Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Continuing with my "Adventures" at the NY Intl. Gift Fair

I am now settled in at the "Preferred Buyers" Lounge, where I can hang up my coat, grab a cup of tea, and munch on my croissant.  (Almond this morning, Chocolate for tomorrow's treat).

And now it's time to browse the seemingly endless aisles, brimming with beautiful displays of almost
every type of product that you can imagine that relates to the retail gift industry.

I begin in  the "Handmade in America" section (of course!), and I am totally inspired!  It would take many, many pages of writing to give you lots of descriptive details, but here are couple of highlights:

Cute little "onesies", bibs, etc. with the funniest captions on them!  They are the creations of
Sara Kety. and I just LOVE her sense of humor  For example:

"Stop Texting and Change Me!"

"I am Cranky.  Is there anNapp for that?"

I would love to show you pictures of this adorable line, but they were not available to me.
I will provide the link, however, so you can see them for yourself.  I understand that they
are sold at Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.  Here is the link to her website:  http://www.sarakety.com/

Another favorite designer/owner, Susan Kolowich, has a a product line called "French Graffiti."
I guess I am especially drawn to beautifully designed products that make me smile (or totally
crack up!), because Susan's linen towels, wine totes, paper napkins and more have very cool designs that have "graffiti-style" captions and a very vintage look.
                                                           This caption "They read about the perils of drinking...so they gave up reading" is an example of the sensibilities and creative savvy of this designer. My photos are not great, but I encourage you to go to her website and see the entire collection.

Next I am "wowed" by Diana Indgjerd ("Dee").  Her company, 
"In Small Packages" is aptly named; she creates tiny little bits of vintage art on mah-jong or "Scrabble" tiles!  It's jewelry, of course....miniature art vignettes- birds, text, etc, finished with a resin coating.  Sweet!

Then I spot "Art Bird".  It's tag line, "Outerwear for Your Internet" says it all.
I especially liked the I Pad cover that says "Once upon a time there were books," featuring a charming mermaid.

Guess you've noticed a trend in picking my favorites; Vintage and Graffiti always
beckon me to look a little closer at the unique and original offerings.  And if it is humorous, even better.  The CEO of this company, Roy Fox, calls himself "Chairman of the Bird",  Too funny!

Then there's "Cookie and the Dude" (Owner/Designer is Helen Fawcett)  She creates turbans, headbands, tissue holders, earrings and more using bright, perky fabrics.  Really cute stuff!

I had the opportunity to meet a great jewelry artist, Randall Johnson.  His collection is called
"Je Suis Fraiche", and his style is, well, vintage and antique. (surprise, right?) You will also see a "jazz-art-deco" influence, as well as "tribal african" in his work.
He uses vintage components, antiqued brass, european beads, natural fibers and cameos to create amazing, one-of-a-kind bracelets and pendants.
At the time of this show Randall did not yet have a website, but he wants to make a blog (which I encouraged him to do).  I found some of his work on Amazon.
I hope that he can take some time as he creates his beautiful jewelry  (his studio is tucked away in the Catskill Mountains in New York state) to execute more of an on-line presence.

IN MY NEXT POST, I will share with you TRENDS I noticed,and how attending this show relates to my own art/design goals.  In the meantime,  I hope you will check out these "Made in the USA" artists/entrepreneurs.

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