How good it feels to be home; baby & puppy snuggles were definitely missed! If you've been following along with us this past week, you'll know we've gotten our foot in the door with retailers across the country at AmericasMart, a huge trade show in Atlanta, that retailers attend & purchase items for their stores. There are so many treasures to be found, and let me tell you, we found them! The Living Joy team met amazing new friends, learned a TON and laughed even more. Our goal when planning what our space would look like was to bring a breath of fresh air to a place of busy & that's exactly what we did!
Thinking about going yourself as a wholesaler?
Here's our list of 11 things you NEED to know before you go...
1 - COMFY SHOES! COMFY SHOES! COMFY SHOES! Let me scream this one from the rooftops! You're doing a lot of standing/walking, so those dogs will be barking if you don't wear the right shoe!
2 - BE PREPARED: It comes and goes so quick. We were ready for Market about a month ahead. We had everything we needed & were ready to set up. Plan, make a list, & plan some more (& make another list, lol). Having everything ready to go allowed our setup to be really quick and easy. We had our booth design & everything we needed to make it happen way in advance. So, once the day arrived to put it all together, it was a breeze!
3 - GET A HOTEL CLOSE BY. We stayed a little less than a mile away, and this was wonderful. However, since we had some bad weather, walking was not possible. My hubs, Greg, was such a trooper & drove us right up to the door each morning. There are connecting hotels that allow you to just walk through a tunnel & you're there, we'll do this next time!
4 - HAVE A TALKING POINT. We had pens, really pretty pens, made prior to the show. This + our information pamphlet (with all our info on it) was an amazing way to catch peoples attention. It was an easy way to better serve potential retailers. Also, sweet Mary Blair passed them out in the freezing cold, bringing those in who might not have passed by otherwise.
5- BE INTUITIVE. I am a HUGE rule follower. Like, HUGE! However, there are always ways around guidelines. Making time (& your team) work in your favor allows for quicker setup & tear down. Instead of waiting hours to load and unload our uhaul, we took a few trips with our hand truck which was parked in a nearby lot; pure genius.
6 - LAUGH MUCH! Man, I wish you could have been a fly on the wall in our hotel room. Now looking back, I'm not sure if it was the lack of sleep or the pure comic genius each of is, but the Living Joy team did NOT stop laughing.
7 - BRING GOOD FRIENDS: Yall, my sweet hubs, best friend & our LJ creative director joined forces together and rocked this week; and what a crew we were! Seriously, Mary Blair (my bff) & Laura became besties! Not only did this make the trip more enjoyable, but these three are passionate about what Living Joy stands for. Their hearts are in it for the long run. God worked through the Living Joy team. They served like Jesus! It's true what they say, time flies by when you're having fun.
8 - MAKE GOOD FRIENDS! & we really did! There are so many others bringing the Lord to the marketplace, and this brings me such joy. It's encouraging to know that we are not alone in this fight. Our business is not for our flesh, but for eternity; we are growing the kingdom one journal, tee shirt, tattoo & card at a time! Our hearts are all about community; look for a post soon about who we met.
9 - WOMEN NEED QUIET TIME. Now, I know I'm extra passionate about quiet time, after all, that's what pushed me to start LJ in the first place; but, if there is one thing you take away from this is that YOU WILL NEED TIME AWAY. 10 hour days are no joke. It's like you have to "be on" and ready to go at all times. It is physically and mentally draining. Time alone with Jesus is needed. Take time away with Him. Trust me, you'll thank me later! #RestInHim
10 - EAT WELL! Next to coffee, there is only one thing that's a must: ya gotta eat! Why not eat well! Here's a list of our favorite bites in downtown ATL:
- Antico - the BEST brick oven pizza (& I LOVE brick oven...this stuff is good!)
- STATS - "Voted the best sports bar in ATL" for a reason! Such good food, even better beer. It was a great way to catch up on the NFL playoffs! Get the hummus, you won't regret it! Also, they have beer taps on the tables, how fun is that!
- Max's - Because pizza once a week is never enough! This time it was cooked in a coal oven...& it was soooo yummy.
- Polaris - This restaurant is atop a hotel; it spins around the city & with 360-degree views of ATL & such delicious food, this is a must.
11 - IT'S ALL IN GOD'S HANDS. After all, we were at Market to sell our journals to retailers. My one hope for the show was to see if others were receptive to the idea of our journal. I know I love it, but would others? & they did! It makes my heart happy to know other women desire to walk alongside Living Joy to bring simplicity & intention to time with Jesus. I am so excited to announce we are in 10 states & over 20 retailers!