The Sharmooz Company had a wonderful yet mixed experience at the LA Gift Market and visit to the Garment/Textile division in Downtown Los Angeles. Visiting the LA Gift Market was met with the expectation of bustling crowds and eager buyers. It was unfortunately slow and the anticipation of the "crowd" never materialized. The Cash & Carry section had a little more action. I decided to take the opportunity to mingle with business owners to learn and build relationships. Many business owners were willing to share experiences and offer advice for the coming year.
One such business owner was Kristy of My Little Pretty Unique Jewelry Designs. She was located in the Boutique Gift section. Her jewelry was unique and stunning with the simple is more approach. Beautiful pieces and high quality gems and metals, My Little Pretty was tastefully designed with detailed construction. Her price point met every budget. I loved her long chains adorned with jeweled crosses. I will add this one to my collection soon. She was great and pleasant to speak with and offered great advice on how to focus with the current economy. Please visit her website at wwww.MyLittlePretty.com
Another great business owner is Rita of Vizini - Totally Strapless Sun Visor. As I approached her booth, I can feel the her enthusiasm and energy. Her unique design and great construction of a highly used product made even more user friendly and of course cute. Her Stapless Sun Visor is patented and is a wonderful addition for your next vacation or even the power walk around the block. Check her out at www.vizini.com
The Garment/Textile district was an interesting experience. I have located great high quality fabrics for my luxury satin gift line. My last trip was only 4 months ago and unfortunately within a short period of time prices of wholesale fabric risen about 30-40%!! Yikes!! I was a little dismayed and met the challenge of haggling and negotiating. My negotiation paid off and I came home with great new colors and great quality satin and minky fur.
The cause of the price hike had several theories. The slow economy, increase in lease space (double and triple from 2008), higher cost on the manufacturer and labor cost. Whatever was the lone cause or the combination, it is very clear that business owners must re-group strategies to survive this upcoming year. It's not all dismal, but challenging in becoming more creative in marketing strategies and open for change.
The Sharmooz will seize the day and continue to provide innovative and luxury gift products. One Goal is the strive in customer service and maintain high visibility in the marketplace.
... and yes, it truly was Sunny California - 80 degrees :)