Pick Up Sticks and Winter Markets 2013

Pick Up Sticks Atlanta Booth

Pick Up Sticks Atlanta Booth

As I write this blog post, Sabrina and Bruce are in the midst of packing their bags for the Atlanta show, which starts on January 11 and continues through the 15th.  (Atlanta International Gift Market – Americas Mart, Merchandise Mart, Booth #802, Atrium, Handmade, Building 3, 2nd floor).

Sabrina in Atlanta Booth

Sabrina in Atlanta Booth

They’ll be traveling next week, carting two weeks worth of warm outfits, fur-lined boots (Sabrina will be, anyway. . .) and all the pre-market excitement that accompanies Pick Up Sticks when someone from the company heads to Market.  From Atlanta, the two of them will head to Chicago to the Beckman’s Handcrafted Show at the Chicago Market ( Booth #8-6030, Jan 19 – 22, 2013).

Bruce with the Pick Up Sticks crate, pre-setup

Bruce with the Pick Up Sticks crate, pre-setup

And just a few days after Sabrina and Bruce return to New Mexico, Glena and Candace head to the New York International Gift Show at the Javits Convention Center, which will run from January 27 – 30, 2013 (Booth 8531, Personal Accessories).  Later in February, Glena and Candace will be in Las Vegas, NV, at the Pool Trade Show at Mandalay Bay from February 19 – 21.

It’s our bread and butter, the market season. We love seeing old customers and meeting new ones, cultivating the community that makes up our very loyal, creative and fun retailers.  Our greatest goal is always to help you build your business and make your retail space a success (well, that, and finding just one more amazing new restaurant in each city we visit. . .)

Glena and Candace at the New York International Gift Fair

Glena and Candace at the New York International Gift Fair

We’ve written about Market many times before, and it bears repeating.  When you show up in our booth, we’re going to treat you with respect and we’re going to help you buy within your budget.  We very clearly mark our best-sellers so that you’ll know what works for our other retail customers.

And as always, your credit card never gets charged until the day we ship, which is a date you choose. If you need a quick ship, we’re all about trying to get your order out within a day or two of your order being placed.

Be sure to take a look at our post from last year, in which Glena and Sabrina list their Top Ten List of Tips for Buyers. A buying plan, comfortable shoes and carrying lots of business cards are just some of the great advice you’ll find in that post.

Chicago booth

Pick Up Sticks is all about fun and whimsy and human stories and great connections. Going to Market reinforces all of those qualities and we’re always excited to get in the booth and show you our new designs while we hear your stories about satisfied customers, display plans and how much you enjoy selling our jewelry.

To check out our official calendar, go to http://www.pickupsticks.net/US/press_show_sched/press_show_sched.html.  If you’re in Canada, Pick Up Sticks will be in Toronto at the CGTA Show, Toronto International Centre and Toronto Congress Centre, North Building, #11359, (Tani Investments), from January 27  – 31, 2013.

For those of you in the UK, find us at Top Drawer Spring, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Olympia, London, England – Stand ZA 31 from Jan 13 – 15, 2013, and at Spring Fair International, Birmingham, England, Listed as Absolutely Devine, Hall 18, Stand 18D66, February 3 – 7, 2013

If for some reason you won’t be on the road this year, feel free to check out our online store at http://www.pickupsticks.net.  Call the studio for ideas or with any questions.

Otherwise, can’t wait to see you in Atlanta, Chicago, New York or Vegas!

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Pick Up Sticks Mentors III – Gil Tani and Lothantique

When we were just starting out in this biz, we didn’t make a concerted effort to find mentors.  We just sort of stumbled upon them.  Remember Hondo and Alice?  We met him while taking a break.  Carol the Seaglass Girl?  Sat up down the aisle from us and took us under her wing.

Gil's Pick Up Sticks booth in Toronto

Always, just at the moment when we felt like maybe our business needed a bit of tweaking, someone came along who had knowledge and experience, and by paying attention and listening, we learned amazing things.

It’s difficult to say which of our mentors gave us the most guidance, but we definitely want to recognize Gil Tani and Lothantique.  We wrote about him before in this blog – we called him our own Pick Up Sticks rock star.  Gil is our distributor in Canada and his distribution company operates under Lothantique, Inc..  He’s also the owner of gorgeous retail space, Belle de Provence, in Toronto, so he has vast experience selling elegant gifts.

The rock star himself, Gil Tani at the New York International Gift Fair

Meeting Gil and his wife Yvonne when we did always felt a little like serendipity.  Things hadn’t worked out well with our distributor in Canada, and Yvonne  happened to walk into our booth in Atlanta on the right day.  After discussing our needs, she led us to Gil so that we could talk to him about taking over the market in Canada.  We’ve often discussed how we felt an instant connection with both of them.

Our business in Canada soared under Gil’s direction, and this year he’s helped get us into the European market.  We’re headed to London to do a show this fall, and all the credit goes to Gil!

