass dish. Serve it with coffee and your friends will think you’re badass.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 3 bananas 5 ounces 65% chocolate,
  • 12 ounces shortbread cookies
  • 2 cups vanilla custard or pudding
    (see Good to Know)
  • 16 strips Candied Bacon (page
    139), chopped, 2 pieces
    reserved for garnish


To make the caramel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and stir in ¾ cup of the cream. Return to a boil and decrease the heat to a low simmer. Simmer, swirling occasionally, until the mixture reaches 235°F, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350°F.

Peel the bananas and fry until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to cool.

Heat the remaining ¼ cup cream in a small saucepan just to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.

Place the cookies in a large zip-top bag, squeeze out any excess air, and roll with a rolling pin a few times to make very coarse crumbs; you should have about 3 cups.

You can make one large trifle bowl or individual servings in 8-ounce canning jars. To assemble, layer one-third of the cookie crumbs, half the custard, half the bacon, half the fried bananas, half the caramel, and the chocolate; continue layering on the remaining custard, bacon, bananas, and one-third of the crumbs; top with the remaining caramel and crumbs. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Cut the reserved bacon into long strips and garnish each serving with a strip.

See these chefs and more in the Demonstration Kitchen at the July 2017 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, July 11-18, 2017.


Red is all the Rave

Fall fashion sets its sight on red this season. Whether you choose a handbag or dress you’ll definitely make a statement with this bold and daring color.

Featured Lines include Love Poppy Jewels, Slyvia Benson, Liebeskind, WYLDR, ADA and Ark & Co.

Shop items in this bold color and more during the August Atlanta Apparel Market®          August 1–5, 2017.

Raise A Glass

Design and function are top of mind with consumers

From mix-and-mingle cocktail parties to seated dinners in formal attire, entertaining at home for friends and family has made a resurgence in recent years. The Huffington Post reports that celebrating was the “it” trend for 2016, which means gatherings and parties will stay top of mind for many into 2017.

Even the smallest details matter, and how events are presented are important elements in entertaining. According to HFN’s 2016 Consumer Speaks Housewares Study, consumers planned to buy wine glasses, beer glasses, tumblers and specialty glasses, with the largest majority of millennials spending on tumblers (39 percent). Age plays a factor in category preference, as three generations surveyed show differences in taste.

When it comes to what’s on the table, function is a key trend. “The trend toward low priced, fun, affordable, everyday glassware that doesn’t take up shelf space, is becoming very important to today’s buyer,” says Paula Johnson, director of design for Rolf Glass, “like the stemless wine glass that offers multiple purposes (water, wine, beer or cocktail).”

For Jim Mylonas, vice president and general manager of the Lenox Corporation, specialty glasses are growing more popular, “The fastest growing trend is in cocktail glasses and special occasion glasses. We also are seeing a strong trend in the purchase of gift sets such as our Assorted Craft Beer Glass set, which contains four different shapes for enjoying different craft brews.”


APPEALING DESIGN                                                                                                           With the economy on steady footing, retails sales for the beverageware category reached $2.06 billion in 2014, per HFN’s 2015 State of the Industry report. Design tops the list of most important glassware features, with dishwasher safety and chip resistance in a close second and third.

Laura K. Aldrich, senior vice president of Consumer Products for Fortessa agrees, “Having great design is certainly important to inspire a customer to make a purchase. In fashion glass, color is becoming more important again. It is a simple way for a customer to make a design statement in their home and can be a great accent to complete their signature look. We also find our customers love that our products are dishwasher safe, break and chip resistant.”

The design of glass and crystal beverageware, specifically the cuts, show consumers appear to prefer contemporary looks more than traditional with heavy cuts.

“For the most part, the clean, contemporary looks are our best sellers. But there will always be a market segment for traditional cut crystal,” says Mylonas. “What’s interesting in the HFN survey is how similar overall the responses are by generation. Maybe those much written about Millennials aren’t so radically different after all.”


A STELLAR COLLECTION                                                                                         Whether it’s a dazzling table setting, the perfect gift for a special occasion, or an outdoor space full of life, Floors 8 and 9 offer everything you need to help your customers entertain with style.

A true treasure trove, the vast array of products and multiple categories, all in one convenient destination, will appeal to every kind of customer. Explore more than 200 showrooms offering hundreds of brands across categories such as:

Not only can you find a diverse mix of the season’s trendiest selections, from affordable to high-end, but the central location of Floors 8 and 9 in Building 2 of AmericasMart’s comprehensive campus means more cross-merchandising opportunities for creating your product mix.

In addition to unmatched product offerings, Floor 8 also features the Gourmet Demonstration Kitchen which serves up cooking and cocktail demonstrations by local and international chefs and celebrities alike.

Visit AmericasMart.com for more information, as well as a full list of exhibitors on Floors 8 and 9 of Building 2.

Game Day Glam

Football in the South is one-third sporting event and two-thirds social gathering; therefore, the perfect go-to Game Day outfit is a must have. Just as football teams change every season so does Game Day fashion. Check out what The Peaches – our collegiate Market ambassadors – had to say when asked “What is your go-to Game Day outfit.”

Kensley Atwell                                                                                                                         Kennesaw State University, Class of 2018                                                                           “My game day outfits have to be practical but also fun and sassy! My go to would be a pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans and a fun crop top! I would pair it with layered necklaces and a stylish pair of wedges! I have to make sure my feet are good to go so I can cheer on the Owls all Saturday long!”

Brittany Frederick                                                                                                                   University of South Carolina, Class of 2018                                                                       “My go to game day outfit would be a pair of garnet 7 For All Mankind jeans with a black English Factory top and Dolce Vita booties. And for accessories- a Vanessa Mooney choker.”

Brittany Frederick                           University of South Carolina           “For game days I always wear a little black dress or romper and cowgirl boots with gold Sheila Fajl hoops.”

Jasmine Victoria Hope Holt             Brenau University, Class of 2019     “Basically anything red and black, but my go to outfit would have to be a Joes Jeans denim skirt, a perfectly faded UGA shirt and some cute booties by Matisse!”                                                                                                                                                Sarah Meghan Pittman                                                                                                          Georgia College and State University, Class of 2018                                                       “I always love to wear a vintage T-shirt from Judith March with high-waisted shorts and either Toms, or my white Converse.”

Rosario Canales                                                                                                                 Savannah College of Art and Design, Class of 2018                                                        “I love topping off a tee and my trusty Paige Denim jeans with a SCAD ball cap.”

Frances Kate Maupin                                                                                                             University of South Carolina, Class of 2019                                                                   “My go-to Carolina Game Day outfit is a casual and cute Jude top with a pair of Paige Denim jeans and of course my Frye boots!” 

Find all the Game Day styles you need for a winning season at the June Atlanta Apparel Market, Wednesday, June 7- Saturday, June 10, 2017.