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13 Apr

Hot Trends, High Energy

The excitement around the start of the trade show season was palpable at the newly dubbed Atlanta Market at AmericasMart. With the charm of southern hospitality paired with the colors and variety on the show floor, it's always bound to be a high-energy show. January 2020 Atlanta Market did not disappoint.

As anticipated, the special event throughout campus fueled shopping and kept the level of excitement at a high the whole week. From seminars and cooking demonstrations to breakfast bars and cocktail stations, shoppers always had something to help them stay charged and inspired, while maximizing their time spent on the show floor.

New lines and fresh looks in stationery permeated both showrooms and temporary floors. Anne McGilvray's Helene Wack, director of sales, and Meg Gilmore, vice president of sales, as well as Molly Wilson of BEST of Show, shared their insights on what buyers were looking for.

Finishes and textures such as fur, foil and glitter were eye-catchers. Also spotted: unexpected embellishments, 3D elements and hand-cut edges. Graphique de France journals bound in vegan leather called attention to the need for environmentally friendly products that consumers are craving. Expect to see recycled and upcycled materials become more prevalent at future shows. 

Palettes in pastels that shone with both bright and neutral tones were popular at Market. Buyers loved Lady Jayne's Superhero Women collection at Anne McGilvray, featuring everyday superheroes in capes (moms, teachers, nurses, etc.) in softer, feminine shades.

Themes that were echoed in many lines included pets, animal prints, inspirational phrases and tropical foliage. Molly & Rex's You Grow Girl lines was found at Anne McGilvray and featured southwestern botanicals in cacti with terra cotta, plus the perennial favorite, succulents, to marry inspiration and foliage in a clean and inspiring style.

Snarky or naughty humor continues to be popular with buyers as well. At BEST of Show, both Tiramisu Paperie and Emily McDowell & Friends have this trend in the bag. Emily McDowell & Friends' cute, hand-lettered designs with watercolor backgrounds embrace real emotions in a frank, yet endearing way that appeals to buyers from all types of stores. 

To match the needs of buyers, "many of our stationery lines have also branched out to offer a lot more than just paper," Wack said. "They are building collections that start with paper but also include other great gift items, like a little hydration, candles, wellness and personal care." Offering multiple items of the same designed set helps stores increase sales volume and value.

For those buyers who didn't make it to January Market, Wilson said they should make plans to attend in July. "It's time. The energy is so fabulous," Wilson said.

"It's a big marketplace, so I think there is something for everyone, from small retailer up through chain," Wack said. Atlanta Market overall generated positive energy that buyers and makers alike has stored from a strong Q4 and in anticipation of a stronger 2020.

Images provided by Emily McDowell, Tiramisu Paperie, Just My Type, and Lady Jayne.

Atlanta Market will return July 14-20, 2020, with Temporaries running from July 15-19.
To learn more, visit AtlantaMarket.com

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Contributing Writer
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