An Insider’s Look at Market

Whew, market August 2021 was something!  Going solo to market was an adventure!  I missed having my mentor Stacia Winkler with Vintage Elements with me for all the fun.  For those who wonder what market is like, let me give you a little glimpse.  There are several markets around the country each year.  I attended the Las Vegas market.  I like his market for two reasons.

1) All the showrooms are contained in four buildings.

2) It’s Vegas people!

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is still a lot of walking involved. The four buildings have approximately 5 million square feet of showrooms!  That’s a lot of merchandise to see.  During a typical day, one would meet with the rep for each showroom that is assigned to their geographic area.  The reps can share what trends they are seeing, what inventory they have, details on products specs, and what is soon to come.  Pre-COVID, there were lots of cocktails and food to accompany a hard day of work.  But with COVID restrictions still in place, it was pretty much all work and little play!  I would like to say that when I left market at the end of each day, I went out on the town to party, but let’s get real. Your body is so exhausted that it takes all your power to crawl back to your hotel room and order room service.

As I sit here on my flight home, there were some common themes that I took from this less-than-typical market.  First, the ripple effects of a global pandemic continue to hit many industries including the design world.  I was excited to hear companies say “we just received 126 containers of goods” but I also heard some say “it’s going to be a while before the industry is normal again”.  With manufacturers overseas shutting down their factories once again and the astronomical freight fees being implemented, access to home goods is going to be a tricky game to play for the next year or two.  Don’t get me wrong. There are many good options out there but you just need to be ready to be patient.

The second theme is that there hasn’t been a big shift in design concepts because many buyers have been restricted from traveling to see new products.  Buyers are now buying for three years from now, instead of the normal one year out.  I did see some beauties and feel strongly that this temporary halt in production will only get the creative juices going in supplies and that in another year, we will have a great selection of products ready for your enjoyment.

The final theme from market: bring back the booze and food!  Market is so much fun to be able to see but it is sooo much work and in turn it is even more enjoyable with a nice glass of wine and mini snickers in hand.