Inspiration At AmericasMart in Atlanta

AmericasMart in Atlanta, as I have shared with you in the past, is a plethora of inspiration and our best source for finding the new goods that we bring to you. It is a staggering gathering of manufacturers displaying their wares in delightful and creative ways in the hopes of drawing you into their showroom.

Once in their showroom, of course they hope that you place an order. Given the volume of companies, both big and small who show here, the options are endless. This trip is so much more than a shopping trip though, for if you don’t do your research before you arrive, it is quite possible to be lured into making purchases that are impulse buys. It is also quite possible to walk around the three, fifteen-story plus buildings that comprise the Mart, creating circles and wasting time on floors that do not sell what you are looking for.

The Mart has made it quite easy to get from building to building with glass bridges in the air that run between the buildings and the hotels in the area.

In mid January, we spent five days traversing those bridges and buildings, in the hopes of finding unique merchandise that spoke to us to both bring to you and incorporate into the design of our upcoming Spring Barn Sale as well as to also outfit the soon to be Mercantile and Cafe.

Does anyone remember these? We found them on our last day as we made our final run through the market, frantically getting to anyone on our list that we had not visited yet, before napping in the Market lounge and then catching our evening flight back home. We all look a little haggard and tired and our newcomer, Lynda, reiterated to Julie, our second timer, and I, many times on the trip that she might punch someone if they ask her upon her arrival home, “If she had a nice time shopping!” Now Lynda does not have a mean bone in her body but we think she is still recovering from a trip that she did not know she was getting herself into when she said yes. I know that it took me a few days to recuperate and after 8 years of attending Market, I know what to expect. Fatigue and all… it is an amazing experience that I feel blessed to be able to partake in year after year! And it is an even better experience when you can share it with friends who understand and somewhat get my craziness in selecting what I am going to buy and the vision in how to best display it. We made an incredible team, thus enabling us to place countless orders, all of which have been arriving daily.

I thought I would share with you what we saw this year. Some of it you will see in the barn and some will make its appearance in the Mercantile and some are just photos to help you experience the energy that is AmericasMart.

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As I stated above, the designs in many of the showrooms are fabulous. Some captured our hearts with their aesthetic and some did not but could still be appreciated for their creativity.

In the displays of merchandise, we often see items that we have either been finding in our vintage picking trips or we buy as reproductions, displayed in a new way. How cool is this application for these demijohn bottles?

There are a multitude of displays that showcase their products en masse and you have to sift through and decide on objects and product that you can incorporate into what you have already ordered. Or, you will have to decide upon what type of pillow for example, that you will order amongst the 20 or so pillow manufacturers that you find.


The same goes for artwork…

And tabletop and paper goods…

Costing has to be considered so that we can bring product to you at all different price points. So do quantities and how many we order of each item. (This is certainly a not to shabby place to hash that all out, is it?)

From the luxurious high end products…


to beautiful Christmas merchandise…


to smaller everyday decor items…


to handmade artisan items…


to my absolute favorites… the vintage finds…

most of which made us drool.


Buying vintage in Atlanta is definitely a costly proposition for many of the dealers have accrued significant expense at securing these objects of the past. We typically purchase our vintage on our own picking trips in the field so we can pass those cost savings onto our shoppers… but that does not stop us from admiring what they have been able to secure.

We did find some vintage smalls that we were able to pack into our 69 pound check-in suitcase. Almost all of which we had to frantically shove into our carry ons at check in. Its a good thing none of us were taking photos of that event!


All in all, the trip was everything that we had hoped for and more. As we unpack the merchandise that is coming in, it is even more rewarding to see it here in the barn and dream up how we are going to present it to you at our Spring Barn Sale. Don’t worry, Christmas does not start shipping until July so even though we had to order now, you won’t have to decide on these beauties until you come back for our Holiday Sale in November.

We hope that you stay tuned to our announcement at the end of this month as to when we will be holding our Spring Sale! The date will be decided as this month progresses and our progress on the Mercantile does as well. Just like I am revealing a bit of the “behind the scenes of making a Barn Sale happen” with this post of what we see in Atlanta, there is an even bigger back story of how the new location in Historic Yellow Springs and all of its challenges has unfolded. We will begin to highlight that process in an upcoming blog series entitled, “From Dream to Reality… the Renovation of the Jenny Lind House.”

Along with chronicling the renovation of the Jenny Lind, we will be bringing you along on some of our picking trips via social media and showing you how we get those found items here to the barn. Some of them come home on our trailer that we bring with us. Some, like this delivery came all the way from Texas and just arrived yesterday and were a much more laborious delivery, but well worth the time and effort.

This beauty is to end up the Life’s Patina Mercantile and Cafe.

We are thankful for all of you that follow what we do here at Life’s Patina and have embraced it. We have embraced you and you spur us onwards. Keep traveling with us for we assure you that the ride will offer you many viewpoints on the journey of life… both externally and internally.

A saying to leave you with that made us chuckle…

May you chuckle at it as well and delight in the little things!

xoxo Meg and the team at Life’s Patina

  1. love it, looks like you ladies worked hard and made it fun…. the secret to a happy life!

    Can’t wait to see the treasures.
    xo
    lisa C

    • Meg Veno says:

      Exactly!!! It isn’t work if you’re having fun!
      Looking forward to seeing you in the Spring! Hope you and that beautiful family are all well!
      XO
      Meg

  2. Karen says:

    AmericasMart, who knew!!! Thank you for sharing your experience. I can understand how one would be exhausting!! Will be at the fall sale ????

  3. Cindy Gerson says:

    Clocheperational!

  4. Mary Boyer says:

    I know exactly what you mean about the exhaustion you feel from attending trade shows especially that size, but it’s a good exhaustion….about 4 days later!
    Love the work you do. Love getting your emails and your blog! Keep up the good work! Can’t wait til the spring sale!

    • Meg Veno says:

      Thank you Mary for enjoying the blogs and reading them! Yes, it is a good sense of exhaustion and one that is filled with accomplishment once those orders start coming in! Looking forward to seeing you at the Spring Sale!
      Be well!
      Meg

  5. Lynda Angelo says:

    Meg,
    Working the Atlanta Buying Trip week with you and Julie was wonderful- I loved every minute of it. I have always been impressed with your vision and can’t wait to see the items purchased in your vignette’s.

    Lynda

    • Meg Veno says:

      We Loved every minute of having you there Lynda!You were a huge asset and we sure had a lot of laughs didn’t we? Cannot wait for you to see what I’ve planned to do with all that stuff we ordered down there. It is coming in in volume!
      XO
      Meg