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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