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Friday, January 20, 2012

America's Mart 2012

One of the largest gift shows has just wrapped up in Atlanta at America's Mart.  It happens twice a year and sets up thousands of temporary booths in addition to all of the permanent show rooms.  Many of the bloggers have taken us on a tour of the show and featured their favorite showrooms.  I've decided to feature what I feel was the most creative temporary booth that I found in the High Design area.

Hign Design is a juried area that features what the show producers feel is the best and most unusual exhibitors.  Here's a look at the booth of Rebecca Ray Designs and this is Rebecca here in the red skirt.  Not only was the booth beautiful and welcoming, but the product was incredible.  Classy, unique and exceptional quality!!!  Lets tour..........

Photographs of the wares are generally prohibited at the show, but I asked nicely and got permission to show you these images.  Keep in mind that this is a temporary booth and it must be shipped out in five days.  However, they have managed to make it look like you have stepped into a beautiful den or tack room.  Look at the way this fireplace wall lends warmth to the display!  Even the fresh flowers were special.  These gorgeous orange roses picked up the colors in the booth and there were even real blackberry canes in the arrangements.

This is the back wall, complete with shelves and window seat.  Look at the vintage image that represents their philosophy.  Their merchandise features the American lifestyle, especially the sporting world.  Dogs and horses predominate in their images, but fishing and farming are often seen.  Custom images can be used and you can often find an image of "your" dog or horse to make your product even more special.

There were two mannequins in the booth, each creatively outfitted with their merchandise combined with clever ephemera.

This one has a skirt of award ribbons from horse shows....

and broaches centered with their rosettes with a gift tag from the stationery line.

Her hat and veil sit upon a fresh flower arrangement.

Edwina stands on the other side of the booth.  She's more casual with a jeans jacket cuffed with ribbons, a moss purse, and a skirt made out of this fabulous wrapping paper.

Oh!  The stationery line!  It's a new addition to the company and is called Seven Barks.  It uses vintage photos to make the three collections:  equine, canine, and farm/fair.  The quality is exceptional and the designs will make anyone smile.  I walked the entire show and never saw anything like this.

You'll find journals, book marks, gift tags, luggage tags, mouse pads, postcards and wrapping paper.

I LOVED the file folders.  All of this beauifully detailed packaging is done by developmentally delayed adults. Rebecca has a background in social services and one of their goals is to give these employees the sense of accomplishment and the pride of a job well done.

Here's the gift wrap made into a pleated skirt for Edwina, the mannequin.  It comes in dogs or horses and is beautifully heavy quality.

Here's an example of the handbags she offers.  This one took over a year to bring from design to production.  All of the hardware in the line is authentic equestrian hardware and this stirrup is a real pony stirrup!!!  I wish you could pick this up and feel how lovely it is.  All of the pieces are bench made and they use master harness makers for their leather.  And everything in the entire booth is entirely made in the USA.  Not made somewhere else and assembled here, but MADE here!

OK!  I lied about that a teeny bit.  There is this exception.  This bag is made from antique french grain sacks.  The other bag you see here is made from vintage Hudson Bay blankets.  See the belt, too?

This grouping is made from canvas and these pieces with the grain sack images are the hottest thing!

How about some dog collars or leashes?

Or small leather goods and jewelry?

Loved these bit bracelets!

As a special bonus, the printer.......

and the production manager for Seven Barks were there.  They welcomed feedback and suggestions for new items.  At least they pretended to!  They were the sweetest men!

It's admirable to see a vendor who has a vision and commitment and sticks to them both.  To see more of this line, go to

I'm still unpacking catalogues, line sheets, business cards and other literature from the show.  Three buildings, thousands of vendors, and many cups of coffee later, I am stunned and appreciative of all of the heart that these vendors put into their merchandise.  What an endorsement of the American way of life.  Call it commercialism, capitalism, or anything else, but I see it as a way of bringing a dream to reality.


  1. Wow! That booth was amazing!! I love the bag made from the Hudson Bay blanket. Sounds like you had a great day at the mart :)

  2. Thank you for sharing. I ride MARTA when I can rather than driving to work and while I got to mix and mingle with show goers on the train, I didn't get to go to the show :-( In July, maybe I could take and afternoon so we could meet up for lunch and go over together.

  3. I saw that was outstanding! Great post.

  4. I am in LOVE with that booth and will check out her wares soon. Thanks!!!!


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