Thursday, January 23, 2014

Market finds are rolling in at Pomegranate!

Just got back from market a week ago, and already so many new things are showing up at our door! It's kind of like a second Christmas (without the music). So exciting to see what's in all those boxes. And, we've had a little time to go through some of our vintage purchases that have been sitting around, waiting for a little polish or attention. Now that the crazy busy season is behind us, we've been able to pull some of those goodies and put them in the shop. More is coming, every day. Some of our Valentine's day treats are out, we have great guy things for you (hello Father's Day!), and there's new jewelry, soaps, totes, baskets... and so much more. Stay tuned for more pictures. Meanwhile, here are some shots (in no particular order) of some of our new items.

French chunky beaded bracelets

Slip-on bracelets made of piano wire (it's actually very soft)

Ah! My new favorites: leather O keychains that slip over your wrist

Lots of new books (cookbooks and otherwise)

For us graphics geeks...

We want to Go Slow Italy!

Two little beauties: hotel silver teapots

Perhaps the nicest hotel chocolate pot ever!

Sweet hotel silver piece

Beautiful baskets in all sizes

New lamps! Very reasonably priced.

Lamps, cotton throws or runners. And Nate. Love his book.

Hotel silver teapot with bagpiper icon.

Totes made of vintage canvas. Lined, with inner pocket.

So cool. Postes France tote carries just about everything.

Lots of new tea towels (and many more coming!)

Another new favorite: Swedish dishcloths (for dishes, counters...)

Obsessed with the Swedish dishcloths! (And they go in the washing machine)

Fabulous flavored salts (french picnic, rosemary, and truffle)

Heart paperweights and Swedish heart garlands.

Argan handcream and oil – so needed around here!

Luxe soap, perfume (ahhh!), and body soufflé (perfect Valentine's gift)

New liquid Savon de Marseilles hand soaps. Yummy.

Several new scents in our wonderful "rinse" lotion skin sticks.

3-tier wire basket for kitchen, bath, office, garden...

Great wall baskets with hooks.

New tiered stands for fruit, towels, toys...

Swedish heart luminaries (part of a new series).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back from market – still dazed and confused

Colums at the entry to one of the Atlanta Mart buildings

After two nights of good sleep in our own delightful bed, I am finally shaking off the "otherworldliness" of intense travel and work. Yep, just got back from market in Atlanta, and feeling a bit confused. What time is it?

I love to go to market – don't get me wrong – but it's one packed-in week of walking, schlepping, thinking, and decision-making... bookended by two days of semi-brutal travel. Redmond at 6:20am to Salt Lake City. Salt Lake to Washington, D.C. Then on to Atlanta. I eat a little "dinner" (the only thing I can find: a dry, squashy white bread sandwich from the sort-of-deli downstairs at my hotel), and fall into bed. I know I need to wake up at 7am the next morning which (don't even think about it!) is going to feel like 4am. Again.

Market in Atlanta is three big city blocks (as in Manhattan blocks), each with a 20-story building containing every possible product known to mankind. You don't (and cannot) visit every floor, but there's enough stuff, enough people, enough noise to set your nerves on high alert. You do not go to this market if you have issues with crowds, heights, closed-in spaces, or lots of noise. The elevators are packed; the showrooms are packed; the café areas are packed; the streets are packed; the shuttle buses are packed; the hotels and restaurants are packed. But over the years you learn. In the morning, take the freight elevator to the highest floor you want to go to, then take escalators (or stairs) down bit by bit as you cover the floors. Buy a sandwich at Starbucks in the a.m. and drag it around until hungry hits you... because the only open café might be four floors away and on the diagonal from where you are (and possibly not reachable via the closest escalators). Meaning you might never find your way back. Take up any offers of water (or food) from showrooms, because you might not find it again for awhile ($3 bottled water at the food vendors!). Don't drink margaritas that come foaming out of machines. Watch out for the rollie carts (not really allowed but at least half the 25,000 attendees have them): people tend to suddenly stop in the middle of a path, and you could easily go teakettling right over one of them.

Oh, and biggest market tip: don't wear a big coat – even if it's freezing outside – because you'll be in the coat check line twice a day with about 2,000 people in front of you. Probably more than that. The line (at least five across) snakes down the hall and around the corner... and around the next corner.

Enough of the tips. I only give them out because I think I'm so clever in avoiding some of the most frustrating parts of market. Not all.

Aside from shopping and finding new things for the store (yes!), there are some fun and entertaining aspects of market, too. You hear a lot of "y'all," which I find very comforting and sweet (even though I'm not from the south). My shuttle bus driver's name was Peewee (and what a great guy). There's a crazy marching band that goes around each building every day entertaining people. Average age: about 70. Common uniform bits: layered tutus, colorful, stripey tights, beanies, banana hats. In the gourmet foods section, people practically throw chocolates at you. And I cracked up at the giant signs co-marketing Riedel glassware with Coca-Cola. Yep, that's how we roll in Atlanta.

Oh, and then there was this:

Here we have the designer of one of the lines I was looking at, with his pet chicken Dolly (on the right), and faux chicken Dolly (for sale in case packs of 4) on the left. Real Dolly was the sweetest little thing! I don't think I've ever petted a chicken before, but she's very pettable and domestic. She lives in a canvas basket most of the time, travels in airplanes with her dad, walks around kind of comically, and loves to be held and cuddled. I wonder if we could have a shop chicken, as well as a shop dog? Jilly might love a little pal!

And you couldn't miss The Poo Girl (you seen this youtube video, no?). She was making personal appearances, her poster was plastered in every single stall of every single restroom (well, I didn't check the guy's side), and you could have your picture taken in one of those cutouts where you stick your head through but the rest of you is the glorious Brit girl. {By the way, we carry Poo Pourri: good stuff.}

I would have loved to take more pictures, but you're not supposed to, unless you a) ask, and b) are buying the things you're photographing. Fine and well, but I wanted to take pictures of the craziest stuff I could find, the examples of products that elicit only one word: "WHY?" I don't mean to be snarky or make fun of people's ideas (someone buys this stuff, otherwise it wouldn't be at market after market), but I just don't get some of it. Like the garden gnome company that offered every possible style of gnome, including Dude and Chick Harley gnomes, about two feet tall, outfitted in black leather and tattoos, riding little resin Harleys, ready to grace someone's garden. Yeah, some of the garden vendors had the kitschiest, goofiest products of all. And I wonder again – why? The garden is the most natural, organic part of your home. Why funk it up with Harley Gnomes? I'm not against a couple of whimsical birdhouses, or the occasional Buddha or St. Francis tucked in beside a tree, but some of it just goes too far. I didn't buy any of that stuff.

But I bought a lot of other things! Some very exciting things! Lots of great garden items, tons of beautiful Christmas décor for holidays 2014, linens, serving pieces, glassware, baby goodies, lotions and soaps, jewelry, totes and handbags, candles, books, snow globes, salts, easter treats, baskets, artwork, cards and paper, guy gifts (good ones!), and so, so much more (all for another post). It's going to start rolling in here pretty soon. Good thing, because we are pretty wiped out after the holidays...