The Top 10 List: Hall & Oates

Hall and Oates 1Hall & Oates made history in the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s, from hit-songs to groundbreaking tunes that are still popular today.  They have sold more albums than any other musical duo in history and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.  In this day and age, popular musical artists and modern day civilians repeatedly “jam out” to Hall & Oates hits through their radios and iTunes library.  The iconic band is set to hit the stage at this year’s ICON HONORS, an event hosted by AmericasMart to honor outstanding members in the gift and home furnishings industry.  ICON Honors will take place in conjunction with The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market® on Thursday, July 9.

Hall & Oates’ top ten hits have been showcased for decades, and we can’t help but wonder, which ones will be on their set list this July?  We’ll start with their list of top ten hits!

1.  “Say It Isn’t So,” released in 1981 from their album Rock and Soul Part 1, steals the number one spot.

2.  “Out Of Touch,” Hall & Oates’ last big hit, comes in at number two.

3.  The all-time favorite, “You Make My Dreams (Come True),” from album Voices, slips in as number three.

4.  “Sara Smile,” the groups first top ten hit released in 1976, takes number four.

5.  The second hit single from their album Private Eyes, “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” comes in at number five.

6.  “Every Time You Go Away,” from Voices in 1980, takes number six.

7.  Coming in at number seven and released in 1982, from their album H2O, is “Maneater.”

8.  “Kiss On My List” was Hall & Oates’ second Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, released in 1980.

9.  “Rich Girl,” from the album Bigger Than Both Of Us, ranks in at number nine.

10.  Lastly, “Private Eyes,” released in 1981, is the last hit on Hall & Oates top ten list.

Image and Video Sources

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Braids, please!

It’s no secret that braids have made a huge comeback with today’s hottest fashion trends.  Women, children, celebrities, bloggers, designers… Everyone is incorporating braids into their own personal styles.  With Atlanta Apparel in June quickly approaching, we are ecstatic to announce that we will be offering a braid bar for buyers to enjoy at different times throughout the Market.  Don’t fall behind on this trend!  Take a minute to look at these different braid styles, and decide what you will be requesting when you make a stop at the braid bar this June during Atlanta Apparel.

Regular Braids

Regular Braid 2     Regular Braid 1

Want to start out with something simple?  Try the regular braid!  Some would say it is the simplest one in the book.  It only requires three strands of hair and looks sleek for any occasion.  This style can be worn down the back, to the side, or it can be incorporated with a fun hair twist or pony-tail.  The options are endless.

French Braids

French Braid 2     French Braid 1

French Braids are a little more intricate than regular braids, but don’t let that scare you away.  You still only use three strands of hair, but you pick up a little more hair each time you cross strands.  This is a braid that works for many different hair types, such as long, short, fine or thick hair, and just like a regular braid, they are fun to incorporate into different hair styles.  We are also a fan of the mini French braid, which makes the perfect baby step.

Fishtail Braids

Fishtail Braid 2     Fishtail Braid 1

This braid, which resembles the tailbone of a fish, has definitely made waves.  It looks intricate and time consuming, but in reality it is incredibly easy.  You begin by dividing the hair into two separate sections, and move small pieces over to each side as you continue down the braid.  We recommend practicing with your hair in a pony-tail to master this trend.  Once you get the hang of it, it will become your go-to hair style.  What’s more is that it looks even better when it’s a little messy!

Side Braids

Side Braid 1     Side Braid 2

When it comes to side braids, almost any shape or size can be accomplished.  You are simply changing the direction to which you are braiding.  Having a braid lie on the side of one shoulder or framing your face gives your hair an effortless and chic look.  Will you go for the faux hawk or a breezy, bohemian look?

Waterfall Braids

Waterfalll Braid 1     Waterfall Braid 2

The waterfall braid, formerly known as the cascade braid, is definitely one that makes you wonder “how will I ever get my hair to do that?”  Well, if you are still having trouble mastering this braid, put it at the top of your list to request at the braid bar.  Its complicating strands weave in and out of the hair, making it look as if small pieces are flowing out from the braid.  The professionals say it works best with straight hair or loose curls.

Dutch Braids

Dutch Braid 1     Dutch Braid 2

Dutch braids are popular for their over exaggerated shape and the look they give to the eye, making it seem as though the braid is simply resting on top of the head.  The most popular place for Dutch braids is framing the face.  This braid style starts with a braid similar to the French braid.  It is then pulled apart and loosed to achieve the overall look.  You can also incorporate other braid styles into your Dutch braid, such as a fishtail braid.

