Last Sunday I went down to Chicago to the gift show at the Merchandise Mart. Interestingly enough, while it continues to shrink in size, I found more interesting new vendors there than I did at Atlanta last winter, despite being in about ten times the space (and that might be an underestimate). Perhaps I was just overwhelmed, or it might have been that an awful lot of vendors reminded me of Suzanne Sugarbaker*; I didn't expect it to be quite so regional.
That said, the vendors I did find in Atlanta have turned out to be quite a hit. We've just gotten in our second shipment of leather keychains from Sunflower. In addition to the turtle, which seemingly sold out in hours, there is now a new variety of dog, a cat, a googly-eyed owl, and a guitar. Alas, they were out of stock on the matching piano. The guitar is $7.95, as will be the piano when it eventually shows up; the rest are $6.95.
We've only gotten in one order from the Chicago show, but I'm quite fond of them. Now I just have to get them in the right place and explain what they are. Well, I know what they are--they are felt pen and pencil toppers from Fair Trade artisans in Nepal. It's just that they need signage, and Anne noted that they look better when they actually have a pen or pencil inside. We'll work on that--I have to get it right because I'm excited to bring in her flower designs next spring.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Greg and I are in the process of receiving a big holiday greeting card order Pomegranate. They allowed us to order everyday giftwrap on the same terms, so now we're back to a great assortment of wrap. We were down to just a few designs for the past couple of months. This year we spotted some nice gift enclosure cards. There are periodic requests for these, and they are not specifically holiday themed. A box of 36 cards with designs from Edward Gorey, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charley Harper or Georgia O'Keeffe runs $14.95.
*Delta Burke's character on Designing Women, the 1980s sitcom. Do you think folks from Atlanta would describe the Chicago show as a bit too Balki Bartokomous for their taste?
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