Last week I had the very exciting opportunity to head to Atlanta with a few members of The Blog Societies to check out & experience Atlanta Apparel at AmericasMart! What is Atlanta Apparel & AmericasMart you may ask? Dishing on all of that below as well as a recap of my trip. I’m also sharing how a visit to Atlanta Apparel can help YOU if you’re a blogger or business owner too!
What is AmericasMart?
AmericasMart is an absolutely massive wholesale trade center situated right in the heart of downtown Atlanta. I mean, just check out the atrium pictured above. So so so many floors to explore! It’s one of the few permanent trade centers in the world, hosting many different trade shows throughout the year, from home and gift – to accessories and apparel. These tradeshows are where designers and manufacturers go to promote their wares in the hopes that shops & boutiques across the country pick up their lines each season. It’s no surprise that AmericasMart is the #1 product destination in the world!
Let Me Tell You About Atlanta Apparel
Gladly! While AmericasMart is open year-round, it hosts all sorts of different niche markets seasonally to satisfy each & every buyer. Atlanta Apparel is the clothing & accessories market and is held several times a year. This October, Atlanta Apparel’s wholesale market boasted brands, designers & sellers in every apparel category to promote their spring lines to buyers.
Floor after floor & showroom after showroom were filled with the latest looks for spring. Many featured new trends, silhouettes & prints I had never even seen before. A lot of popular brands that have their own stores were there too – like BCBG and Draper James. It is actually very common for noteworthy brands to offer their pieces at wholesale prices to independent retailers too.
Being able to touch, feel and inspect the clothing that has yet to hit stores was just too much fun. It’s safe to say I was in my own version of fashion paradise!
How Can Bloggers or Small Business Benefit from Visiting?
There really are COUNTLESS answers to this question. But I’ll start by sharing four below.
1. See the Trends FIRST
Everyone wants to stay on top of what’s trending, especially bloggers, but business owners too. Whether it’s the “it” colors of the next season, the shift from edgy to feminine or to see what other buyers are buying and leaving behind, Atlanta Apparel at AmericasMart sets the stage of what will be in stores months in advance. To highlight new trends, and to break up the busy days at market, attendees & buyers are treated to many different events and fashions shows. There are even several style shows that pop up in the atrium daily, showcasing different apparel categories and trends. My favorite was the shoe style show! I’m a sucker for a pretty pair of shoes!
2. Meet with Brands Face to Face
Another really cool part about visiting Atlanta Apparel is getting the opportunity to meet with brands in person. We were able to chat with members of the team behind Yumi, Draper James, ZAC Zac Posen, Tolani and more. One of my favorite meetings was with Kaeli Smith (pictured above.) She sketches and paints her designs then has them screen printed into fabrics for a preppy chic line that is uniquely hers. She can even customize a print to any specific boutique or blog! Think oysters & pearls for Savannah or magnolias for Mississippi, the possibilities are endless! It was so fun to chitchat with her and hear her story.
3. Connect with other Bloggers & Business Owners from Across the Country
Leaving Atlanta with a pack of new friends was the icing on the cake to this fun & fashionably filled trip. Atlanta Apparel offers all sorts of mixers, events, panels & educational opportunities to connect with other attendees, meet new bloggers & get to know like-minded women from all across the US. And of course, Atlanta Apparel does it all in style!
The Spring 2018 Style Show was seriously swoon-worthy! (Now say that 5 times fast!) Guests even had a program in their hands with the brand behind each piece … just in case you wanted to stop by their booth and shop afterward!
I also mentioned the educational sessions that Atlanta Apparel provides. I had the honor of sitting on the panel of one of those educational sessions while in Atlanta and I couldn’t have been more excited! Our little group of bloggers from The Blog Societies shared tips and tidbits on how to use social media and blogs to grow a business. I had a blast answering different questions while on the panel as well as responding to audience questions at the end. It was one of my first times to sit on a panel actually! I thought I would be oh-so-nervous. But when I had such a great group of girls up there with me (& peach bellinis to go around) how could I be!?
4. Shopping … Duh!
As a blogger or business owner, depending on what type of tax license you have you can shop the products in each brand’s booth at wholesale prices to turn around in either your boutique, store or online shop. If you don’t have that special license, there is still a “cash & carry” floor where attendees can snag goodies at a fraction of the retail price. (I went quite wild in the jewelry shop!!) Several of the other bloggers I was with chatted about the possibility of opening our own online boutiques in conjunction with our blogs. It’s definitely a possibility and something I may be interested in trying down the road.
Several of the bloggers and I chatted about the possibility of opening our own online boutiques in conjunction with our blogs one day. It’s definitely a possibility and something I may be interested in trying down the road. Attending Atlanta Apparal showed the many possibilities of what we could include one day while giving us the tools to get started too.
I have a feeling my boutique would be filled with lots & lots of lace! 😉
And alas, I can’t let this blog post come to a close without sharing at least one of the outfits I wore while in Atlanta. With the temperatures a bit cooler than those in Texas, I finally got to pull out one of my favorite sweaters! While I was at it, I thought I’d throw on a vest too. (Hey, it might be my only opportunity to actually dress for fall!) 😉 I knew we would be sitting on the panel, so I styled my look with statement jeans featuring embroidered flowers in the loveliest of fall shades. I threw on a pair of comfy & funky heels and was all set to speak, shop & socialize with Atlanta Apparel.
Big thank you to AmericasMart and The Blog Societies for having me in Atlanta last week! I seriously couldn’t have had more fun. And thank you to Atlanta Apparel for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks to YOU guys for supporting the brands that make Lone Star Looking Glass possible.