Yep, it’s that time again. The Atlanta Gift Show is going on, and I’m not there.
It happens twice a year, January and July. It’s the only time of the year I get REALLY sad that I don’t have my store anymore.
Oh, I guess I should explain what the Gift Show is for those of you who don’t know…It’s the biggest industry trade show in the country. Vendors from all over the world come to show their wares and take orders for merchandise from retailers. It was a twice a year part of my life for almost twenty years. I remember the first time like it was yesterday.
The memories are all happy ones. Doing the buying for the store was one of my very favorite parts. The show is huge – maybe not quite so big now as it used to be, but still big – and it took nearly a week to shop the whole thing. I rarely went by myself. At least one of my “girls” went with me and we made it a party. Lots of work, but lots of good times, too. I never worked harder in my life than I did those weeks. It was exhausting, but in a completely wonderful way. I came home feeling like I had been plugged into an electrical outlet – totally recharged and rarin’ to go.
Being able to see the newest trends and how they were interpreted by many different vendors was amazing. Going through all the showrooms and deciding which products to buy, how to coordinate interesting displays with lots of different, but complementary merchandise was challenging (it was SOOOOOOO hard to stay within my budget!) but oh, so rewarding!
It’s been well over six years since I’ve been to the show. You’d think I’d be over it by now, but I’m not. I miss it so much. I still get a little depressed each time it rolls around, but it IS getting a little easier. Instead of thinking about what I’m missing, I’m getting better at just thinking about how lucky I am that I got to experience it.
One of these days I’m going to dig out some pictures of the store. You might enjoy seeing where I came from! I know I would enjoy sharing them with you.