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What’s In My Bag for High Point Market

Posted by Denise McGaha
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High Point Style Spotters Fall 2014

 

As a seasoned High Point Market attendee, Style Spotter for High Point Market and an all around control freak I thought it would be great to share with you what I have in my bag for market.  Since you will have long days and lots of stops, it is important to be prepared.  If you missed it, my first post on How to Conquer High Point Market created lots of questions on what to bring to market on a daily basis.

1.  The Bag - Make sure your bag has comfortable shoulder straps so you can carry it with comfort.  I also recommend switching sides when toting your bag or better yet, don’t sling it over your shoulder at all.  After an entire day, your shoulders and back can be worn out from toting what you need.  I am considering a chic backpack for market.  I love that this also has a handle and can be carried like a handbag too.  Double-duty.  What do you think?

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2.  Band-aids – Believe it or not, even the most comfortable shoe can wreak havoc on your feet after mapping 20,000 steps on your FitBit.  I recommend the large fabric kind like this and I keep a stash in my bag.  They blend in with my skin color, don’t rub off as your feet swell throughout the day and lets just say that blisters can ruin your week there.  Be prepared for comfort.

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3.  Bold Lip Color- you won’t have time to go back to your hotel before the evening festivities begin.  Slip into a showroom bath and touchup your makeup and make sure you pack a bold lipstick for photos.  There is nothing like being washed out in the all the party pics!  Even if you feel tired, you won’t look it!

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4.  iPhone – for a number or reasons, having a phone where you can text (give up making calls – the phone service in the big buildings is atrocious) to check in at the office or to send a quick pick to friends.  You also need it to upload inspiration to your social media channels so you can be the first to share with your tribe the amazing finds at High Point Market.  I of course, love this gold version so you can find it in the bottom of your bag.

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5.  Camera – I suggest packing a different camera than your iPhone camera.  Whether you use your iPad for photos or a professional camera – you would be surprised at the difference you will see in your images when you use a professional camera that doesn’t weigh a ton either.

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6.  Battery packs - And lots of them.  Make sure you have a fully-charged battery pack for your camera, iPhone or iPad.  I am a big fan of the Mophie charger and it keeps me from accidentally leaving my phone behind in a showroom plugged in while it charged (yes I have done this!)

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7.  Healthy snacks - make sure you pack healthy snacks for the day.  You will often have a 14-hour day and full-meals are close to impossible.  It’s more like organized grazing, so having a backup in your bag is wise.  I pack almonds, energy bars, bananas, grapes and any small snack you can have while in-between showrooms and during non-meal times.  Smaller meals help keep your energy up and with all the walking you are doing, its like spending your whole day working on a treadmill.  You need to stay hydrated too, so everytime you are offered water – take it!

 

8.  A smaller bag - its so much easier to make a few smaller bags inside your large bag in order to find things.  I separate them out like this – one for cosmetics, one for business cards (the ones I give and the ones I receive) and one for technology (chargers, cords and the like).  I like this one from Etsy

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9.  Accessories for a quick change - instead of packing a completely new outfit, just change your accessories.  A bold scarf (I love this one from Balenciaga), earrings and hair accessories to change your look are always great.  Be the envy of all your friends you saw earlier in the day wondering how you had time to go back and change.  Keep your outfit basic and make a few accessory changes for evening.

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While all of the items above are great to have in your bag, I recommend packing as LIGHT as possible.  Ditch the following::

1.  Big Wallets.  Bring cash, one major CC for purchases and a digital copy of your Resale Tax Certificate.  You can email it on the spot or even text it.  Don’t bring more than a few paper copies for on-site purchases.

2.  Catalogs – if you really want or need a paper catalog, ask them to mail it.  Give them a card and write on the card what you requested.  You don’t want to carry that around.

3.  Anything with wheels – I am NOT a fan of the wheelie bag.  We aren’t shopping for groceries and unless you are giving a Powerpoint Presentation, you don’t need your laptop.  Nothing is worse than to trail through High Point looking behind you to make sure you aren’t hitting anyone with your bag.  And be honest – its hard to stand up straight when you are pulling half of your office behind you.

I would LOVE to hear what’s in your bag!  I know there are lots of great tips from all of you on what I might need to add (or takeaway) from my bag.

Currey & Co. and Denise McGaha Interiors

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Creative Director, Cecil Adams

 

President Brownlee Currey and Rip Nance

The cat is out of the bag and I can finally talk about my exciting news!  I am over the moon excited to be writing this post and sharing with you that I have been appointed Brand Ambassador for Currey & Co.  If you have followed this space for any time, you know I have a love affair with Currey!  I have always written about their great new market introductions (HERE, HERE) and have a long-standing relationship with their President, Brownlee Currey, Creative Director, Cecil Adams and PR Maven, Bethanne Matari.

