Monday, January 26, 2009

Home at Last!

Had a great show, traveled with wonderful people, but I am glad to be home! The Seattle Market was very different from last year. As you would expect there were fewer people attending this year. The halls were definitely less crowded. The other shop owners that I spoke with were optimistic about the new year and their shops, but everyone was cautious.
I ended up hauling 117 catalogs home! Only two vendors offered CD's. That has got to change.
Now I start the process of sorting it all out. I have a large story board in my home office that I organize the Christmas Season for the shop. This is a portion of last year-time to take it all down and start over. The good thing is that last season is fresh in my mind, what worked and what didn't. The bad thing is that it's only January and a lot can change between now and next Christmas. I would love to hear from you about things in the shop that you loved and the things you didn't love about Christmas 08. Stop by some time and share your thoughts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Good, The Bad & the Ugly!

The Good thing about Market is not what you might think. The merchandise is wonderful and inspiring, and the displays are beautiful and fun. But the thing I enjoy the most is the energy. Hundreds of women excited about their shops, and brimming with ideas. You can feel a little isolated when you own your own shop. You don't get out as much as you like, there is never enough time. At market everyone you meet is facing the same challenges that you are, and right now there are plenty of them. A great place to share ideas and problems! And these gals are just fun!
The bad thing about Market might not be what you think either. There is sooo much! You really have to filter. Believe me, I have absolutely no problem sorting out what I don't like! That I have at a glance. But when you find something you really love the work starts. Is the price right, will it fit the theme of the shop, the season, the display it needs to fit into. I have walked by the same lamp display no less that 4 times trying to convince myself that $250.00 lamps (they are awesome!) will sell in this economy, when I know they won't! When you love it, the price is right and no one else in town is carrying it, you feel like you won the lottery!

The Ugly is exactlly what you think! And believe me there is plenty of it as well!

But I don't want to leave you with the impression that Market is all work and no play-this is me at the end of Market on Friday night. Jimmy Buffett playing is the background, a Sea Breeze in my hand, having just wolfed down a delectable beef tenderloin sandwich and two marinated shrimp kaboobs. (This was before we left for dinner!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seattle-day 2

Day two starts the same way day one ended, with me on my motel room bed, diet Pepsi in hand pouring over catalogs.
After a quick breakfast of rubber eggs in the motel dining room and we are back at the showrooms. One great thing about market is that you meet up with your reps. And if you are very lucky like I have been many of your reps have become good friends. It is very hard to describe how essential you reps can be to your business but believe me they are very important!

A few of the things I am loving at this market!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pacific Market Center-Seattle

We arrived at the Pacific Market Center at about 1pm, ready to shop the 5 floors and over 100 showrooms housed here. Preregistration is recommended, ID is checked and off we go!
Christmas is fairly complicated to pull together and is always on my mind as a top priority to get taken care of so I almost always start here. There is a lot to sift through.

Some very interesting displays, although they don't always work for me I can always get a few ideas!

There are more than a few collections that will never hit the floor at Olivia's! You can thank me later!

And before we head back to the motel to go through the 57 catalogs that we gathered in one afternoon (yes 57! and this was a short day!) We do what all super shoppers do-we go to Olive Garden with our BFF's

And fill up on pasta!

Much more tomorrow! Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Olivia goes to market!

Olivia's will be closed
Wednesday, January 21st thru Monday, January 26th
as we head to Market!

Our version of power shopping! 5 days at market and we're taking you along! Check back each day for updates and photos (taking pictures at market is strictly forbidden so be ready with bail money!) One of the top three questions since I opened the shop is "Where do you get your merchandise?" I'll try to show you the process and some of the new trends that we'll see. Believe me it isn't all pretty!

Bring in the New year!

I'm not going to say, "Can you believe it's already January!" But you know what I'm thinking! 2008 has been a bit of a blur for us; conceiving the shop, shopping for merchandise (three trips to market!) setting up and opening in 10 months time, keeping up with family and friends, making so many new friends. It has been a wonderful year, I hope for you as well. 2009 will bring many new challenges, but that's OK, we thrive on challenges right? Wishing you and the ones you hold dear, a safe, happy, prosperous new year!