I was in Atlanta for just one night and day but was oh so busy! This
show is not as well attended as the January one which is both positive
and negative. The positive side is that manufacturers have more time to
spend with designers and reps. The negative side is …well…it just
doesn’t seem busy. The first picture below shows the totally empty
halls of Building 2 WW. This was Friday morning. The second one is the escalator in Bldg.2 at the end of the day. Now, to be sure, the halls were busier than this most places and times, but this was an indication of attendance.


The actual,
physical Mart is forever changing and expanding and I am forever
getting “lost” (not to mention going up and down those escalators
endless….. times!). But, the signs are very good and all over the place, like this one as you come up to the 2nd Floor of Bldg. 2.
This is really my favorite market to “shop”; I definitely like
the showroom layout, as opposed to the long, long aisles of Javits.They’ve even added a food mall on the 10th floor; I had a very good chicken crepe with raspberry sauce! Not something you are likely to find at Javits…..not to mention, there was no line at all!

On to the showrooms and what I saw: COLOR! lots of color. Happy, optimistic, forward looking color. Here are some wonderful brights:
love love love these lamps! (from AHS Lighting)
These are the brand new pillow line from HomeComfort Rugs. In addition to their wonderful rug line, they are introducing these 16″ square pillows, indoor/outdoor, and many of them are my designs! Very fun indeed. This company is doing very well, sales are up, and they expect these pillows to be well received (they will be presenting the full line in January).
Then there was the black and white: in many different product categories. Here I wasn’t able to take actual pictures (this is strictly forbidden in the Mart: I had to get specific permission for the above photos.) So here are some images from trade publications at the show:
Black & WHite 1
Rugs 1
Note the animal skin themes throughout these: this was very much in evidence and in ALL product categories. Could be the black/brown and white, but could also be pink and white (as in children’s products).
Black & White 2 And here, back to the full color story:
Brights 1
Flowers: these seem to have really come back in a big way. All kinds. Serious, botanicals to fun flowery brights.
Girlfriend category: BIG . No, not just “girlfriend”, but a sort of “inspirational” look. Lots of sayings. Cute, whimisical. Not religious, but yes,inspirational. Evergreen/Cyprus has a new collection “Let’s Talk About Me” showing girlfriends on ceramic accessories with polka dot borders and cute sayings. They also have the new “Enjoy Life” collection of fun flowers. The new DesignDesign showroom was busy and colorful, with Christmas out front. Mud Pie also was busy and subscribes to the COLOR theory!
I had meetings with customers I already know, but the surprising thing was how many meetings I was able to have totally unscheduled, with totally new people. They weren’t too busy, so had time to talk. At one company I have seen for maybe two years, I was able to show them artwork and we have a scheduled meeting in their office to begin work… Another company for whom I felt one of my artists work would be prefect, ended up really wanting a collection from another artist I almost didn’t present to them! You just never know what will appeal to someone….much as I prepare and do advance market research!