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A Day With Connie

While driving over to Atlanta Saturday morning to meet up with Connie and her sister Benita of Willow Springs … a family farm at AmerciasMart Atlanta an idea came to me. We all enjoy the beautiful publication Celebrate365 that Connie creates for us, so I thought a behind the scenes look at what goes on would be fun to share.

The day started off with me arriving in Atlanta around 10am, trying to find a “reasonably” priced place to park near the AmericasMart -Atlanta $25 a day to park in the garage was a bit too steep in my book. I did find a place a few blocks away. Walking in the bitter cold back to the Gift Mart had me rethinking the value of the parking deck. After meeting up with Connie & Benita, Connie took me to get my badge “that must be displayed at all times”.

Elaine Roesle graciously let us store our coats and excess “baggage” in her showroom closet. When Elaine was not busy talking with buyers, you could watch the great care that is taken with each individual piece in action. I was also introduced to Luca Terruzzi of Soffieria De Carlini Italian Ornaments.

Benita and I wandered off to attend the keynote address by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. The session was a very informative reminder as to why we need to be using blogs, Facebook and Twitter. After that we met back up with Connie on the 20th Floor. Then we headed to the Press Room for credentialed media types like ourselves and had a nice lunch.

We stopped off for a few minutes to chat with Debbee Thibault and she showed off some of her beautiful work to us. We then headed over to see the JingleNog and Thomas Glenn displays. Connie had quite a bit of work to do at the Thomas Glenn booth. Since  photographing and measuring every ornament would be time consuming, I wandered off to see other parts of the Gift Mart.

More treats were in store for us this evening as we made our way back to the 20th Floor to attend Halloween Carnevil – a whimsical little Halloween party that included a meet & greet with the artists along with a signing event.


What a wonderful surprise it was for me to see old friends again – Glenn Lewis and Debi Thomas of Traditions. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Debi’s mother. The last time I saw Glenn or Debi was in 2001.

We left the Gift Mart around 8pm, wrapping up glitter jam packed day. This is only one of eight days that Connie will spend gathering information for all of us to ahhhh and ohhhh over.

This has been the first of three guest posts by Leslie Kirk.

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