Our super colorful coasters--they were a HUGE hit!

Our week in ATL!

A Blushed Life

So if you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts, I’ve been talking a lot about getting ready for our FIRST EVER trade show, which was at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart this past week. We went into it not knowing at all what to expect. Are we going to be overwhelmed? Is anyone going to come see us? What if it’s a big bust? I do have to give a shout out and BIG thanks to my BFF Katie of Sylvia Benson. She gave us so many helpful tips and we would have been totally lost without her. The experience itself was amazing, and definitely the best decision we’ve made thus far with The Blush Label. So a great success! But it was one LONG week:

I flew into ATL on Monday of last week to start setting up, and Mary drove in on the same day. Thank goodness we decided to get there early–we were in the temporaries section and our exhibit didn’t start until Thursday. I carried all of the scarves, placemats, coasters, and the cocktail napkins with me because we knew none of them would break on the plane. I packed my bag full and when I got to the airport and tried to check my personal bag, they insisted that my bag of samples was too large to carry on and I would have to check that as well. I had a mini freak out moment thinking “What if my luggage gets lost and I lose everything?!” so I sat on the floor and pulled as much out as I could and put it in my purse. Luckily, my luggage arrived OK and I just looked like a crazy lady in the check in line!

I got into ATL, dropped my stuff off at the hotel, then took the samples to where our exhibit was in Building 1. If you have never been to ATL market…I can’t even explain how huge that place is. There are 3 MASSIVE buildings and it would probably take 2 weeks to walk through all of the exhibits, maybe longer. I got to our floor and it looked like a construction zone/mouse maze. I got lost, walked around about 4 times, and finally had to ask Exhibitor Services where our booth was because there was no way I could find it on my own. Luckily, Mary showed up shortly afterwards with the pillows, trays, and the glasses and we got set up pretty easily. We only had one moment of arguing (amazing!) over an Ikea shelf that wasn’t easy to put together. When you work with family, especially your sister, arguing is inevitable and it’s a miracle we got away with only one during that process. BUT, later on that afternoon she lost the keys to the rental car, which still had the pillows and our signs in it, and after a frantic hour of tears and frustration, I found them and we got everything out and returned the car. Here are some pics from the first day:

First Day at ATL Market!

First Day at ATL Market!

The Cocktail Napkin Display, and our Pineapple Tray.

The Cocktail Napkin Display, and our Pineapple Tray.

Our super colorful coasters--they were a HUGE hit!

Our super colorful coasters–they were a HUGE hit!

The two of us...nervous and excited on the first day!

The two of us…nervous and excited on the first day!

A full shot of our Bombay Scarf--another big hit!

A full shot of our Bombay Scarf–another big hit!

When we opened on Thursday the building looked like a madhouse of frantic buyers trying to get in as quickly as possible. We posted pictures of our booth and some items on Instagram and left our booth number, which was smart. Apparently we were not on the “good” side of the building, so we didn’t get as much traffic as the other side. The first hour was terrifying because we were thinking “What if nobody comes to see us?!” but luckily people started coming in, and mostly because of what they saw on Instagram–social media is so powerful. I can’t even count how many people said, “I wouldn’t even have come to this side of the building if I hadn’t known you were here.” So that definitely made us feel better. We had the pleasure of meeting a good number of people that we follow on Instagram–which was so fun! At one point we had about 4 different people in our booth, who follow us and we follow, and it turns out they were all following each other as well. Insta-party! Seriously, it’s so fun actually getting out there and meeting people who do, and love, the same things you do.

We were also lucky enough to be positioned around some other great exhibitors. Across from us was Color Dunes and Pillow Heaven, and we were right next to Orientalist Home. Each has great stuff, and the owners were so pleasant to be next to. If you are in the market for rugs, pillows, or bags and baby products, I highly suggest you check either out. They have fantastic products.

All in all it was a wonderful experience. We received orders from all over the place, even Australia and the British Virgin Islands! I can’t even describe how awesome it feels to be able to spread our products to so many different places. And the feedback we received from everyone was nothing but positive. We felt confident enough at the show’s end to go ahead and book our space at High Point Market in April. Luckily for us, High Point is much closer and we can just drive there and home after the day is over. If we go back to Atlanta, which we probably will, we’ll probably consider being in a different location.

Anyway, I’m back home now and I am beginning the next frantic phase: Getting everyone’s orders made and ready. I will be buried in cocktail napkins until the end of March! Happy Humpday!

 

My old living room in Raleigh

Real Life Living Room Probs

A Blushed Life, Decor Details, Our Style, Pretty Spaces, Projects, The Blush Label

In every house there’s always that one room that just doesn’t come together the way you want it to. You can’t put your finger on why, or figure out how to fix it. Well, for me that is my living area. I’m only partially to blame (at least that’s what I keep telling myself) since I’m currently in transition between two cities and in a temporary space, but it still bugs me. In fact, even when I was in my old apartment my living room bothered me. It wasn’t big enough and it was shaped funny. I have terrible ADD, so I’m constantly switching things up. I’ve been known to wake up on a Saturday morning and, on a whim, move everything around–including heavy furniture. I feel bad for the guy I end up marrying. He may come home one day to a gutted house, or a disastrous “DIY” paint job.

Before I finally moved out of my old place, here was the final look I had for my living room:

My old living room in Raleigh

My old living room in Raleigh

I finally broke down and bought a white couch because I felt like it would brighten up the room, and I could use any of our pillow designs, and switch them up as often as I wanted to. My old, super modern-style khaki couch found itself a new home with my friend Rene. I like to paint in the summertime, and amazingly a piece turned out decently and I hung it over the couch. The colors looked good with the pillows I already had on the couch, so it all tied together well. Here’s a shot of the entire painting:

The art above my couch

My DIY art hanging above my couch – anyone want to buy it??