Mermaid Braids

Mermaid Braid 1     Mermaid Braid 2

With the warm summer months quickly approaching, there isn’t a better time to begin experimenting with the mermaid braid.  The basics of this braid are very similar to that of the French braid.  When gathering hair from each side, make sure your pieces are thinner and smaller.  This allows them to be loose and the hair underneath will be noticeable.  Turn this braid into a side braid, and you’ve got an easy hair style that can be dressed up or down.

Milkmaid Braids

Milkmaid Braid 2     Milkmaid Braid 1

If you’re in the mood for an up-do, this braided hair style is the one for you.  Milkmaid braids are an easy and fun way to get your hair out of your face, while still maintaining to look stylish.  Simply form two regular braids with your hair, and pin them up above your head.  Hide each pin with the other braid and tuck in any loose pieces.  You now have an easy hair style that goes from day to night!

Combination Braids

Combination Braid 1     Combination Braid 3

Have a couple braids on this list caught your eye?  Try combining them!  Combination braids offer endless options and they are only as difficult as you make them.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to handle your combination; it’s completely based on preference and personal style.  The most popular combination braid seen in today’s trends includes a small braid framing the face, with a different style side braid lying on the shoulder.

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Atlanta Apparel takes place June 11-14, 2015 at AmericasMart Atlanta. Learn more at

How to Grow Your Business with Blogging

Blogging    +    Grow Business Online    =    Grow Your Business

Blogging makes it possible for business owners to grow their businesses online and to tell their stories in fresh ways to reach new audiences. There is power in a story: stories draw us in, and they captivate our attention. They teach us more about each other and strengthen the bonds of relationships.

Blog article writing is an essential element in helping unfold a story to customers and breach the radar of new customers. Site visitors and search engines are looking for fresh, interesting content. Published and optimized blogs are like an annuity – they will continue to attract your targets’ and search engine interests into the future. Blogs combine elements of websites, newsletters and forums. They provide static pages of information like sales letters, drive action like informational emails, and create conversation through interaction.

However, the best blogs engage target customers to take action. Position yourself so search engines readily find you, then nurture those online relationships so the potential customer gains trust and ultimately chooses to either buy from you online or visit your store. By responding to customers and comments, blogs can help grow businesses by fostering community.

• Lead Generation
• Research and Development
• Direct Sales
• Brand Awareness
• Search Engine Traffic
• Sales Support
• Public Relations
• Crisis Management
• Attracting New Audiences
• Interaction and Engagement
• Learning From Your Audience

Grow your audience by thinking long term and offering overwhelming value. By being genuine, approachable, helpful and friendly, you will create raving fans. Take your audience on a journey from a visitor to a return visitor by providing educational resources and other informational articles. Turn them into subscribers by solving their problems and demonstrating solutions. Convert them into customers by encouraging conversation, involvement and a sense of community. Use persuasion, conversation and provide a call to action with a compelling offer. Readers who constantly consume your content create free word of mouth marketing for your brand.

Audience Lifecycle: Visitor->Return Visitor->Subscriber->Converted->Advocate

Start with your title first. Use a whiteboard for developing keywords and topics into your blog post title. Use the Google keywords tool, use long tail keywords and use nine words or less for better refined searches. Have your blog topic answer questions: Is your topic for fun, to grow business, or to position you as an industry expert? What compelling position can you provide to readers? Who is the audience and what’s the point? Blog titles that answer questions or demonstrate practical advice by using specific information are the most compelling. Use comparisons, percentages, numbers and specific product information to validate credibility.

Blogging Quotes   Benefits of Blogging
Businesses that blog at least 20 times per month generate more than five times more traffic than those that blog four times per month. Those that blog also get 4x more leads than others. Set a publishing schedule or outsource by using guest bloggers and having co-workers lend a hand. Create useful internal and external links to provide better educational experiences for users. Have your links open to a new window and make sure the keyword you’re linking to is a website that contains the same keyword on that site. Host other blogs and bloggers — everyone loves to be featured, and it offers an opportunity to reach out in the blogging community.

capture 19How can you make your blog article more interactive? Use a call-to-action encouraging readers to engage: Share button for social, an open-ended question, invitation to comment below, “email us now invitation,” click to tweet, downloadable paper, etc. Ask questions, get feedback and learn as they learn. Use two to three related original images in each post and label them accordingly. Make sure to name each image, description and alt text using the same keywords. Keep your blog easy to read with images, video and design principles. Six-hundred or more word posts enable better engagement for staying on a specific page longer. Use 7-10 keywords when you are tagging your blog posts and link back to your website to make it more searchable.

