The Los Angeles Gift Show at the LA Mart… yippee!

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main, outings at 10:41 pm by carrie

I have a very short attention span… I am easily overwhelmed when the senses are bombarded.

The gift show… it is just one of those things that I cannot “do” for too long.

Cindy, Rachael and I went last Tuesday and found some great products and today, Babs, Pam and I went… and boy oh boy, was it crowded.

The whole gift mart/gift show thing is an odd animal. In Los Angeles, during the “gift show” active showrooms exist in the LA Convention Center, the LA mart and the California Mart. All within a few miles of each other.

Legend has it (since I’m a newbie… oh, and have I mentioned I have a short attention span, this is how fables start…) that every top cookie in the gift merchandise world had a showroom at the LA mart. Then, for some reason, some of the showrooms moved over to the California Mart or Market place (I’m probably saying this wrong). I’ve been told that showrooms moved over to the California Mart because it is new and shiney. I personally feel being all in one building is better, but… whatever.

So, we spent most of our time at the LA Mart for some reason. I guess I get completely exhausted trying to see everything at the Convention Center and I really just wanted to scour the mart this time. I feel like there was a bunch of new things that we hadn’t seen last January. I took home about 50 pounds of catalogs.

If you are a retailer… you know how hard it is to find things that are right on target… but I think I found a few things I really liked :)

I’m not positive if we were supposed to or allowed to snap pictures of the showrooms, but I figured these were terribly grainy and tiny so the possibility that any of this would be copied would be slim. Again, everything has been done and not absolutely everything here is completely original. Okay, on your left, the very large chair they have in their parking lot here at the LA Mart. For some reason, they pipe in easy-listening non-offensive Jazz… it’s like Kenny G is following you around!
The first showroom you see, and everyone knows this, is Two’s Company. They really do a great job of merchandising! They had some great things this season, lots of black and white with hints of color. This is the entrance to their showroom. Usually they bake fresh cookies and you can smell them all the way out the door into the lobby, but for some reason this wasn’t so this time. It’s funny how you get used to something then expect it (like the voracious consumer I am!). I think I may have to do the cookie thing at the shop this christmas because… it really sticks in your mind, obviously!
Okay, so perhaps their cookie money went to fund the costume for Henry the Gnome. I love his costume, but nothing will ever out-do our friends’ Gnome costumes a few years back.
I had to find it and post it…See what I mean ;) They are both artists… just classic!
Two’s Company also had these lovely scarves that come wound up in a cupcake bottom… SO super cute! I’m a sucker for anything cupcake related.
We stumbled into the Christopher Radko showroom. Oh. My. Gosh. Swags of flowers and ornaments everywhere… nutcrackers, santas on rockets, christmas trees inside pillars… I had another picture but my phone deleted it :(
Okay, so we go into this showroom, but there is a little sign that says “no photos, please”. So, I respect that. There is stuff dangling, hanging and sparkling absolutely EVERYWHERE! They had some really cute things. Some things that I would never carry, the cinco de mayo frogs, the mardi gras grannies… for two examples. But they had lots of glittery vintage-looking boxes, fake cakes everywhere, amazing custom signage and displays. I was so incredibly impressed with them, I’ll definately go back and order! My Mom walks over with an icy drink in one hand, the straw of the other drink in her mouth… “margarita?” I ask… “no… vodka lemonade icee”. I think this is the first time my mother has presented me with a vodka drink… ever. Either I’m going to get stupid and buy more, or fall down on top of one of the roulette/bingo granny displays (Lots of happy old lady dolls, for some reason). OH! and they also had a doggie birthday display… little party hats on doggie stuffed animals, little frilly neck thingies… I must get them! The picture shown here is a bad pic of their sweets shop easter display… it was so much fun.
This blurry picture is deceiving… in person it’s the most beautiful linen display! Rachael found these and I’m really excited to get them! Damask print blues, greens, birds, trees and silver accents with tons of pillows, teapots, tea cozies, floor mats and aprons! Lots of cute aprons! They also had matching paper napkins in all these fine prints… now, to find the melamine!
Now, by hour 6, we were getting punchy. Babs was getting tired… in this picture she says “I don’t know what’s wrong with me… I’m exausted… I think I have a disease or something! Where are the peanut M&M’s?”
Here is Pam. She is sitting on the floor and was laughing at the “… I think I have a disease” comment… *sigh* it was tough keeping these two in line today.
We found these neat candles in glass cups that smelled awesome!
With a little help from Susan, I found the line that included these paper cards that turn into crowns! They have glitter and ribbons and they are so cute!
A line of really fun bib aprons!
This company had an entire line of home decor, but the matching matchboxes were awesome! Not only were the outsides of the boxes beautiful, the matches inside, well…matched! (“are you good with puns??”) So, the matchbox with the roses on the outside had pink flinty things, some of them had dark brown wood… some light. They are neat-o! I may buy them and then glue a few little flatback crystals here and there. Also, they have matching little ceramic trays… perfect for a candle, some bath salts and these matchboxes… I’d want that gift!

These cards had really fun patterns on them. Some of the sets came with cards and envelopes… some came with cards, envelopes and a little flipbook. So cool!

Meanwhile… back at the shop…

Being motivated at the last minute, as usual, I have decided to wallpaper a few sections of the shop to match the incoming holidays…

This damask print will go with the halloween items and then the wonderful Christmas items, too. Lots of proper-french, english manor cottage… whatever it is…. items coming in for Christmas. Formal, yet flirty. I think the point has been made. If I like this wallpaper at the shop, our bedroom is next. Sorry Nathan. At least it’s not pink!

So, look for my adventures in wallpaper soon! The one thing I know, you MUST turn the electricity off that runs to the nearby outlets… when putting paper up, you use moisture and water and water has been known to drip…

That’s really all I know. Last time poor Cindy G. agreed to put up our wallpaper… what a sport!


  1. Babette Violette said,

    August 1, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    I love this! More is more!!

    That Christopher Radko Christmas mantel is way too much. I want that.

    -Babette Violette

  2. Violets Are Blue » Someone tell Carrie it’s August… said,

    August 4, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    […] Okay… so here it is… not very pretty and why is it so dark in here? This is just one side. This is where all the Halloween stuff is going to go. But look at it in this status… unpacked with nowhere to go. My drawing below gives an idea of what the window will look like but what do I do with this wall?!? Notice, if you have good eyes, the wallpaper I was speaking of 2 blogs down rolled out a bit on top of the mantle to the left of the mirror. Okay… in their picture, the pattern looks a LOT smaller, unless that is a behemoth chair and end table?? […]

  3. michael louis said,

    February 16, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for that update! I haven’t been around since the late 1980s… so I see things have changed. I will be seeking mfg reps around July- Aug for a new line that’s both gifty, yet also could belong in apparel depts….It used to be gifts were at the giftmart, and apparel was at calif mart…

    Can you tell me what the deal is now? That is, where do I seek reps for giftware, and where do I go for apparel oriented reps?

    Thanx for your help!

  4. jojo said,

    March 25, 2008 at 2:51 am

    I have been looking for a nice damask wallpaper… I love this one! Can you tell me where I can get it? Is it expensive, it seems that all of the one’s I have liked have been outrageously expensive. Thanks!

  5. The High Point Market 2009 | Violet Cottage said,

    May 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

    […] taxes all of your senses. (See us getting giddy and stupid/silly at the LA Mart back in ‘06 Here). We only went for one day so I still feel like a complete newbie. I’ve been to shows, but […]

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