A Reason to Celebrate

Commemorating 20 Years of Holiday & Floral/Home Décor
By Helen Anne

It’s party time! Holiday & Floral/Home Décor is marking 20 years of success with a celebration during the January 2017 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. The product center, initially marketed using the “Art of Christmas,” has expanded to include celebrations that create family traditions.

Executing a new exhibit concept in 1996, AmericasMart redesigned space in Building 1, brought exhibitors with substantial Christmas lines together into one area and began promoting products designed for holiday celebrations. By focusing marketing efforts on a certain type of product located in a collective space, AmericasMart hoped to increase traffic to all exhibitors.

Loyal From the Beginning
Vaillancourt Folk Art, owned by Gary and Judi Vaillancourt, manufactures highly-detailed, hand-painted chalkware collectibles. The company was one of the first exhibitors to move to the 20th floor where artist-driven companies are highlighted. Gary Vaillancourt says the move has been very profitable for their business. “Right now, [the 20th floor] is probably the place to go in the show,” he says. “We see every major department store and every major catalog.”

Vaillancourt-AmericasMart AtlantaIn the beginning, however, it took creativity to develop foot traffic in the new center. The Vaillancourts relied on appointments with large buyers, but worked diligently with fellow exhibitors to build business with smaller buyers. “We would do different things,” Gary Vaillancourt says. “We would have scavenger hunts and Halloween parties and Easter egg hunts.” He even admitted to having photos of himself dancing a tango with Bethany Lowe, another early exhibitor in the product center.

Bethany Lowe, artist and creative director at Bethany Lowe Designs, remembers those early days well. Her company specializes in one-of-a-kind, collectible Christmas figurines and ornaments, as well as products for other holidays and family celebrations. She still designs and hand-finishes her high-end products, while her daughter Erin Glennon serves as CEO.

Lowe says she sent three Santa figurines to her first Atlanta Market more than 25 years ago. “I sold out my production for the year with one show,” she says. “After that, I was hooked on Atlanta.”

When the product center opened in the mid-1990s, it didn’t take long for Bethany Lowe Designs to move in. “We jumped on board on the 20th floor in the second year, and we’re really happy we did,” Lowe says. “It was appealing to me that the Mart was willing to offer dedicated showrooms to a select group of artists.”

All About the Relationships
Bethany Lowe - AmericasMart AtlantaBoth Bethany Lowe and Gary Vaillancourt credit the close-knit community of exhibitors with helping them maintain a competitive edge. Glennon echoes those sentiments. “We’ve been in a prime location for going on 20 years,” Glennon says. “People know where we are, and we’re absolutely a destination. That recognition is based, in part, on the relationships we’ve built in that building—from fellow exhibitors to the AmericasMart staff.”

Stephanie Voss, director of marketing for K&K Interiors, says her company also found a home in Holiday & Floral/Home Décor because K&K had an emphasis on the Holiday product category. Since first exhibiting on floors 19 and 20, K&K has experienced sales growth each year, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. “The shows represent a reunion of sorts for us because many of our customers are like family since they have been doing business with us for so long,” Voss says. “The ambiance is always upbeat with music, the smell of baked cookies, laughter and plenty of hugs.”

Kurt S. Adler is also celebrating an anniversary this year – the company’s 70th. Founded just after the end of World War II by Kurt Adler, the company is guided today by his children – Howard, Clifford and Karen. As the decades passed, the company has modified its product line from European traditions such as Black Forest Christmas Trees to blown glass ornaments, bubble-blowers and limited edition ornaments. With a nod to the past, its collection of Hollywood Nutcrackers has been popular for the past decade, and animatronics, fiber optic trees and interactive advent calendars carry it into the future.

Always Evolving and Growing
Julie H. Fry, CEO of Select Artificials, has had a decades-long association with AmericasMart, but only moved to Building 1 in late 2014 with a grand opening in the new space in January 2015. With the expanded showroom, Fry says Select Artificials continues to welcome both long-standing and new clients. “It is a great way for old friends, I mean customers, to see our product in a different venue,” she says. “It reinforces relationships.”

