Friday, August 23, 2019

NY NOW and My Favorite Show Neighbors

Me. Dunitz & Company Booth
This summer's NY Now is now behind us. It's hard to believe that Dunitz & Company has been exhibiting at this show since February 1990! Let's not count up those years. The one thing that I can tell you is attending the trade shows is a little bit like going to summer camp. Each season we all arrive with big smiles and hugs for our "regulars," our trade show friends. We catch up and visit for the days of the show. Often we break bread together. And when it’s over we all pack up, hug again, knowing next time will come soon. Do you understand my reference to summer camp?

Some of my favorite trade show friends had booth locations near me this past show. And if you don’t know them you should. First and foremost, these peeps are good people. Friendly. Fun. Kind. And, if you’re a retailer, you need to know their product. Why? Because these friends of mine have fabulous offerings. And they’re all ethical vendors.

Poonam, Nancy, Harish
Harish and Poonam from Sustainable Threads have been some of my Fair Trade Federation colleague favorites for just about forever. Well, for at least all the time Dunitz & Company has also been a Fair Trade Federation member. They're warm and supportive and always helpful. They design and sell fabulous table linens and home decor textiles that are ethically made in India. And Poonam is always trying to feed me. What could be better than a show neighbor who is always trying to pawn off delicious home-cooking?

Nancy, Joan, Kovida
Joan and Kovida from Sevya also work with artisans in India and are Fair Trade Federation members too. Their goodies target fashionistas. They offer an amazing array of scarves and some scrumptious tunic tops. If you sell wearables, you should definitely check them out. These woman also know all the best Indian Restaurants in New York City. Do you think I'm getting hungry as I type this post? If I want a southern Indian meal, and I want company, I know where to look.

Samir, Nancy, Marion
The NY Now angels knew what they were doing when they placed Samir from Socco Designs near me a couple of years ago. He's quite savvy and from the moment we met, we easily shared business ideas and information. But what I like most about him is he's kind, honest and funny. He feels like family. Socco Designs covers a lot of ground. They offer classy designs that hail from Morocco. Home decor and fashion. Got a lifestyle store? Check them out.  If you're reading this blog, you probably know me pretty well. You know I'm a natural interviewer. From all I've learned, I'm certain Socco treats their artisans fairly.

Nancy, Seema, Dhruti
Seema and Dhruti from Trovelore definitely make my list of favorites. They've been favorites for quite some time. And it wasn't until this past show that their booth was only a few yards from mine. Lucky me.  Trovelore and Dunitz & Company are both members of Museum Store Association, and it was within this community that we became acquainted. Seema and I actually were roommates last season at the MSA Forward in San Diego. You definitely get to know someone well when you share a room! These women are so kind and also nurturing. If you don't know their product line, you must. They design the most exquisite beaded pins - many butterflies and bugs. And I know beadwork!

Nancy, Ann
Anything Fair Trade Federation always makes me feel proud. The staff of FTF works tirelessly to educate the public about sustainability and fair trade. It's a huge job.  One way they do this is to staff a Fair Trade Display which is often situated in the lobby of Javits convention center. That's a lot of talking and explaining that goes on over the course of the trade show. One morning I arrived early and spotted Ann, FTF's membership manager tidying up the display.  She's a sweetheart. I'm always referring potential members to her. She's definitely a favorite.

Dunitz Fair Trade Jewelry
And now I diverge from favorite people to share a few selfish tidbits about Dunitz & Company and the show that just past. NY Now staff juried those to be featured in WFTO - Fair Trade Federation Display. Our beaded and embroidered bracelet and earrings from Guatemala were featured. Plug: If you haven't sold these in your store, I encourage you to consider them. They're right on trend and some great sellers.

Dunitz, destination:new display
Dunitz & Company was also selected for the destination:new display at NY Now.  We launched a new Contemporary Colors collection this season. I was completely impressed with how our earrings were featured in this display. (Aren't you?) We're offering these modern pieces in several color combinations. I was thrilled that a few museums and lifestyle stores honed in on them.

And what is so fun, is a few stores ordered them because some of the color combinations perfectly reflected schemes of their local high school, college and professional teams. In our booth, you could find these two-tone hipster pieces in several shapes including rectangles, circles, teardrops and square studs.

NY Now debuted fashion runway shows this season. Each morning gorgeous women and men strutted their stuff in the Crystal Palace (main lobby) of the Javits Center.  And then they strutted their stuff down the exhibition aisles. Well in advance of the show, in hopes of inclusion, I (and I'm sure oodles of others) submitted designs for consideration. Farai Simoyi, a world-renowned designer curated the event. And I was thrilled that our Coral Necklace and Embroidered Pendant Necklaces were selected.What's even more luscious is Zie was the perfect model of our jewelry. This gorgeous and warm-hearted woman stopped by our booth a couple of times and volunteered to have her photo snapped. If you're "about" fashion, you must check out her Instagram account. She's done some amazing editorial stuff.

NY Now Recap Pin
So there you have it. Dunitz & Company always has a great time showing off fair trade jewelry at NY Now. And we always love seeing our show friends. Stay tuned. Camp will be in session again next February and I'm sure I'll have other wonderful neighbors to tell you about.-ND