Sunday, February 06, 2005

Working on the Weekend

Now typically I would hate working during what would normally be my precious free time, but I absolutely LOVE working at the International gift fair. I work at the trade show with my company and I get to see other great manufacturers who make wonderful gifts and homewares. Over time I've gotten to know some truly interesting creative people in this crazy wholesale industry and it's a pleasure to see them face to face. It's also great to meet my customers who I usually deal with exclusively on the phone. It's like a big social party where I get to see my company's product in the flesh and sell it to people who like it.

Walking around the booths, people are selling all sorts of things, lush woven fabrics, candles, soaps, vases and tableware, not to mention entire home decorating lines. It's so inspiring because one day I want to open my own store and checking out all of these things gives me an idea of what I actually want to sell. If I had my own company I would definately sell Moksha's Fine Wovens, beautiful textiles made into shawls, pillows, and jackets. Alex Marshall's Ceramics used to be based near my office and I'd always wander over during their sample sales. They make fabulous table ware, very organic and modern in a variety of pleasant colors and shapes, my favorite being their teal square place settings. Their line is so great because you can buy whatever pieces you need to complement settings you already have. Also check out their marvelous lamps, which I am sure will one day be collectable. My other favorite is Botanicus, the candle and soap company with light and intoxicating scents. They're the original fragrant candle company, having been in business since the '70's. I keep their green-tea travel candles in my bathroom and used their champagne candles on my honeymoon. Absolutely beautifully packaged, many of the vessels they use can be reused as gift boxes or vases onces the candle has burned down. You don't even need to burn the candle, they're so fragrant that they perfume the air on their own, but subtle enough not to overwhelm.

I also met the people behind Deadly Squire, a new line of textiles that bring to mind the 70's, but in a tastefully modern way. They make all sorts of handbags and housewares (even doggy beds and oven mits). The fabrics have a natural lean, featuring mod patterns of flowers and leaves in a 70's color scheme. The nicest people, making the neatest stuff.

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