Category Archives: Atlanta

The Atlanta Show January 2014

I had hoped to get this posted sooner ……..but……..after the show we went to visit our good friends Pat and Arthur Ginsberg in Palm Beach.Where it was…..you guessed it warm! It was a good chance to relax and chill out. While there we visited The beautiful and serene Morikami Gardens

 Zen Garden Palm Beach

Zen Garden Palm Beach

Relaxing in Palm Beach

Relaxing in Palm Beach

It was a welcome mini vacation and time with dear friends, light and sun.. Then back to the Arctic freeze in NYC.

TIP: Make sure to give yourself rewards for a job well done.

Having fun and relaxing is an important part of it all!

Since we’ve been back a week we’ve just devoted ourselves to the show follow thru. This is a very important part of the process. Don’t neglect any detail. Send what you have been asked and on time, early if possible.

TIP: Plan ahead on your calendar for follow thru time.

This may very well be the most important part of the process.

We had set up 6 meetings before we left  NYC and in three days at the show we ended up having 15 very good meetings with manufacturers we had wanted to see. And…….lots to follow up on. Designs to send out from our portfolio, revisions and additions to existing designs and reformatting for specific products.This time we also came back with some resin figurines to design. No contract yet but not a reason not to follow thru!

TIP: Stop in at the showrooms you’d like to have a meeting with.

If the art director is there request a meeting.

If he or she is not free then set up a time to come back and meet.. Sometimes there is someone who can see you on the spot.

More than 50% of our meetings happened this way.

Autumn melody mocked up as tableware

Autumn melody mocked up as tableware

One of our mockups is for the Autumn Melody design.Showing dessert or salad plates and mug designs.Again no contract yet but very important to follow up on specific requests for reformatting designs.

 By the end of this week we may be finished with most of the the follow up. Give as much time and thought to this stage as you did to planning for the show.

TIP: Follow through also includes making updates in your contact files.

Entering information about Manufacturer’s schedules for the year to come.When will they be looking for what and what the cut off dates are. Get your submissions in as early as possible.

We also saw some of the products and collections that came out of our show meetings in January and from subsequent mailings. This is such fun.

Dennis sends out our new designs regularly to our manufacturer and client base. One of the new contracts that resulted from this kind of mailing are the new Peacock coasters and trivets for Thirstystone.

TIP: Have a system for getting your new designs to clients.

Show them off on Social media, blogs and mailings!

In my previous post I showed how the peacock design came about. I got great feedback on this post. I love to read about how a design was done.

This was a team effort. And the other half of my team is so important to our designs.

Dennis Kendrick was a great gift and came into my life 33 years ago. He is a terrific designer/illustrator and very knowledgable on the technology side of things. My best friend (in addition to my sister Pat), smart, intellectual, funny and so solid and down to earth. Without him to anchor me I would be in outer space much of the time!

Our team

Our team

I was so excited to see the products at the showroom and to meet with Thirstystone again. This was another wonderful company that we met with at the July show. Totally unusual for me. I take so many pictures.

At the Dallas Gift show just after Atlanta The Dallas Arboretum picked up the design as a name drop for trivets. Name drop I found out means that The

logo of the Dallas Arboretum will replace our french label. We haven’t seen it yet but it seems like another good placement. We are keeping our feathers crossed that our peacock gets good placements and lots of them.

Our Peacock

Our Peacock

We also found out at the show that Custom Decor, a flag company will be doing three of our Christmas designs as flags, mats and mailbox covers. We’ve been designing borders for these products.I won’t show them until they debut at the July Atlanta Show. Custom Decor was a company we met with in Atlanta in January and we are very pleased to have them as a new licensing partner.

Seeing our new stained glass “Trellis” collection at the Amia Showroom was so exciting. There are around 15 or so different and beautiful products in this collection. I found it difficult to take photos because there was so much reflection from the lights on the stained glass and the mirrors on the shelves. And I wanted to take one of the Artist in front of her noew collection shots.  But the shelf was too low!

