What’s Trending: A shift from gift to home By Jess Schmidt

{Sponsored} As many consumers continue to work and play primarily from home, the gift industry is seeing product demand shift from previous bestsellers to goods consumers use to enhance and enjoy their homes.

Some retailers envision that shift becoming permanent once the pandemic is declared to be over. We talked to three retailers about these trends as well as

Coton Colors Happy Everything Plate
Coton Colors

what they’re seeing from trade shows like Atlanta Market at AmericasMart and their hopes for the future.

2021 Shopping Trends

All three shop owners observed similar trends at their unique stores: a shift towards things that foster a comfortable and inviting tone in consumers’ homes.

For Rusted Arrow Mercantile, the big 2021 trends that Breedlove expects include home décor, puzzles, and inspirational and motivational items such as guided journals.

Hemby of The Tabby Shore Gift Boutique normally sees a large contingent of tourists who love locally handmade items, but locals have gravitated toward clothing and accessories in addition to the gifts they normally seek.

Jessica Hemby
Jessica Hemby

Hemby expects the trends she saw in 2020 to continue through 2021.

A major shift to comfy clothing happened at J.A. Whitney. Geschke, who co-owns the shop with her mother, has increased the number of items from the customer-favorite Barefoot Dreams line, along with home décor, and they’ve seen a reduction in the amount of jewelry that customers want. Barefoot Dreams is all about luxurious fabrics in comfortable loungewear designs.

 Atlanta Market Finds

Samantha Breedlove
Samantha Breedlove

As a fourth-year retail owner and AmericasMart attendee, Breedlove has found many of her favorites at Atlanta Market. She is always inspired by the displays at >Hester & Cook and Sugarboo. Ivystone is another favorite showroom that offers a variety of home accents along with gift lines that are favorites of the Rusted Arrow Mercantile clientele. Smeg is a new line they’re going to start carrying, with bright colors and great gift registry options to freshen up Breedlove’s home offerings.

Jen Geschke
Jen Geschke

Hemby takes an approach to Atlanta Market that is different than most. In order to maximize time in the Temporaries, Hemby checks them out first, hoping to see fresh ideas and designs. Then she heads to some of the larger showrooms. January was Hemby’s third visit to Atlanta Market, and she enjoyed getting to speak directly to the designers — like Little Fish BOTEAK — in the Temps due to the laid-back feel at market in January. She also seeks out female-led companies like Mary Square and Jane Marie in the OneCoast showroom.

A 10-year veteran retailer and Atlanta Market shopper, Geschke loves checking out the Temps and was glad to have appointments with some favorite larger showrooms. Lafco and Ella B candles are big sellers for J.A. Whitney, and Ella B is one of the brands Geschke discovered via the Temps at Atlanta Market in 2020. Other favorites include Coton Colors, FarmHouse Fresh and Barefoot Dreams. 

Show Trends

Inspiration is everywhere at Atlanta Market. “My favorite is how beautifully they do all the displays. Accent Décor, hanging stuff from the ceiling … it gives you so much inspiration for gifts and displays,” Breedlove said.

Jane Marie handbags
Jane Marie handbags

Her trips to Atlanta Market are as much about the wares she plans to bring back home as they are about getting inspiration for the coming years’ worth of displays. Breedlove prefers to “soak up creativity and bring it back home,” during each trip to Atlanta Market. Energy abounds in January at Atlanta Market. Hemby loves how the energy from the busy holiday season continues through market, bringing freshness and excitement that she can bring back to Tabby Shore for the coming year. “January is great timing; we can plan the rest of the year, with new product lines and trend forecasting,” Hemby said.

Geschke missed out on market in August, and found she also missed being there. “I look forward to market, to see familiar faces. It’s just not the same doing things virtually. I love seeing displays and getting merchandising ideas and window display ideas. I get so much more out of being physically there.” Geschke consistently attends Atlanta Market every January and July because of the size of the show and the fact that every vendor she wants to visit is there.

 July Atlanta Market will be here before you know it.

Showrooms: July 13 – 19

Temporaries: July 14 – 18

To learn more and register to attend, visit atlantamarket.com.

 © 2021 AmericasMart Atlanta

Jess Schmidt

Jess brings a creative writing degree and over 16 years of professional writing experience to her role as content marketer for the Great American Media Services and SmartSolutions teams. With her additional background in the design world, she works with clients to make their brand stories stand out. Her specialties are thought leadership, compelling descriptive language and marketing strategy. She moonlights as a contributing writer with Gift Shop Plus from time to time.




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