Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flavor of the Day

One of the most fun experiences my co-workers and I had recently at AmericasMart, the Atlanta market, was finding Stray Dog Designs. We were wandering one of the many floors of furniture showrooms and were drawn like a magnet to the bright, funky colors and whimsical designs we saw through Stray Dog's windows. Once inside, while perusing the East Tennessee-based company's line of colorful case goods, funky light fixtures, and whimsical accessories crafted ingeniously from papier mache, we noticed something unusual about the staff running the showroom.

They were all wearing funny hats.

Then we realized something else: They had enough funny hats to go around. Someone working in the showroom had been designated "market hatmaker," and in the middle of the room was a huge bin of crazy, kooky hats of various styles made out of paper sacks and decorated with colored netting, silk flowers, feathers - you name it. There was a mirror there so us buyers could try the hats on for size, and once we found hats we liked, there were staffers armed with paper clips to "size" the hats for a custom fit.

My co-worker Kim Hamric went for the crown - if you know her, it fits. Jane Sacharczyk found a cute little hat with flowers on the front that people kept referring to as "jaunty," and my favorite comment about the hat I chose was that it was "soooo Jackie O." :-) It turns out the hatmaking sales reps for Stray Dog Designs were nothing if not ingenious. We wore our hats for the rest of the day, and apart from the gaping stares that none of us minded, we must have had 500 people ask us where we got our hats. It was such brilliant advertising! Sounds cheesy, maybe, but in the little bubble world that is market, it was totally effective.


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