Here are the best shots from the showroom. We’ve been so busy since we got back that there hasn’t been enough time yet to unpack all our lovely samples which arrived just before the show.

Some of the Amia collection

Some of the Amia collection

One of our favorites

One of our favorites

And in between meetings we had lunch, coffee or met colleagues in the showrooms or hallways and always stopped to chat. We had dinner with our good friends Ingrid and Duane Slyder of Ingrid at Nutshell Designhs. That was a highlight of our visit to Atlanta.

TIP: Networking is very important.

And fun too!

It is social and enjoyable. Then too it is a way to compare notes or ask questions, get information and share the joys and tribulations of being a licensing designer.

We saw five of our designs in the Jelly Bean showroom. Two of them are coastal themes. JellyBean does very nice quality area rugs. The cats are going to love our new Jellybean area rugs and so will we. The one with the feet requires a special order!

Jellybean Lighthouse Rug

Jellybean Lighthouse Rug

This one has legs!

This one has legs!

Shell design Jellybean

Shell design Jellybean

 I have been reading Joan Beiriger’s three part posting on the Atlanta show.

“Licensed artist Joan Beiriger is widely regarded as an expert in art licensing. Her popular blog features informative articles designed to educate those interested in the art licensing industry and attracts hundreds of readers each week.” Joan’s maintains a web site, Joan Beiriger’s Art for Products,http://www.joanbeiriger.com/JoanBio.html. Her blog,  is always full of wonderful information and is a great source material for all of us in the industry,joanbeiriger.blogspot.com/ ‎Thank you Joan.

“One of the points she brings up that I have found so helpful is asking lots of questions. Talk to the sales reps. They can tell you what is selling well and why. Ask questions in your meetings to get to know more about the company and its needs so you can target designs in their direction. Exchange some personal information. Remember you are forming a relationship not just looking for new licensees. I am a  people kind of person and love finding out about clients families, pets, what their life is like etc. A friendly and well meaning Yenta maybe!

TIP: Make notes of these conversations too and when you get back to your studio enter this info in your contact data base.

This information will help you to develop a more personal relationship with theCreative Director and give you more of an understanding of what his or her lifestyle is like.Find out about them on social media. What is their professional background?

It is much more fun to be sociable. I do this not only with our licensing partners but with our friends and family. Don’t expect to keep it all in your head.I like to keep up.

Another very good point that Joan makes is; ” Also notice what products the buyers indicate to showroom reps they want to purchase. Every bit of knowledge leads to insight on the art that buyers think their customers will buy. And, that will help you decide on the art themes to create that will have a better chance in getting licensed.”

Talk to and listen to gift shop owners. I have found that I can get valuable info on trends and best selling products from these talks. At the show and when you are in gift shops. Talk talk talk.

TIP:Remember that February is “cabin fever” month

Plan fun things to do, not just work! It’s a good time to send a bright and cheery message to your clients. We all have missed the sun!

And a happy New Year to all. I missed my New Year’s post so here’s my wish for you now. Enjoy life as much as you can. Laugh every day. And spend time doing what you love to do!

My painters cap is on again and I ready to rock and roll again.

My Painters cap is on again

My Painters cap is on again

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Filed under Artist Studio Space, Atlanta, Atlanta January 2014 show, Custom Decor, Dallas Arboretum, Gardens, January 2014 Atlanta show, Morikami Gardens, Thirstystone, Uncategorized

Happy Holidays

This is a short Happy Holiday post for our followers and readers.

 Before we leave for the January Atlanta show next Wednesday I hope to have Part II of Everything You Need to Know About Trade shows out to you.

Then when we get back I’ll have lots to show and tell about the show.

Savannah Afternoon mug

Savannah Afternoon mug

The Burton and Burton new Spring Showroom will be displaying my new Savannah Afternoon collection. I hope vendors and you will be as excited about it as I am.

The weather outside is frightfulBut in here it's so delightful

The weather outside is frightful
But in here it’s so delightful

This is a good time to show off a few of our Christmas products.

