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Atlanta: Heard at market

News from the Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market

As traffic continues to build in the three Atlanta market buildings, retailers were buzzing about the ongoing eco-friendly trend, including the products they are seeing and what they are doing in their own businesses to stay green.

AmericasMart debuts its Green Product Showcase this week, offering market attendees a look at the variety of recycling, repurposing and environmentally-friendly options available in a wide range of price points and designs.

“I sell hundreds and hundreds of lamps and chandeliers each year. I recently switched all of the light bulbs – ALL of them, which is probably 500 in my shop – to these new energy-saving bulbs and it’s the best thing I ever did,” said Anna Schuster, Anna’s Mostly Mahogany Warehouse and Marketplace, Highwood, Ill. “We carry nothing made from granulated plastic. I’m also using only recyclable bags and am reusing grocery bags; now some of my customers even bring them in. We’ve also switched to environmentally-friendly cleaning products and I’m very anti- (Styrofoam) peanuts so we ship with shredded paper or airbags and encourage our vendors to do the same.”

“I’m a member of a generation for whom it’s definitely important – I feel we all need to pitch in but with regard to the store, I’m not as certain about where to start,” said Jaska Russell, Occasions, Portland, Tenn. “There are some really innovative products coming to market that get you thinking about the possibilities, though. This morning I saw a report on a new biodegradable lipstick container made from wildflower seeds. Once the lipstick has been used up, you can tear up the package and send it back into the environment.”

Other news from around the show:

* Rug company Safavieh is hosting a party to celebrate the Green Product Showcase today. The party will follow the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the showcase of eco-friendly, sustainable source products. “While these rugs are timely because consumers have begun to recognize the value of recycled and environmentally friendly home furnishings, it is important to understand that area rug companies like ours have always produced organic products,” said Arash Yaraghi, principal of Safavieh.


* Regina-Andrew Design has doubled its Atlanta showroom space this summer in showroom MM13-E-2. The company expanded to mark the launch of Bohemia, a lifestyle collection of occasional furniture and home decor aimed at the emerging urban-chic designer market. “We are very excited to reintroduce furniture into our line in this type of setting” said company principal James Andrew. “The new showroom is informal yet edgy and is filled with vintage tufted leather furniture, wooden distressed tables, antique mirror accents and hand-painted lamps and accessories in an urban loft setting. It makes for a wonderful buying experience.”


* Hand-blown glass and pottery designer Simon Pearce joins the Atlanta market this year. “Joining the many fine companies already showing products at AmericasMart is the logical next step for the Simon Pearce brand, as we always strive to better serve our customers’ needs,” said Bruce Holloway, Simon Pearce’s director of wholesale sales. Company founder Simon Pearce will appear at an event Friday at the showroom, from 5-7 p.m.


* OneCoast is celebrating its 10th anniversary at this summer’s markets with a party for customers from 5 to 7 p.m. this evening at its AmericasMart showroom, GM 1800. “We are kicking off our celebration of this original vision of outstanding service with special events throughout the summer markets,” said Ted Teele, CEO. “Most significantly, we are celebrating our many retailer customers who have made our success possible.”

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