Gil is a man of much action and few words, so when we asked him to give us a paragraph or two for this blog, he predictably didn’t waste a lot of space.  Here’s what he said:

“We initially got acquainted with Pick Up Sticks as a retailer, we found the line at the Atlanta Gift Show, and carried it in our Belle de Provence store. Two years later we were doing well with the product in our store and Sabrina & Glena were looking for a distributor in Canada.  As we love the line we volunteered to represent them in Canada. We found Glena & Sabrina very open & friendly and the connection was instant.

In regards to advice, I told them to concentrate on what works!”

Gil's fabulous sales team selling Pick Up Sticks in Toronto

We’re forever grateful to Gil and Yvonne for taking a chance with Pick Up Sticks and for continuing to give us ideas for building our business.  Check out their websites – their product is gorgeous and very luxurious and we’re sure you’re going to want to place an order.

And if you’re in London in September, stop in and see us.  Thanks, Gil, for inspiring us to make that big move!

Pick Up Sticks Takes Manhattan

Jalaina and Brenda - headed to New York this week

It’s that time of year again, when the Pick Up Sticks crew (Jalaina and Brenda this time around) leaves Clovis, New Mexico (pop 37,000) and heads to Manhattan (pop 1,585,000, give or take a few)  for the New York International Gift Fair at the Javits Convention Center ( January 29 to February 2, 2012).   We checked out the numbers on the NYIGF site for comparison’s sake – it looks like the number of visitors to the show will outnumber the population of Clovis.   Crazy, right?  And we’ve moved to a different booth location, so we’re figuring all 38,000 of those visitors might walk down our new aisle in Personal Accessories!

Candace and Glena in the New York booth, Summer 2011

Going to New York is always a little breathtaking.  There are the electronic billboards in Times Square, the crazy traffic, the crowds, the all-night eateries, the shopping, the Broadway shows, Central Park, more crowds, our favorite pizza place (housed in a former church, no less). . .  And going to the New York International Gift Show is almost as awe-inspiring as the city itself.  Javits is a huge glass house filled with gift vendors from every corner of the world.  We’re pretty proud to be amongst such company.

Glena in Times Square, Summer 2011

This year at the show will be even more interesting than usual – as we said earlier, we’ve left our normal booth in the Handmade section and repositioned ourselves in Booth 8531 in Personal Accessories.  It’s an exciting move for us – instead of being out in the north forty (that’s how they talk in Clovis), we’ll be in the thick of things in the main building, easier for you to find.  Making this move puts us right in the path of all our customers, and we’re letting you know early so you can pencil us into your notebook of show searches.

Glena and Candace, Times Square Summer 2011

So yeah, the Clovis gals are headed to Manhattan.  We’ve posted a few photos from last summer’s trip when Glena and Candace found themselves in the thick of things in Times Square.  We can’t wait to see what Jalaina and Brenda will do for fun.  And we can’t wait to see you in Booth 8531!

Candace and a very friendly New Yorker, Summer 2011

Don’t forget that all exclusive retailers who order in the booth at New York will get 10% off their orders.  Drop by and check out our new designs, and get yourself a nice little discount.  We’re looking forward to seeing you!

We’re Headed Back to Chicago! (And Atlanta and New York. . .)

Pick Up Sticks Show Booth

The big news this week at Pick Up Sticks?  We’re going on the road!  The bigger news?  We’re headed back to Chicago to Beckman’s Handcrafted Show from July 30 to August 2 – we’ll be in Booth #8-7029.  It’s been a couple of years since we did the Chicago show and we’re really excited to have added it back into our schedule.  We love our Midwestern retailers, and we love the city –  where else can you go to market during the day and then catch a baseball game and eat Harry Caray’s fries in the evening? 

Adding Chicago this year meant that we had to leave out the Dallas market.  If we missed you in Dallas, we’re hoping we’ll see you in Atlanta at the International Gift Market at Americas Mart (Building 3, Floor 2, Booth 802 in the Atrium from July 15 to 19) or at the New York International Gift Fair (Javitz Convention Center, Booth 9285 in Handmade from August 13 to 17). 

As those of you who have attended market know, there’s really no comparison to buying at market.  You get to see our jewelry on display, you get to handle and try on the new charms, you have the chance to ask questions, and this year, you’ll get a hands-on demonstration of the new magic clip.   You’ll also see how pretty the new spacers make every charm combination.  Because our new dots initials and numbers don’t photograph as well as they look in person, you’ll be able to see that  they truly are stunning.  And best of all, buying at market gives you access to our show specials – something you can ONLY get at market.

But sometimes market can be daunting.  After years of attending, we came up with a list of hints we think you’ll find helpful.  We’re not experts, but if you want a truly productive and less wearing market adventure, consider these tips:

1.      Comfortable shoes are not an option.  Some exhibitors even make the joke that if the buyer is not in comfortable shoes, they’re not a serious buyer.

