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?
Hello. This is my blog for the Boswell Book Company, located on the East Side of Milwaukee at 2559 N. Downer Avenue at Webster Place, Milwaukee WI 53211.
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Our Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 AM-9 PM.
Sunday hours, 10 AM-6 PM