Building 1, Floor 20 - AmericasMart AtlantaAnother relatively new exhibitor in Holiday & Floral/Home Décor is Kaemingk, an international company focused on seasonal products from Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter to summer gardens. Mark Hooper, USA sales manager for Kaemingk, says the company’s experience has been so positive, it’s making an investment in its showroom this year. “We see Atlanta as one of the strongest markets in the U.S. and Building 1 the best place for our type of products,” he says. “We’re expanding our showroom for the 2017 January Market,” he says, “doubling our space from 7,000 to 14,000 sq. ft.”

As Holiday & Floral/Home Décor moves into its third decade, exhibitors are excited about the future. They expect their products to stay rooted in Christmas with continued expansion into Halloween, Easter, spring, Valentine’s Day and family traditions. They also have great plans to introduce their products to new buyers.

Join the exhibitors on Friday, January 13, from 4 – 7 p.m. as they celebrate 20 years of Holiday & Floral on Floor 20 and visit all the Holiday & Floral/Home Décor showrooms in Building 1, Floors 16-20 during January Market. And, keep in mind many exhibitors are Open Year Round between Markets as well.

Images courtesy of Bethany Lowe and Vaillancourt Folk Art.

Happy Thanksgiving

AmericasMart Atlanta

Top image: Juliska 1. Jan Barboglio 2. Creative Co-Op, Inc. 3. IMAX Corporation 4. DEMDACO 5. K & K Interiors, Inc. 6. Midwest-CBK 7. Blue Pheasant 8. Moser Crystal 9. DCI – Designs Combined, Inc. 10. Melrose International, LLC 11. Juliska  12. Global Views 13. Bunakara 14. Loloi, Inc. 15. RAZ Imports, Inc. 16. Sea Stones 17. Bloomingville 18. Sertodo Copper 19. Creative Co-Op, Inc. 20. Michael Aram

Shop Holiday & Floral/Home Décor, plus an array of Gift products, during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® January 10 – 17, 2017, and select showrooms open year-round.

The Top 10 Most Anticipated Trends for 2016 National Prom Market

Style expert Carson Kressley might not have attended his prom, but he sure does know a thing or two about what we can expect to see on dance floors and pageant stages this upcoming spring. The charming TV personality was the resident tastemaker at the 2015 WORLD OF PROM Market at AmericasMart Atlanta.

Carson scoured the Market in search of the best new looks and hottest trends for prom, pageant, quinceañera, homecoming and social occasion in 2016.

Bring a bit of Carson’s je ne sais quoi back to your store with these style suggestions inspired by the style expert’s favorite items from the 2015 national prom Market:

Feathers

Feathers

Fashionistas of a feather flock together. Feather details add a delicate whimsy and tons of movement to gowns. Look for them in a variety of colors on the skirts of both long and short styles.

Geometric Patterns

geometric patterns (6)

The WORLD OF PROM runway looked like the world’s most chic math class with geometric prints appearing throughout the show. Whether as an accent piece or the dominant design of the dress, these bold prints solve the equation for a memorable prom gown.

Florals

florals (3)

While a floral frock may be a mainstay for spring fashion collections, the look is a fresh for social occasion. The floral representations are as diverse as the blooms they portray ranging from printed fabrics, to appliques and beading.

Metallics

metallics (3)

No spotlights are needed with these shiny and shimmery dresses. New shades such as rose gold, pewter and platinum join classic sparklers gold and silver. Bold ladies go head-to-toe shine while others use it as a show-stopping detail.

Fringe

fringe (2)

The ready-to-wear fringe trend has made it to social occasion. When this dance-floor-friendly element is paired with posh fabrics and the right accessories, there is no doubt the look is just right for a special evening.

White

white, crop top

The wedding day is not the only opportunity for a show-stopping white gown. Youthful silhouettes, fun embellishments and party-ready accessories confirm that the wearer is going to the dance rather than going to the chapel.

Crop Tops

crop top, pastels

The crop top has been on trend for a while now and continues strong for 2016. Designers are updating the look with a crop top/cut outs hybrid that still shows some skin, but keeps the dress as one continuous piece.

1970s Glam

70s glam

Disco fever abounds with 1970s-inspired looks. Dancing queens make a statement with cut-outs, sparkles and party-ready pants-suits. Make sure the styling is modern to keep the look classy instead of costume.

