Snippets – Talking It Up In Atlanta

And so I sez to the guy I sez…
Were they talkative or what! Did I happen to mention in the last post that Atlanta was a good market…? Maybe once or twice? Happy people tend to be more forthcoming, so I guess they were pretty darn happy at the Mart judging by the number of worthy snippets. They had me scribbling like crazy: 
“Fashion accessories are doing great – without all these handbags and jewelry who knows if this building would still be here? This (gift) industry needed a good push and that’s what provided it.”
– the President of a gift company
 “All this stuff with words – how many things can you have in your house that are either barking orders at you or telling you to be fulfilled?” – an agent
“This is really nice but I’ll have to ask the reps if it will sell.”
– a manufacturer in a meeting
“Some concepts just need to die a natural death – I have boxes full.” – a well known artist
“We are definitely in plaque and mug overload now, there are just way too many to choose from.” – a retailer
“I used to do a ton of them but I haven’t painted a snowman in five years.” – a well known artist
“We’re trying to downsize the number of artists we work with, there are a billion of them now. We would much rather sit down and develop a line as opposed to picking up a piece of it here and there” – an art director
“To me it’s like a giant garage sale, pretty soon it looks like all the same crap everywhere.” – an art director about walking the Mart
“My puzzle royalties are down so that must mean other products are selling – puzzles always do better when the economy is bad.”
– a successful licensed artist
“We’re doing a lot of net and Amazon sales now, and internet skus have to build for months before you have anything so those production schedules are completely different than our regular retail one. It’s a crazy model but we’re really having fun with it.”
– from a garden company
“My God, those are so ugly! You have to wonder who is buying that.” – overheard in the Mart hallway
“We’re trying to get away from words.”
– a product director (and a very telling statement…)
“Success in this business can be very hard emotionally because one day you are the flavor of the week and the next day they have moved on.” – a successful artist
“Your world changed so of course our world changed along with it.” – a gift company owner to a retailer
“It used to be a great category but China destroyed it.”
– a manufacturer
“Here’s the problem – too much content in a catalog is worthless. You get their attention for one line and a picture, maybe 3 or 4 seconds max. If it takes more than that it won’t work.”
– a retailer about a sku-heavy line
“Our first day open was the best single day we have ever had.”
– a rep on the phone in the hallway
“Every artist who wants to stay in this business has to look at things differently now – because it IS different.” – an agent
“Trend is hard. It’s great when you hit one but you cannot get stuck with one single item in inventory because you will never, ever sell it afterwards.” – a manufacturer
“Artists don’t realize that what works in New York may not work at all in California, and they need to pay attention to that.”
– a gift manufacturer
“I love the idea but I don’t like the art.” – an art director in a meeting
“It’s a nice holiday (design) except for the lime green, we can’t sell any holiday with lime green on it.” – a retailer
“It’s more about the reps than the retailers. If you can get one person in the agency to like it, they will tell some others and eventually rep management decides to push it, then other reps notice or hear about it from their retailers who want it, so they all push it and then it really takes off.”
– a gift manufacturer about marketing a new line
And finally, something we all need to keep in mind….
“This is hysterical but it’s going to be one of those products where, to make it work, we need to figure out who we are selling it to and why they are buying it.”
– owner of a gift company about a humor collection
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