Finally, measure your blog with metrics such as Marketing grader, unique visitors, traffic rank, indexed pages, linking domains, MozRank and Facebook fans. Like any productive practice in your business, blogging takes commitment, investment and a bit of creativity to achieve real results. With determination, publishing weekly and promoting your posts across the top social media networks or using applications such as Share this, you can help gain attention. Happy Blogging!

• Attract targeted visitors who have a problem you can solve.
• Inform, advise, discuss, help.
• Build trust with positive experience over time.
• Demonstrate positive results.
• Make offers that match audience wants/needs.

What types of Blogging techniques do you use?
Tell us by leaving a comment below!

NEW at AmericasMart! Our very own Fashion Blogger’s Lounge

NEW at AmericasMart!

Come see what the bloggers are saying about Atlanta Apparel! Or just stop in for some refreshments, a place to sit down and relax or log in to catch up on what’s going on back home while you’re at market.

The blogger’s lounge is sponsored by Yepser, a Social Media/Internet Strategy Company that can help you build and market your brand through digital media. Find the lounge in Building 3, Floor 9, Southwest Quadrant, Showroom 354

Grab Great Goodies at Market!

GiveawayFabulous designs and lines await buyers at Atlanta Apparel this August, but that’s not all. Atlanta Apparel will be giving away swanky swag throughout the entire Market. Each designated location wll have a great giveaway and something to take home to remember the August Market and Atlanta Apparel.

Don’t miss these giveaways:

  • Light It Up! Lipgloss Giveaway, Thursday, August 26 at 4 p.m. on Floor 10:
    Stop by for a very special lighted lip gloss.

TOTEally Fabulous, Sunday, August 29 at 2 p.m. on Floor 5:
Pick up a coupon at registration and redeem it for a complimentary Atlanta Apparel tote.
Hurry they’ll go fast!

For more details on all of the events throughout market click here.

Dimond Lighting Brightens Home Accessory Offerings at AmericasMart


Dimond Lighting is set for its grand opening at the July Market. Dimond, which has secured nearly 1,600 sq. ft. of space on Floor 12 in Building 1(12-C-7) as a permanent showroom, becomes one of the many showrooms in the HOME center that spotlights premium portable lamps, lighting and accessories for the home.

Vice president of Dimond, John Haste, believes the new showroom at AmericasMart is a strategic and necessary move for expanding this division of ELK Lighting. “We are a strong division under a well-known parent company, and are moving in the right direction to continue this growth,” says Haste. “AmericasMart offers one of the world’s largest destinations for home product, providing a unique platform for us to showcase our growing product collection.”

Additionally Dimond will now have the opportunity to be open daily between Markets, gaining further exposure to designers and retailers that need to buy outside of the set Market dates.

For more information about Dimond Lighting click here.

To View the Full announcement click here.

Inspired Interiors Presented by Suzanne Kasler

suzanne at desk

 After much chatter on the blogs and design publications about inspiring work spaces,  Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles kindly asked us at Suzanne Kasler Interiors if we’d open our doors for their May issue. We had a great time scouting out vignettes around the office that best illustrate how we get inspired at work (our favorite is captured on the issue’s cover). Read the entire article and check out all of the luminous images from the shoot at

I’m often asked, “What’s on your desk at work?.” Well, as I pinpoint in my new book, Inspired Interiors, it’s important to surround yourself with objects that are most meaningful to you. For me, I’ve incorporated a few Eiffel Towers from my extensive collection into a small vignette near my desk. I’ve paired these with a framed bulletin board that organizes various images of Paris, my family, notes from friends and inspiration photos for my product lines. Keeping these items near me as I work allows for a solid base of inspiration from which to begin new projects.

I will elaborate on the subject of inspired spaces at the upcoming 2010 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market where I am so honored to be chosen as a special presenter. Hope to see you all there!

Suzanne will take the stage on Friday, July 16 at 1 p.m. in 4-B-1 in building 1.  She will give a behind-the-scenes look into her intuitive design process. From a handsome Georgia mansion to a luxurious log cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Kasler will explain how time and place inspire each unique project.  A book signing of Inspired Interiorsto immediately follow in the Safavieh showroom, 5-A-2.

For a full listing of events click here.