San Francisco Treats!

Cupcakes A wonderful display of cupcakes in San Francisco.

I had a lot of fun at the San Francisco International Gift Fair this season. Our products are displayed at the fair in the Lori Minden showroom. Lori and her team are sales reps for PPP in Northern California. They're a pleasure to work with. And San Francisco is one of my favorite cities to visit while doing the trade show circuit. I just have to learn to stay away from the sourdough bread!

I was good this time, I swear. But it wasn't easy. And Lori serves candy and snacks all day long, which are appreciated by show attendees and buyers. But it's really hard not to sneak a treat in between customer inquiries about our latest journals and Scratch & Sketches. To make matters even more tempting, the Sweet Shop was set up at the show with Whoopie Pies for all! All kinds of confectionery surrounded me, but I remained strong.

I was also next to the gong this year. Lori does a "gong and win" game each show. If you write orders for three product lines in her showroom space, you get to bang the gong and spin the wheel for a prize — cash, gift certificates for food/coffee, etc. If you've ever attended this show, I'm sure you've heard the gong go off!

Sugar seemed to be calling my name after hours, too — even while shopping at the Westfield Mall. A visit to Bristol Farms for water before going to the movie theater brought me to the magnificent display in the top photo. Drool!

But really, San Francisco is also wonderful for views, history, and culture. It's got everything a tourist — even a business tourist — could want.

I even got THE most relaxing reflexology foot massage while there (a must after a day on your feet at the show) at a place in Japantown called uTOEpia.  Two toes up in a circle for that! (Thanks for the rec and reservation, Christine!)

Then I had dinner with a friend at The House, near Telegraph Hill and North Beach, across from City Lights Bookstore. Delicious! And the people at the next table raved about the mushroom rice with grilled prawns — it was a "moving experience" (the food actually moved)! The House is a small place and popular — if you go, make reservations.

And I had a great dinner the last night in town with Lori and her reps at Osha Thai. Really good! Thanks, Lori!

Claudine is PPP Sales Manager and the author of our Diet and Fitness Journal.

Adventures in Atlanta!

Doing the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Show is always a trip. I count my blessings each time that I am able to fly out of our local airport here in Westchester because it’s just a 15-minute ride from home and it’s small so you can, should you happen to awaken late, or take too long getting ready, or misjudge traffic get there just a few minutes before your flight. I’ve literally dropped off friends 15 minutes before their flight was scheduled to take off and they made it. But I don’t recommend pushing your luck.

Our showroom is in the “West Wing” of Building 2, #680A. We share it with House of Marbles. And in Beauty and the Beast fashion, it’s as if no one’s allowed in the West Wing. It’s a maze. We’re frequently pointing people in the right direction. It’s a pleasure to meet our retailers and we’re always happy to show off the new products in our showroom. It’s like shopping a store! If you can't make it to our showroom, you can also find our product in the very happening and fun JustGot2HaveIt showroom, #1721 in Building 2.

I really enjoy seeing Atlanta while I’m there, but with late hours I mostly only get to enjoy the hotel and dinner out. Lately, I’ve been staying at the Twelve Centennial Park Hotel. It’s like having my own apartment, when I’m there. I highly recommend it. You can usually get rates under $200/nite through the show site or another travel site. They had a really adorable dolphin (see photo) outside the entrance to ROOM, their restaurant, this year.

Aside from room service at the hotel, we were able to have dinner out with one of our Sales Rep Principals – Al Hattendorf, who covers the DC, VA, MD, DE area. The bunch of us, Al and Kathy Hattendorf, Alan Romano from House of Marbles, John Hartley and I, enjoyed dinner at Rosebud, a really cool place in the Virginia Highlands. The food was delicious even if half the menu items we wanted were sold out!

See you next time!
The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®
January 9 – 16 2013