Turned out alright, didn’t it? Well, it looked great until I inherited my grandfather’s antique brass coffee table, moved into a smaller space, TBL came out with new pillow designs, and I decided it’s time for something new. I’ve decided to keep the white couch because it makes my life easier, and also the black and white rug you can kind of see in the picture. Everything else must change. I figured it would be easiest to start with the art because we have so many pillows in so many colors, I can easily match something to the colors in whatever art piece I choose. I thought about a gallery wall, but I’m not very good at those, so I’m thinking either a huge piece, or picking 2-3 prints to frame side by side. Here are my two ideas so far:

Two of these Beverly Prints by The Aestate and our Magenta Greek Pillows:

Beverly Prints by The Aestate

Beverly Prints by The Aestate

Catherine the Greek Pillow in Magenta

Catherine the Greek Pillow in Magenta

I could do two framed side by side OR I could try and recreate THIS awesomeness by Margo and Me:

Margo and Me in Domaine Home

Margo and Me in Domaine Home

It’s a custom size, and I probably wouldn’t go that large, but isn’t freaking genius? I’d have to think of another pillow to add to the Magenta ones, just to tone it down and balance it out a little.

I think the green would probably look the best with the Mediterranean-style brass table, but I can’t help but want to consider this idea as well: Three colorful Lilly Pulitzer-style prints by Kelly Tracht, framed side by side. It might be way too much color though, and I have no clue which pillows I’d chose, but what do you think? I may just end up contacting her to see if she can offer the Elephant in a larger print–it’s only available online in 16″x20″. That print alone might look better than 3 prints side by side. Then I could consider using our green Gillian Fern Pillows

Prints by Kelly Tracht

Prints by Kelly Tracht

Gillian Fern Pillow

Gillian Fern Pillow

I love her stuff, so even if it doesn’t go in the living room, I WILL find a place for it. I’m a big fan of having original art, but hers is a little too expensive for me–so prints will just have to do! She has several items available on Etsy, and good luck picking just one or two out. I’d hang anything in that store up on my walls.

I’ll probably change my mind about all of this in a month, but those are two that have been on my mind for awhile. Having ADD is great in some ways because I feel creative, but at the same time I can never get anything done without changing my mind. With that being said, I’ve got to wrap things up, get a workout in (that New Year’s Resolution!) and get ready to watch Oregon stomp FSU later. Go Ducks!

New items! Available at Atlanta Market!

Adiós, 2014!

A Blushed Life

I honestly can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. I say that every New Year’s Eve, but this year went by extra quickly. I’m pretty confident it’s because we had a TON of stuff going on, and more changes than I expected. I’ll wake up every morning and check out my Timehop app (the coolest app!) and it will tell me what I was doing on that very day every year. Usually I’m like “WTF? That was an entire YEAR ago???”  and then laugh about it. It’s crazy. Anyway, 2014 was a bit of a bumpy ride, but we had some great things come out of it along the way. Our business went live, we took some great trips, even caught a Jay Z concert! Here are a couple of my favorite moments from this year:

We went to a Jay-Z concert and scored box seats:

Jay-Z in Charlotte

Jay-Z in Charlotte

Selfie before the show!

Selfie before the show!

We booked a spur of the moment trip to Italy – YOLO!

Making wishes at the Trevi Fountain

Making wishes at the Trevi Fountain

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

We toured the ruins of Pompeii

We toured the ruins of Pompeii

Spent a day in Positano...the most beautiful place we've ever seen!

Spent a day in Positano…the most beautiful place we’ve ever seen!

Spent a couple of days in Firenze!

Spent a couple of days in Firenze!

Then headed back to Rome and drank lots of vino with this view from our room!

Then headed back to Rome and drank lots of vino with this view from our room!

And when we got back, The Blush Label launched!

The Blush Label!

The Blush Label!

We also made a pit stop in Puerto Rico, with our dad, to visit family:

The view from Old San Juan

The view from Old San Juan

Piña Coladas in the Dorado sunshine

Piña Coladas in the Dorado sunshine

Drinks with our cousins in La Placita

Drinks with our cousins in La Placita

Paradise!

Paradise!

We even headed to the mountains of NC for a family friend’s wedding–and drank way too much wine. All of the Le Sesne’s returned to their hotel rooms drenched in wine and beer!

Wedding time!

Wedding time!

And Ralphie and Ella even posed for a couple of pictures along the way:

Ralphie smiles for the camera

Ralphie smiles for the camera

Girlfriend did not appreciate the Halloween costume I picked out for her

Girlfriend did not appreciate the Halloween costume I picked out for her

Yikes. Homeboy needs to get his grill fixed. All in all it was a pretty decent year filled with hard work, lots of wine, a few arguments (duh, you can’t work with your sister without them), a couple of bumps, and a lot of fun. I’ll leave you with a pic of some things to look forward to next year–some new items that we’ll have with us down at Atlanta’s AmericasMart next week. Keep your fingers crossed for us, we still don’t know exactly what to expect, but we are really excited!

New items! Available at Atlanta Market!

New items! Available at Atlanta Market!

I hope you all have a fantastic last day of 2014, and an even better 2015. And if you aren’t too hung over tomorrow, don’t forget to catch the Rose Bowl! My friend Matt, one of the hardest working guys I know, is a coach at Oregon so we will all be glued to the TV and rooting for the Ducks to kick the crap out of FSU!

Happy New Year, and be safe tonight!