Ohhh la la…we are finally coming up for air after shopping till we drop for Huff Harrington Home. Last week was the Atlanta spring show for tabletop, linens, accessories, furniture – and just about anything else you can think of. We’re lucky that one of the country’s biggest and best merchandise markets is literally in our back yard. All we have to do is hop in the car and drive a mile or two to downtown Atlanta where the Atlanta Mart resides. It’s actually three buildings worth of endless showrooms and temporary booths…and honestly, if you can’t find it in Atlanta, we’re not sure it really exists.
We love shopping together and we plan it like little Napoleons preparing for battle. We plan strategy sessions and review lots of spread sheets brimming with sales numbers and forecasts. We plot our routes with tactical precision – and yes, we have budgets. (Of course, the budgets often fly out the window when we pounce on those “a-ha” items that have us jumping up and down. But we figure it’s better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission from our nice, but strict, accountant.)
We don our most comfy shoes and brave the endless corridors of showrooms and vendors. We get to see lots of friendly and helpful vendors and many of our retail comrades as we patrol the halls and aisles. Everyone has a job: Alva and Allison are the tabletop and seasonal queens. Barbara knows all kinds of little spots full of treasures that we probably would miss if not for her. Our Designing Divas, Sam and Colleen, usually go for the most drop-dead pieces that they can fantasize about for their lucky clients. And Babs and Emily keep our phones buzzing with helpful hints about potential lines they’ve seen and have decided we can’t live without.
Along the way we fall in and out of love at every corner:
And these jewels, too…
We’ve got our routine down. We know which building we like to start with and which floors have what. And as the days get long and we get tired (and believe us, the days are long and we do get tired) we remember which showrooms offer what. “Let’s do the book order.” “Okay, goody. They’ve got coffee and those good chocolates and I could use a little something.” It’s amazing how a little sustenance can lift our energy and get us through writing yet another order. Are we embarrassed to admit that sometimes we’ll save a special order till the end of the day…and a much appreciated little glass of wine? Nah. It’s just good shopping strategy. (And speaking of a little liquid refreshment: our favorite show in the world is Maison et Objet in Paris where, beginning at about 11 a.m., all you hear are champagne corks popping. Now that’s a good shopping incentive! We’re headed there next so we’ll keep you posted…)
Half the time, we’re convinced we’re secretly being filmed for a reality show. After eight years of being in business together, we can pretty much say what’s on our mind so the conversations often go like this:
Ann: “Oh I love this. Don’t you love this? I think it plays a perfect part in the Spring collection we’re planning.”
Meg: “No. I actually love this over here “(pointing to something that’s completely different than what Ann’s looking at.)
Meg: “I love this. You?”
Ann: “Are you serious? I don’t think so!”
It goes on and on but the days are filled with oodles of inspiration, lots of note- and picture-taking and a little silliness (usually at the end of the day). Sometimes we get so excited about a product we insist our Huffingtons hommes sample them too. So when we found this really cool eye-mask/neck roll that keeps your head from lolling around in the airplane seat, we couldn’t resist:
In the end, we usually feel pretty fabulous about what’s headed our way. But more than that we’ve learned that seven days at the Mart perfects our partnership. It’s all about the give and take, the yin and the yang and the compromise.
So what took our fancy? As always, trends are blooming, blossoming and budding in front of us. We’ve had a blast keeping our eyes open for the unique and different things that we’re seeing including this down and dirty list of heavenly tidbits that have us excited for Spring:
All things French dogs: we’ve always loved bulldogs and pugs but even more so since our gallery manager Linda adopted sweet Cosette. Now we can’t get enough of these funny little characters:
And this trend’s inspiration:
All things organic: This trend was all over the place and we love it (especially when it’s paired with something elegant and polished.)
All things sparkly and shiny: we have always loved a little shot of metallic glimmer and gleam and saw lots of it:
All things furry and fuzzy: Mongolian lamb’s wool feels light and springy when it’s in white and gold.
(We actually jumped on this little trend in fall and just got another shipment in store)
We’re now buried up to our eyeballs going through orders and making our final selections – which will begin arriving pronto at HHH. We can’t wait to start filling the store with our finds.
Meanwhile, back at Huff Harrington Fine Art, it’s all about new paintings. We’re excited about a show we’re opening at the gallery this coming Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s our annual “A Grand Affair” and all the featured paintings are $1,000.00. It’s a great opportunity to add to your existing collection…or if you’re just getting started with your lifelong obsession with art, it’s a wonderful chance to buy a wonderful “starter” piece. Most of our gallery artists paint specifically for this show and as usual, we’re all drooling over the work that’s coming in.
Phew. There’s a lot going on and it is all good!