Ho Ho HoSantas

Ho Ho Ho
Santa

This cute little pillow is a delightful needlepoint that our Friend Sonja made from our original whimsical Santa design.The original was a needlepoint stocking kit by Dimension.

I keep it out all year round! The design has also been a Christmas tote for Jean Marie Creations , a needle point kit and one of a set of Holiday Gift card Holders.

IMG_2216A New Yorkers dream

A New Yorkers dream

I grew up in the West Bronx which at that time still had lots of green trees and grass. But it wasn’t the country, and  I was always fantasizing about living in the country. For that reason I loved painting this woodland scene for Current. It was used on a number of their products including stationery and computer papers.

                                                            Snowman and Friend

Snowman and Friend

Holiday season as a child meant lots of snow, freezing cold fingers and toes, rosy cheeks, sleigh riding on our flexible flyers down the hill and the happy sounds of lots of kids making their snowmen. This memory inspired The Snowman and Friend design which originally was used as a holiday tote design for Jean Marie Designs,  and also as a card design.

Gingerbread Tree

Gingerbread Tree

My sister Pat and I always dreamed of having a tree like this. Although we celebrated Christmas and Hanukah my parents drew the line when it came to a tree. Painting this one gave me a lot of joy. Dennis created the design to fit it into so that it made a lovely little tableau. I was reminded of this yesterday when we did the annual tour of holiday store windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Tiffany Holiday window 2012

Tiffany Holiday window 2012

IMG_2317

Saks window

Yesterday along with our good friends Barbara and John we enjoyed the holiday windows on upper Fifth Avenue. My two favorites for nostalgia were the lovely  Tree and Staircase in one of the Tiffany windows.The Tiffany displays were very small, approximately 15″ x 12″. My other favorite was this Saks window of a snowman and little boy with his dog. Of course the dogs tail wagged!

Sisters

Sisters

The holidays are a time to share with those you love.Pat, my older sister, had me tagging along wherever she went, invited or not. That’s me on the left.

Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies

Holidays are a great time to enjoy all the goodies of the festive season That’s what insired me to paint these wonderful Christmas cookies for Woman’s Day magazine.

Pat

Pat

Brothers at holiday time

Brothers at holiday time Dennis and Fred Kendrick

Briana and Aunty Andy

Niece Briana and Aunty Andy

And best and most of all it’s a time to be with those you love. And have lots of fun.

Happy 2013

Happy 2013

We hope you all had very happy holidays and wish you a wonderful New Year full of all good things.

Time to fulfill that resolution to become a follower of our blog.

warmly,

Andrea and Dennis

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Filed under Atlanta, Christmas, Cooking and Baking, Kitchen and Food, Manufacturers, Nature, New Year's, NYC, Trade Show

Atlanta part 2- An outline of everything you will need to know about trade shows

If you are going to walk a trade show – especially one as large as the Atlanta Gift Mart – there’s a lot you should know.

This post will give you an outline of what is important not only for the Atlanta show, but for any trade show you plan to attend. Then each successive post will cover one or two of the topics outlined here. Take it in small bites. There’s a lot of information to consider.

The first thing you should do, and yes do it now, is look at a schedule of shows for 2012 -0 2013.  Click on this link :trade show calendars, home decor and gifts.

Your primary goal is to find companies that you want to work with, so I will tell you about:

