BLOG June 22
Dallas Market Trip
My husband Paul and I returned yesterday from a trip to the Dallas World Trade Center for me to get some inspiration and to do some shopping for clients. Although I am much closer to the Atlanta market now that I live in Nashville and Chicago is a very easy flight, I prefer Dallas. It is a wonderful, large, well organized market. However, much of the reason I like Dallas is that it is where I began going to market some 35 years ago. I have developed great relationships with so many of the showroom owners and vendors over the years and it was such fun to see friends that I have not seen for several years now. It was flattering to have so many people recognize me and call me out by name when I entered their showrooms and sobering to realize that we were both very young when we began doing business together.
This was a full blown show so the temporary exhibitors were open and that is always interesting. Some of the better ones end up having permanent showrooms and it is fun to separate the wheat from the chaff. Some of them were very exotic and there was a special section that I really enjoyed of handmade crafts from around the world. Many were from small women’s co-ops that were the result of entrepreneurs that were able to get their business going through micro-loans. I love these programs! Some were the result of philanthropic groups that have worked to help refugee women or disadvantaged women get a new skill and start. All were fair trade. They were all going on to the Santa Fe craft show which I would love to attend one summer. I hear it is fabulous!
Fabrics continue to improve and I just love them! I can barely make any money because I cannot resist buying fabric samples because they are just so beautiful! Fabrics made with CAD and CAM programs are able to create cloth with complex warp and waft combos and therefore different textures and weaves. They are using actual photos and paintings for some of their designs and dyes that don’t penetrate the cloth so that it can be one color on one side and another on the opposite. Cashmeres dyed like that are unbelievably yummy!
We sat in a lot of chairs and sofas. I have gotten very expert in knowing what dimensions will fit my client’s proportions but I love to have given them all “the fanny test” myself! Global completion is making good things very affordable and more green options continue to be available. Honestly, though, nothing is greener than buying quality goods and then holding on to them. If you have a great sofa, it can be recovered rather than ending up in the landfill. My den sofa admittedly needs recovering but it is 25 years old and still sits very well and is a timeless design. Seeing all of these beautiful options may actually have gone a little way toward convincing Paul that we need to do some freshening up! I think all men dislike change and we must approach it gently! In my experience, however, once it is done and they have a while to get used to some changes around the house, they like them and often think the whole idea was theirs!
Paul has a wonderful eye and terrific taste and although he has trouble imagining that anything that I look at might actually be for our personal use, he is an asset to me on these trips and we had a lot of fun. I feel like I have been energized and my creative juices are flowing!