Chicago, IL USA: There is nothing more fun for the buyer, browser or reporter than to walk the floors of the Merchandise Mart, located on the riverfront in downtown Chicago. It's an odyssey that begins with one step of many more. For September, the Corporate Offices of The Merchandise Mart are holding shows simultaneously, those being:
The Outside Furnitiure Show
on floors 8, 15, 16 & 17
and the Gift Show on floors 13-15.
Keeping concentrated on the State of the Arts and in order not to be sound prejudicial towards the Pieces I did not care for, my usual stance is to pick 10 showrooms that are particuarly elegant, pretty or so different, they are a MUST STOP IN TO SEE while in Chicago. Granted, for the most part the Mart is not open to the public, but on certain days, it is. Call ahead to find out when those dates are.
Therefore, my top Shops for the Gift Show: 2009 are:
1) Right Brain Enterprises, Inc.
Rosa (who works at this lovely showroom) turned me on to a highly interesting and green product called: TRASH FOR TEACHING which would be a great endeavor for area schools to 'hold'. These 'flashy' cannisters may be transformed into vases and the proceeds go to needy schools. After all, face it: Teachers are never paid enough and this product (appealing as it is) can help ease that pain. Go to:
While also there, I could not take my eyes off a table from Designer Michael Aram who is based out of the UK with merchandise made in India. For those wanting to do a room up 'right,' Aram designs do make the room nothing short but fabulous.
2) Creative Touch. 13-249 (meaning the shop is on the 13th Floor)
3) Midwest CBK. 13-155. Midwest and CBK merged. Double the great product line(s).
4) Peterson Associates, Inc. 13-126.
5) Primitives by Kathy. 13-111.
6) K&K Interiors. 13-207. Recipient of the July 2009 Award: Best Showroom Display Winner.
7) Diane Baker & Co. 13-417. Great 'Metals'.
8) Dupre Marketing with Reid Foods, Inc. 13-556.
All Natural Line of Goodies. You must also add that here in westernized countries there is so much food, only 1 stomach. What's so delightful about this showroom is that it's nostalgic looking, but not an item looks like it would be found at any local grocers. New and innovative. Tasty, too...As the Reid Foods Rep commented: YOu can't replant an old tree, but you definitely can set up a showroom to be as inviting as Ms. Dupre's.
9) Melrose International, LLC. These women know what the latest trends are as they showed me around the decoratives displayed. Flickering Candles and picture frames with word-play are just 2 of the items that will be most popular at the Holidays this year.
10) C. Samuelson Assoc. 13-429. Furniture is their middle name. And a name that you should be aware of is: Barreveld, a Dutch company that is famous for their 'hob-nails' which to me is a really cool texture. It is masculine feeling, of course, but it does have a certain rugged appeal that can automatically be feminized by merely placing a pot of violets on the top.
11) Enesco, LLC. 13-423. Celebrating 50 years, what caught my eye were their Knick-Knacks - collectibles that I have never seen before of the major Fruit & Vegetable Groups. Just when you think you have seen it all, all of a sudden something strikes your eye here at the Mart Shows...
Tomorrow's Blog will highlight the Outside Furniture Portion of this Week's Shows at Chicago's Furniture Mart - indeed one of the top wonders when Chicagoing in the Windy City. After all:
Tiz always the season to Shop the Merchandise Mart.
ASK: Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith
Author: SKiN: How 10 Beloved Plush Toys Redefine Race (C)2009
Chicago, IL USA