Saturday, September 21, 2013

National Bridal Market for Spring 2014

It's that time once again to travel to the National Bridal Market in Chicago to see all the exciting new styles for spring.  The Bridal Market will be three days full of style shows for bridal gowns, bridesmaids, flower girls, mothers, prom and any other special occasion you can imagine!  The shows will features hundreds of models with loud music and bright lights to make for a festive time!

But this fall, I attempted something different before heading to Chicago at the end of September.  I attended the Dallas Bridal Market on September 8th and 9th.  I didn't know what to expect since I had never been to this venue but was happy with the experience after reflecting on my time there.  When first entering the merchandise mart, I was greeted with a style show on the main floor.  It featured many different designers with the hot new colors for spring.  Gold tones seem to be big for every occasion.  Gold was featured in bridal gowns as well as prom and special occasion gowns.  I will definitely be looking to add some to my orders for spring!

Upon completion of the style show, I moved on to the upper floors of showrooms.  Dallas is very different from the Chicago market.  In Dallas, the main floor of showrooms are inclosed in glass rooms.  It is like a mall with all glass walls, except the interior walls where each company has an office and space for models to change during shows.  So the atmosphere is less inviting than Chicago were most of the showrooms are not enclosed in glass rooms but are open with just partition walls.  So at first I just wandered trying to decide where to go.

Next I decided to check out the temporary showrooms on a different floor.  This was set up much more like Chicago.  There was a more welcoming feel to go by a room and just look and touch the gowns without the need to be invited in.

At first I was pretty disappointed with Dallas.  There were so many vendors who do not show at this market.  And many of the ones that were there, were just not the ones that I wanted to see.  But knowing I had traveled to far and my time at Chicago would be limited, I made the best of my time in Dallas.  And on the plus side, there were not many buyers there.  Which made finding a seat in a showroom much easier than in Chicago. 

So I visited the designers that I currently carry and plan to go forward with in 2014.  Then I spent several hours visiting showrooms for companies that I do not carry but customers have asked about.  I also looked at accessories such as belts, headpieces, veils, jewelry, shoes and anything else bridal you can think of. 

Once I arrived home, my family asked, "What did you buy?" I hesitated and thought then said, "I bought nothing!"  I couldn't believe I had flown to Dallas and returned making no purchases!!  But when I thought about it, that was fine.  I had a great time seeing lots of new items.  Meet some wonderful people.  And gained lots of insight into the new spring season. 

But now the work begins.  I have spent the last week going over all the information I gained in Dallas.  I have listed all the designers that were not in Dallas that I need to see in Chicago.  Now I am down to one final week to put it all together to place my orders for spring in Chicago.  Who am I kidding?  There is no way I will complete all my spring orders in Chicago.  I will still be seeing designer reps in my store through November to get everything completed.  But boy will it be fun!!  I am so excited to get the new spring season started!!