Monday, September 08, 2008

Decor Trade Show in Atlanta, 2008

This weekend Steve and I headed to Atlanta for the annual art and framing trade show. We've attended most of them since about 1989. The first one was like "Pandora's Box". When I started Mouse House (1987), I had never even been in another frame shop. The only supplier I knew was the local place in Columbia. That first show opened the world. During the '90s the trade show grew and grew. It took all day to simply walk up and down the crowded aisles. Generally, we spent the night and made purchases on the second day. With the down turn in the economy, however, the trade show has dwindled away to a leisure 45 minute stroll. Many "anchor" suppliers didn't set up. There was little new to see. Once the total floor place was crammed with vendors. Now, the both ends of the Georgia Convention Center were bare. Some of the aisles were empty; many booths were vacant. There was no crowd. One salesperson said it resembled a bowling alley. I didn't downsize Mouse House because of the economy. My business was growing at an alarming rate. I finally admitted that I wanted to be an artist. It took two years to forcibly downsize....I'm glad I did. While the state of the art and framing industry doesn't really affect me now, it was still a little sad to see this trade show.

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