Buyer’s Corner: Clock Tower Shop at Filoli

{Sponsored} Nestled among the vibrant gardens, winding trails and historic buildings at Filoli Historic House & Garden is the Clock Tower Shop — the nonprofit boutique shopping destination for visitors looking for the perfect gift to remember their experience at the 654-acre estate in Woodside, California.Filoli Clock Tower Shop display

As things started opening back up, people wanted to get out of their houses, shop and have a good time — what better place than the wide open, natural environment at Filoli? The official shop at Filoli, Clock Tower Shop features not only products grown on-site at the gardens but also carefully curated gifts that speak to shoppers’ desire to connect with their visit and with nature.

“We’ve had an awesome year!” shared Chris DiGiorgio, associate buyer for Clock Tower Shop. “We have basically smashed every sales target and record we previously had … We’ve sold two times, three times, four times of so many products and categories we could barely keep up with demand.”

The best-selling products span every category: food to housewares, home goods, gardening, bath and body. Michel Design Works is particularly popular.

Filoli Clock Tower Shop Christmas Display“Not only do the people respond to the scents, but they also really like the packaging; it sells the product,” DiGiorgio said.

One of DiGiorgio’s own favorites is Cavallini Papers & Co.

“They’re local to us,” he said. The company offers paper goods, vintage photos and art. “Any time we bring in Cavallini, that’s probably the paper company that has done the best for us.”

The store also has also built up a kids’ department where one didn’t previously exist.

“We don’t just want a plastic toy; we want an educational component,” he continued. “Our kids department has done extremely well this year.”

The products his customers couldn’t get enough of? Toysmith. “They have a good grasp on the kind of products we want to offer kids.”

As they beat every budgeted goal for sales this year and were reordering products what seemed like every week, DiGiorgio attended both Atlanta Market and Las Vegas Market during the summer. They don’t typically attend the summer markets, but did this year due to missing the winter 2021 markets. But DiGiorgio is looking forward to returning to both Atlanta Market and Las Vegas Market this winter.

“Atlanta is obviously such an enormous show, and for us that is where we do a bulk of our holiday (buying),” he said. “It’s definitely worth it for us. We follow that up by going to Las Vegas Market just to see if there is anything we missed, and also trying to finish off a lot of our spring buy.

“Spring is right around the corner, and, like I mentioned, it is the busiest three months of our year. We finish the holiday, and if anything is new and cool and exciting for spring, hopefully we can buy it then. (At both shows we have the) same goals but think about different things.”

While he’s shopping the shows, some of his favorite showrooms and vendors are Kurt Adler where “you can get anything whimsical and fun but also have classy, stylish items” and K&K Interiors with a “very classic look that our guests respond to.”

As a veteran of both shows, DiGiorgio’s first tip to those attending the winter markets: don’t get overwhelmed. “Set up specific items or categories you are looking to nail down,” he suggested. “I have never gone to a show there and not been able to find it … go in with an open mind willing to talk with anyone about product.

“Las Vegas Market just opened new buildings with the Temps, and that is the first place we go. Start there to see the newer companies, newer products out there.”

So, why is it so important for DiGiorgio to attend shows in person? He said he’s a touch-it, feel-it person.

“A lot of times when looking in a catalog, you don’t get the feel for the product,” he said. “I need to see it in person. As long as there are markets going on, I will be the type of person who always wants to go.”

Atlanta Market and Las Vegas Market are particular favorites.

“We go to Las Vegas and Atlanta because of the variety, and overall, we can find whatever we want and need at those two shows,” he said. “(There are) so many people and products, we can’t dream up an idea or product and not be able to find it. We love seeing the products in person, meeting people and seeing ideas, keeping ourselves sharp and on top of trends in industry.”

All of that, DiGiorgio said, contributes to being able to provide his customers with a top-notch experience and give them exactly what they’re looking for.

Join us for January Market in Atlanta and Winter Market in Las Vegas.

Atlanta Market, January 2022
Showrooms: Tuesday, January 11 – Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Temporaries: Wednesday, January 12 – Sunday, January 16, 2022

Register here.

Las Vegas Market, Winter Market 2022
January 23 – 27, 2022

Register here.

 

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