23 Aug AmericasMart – A First Time Vendor’s Perspective
AmericasMart is one of the largest permanent wholesale trade centers in the world. Located in downtown Atlanta, there are four skyscrapers, some connected to each other with tubes, elevators, escalators and over seven MILLON square feet of showroom space. Wrap your head around those numbers. Mind boggling, especially to a couple of mountain folks like us.
Being members of Georgia Grown has opened many doors for us, and when they came knocking with the opportunity to be in their booth at AmericasMart, we saw it as a big opportunity. Exhibiting in the Georgia Grown booth, we were at a huge advantage because we didn’t have the expense of building out and transporting a booth set up, we were simply responsible for our table in the booth. Such a fantastic way to experience AmericasMart for the first time. Thank you Georgia Grown for providing great opportunities to your membership!
Our products pair with cheese and entertaining, so we partnered with Georgia Crafted to showcase their Georgia made cheese boards and we had a delicious display.
We met people from all over the state, drawn in by the Georgia Grown backdrop. But we also met people from as far away as Alaska, Russia, California, New York, North Dakota. We are still shipping orders to far away states and are tickled to have had such a warm welcome from buyers.
Everyone who is at AmericasMart is required to register, and wear an ID badge that shows their name, business, state and if they are an exhibitor or buyer. We met people there from both national and local media, buyers from large and small gift shops, gift companies, florists, designers, corporations looking for gifts. If they buy wholesale, they come to AmericasMart! Our booth was in the gourmet food section of the temporary area (there are permanent showrooms there too) and everybody samples their products, so its quite the foodie destination.
There is an army of staff at AmericasMart and every single employee I encountered was both helpful and friendly. There was one day I went upstairs to buy lunch, and got lost trying to find my way back to our booth. Getting lost seems to be a pretty common occurrence, because I ran into Valerie who was there with her husband Clay from Oliver Farm and she was lost too! Luckily, we found a helpful employee who told us how to get back to the temporaries floor. Clark lost his car on the first day, so it wasn’t just me. Clark is the guy who can bushwhack up the side of Mount Yonah, remember every single detail about a mountain bike trail and is the finder of lost stuff, including an iPhone out in a field (don’t ask). All concrete parking structures look alike.
In the sea of people, there were also familiar faces that stopped by. The Pioneer Woman’s BFF, Hyacinth and her daughter Meg came by, checking out merchandise for The Mercantile. Hy and Meg were quite gracious and humored me by posing for goofy photos.
Local friends stopped by as did some of our great retail partners. Clark and I both have high school friends at AmericasMart, my friend Tammy was there as well as Clark’s friend Jimbo. We also had some of Clark’s cousins stop by.
It was a big undertaking, a bit stressful at times, exhausting and rewarding. I can’t wait to go back again in January.