day 17: the inside scoop on Market

It’s day 17 in this little adventure (well, technically it’s day 18, but as long as we get 2 posts in today, you won’t hold it against me, right?)!

It’s hard to believe that much time has passed, and our countdown to opening is waning quite quickly.  We are still shooting for Nov 1, but I’ve sort of set another goal date not too far from the 1st.  It’s important to me to open when we are all ready, in the right mindset to serve our readers and customers.

So we’ll keep you posted & we’ll see how it goes.

Speaking of chaos, I thought we should talk about going to Market (we went to America’sMart in Atlanta, Ga.).  I’m by no means an expert on Market shopping, but I did learn a lot that first trip, and I would have loved this list before beginning.

31 Days to OPEN | perfectly imperfect

  •  Be prepared to jump through some hoops to go.  We had to send in our business license, a Photoshop drawing of the exterior of our building with signage, our lease agreement, invoices, State and Federal tax info, business cards, ID…you get the picture.
  • If you can, plan to go to a mini-Market.  In Atlanta, the 2 major Markets are in January and July, and I’m so thankful we went in September.  It was busy, but not crazy.  I’ve heard that the two huge Markets are pretty insane & there’s so many people to navigate.  I at least felt like I could move around in most showroooms.  I can’t imagine going for the first time and it being that packed.
  • Be prepared to be a little overwhelmed.  This place is not like a convention center with booths or something like that…it’s 3 (20 + story) buildings filled with showrooms (basically shops).  To give you an idea, we had 2 days, and we covered about 6-8 floors.
  • Go with a budget.  Stick to it.  Enough said.
  • Don’t shop for yourself that first time. Enough said.
  • Have a general idea of what you want before you go.  For instance, since we were buying some new furniture, I knew I wanted very interesting reclaimed pieces and I wanted linen upholstered pieces.  That way, one sweeping glance of a showroom told me whether or not we needed to go in.
  • Take some folks with you.  It was so helpful to have Natalie and Anna Lauson–they could go canvas a floor while we finished up somewhere else…it was SO helpful!
  • Choose a hotel within walking distance–less hassle.
  • Speaking of walking, wear comfortable shoes.
  • This is my best tip–place all your orders on hold and confirm them when you get home. We did this with most of ours, and it was such a huge blessing.  I was able to come home, spread everything out and double check my orders.  I mostly stuck with my original decisions, but it made me feel like I had more control over the final choices.

I hope these tips help you if you ever head to America’s Mart!  Off to (hopefully) finish the painting today!



**this post was written in a 31 Day series on opening our shop–click here to find the rest of the posts.

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8 Responses to day 17: the inside scoop on Market

  1. Laurie October 18, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Thank you soo much for all the information you are sharing =) My hubby and I have been discussing opening our own shop for a couple years and are getting closer to making a final decision! You are answering so many of the questions we are asking ourselves. Can’t wait for each and every post!

  2. Angie October 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    We forgive you for being a day behind on your posts! I don’t know how you have been able to keep up with it in the middle of your renovation! I have loved watching the process.You’re my first stop every day when I turn on my computer. I live in Pensacola, Florida so I will talk my husband into taking a road trip when you open. I can’t wait to see your shop! Good luck and God Bless!

  3. mimi October 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Hi Shaunna,
    I want to thank you for being so transparent & filling your fans in on the steps you’re taking to bring your store to life. I’m blessed to learn so much from bloggers like you & Marian. I too have a dream of having my own business and helping others make their homes lovely. I prayed for you today that God would breathe more divine inspiration & fresh wind on you & your hubby!

  4. Jean October 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I have been contemplating opening my own shop for over a year now. (I’m still looking for a bldg.) This info has been invaluable. I’m wondering what kind of cool stuff you found at the market?

  5. Shanna Gilbert October 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    With all that’s going on, I bet you feel like your heads going to blow up! Hang in there, it will all be worth it. I’m praying for you.

  6. Brooke October 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Interesting! I am going to the HUGE one you talk about in January with some veterans, but sounds like I need to go ahead and get registered. I’m excited because it will be my first time to market. Did you have an idea of what smalls you wanted to buy or just the bigger stuff? I’m excited and nervous to see how it all works! Thanks for the tips.

  7. Tricia October 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I used to own a little shop and the thing I loved most about it was going to market and then creating all the displays once all my goodies arrived. I’ve been to the America’s Mart in Atlanta in July…very crazy, but pretty amazing too.

  8. Heather October 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Very cool to hear about Market from a shop owner’s perspective – my husband works in customer service for a company that has showrooms at High Point, Atlanta, and Vegas Markets and I always get the “oh my gosh I have to process how many orders?” side of things.

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