Lace

new lace

Ladies are turning to geometric patterns in lieu of the traditional floral lace that has dominated the social occasion run way for the past few seasons. Blooms are used in a color-on-color technique that adds an interesting texture to gowns of all styles.

Pastels

Pastels, lace

These sweet and feminine shades take it up a notch with head-turning elements. Crop tops, embellishments and even head-to-toe sequins in these heavenly hues yield modern looks that are perfect for spring celebrations.

The WORLD OF PROM market will take place from August 4-8.

Fall in Atlanta

AmericasMart re-envisions September Experience

Fall signals prime time for refreshing homes before the holidays and for selecting the perfect gifts for friends and family. Retailers can jump-start the holiday season by filling last-minute inventory, while designers can source all the elements for clients’ seasonal projects. It all depends on having the right products in place at the right time. That means shopping Atlanta in the fall.

AmericasMart’s Fall Home, Gift and Gourmet Market is evolving into an all-new buying experience scheduled for September 2016. The new Fall Design Week featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift offers more services and newly imagined events, all timed within the business week for the greater convenience of retailers and designers.

Fall Design WeekThe re-envisioned concept celebrates and showcases AmericasMart’s design-driven Open Year Round showrooms. The showrooms – located throughout Buildings 1 and 2 – represent leading lines in case goods and upholstery, accessories, casual furnishings, lighting, area rugs, gift, gourmet, housewares, tabletop, outdoor living, holiday, floral and more.

“AmericasMart’s Open-Year-Round showrooms provide design and retail inspiration throughout the year,” says Dave Savula, executive vice president of Leasing. “The new Fall Design Week lets us showcase these lines to retailers and designers in a more relaxed environment while offering some additional amenities and opportunities to network.”

AmericasMart’s continued growth in designer attendance is also a factor in the Market redesign. “Our Market center has more design-driven resources than ever before,” Savula says. “The new September event lets us showcase those resources like never before with a buying and educational opportunity that serves designers when it is best for their business.”

AWH_PHOTO-0338Designer-focused programming will include taste-maker presentations, continuing education courses, industry networking opportunities and celebrations. It is set to be the must-attend event for the Atlanta, Georgia and Southeastern design communities.

The popular Atlanta Gourmet exhibitors will be showcased in a series of targeted events designed to spotlight the flourishing local food and restaurant scene and the resurgence of the category with gift retailers, especially for the holiday season.

AmericasMart’s Fall Design Week featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift takes place Monday, September 19 through Friday, September 23, 2016. For more information, visit www.AmericasMart.com/September.

More Father’s Day Spending Predicted

By Christina O’Flaherty

Reservations to favorite dinner spots like JP Atlanta are filling up and the wrapping paper is at the ready: this year, dads are getting more expensive gifts than ever before.

The National Retail Federation’s annual Father’s Day survey predicts Americans will spend a collective $14.3 billion—that’s an average of $126 per gift giver. While not as high as Mother’s Day ($21.4 billion), it’s $5.3 billion more than consumers spent on dad just ten years ago in 2006.

“Our own data and analysis suggest that, while Father’s Day still brings in less revenue than Mother’s Day, it’s gaining traction with consumers,” says Ivy Shtereva, director of marketing at Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

So what’s big on the list for Father’s Day this year? (NRF)
Greeting Cards: 64.5%
Special Outing: 47%
Clothing: 43%
Gift Cards/Certificates: 41%
Books or CDs: 23%
Electronics/Computer Related Accessories: 20%
Personal Care: 18%
Sporting/Leisure Items: 16%
Tools or Appliances: 16%
Home Improvement/Gardening: 15.5%
Automotive Accessories: 15%
Other: 17%

Check out some of the latest trends for dads from AmericasMart’s own floors below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Under the Sea

Ocean motifs abound in the tabletop and gift showrooms at the September 2012 Atlanta Fall Gift & Home Furnishings Market℠.

Monkey Business

As the July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market comes to a close we’re in the mood to have a little fun. Thankfully, we’ve found plenty of friends to monkey around with throughout the Market.