PR Maven Bethanne Matari and Traci Bulla-Home Accents Today

 

They are like family to me and moving to this next stage in our relationship seemed only natural.  While it’s been a year in the making, developing our plans for Brand Ambassadorship has been exciting and such a great learning experience.

I look forward to sharing my knowledge gained from owning an interior design firm with Currey & Co., their sales team and more.  Currey & Co. represents the perfect blend of tradition, style and creativity which perfectly describes my client base and many of yours too, I am sure.  There are many exciting things on the horizon and I will likely be calling on you – my friends, interior designers, retailers and marketing gurus to get your feedback and input on things we are bringing to market.

I can’t wait to spend time with all of you sharing behind-the-scenes scoop on this amazing brand.  I will be attending all of the shows and events around the country and look forward to seeing you all there.  Please come by and say hello!  My first stop is the New York Design Center for What’s New What’s Next.  Please stop by and see me this Thursday from 2:00 – 8:00.  Suite #506

 

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10 Tips for Conquering High Point Market

Posted by Denise McGaha
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High Point Style Spotters Fall 2014

I am so excited to be named a High Point Stylespotter for 2014 and with the upcoming market October 18-23 I have had several notes from friends who are attending for the first time.  My first response is YAY!  But they want to know what to expect.  I love that people are hearing how awesome High Point Market can be for designers.  So here are my Top Ten tips for how to conquer High Point Market.

1.  Follow #hpmktSS so you can see via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter what all of the great Style Spotters are seeing.  We will also be pinning our finds to Pinterest and this will give you great tips for what showrooms and manufacturers you may want to see.

2.  The SHOES!  Honey if you pack a pair of heels, they may see daylight once.  Other than that, you will be walking LOTS and all day and into the evening.  Make sure you have the most stylish and comfortable shoes around.  And shop for them now and start breaking them in.  Bring large size fabric bandaids for those shoes that were so comfy and then after an entire day turned on you and gave you massive blisters.  Day 2 shoe choices are always so much for comfy than Day 1.

3.  Your hotel doesn’t matter.  I know my hotel snob friends (you know who you are) will disagree with me.  I stay in High Point and drive/ride into Greensboro for dinners and any other requisite meetings but since I like to start my day super early, I have to stay in High Point.  I also don’t rent a car so parking doesn’t matter to me.  I am there to work and if someone really wants me to attend a dinner out of High Point, they will drive me or let me hitch a ride.  As long as your bed is comfortable and the bathroom is clean you are good.  I don’t spend any time in my hotel.  Share a room as well.  Prices go through the roof for a not-so-great lodging experience during High Point so its a waste of funds since you won’t be there very often.  PS – This is the only time you will hear me say the words :  “Your hotel doesn’t matter.”

4.  To rent a car or not?  I don’t.  I take the shuttle to and from the airport.  Also, most hotels have daily shuttles to get you back and forth.  Since I stay across the street from IHFC I don’t need a car and my roomie drives to market so she has a car when I definitely need one, which is rare.  Parking can be a challenge if you don’t have special priveleges from a manufacturer lot, so plan ahead for where you park and have cash at the ready.

5.  Plan your trip for this time and next time.  When you leave market, see if you can reserve your hotel ahead of time for next market.  Also, depending on how many days you will be there, plan which days you will hit certain areas.  I always start in InterHall at IHFC and then go walk through Market Square.  This gets my creative juices flowing and I love seeing all the great new introductions from the smaller manufacturers.

6.  Schedule everything.  You will get a ton of party invites, education opportunities and much more as market gets closer.  If you want to have your rep walk you through a showroom, plan with them ahead of time.  They hate people who don’t schedule appointments and they have to sprint across High Point to get to you because they didn’t know you were coming.  Also, the weekend is super full with events and parties, so expect you will have several events all at the same time.  Often.  Do what you can and don’t get stressed over it.

7.  Bring more than enough business cards.  I print “Market Cards” and bring a smaller amount of my letter press cards.  I use the market cards for vendors and letterpress for other design friends, editors, etc.  You will go through a lot of cards, so bring enough.

8.  Check locations of showrooms.  I know that several manufacturers have moved their showrooms for this market, so make sure you are checking locations before you make your schedule.  Nothing like spending 30 minutes on shuttles to get where you need to go and realize the showroom isn’t located there anymore.  Wah-Wah-Wah

9.  Educate.  I mentioned education earlier, but take advantage of as many breakfast and lunch educations classes as possible.  You have to eat to keep your energy level pumping and you might as well learn at the same time!!  Check out all of the classes and learning options HERE.

10.  Make new friends.  I have met so many of my good friends through High Point Market.  Introduce yourself and be open to meeting new people.  Its so important to get as much out of your time away from the office and I love seeing all of my HP friends every six months.

 

I hope this helps us all prepare for the upcoming market and over the next few weeks I will be elaborating on more of these tips to give you great scoop on events, secrets of High Point and more!

 

Denise

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