Oh, my little chickens! I feel revived. I feel inspired. I feel like my head is about to explode with all the ideas. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. This little piggy went to market. More specifically, America’s Mart in Atlanta. It’s an industry trade show that I’ve been attending just about every year since the late-90’s. This particular show, The International Gift and Home Furnishings Show, is a mecca of all things new and amazing. In addition to the the gift and home goodies, lots of showrooms in the apparel mart are open too! Um, SCORE! Please say hello to wholesale priced jewelry and clothes.
I don’t even know where to start. I didn’t even think I was going to go. I definitely couldn’t afford to drive down there and stay in a hotel for a few days. It’s just not in the budget, regardless of how cheap of a hotel I stayed in! However, I checked in with a designer friend of mine, Belinda Miley (you may remember her from the awesome contest we had here) and she graciously extended space in her hotel room for me to bunk with her. I decided at the last minute to head south and see what kind of trouble I could get myself into.
Trouble indeed! All kinds of fabulous and fun trouble! First of all, it was simply good for my soul to be amongst my peers again. I ran into a handful of co-workers from my old job. It was incredible to see them and catch up on what they were doing, plus hear all the super-duper-juicy trade gossip! I swear, stories move faster at market then they did through my sorority house!
I had drinks and dinner with my old boss from FTD, who along with Belinda are total non-commenting lurkers on this site (hello, ladies!). I had a small world experience meeting the owner of a Nashville store and event rental company called Fabu, while I was talking shop with a small furniture company. I ran into an overseas vendor who made me feel missed and appreciated. I saw incredible, quirky, unique and simply fabulous designs that delighted and inspired me. I talked shop with Belinda and we walked some of the show together, ooohing and aaaaahing over cool trends and designs and channeling Rachel Zoe on several occasions with the exclamation of, “It’s BANANAS!” I met a designer who made fabulous goodies for her daughter’s recent wedding. I met a woman in a super-cool showroom (photos to follow this week!) who owns Watermelon Moon Farm outside of Nashville who was recently featured here on Once Wed.
Crazy, right? I’m so glad I went. The inspiration alone was worth the four hour drive!
I’ll be sharing as much of the stuff as I can – I took over 300 pictures! Ack! So to start, I’ll just share a few of the miscellaneous stuffs I ran across that totally made me think of you guys.
Pictures per moi.
I may be totally behind the times here, but did you know that Chivari chairs come in Lucite? Someone had these in their showroom, not for sale, but just as something to sit on. I thought my brain was going to explode. Look at how BEAUTIFUL they can be!
Of course, the fact that they are Lucite makes ZERO difference in the cost of renting/buying. Still, could be worth the gorgeousness if you’re all about Lucite and/or Chivari!
Along this same vein, I saw what I thought was a brilliant idea. Table and chair covers. I bet y’all are thinking I’ve lost my lid and that my brains are left somewhere along I-85 between Atlanta and Charlotte. So. Not. True. I thought these suckers were cool and clever and could really be a part of some kick ass décor, particularly if your venue has nasty-ass banquet tables and/or those gross gold and burgundy hotel banquet chairs (God, I’m gagging just at the thought of them). Check these out:
Pictures per moi.
I didn’t want to tote around my heavy-ass 17-85mm lens so took the lighter 50mm that wouldn’t allow me to take wide angle shots. You’ll be getting lots of close-ups!
And here are the full pics from the company that sells these, Under Stella’s Umbrella.
The showroom had these decorated with lots of tall pewter candelabras and napkins rings, off-white linen and white hydrangeas. It was accented with colors of sage green. This was definitely one of the “BANANAS!” moments. Quirky, cool, different and got a big ol’ “hell to the yeah,” Thirty-Something Bride style. Since you'll not want to buy these, check with your planner or event rental place and fill them in on these suckers.
And last little tid-bit I saw were these disposable birch wood cutlery sets.
Pictures per moi.
And how cute would these be with those table and chair covers above? Totally, that’s how. While disposable, I couldn’t find any literature on whether or not they were green/sustainable, so all you mega-green brides might need to dig a little deeper for that info. These are from a company called Seletti. You can buy them from their website here, but they are are um, totally not cheap. At all. The wholesale trade price is $3.20. If you want these, get your planner or anyone with a tax resale ID to buy them for you at cost. Minimum buy quantity is 36 sets.
So that’s it for today, kiddies! I’m so jacked on coffee right now that I think I might go run around the block a few times. I’ve got inspiration for TruLu Couture oozing out of my pores, so need to channel that while it’s hot. What do you think of these little gems I found? Do tell.
*This is not a sponsored post. These are just things and places I think are cool.