  1. What information  you need to make those decisions.
  2. How  you go about setting up appointments, and how and when you make your appointment calls.  How you keep track of your calls and responses. How to set up your schedule.  How you follow through after your calls to confirm an appointment. How to keep in touch. And most important of all how you enjoy and not dread the process. How you can keep a positive mind set.
  3. How and when to make your hotel and plane reservations. If you are watching your budget some tips on how and where to cut corners and when not to. If you are able take a few extra days to do some enjoyable sightseeing that will only add to the experience. Do set aside time for fun and enjoyment both at the show and socializing after or during the show.
 It’s important to have a plan for both your appointments and for walking the show. I will take you through a few of the manufacturers showrooms I visited and tell you why I chose these companies. I will also tell you what my goals were for now and for the future regarding all the companies I visited and met with at the show. I will also tell you:
  1. How to decide what you are looking for.
  2. Deciding what you goals are.
  3. How to approach a new company and make contact.  What questions you need to ask.  What you should expect at a meeting.
  4. How you should and want  to come across.
  5. How to establish a personal rapport that you can build on.
  6. How to be yourself and overcome anxiety.
  7. How to follow your instincts.
  8. How you should dress. I googled in many different ways to look at fashions for creative people. One of the helpful catch phrases was,”fashion for the artist “. Most of what I found was for women. But guys please do not feel left out. I’m still searching around for some good sites.

Catch phrases

One of my favorite parts of the research process is trend spotting. I will tell you how and where I look for present and future trends in the art licensing markets ; how to decide what other markets you should keep track of. Take photos everywhere and all the time. It’s fun and everything you see makes for great reference and inspiration. And google, google, google. Sometimes I google 10 times with different catch phrases to get what I am looking for.

 And when you come back to your studio exhilarated and excited, feeling inspired and full of energy…
  1. How and when  to do your follow thru.
  2. A good way to keep track of all the information you have gathered.
  3. How to use a gant chart and why it is so helpful.
  4. Asking yourself what new artwork do you want to do based on what you have seen and learned.

inspiration for new artwork

And don’t forget to congratulate and reward yourself for your effort and a for marketing job well done!

Your questions and comments on these outlined topics will be helpful.

 

 

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Filed under Airlines, Art and Design, Atlanta, Creativity and Fun, Fashion for the Artist, Hotels, Licensing, Manufacturers, Trade shows, Trends

The Atlanta July Gift Show, Part One

After Surtex there were about three weeks to do the show follow-thru, get ourselves organized and think about new artwork. Most of our current clients are in the papergoods market, i.e. paper tableware, stationery, shopping bags and greeting cards. We have a few clients in the home decor area like EvergreenBurton and Burton and Robert Kaufman (fabrics).

At one of our meetings after the show we decided that  we wanted to expand into the gift and home decor market. There are several reasons why. One is to increase our client base. Two, to develop products in a new market area. And three, to stretch the inspiration for our creativity. New markets equals new ideas. And did I mention to increase income?

So, we decided that I should go to the big Atlanta July Gift show to scout out new companies.

In order to do this I researched companies that we had visited in Atlanta in January 2012. Then I spent my mornings for three weeks making phone calls to set up appointments for the show. I was in a happy creative frenzy creating new designs. I was warming up to do a loose fun watercolor style that was different than the way I had been working. I always forget that there is a learning curve with watercolor whenever you try a new style.

I got impatient and frustrated. It just wasn’t working out. I knew what I wanted to do but it wasn’t happening as fast as I would have liked. You cannot rush or force watercolor to do what you want. It’s a watery flowing medium and unless you flow with it nothing works.

Dennis, on the other hand, is a steady worker. He gets his ideas and  creative direction as he progresses on with a design. He knows that this is his process. I typically keep losing sight of my process. That’s my Aries nature. Always forgetting and running headfirst into that same wall. Experience and maturity have tempered it a bit. Whew!

The night before leaving I laid out my clothes for the trip, worked on a painting, and played with Maggie, our cat. I fell asleep around 2 am and got up at 5.

Bye bye Bus stop Cafe

Said goodbye to Dennis, the kitties and Greenwich Village.

Departure from La Guardia Airport

I love getting to the airport early enough to have time to stay relaxed about the check-in time. Shoes off, get patted down, explain away suspicious items like a nail file. The bonus is that I can browse the stores, read a paper and have my coffee and bagel before it is boarding time.

One Artist Aloft

Ah, finally on the plane. Cramped, no leg room, but nice people to chat with and my iPad to keep me amused.