2.      Get a market directory with a good map and hold on to it!  Get ready to dog-ear the pages and make notes in the margins.  If you see something you really like, circle their information.  That way if you don’t have a chance to get back to order something that appealed to you, you’ll at least have contact information when you get home 

3.      Bring A LOT of business cards, or our favorite… stickers!  This way we can make sure your order will be shipped to the right place.  Complete and accurate contact information is crucial.  Please include the following information: your name, store name, billing address, shipping addresses, fax number and email address.

4.      Carry a copy of your Tax ID and Business License in your bag.  Exhibitors need this number on file for tax purposes. 

5.      Please don’t take photographs unless you have permission.  Most markets don’t allow any photography.

6.      Strategy:  Shop the Temporaries FIRST.  You’ll often find designs in the Temporaries that can’t be found anywhere else.  Most buyers agree that the Temporaries have the newest, freshest and most original products.

7.      Next, shop your top merchandise categories.  Having a plan ensures you don’t miss floors or aisles you intend to see.

8.      If you find a new line that you can’t live without, the best place to buy is at market, in person.  Why?  Booths in the Temporaries often have the owners and designers in attendance.  There is no one better to tell you about the line, help you sell more, and guide you through the ordering process than the person who created the product.  And it’s always good to be able to tell your retail customers, “I met this artist, and you’re going to love this line. . .”

Find products that you love.  Comparison shop.  Trust yourself.  Place an order.

And finally, if you can’t make it market this year, take time to browse through our online catalog at www.pickupsticks.net and then call the studio with any questions or for suggestions.  We want your Pick Up Sticks experience to be successful and fun. 

See you at market!

See You at AmericasMart, Dallas Market Center and the New York International Gift Fair!

 
 

Here's what our designer says our new booth will look like!

Only 17 days until market!  Early in December we packed up Judy and a pile of  jewelry and sent her on her way to the Americas Mart/Merchandise Mart in Atlanta.  We’ll join her there on January 14 – and we can’t wait to see you there as well!

The most exciting market news is that we have a new booth design AND we’re going to be easier to find in Atlanta.  We’re in the same building (3), floor (2), section (Handmade) and row (800), but now we’re on the front of the aisle in the atrium.  Our new booth number in Atlanta is 2-802. 

Come by and say hello and let us know what you think of the booth and our new charm designs.  We enjoy going to market – it gives us a chance to see all our old friends and make new ones.  If you’re a retail customer and want your local retailer to carry Pick Up Sticks, send them a copy of our schedule – we’d love to meet them and introduce them to the line.

Our formal schedule is listed below.  See you there! 

Atlanta International Gift Market, Americas Mart/Merchandise Mart, Booth #2-802, Handmade, January 14 – 18, 2011 (Attending:  Glena, Sabrina, Bruce and Candace)

FINDS, Dallas Market Center – Booth 9304, 13th Floor, January 21-24, 2011  (Attending:  Glena and Sabrina)

New York International Gift Fair, Javits Convention Center, Booth 9285, Handmade, January 29 – February 2, 2011 (Attending:  Jalaina and Brenda)

Pick Up Sticks Summer 2010 Market Season – Come to see us!

 

Sabrina, Jalaina, Candace, Glena and Bunny - Atlanta - Winter Market Season 2010

Every six months we get to do what we love best – we go to market!  We pack suitcases full of boots (Winter season) or flip-flops (Summer season) and we head off to our favorite cities for a week at a time.  This year we’re going to Dallas, Atlanta and New York, where we’ll get to see old friends, make new ones, eat great food, AND show off Pick Up Sticks’ new designs. 

 

Glena and Bunny in the NY booth - Winter 2010

 

Judy goes with us, of course, and in addition to the full days spent in our booth selling jewelry, there’s plenty of fun to be had outside the booth.  There’s always the rush to greet all our old aisle mates, pick our new Glenda Gies bag for the season, have dinner at Two Urban Licks in Atlanta, make a run to the Hobo booth, shop with all the other frenzied shoppers in cash and carry, take in a a Broadway show in New York, (we saw Hair in January), and hopefully squeeze in a concert or two (remember Kool & the Gang at the Americas Mart?  Lenny Kravitz and Aerosmith?  Kenny Chesney?).    

But the absolute best part of going to market is getting to visit with Pick Up Sticks wholesale customers.  Whether you’ve been with us since the days of the soldered charms or you’re brand new, we truly enjoy meeting you (again) and hearing what you have to say about the line.  You tell us what you like, what doesn’t work, what you’re like to see next season, and how your customers are responding.  There’s nothing like that sort of information to make our jobs easier, which should then make your job as a retailer of Pick Up Sticks easier.    

Here’s our market schedule for Summer 2010.  If you’re going to be at any of these markets, let us know ahead of time so we can watch for you.  We’d love to see you there.  And if you have great ideas for something fun to do or an amazing restaurant in your market city, let us know!

We’ll be at:

FINDS, Dallas Market Center – Booth 9404, 13th Floor, June 25 – 28, 2010

Atlanta International Gift Market, Americas Mart/Merchandise Mart, Booth #2-815, Handmade, July 16 – 20, 2010

New York International Gift Fair, Javits Convention Center, Booth 9285, Handmade, August 14 – 18, 2010

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