My home away from home

I was lucky to get a reservation at the Days Inn. Everything else downtown was booked. I’ll give you a few tips about booking and when to do it in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned! The nicest surprise was finding that I was just down the hill from the Gift Mart.

Too tired to walk up the hill to the show Thursday afternoon I spent the time between naps strolling downtown Atlanta. It was a nice surprise to find that it was a pretty little city and not just a downtown business district.

Bridges everywhere connecting the three huge buildings

Friday morning I got up early and after a full breakfast (the kind I like) I headed up the hill with the crowds (mostly women buyers) to  America’s Mart. The Mart is actually three 18-story buildings with connecting bridges on different levels. For those who are not familiar with this show it’s main purpose is for the manufacturers to take orders from the retailers who walk the show and shop for their own gift shops.

It takes a bit of navigating and sometimes you just go in circles and get frustrated and feel like yelling “Let me Out of Here!”

Building 1 consists of showrooms for manufacturers of  bedding, rugs, furniture, lighting and more. More broadly it houses the home decor showrooms. Building 2  and its new wing 2W is where I spent most of my time. This is the Gift building and houses companies like the ones I will be featuring in my next two posts such as Enesco, Manual Woodworkers, Burton and Burton, Transpac, C & F and Evergreen Enterprises.

There are also are two sections that are fun and inspirational to walk through. They are the”Living Outdoor/Indoor Gardens (garden statues, furniture, art fountains, flags and wonderful food). The new Gourmet Food Section, in building 2 has cooking demos, books, kitchen products and food tastings. Yum! I made it to the Garden section and walked through with Lucinda who I’ll introduce a little further on.

And then there is  building 3.  I’d have to stay an extra day to walk through  some of the showrooms there, but it would be such a treat. Building 3 houses The Fashion Accessories and fine Jewelry Showrooms. It is known as the Apparel Mart. And some of the showrooms let you shop at wholesale price. Bring your credit card!

Friends at the Show

Chris Peterson and Peter Spader (Chris in the middle and Peter on the right) were my  art reps for around 9 years. Their agency is called C.P. Licensing, and they have been in this business for more than 20 years. About 10 years ago, Dennis and I branched off to be on our own. We’ve all remained friends. Chris and Peter and I met up for lunch each day and had a fun dinner, Margaritas and all, one evening. I learned a lot from them when they were our reps. It was great to do some of the show with them and continue to learn. They are both generous in sharing of themselves and their vast knowledge from years of being Licensing artist Agents. It is very important from my experience to spend a few years at least going it on your own before you sign up with a rep for a number of reasons. More on this also in the next several posts.
Lucinda Wei, a friend and talented designer, walked some of the show with me. I wanted to show her how I would approach  potential customers in their showrooms.

                                                           

Yes I was really there.

Chris finally insisted on taking a photo of me just to prove to my readers that I was really at the Show. Well I was folks and I loved every minute of it.

HOME!

My traditional welcome back home

I guess Roosevelt Bear missed me!

In the posts that follow this I will talk about the nuts and bolts of making calls for appointments. It’s important too to make calls for catching up on  both personal and business stuff and finding out what a company is looking for and what is the time period to submit these designs.  Then you need to organize all this information so it works for you! More on that in the next few posts. The calls and appointments are an important part of what you need to do when you want to start expanding into a new part of the licensing market. Or, to start out in the business.

I’ll also take you on a virtual tour of three large showrooms and walk you through a “Meeting”. For now I’ll tell you one very important thing I have learned: Networking is one of the most essential things you can do. And it’s fun and sociable. Keeps you out of the kind of trouble that can come if you become too isolated. And that trouble can be both personal and professional. I didn’t always like doing it, but the more you do the more comfortable you feel. You can make friends along the way with people you work with.

More to come about the Atlanta Show. Keep tuned and please send me your questions and comments.

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Filed under Airlines, Art and Design, Atlanta, Creativity and Fun, Hotels, Kitchen and Food, Licensing, Manufacturers, Marketing, Trade Show, Uncategorized