Oh the places you’ll go! But in reality, they should really tell you about the people you meet.
This past week while we were at market, not only did we find and buy the latest in trends, but, we met some incredible people that wowed us with their words, style, and personalities.
According to WWD Magic, an average of about 80,000 people attend seminars, shows, and exhibits from Sunday to Thursday of the market week scheduled. So it’s no wonder there’s a surplus of fascinating people to become acquainted with and meet.
Being a super-fan of Project Runway (obvi), we were ecstatic to find out that Sandhya Garg, a designer from Season 13, was present and selling her line. Very gracious but professional, Garg paged through her new line complete with unique personal prints and colors. She also showed a few best sellers and offered us a line-up sheet to take and study.
Lauren (left) and Sandhya Garg (right) You can read Sandhya’s bio here: bit.ly/1I0l1wR/
Overall a treat to meet, Garg posed as a great role model and an aspiration for any entrepreneur, inventor, or designer aspiring to make it big.
Each store carried their brand with pride and with over 900 brands represented at WWD’s MAGIC, there was plenty of fashion and style to go around for everyone. Each vendor and buyer seemed to be branded with their unique take on fashion, trends, and style.
This Toronto power couple showed up to market every day with a taste for fashion.
Ran into (unknowingly) the designer for Alythea and Sis Sis Fashion. We were intrigued by her simple but chic outfit.
Rory, a rep for MAK, showed off a Spring 2016 piece so retro that we instantly fell in love with it.
While this is just a small peek into the world of WWD Magic Trade Show, we wanted to bring you a taste of it through our experiences! You can check out more behind-the-scenes pictures, stories, and links at our Pinterest page: bit.ly/1Jvorgy
Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, we visit markets all over the country to personally shop for all of you that visit our store. However, it wasn’t until a few seasons ago that we had a great idea on how to put the totes and other handouts from vendors to good use.
“Last February at Market in Las Vegas, I had piles of nice tote bags given to me by all of the vendors I buy from at Market. I told my co-workers Uni and Madi, I wish there was something good we could do with these bags since we had no room in our suitcases to take them home with us.
I suddenly remembered the last market trip when I had brought Sheila and Uni and we walked the Las Vegas strip the night before the show. There was a pregnant homeless woman asking for money and I bent down to give her a few bucks and smiled at her. That’s it, we are going to fill these bags with things for the homeless people in Las Vegas!
I know these bags will probably not get them off the streets, but I do remember how nice a granola bar tasted after being hungry during Army Basic Training. When you haven’t showered in days, you’ve been walking for miles in the heat, and you don’t have much to eat, little things like a granola bar or a card from a loved one that says “I love you” are the things that help keep you going.
That’s what these bags were for. We filled over 30 totes with granola bars and other nonperishable snacks from Central Market, shirts from Detroit Lakes T-shirt Company, wet wipes, hand-written inspirational quotes, and other little items to help them on their journey.”
-Lauren Zima, Owner
Each vendor gives us a bag or two for placing an order with them. As a result, we end up with a ton of bags.
Another unfortunate truth we happened to notice at the same time was the overwhelming amount of homeless people out on the streets, Las Vegas particularly. After brainstorming with Uni, Madi, and myself, we thought it would be cool to take these “freebies” we were receiving and push them forward to someone who may be more in need of them.
So, our plan of action was to fill these bags with general necessities; toothpaste, toothbrushes, baby wipes, and granola bars. We also thought it may be appropriate to throw some more personal items in the mix such as a notebook, pen, t-shirt, and our favorite inspirational quotes. Central Market in Detroit Lakes donated a gift card for us to purchase granola bars and Detroit Lakes T-Shirt Company donated 2-shirts for every bag we made.
Stuffing the bags with goodies like toothpaste, granola bags, wipes, notebooks, and quotes!
We chose some of our favorite inspirational quotes to write and place in each bag to personalize it.
We loaded up The NINES tour bus with 34 bags full of goodies from us to hand out. Our first stop was to find people to hand these out to, so we moseyed over to Fremont Street. On the way there we found a few individuals on the street we pulled over for as well.
Some individuals were on lesser known streets, some were found right on Fremont St.
The people we met were so grateful, even commenting on the weight of the bags, “It’s so heavy, thank you,” one woman had said. We also met an inventor, telling us his crazy stories of adventures and inventions.A couple of gentlemen were sitting together as Lauren approached them with a bag with two of her boys as one asked “Minnesota?” as she surprisedly answered, “Yes, how did you know?” “Go Packers, Vikings stink,” he said as we all got a good laugh.
As we realized toward the end of the night, we would have a few bags left over and wanted to make sure they went to someone who needed them. We did some research and found a shelter in our area called Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, a shelter that specializes in providing a safe place for adolescents and teens in the Las Vegas area.
Emi Horiai, Interim Programs Manager (right) and Lauren (left) standing outside of the shelter in Las Vegas with our donated bags.
We are always so thankful that we get to personally shop for all of you back home and feel that it is also our job to give back as much as we possibly can, whenever we can. As we filled bags and prepared to do this, Lauren found a quote that particularly struck a cord with her.
Every year comes and goes and each round of markets gets crazier and it’s…well, magic. This time around, we’re tearin’ up Vegas one exhibitor at a time looking for only the best to bring back to you in good ol’ Minnesota.
Kicking off the week, we attended a seminar to educate ourselves on some of the upcoming and expected trends for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. Panelists included Carl Scibetta, EVP and GM from Shoe Carnival to give us some insight on what footwear was going to look like. George McCracken, a stylist and designer for M-82, also made an appearance giving us some perspective on overall trends and how they were even affecting men’s fashion.
Pictured from left to right: (Carl Scibetta, George McCracken, Lauren Zima, Sam Poser)
A few things the panelists were expecting to be popular were 70’s trends, Western-wear (moderately, of course), and rich textures or materials such as velvet. As we progressed into market later on into the day, we only saw about 15 fold of the progressive trends that made us excited for Fall all over again.
Some of the first stops we made were chock full of surprises we were not anticipating but may or may not have given them a shot; mock turtlenecks, an overwhelming amount of prints, not to mention we were in flared sleeves up to our eyeballs. But, we prevailed and made a robust selection that we are so excited for you all to see back home.
Check out some of the finds we picked today!:
Our first stop was at Everly and we couldn’t help but fawn over the delightful cocktail dresses.
Blu Pepper certainly brought their A-game with Fall trends and basics alike. Plus, they’ve launched a line of jewelry!
Bo-Bel is heavily prepared for Fall with flannels, vests, sweaters, and layers far too many to count. Not to mention, they offer plus sizes!
If you can’t tell, we’re pretty pumped about getting this vest in!
Lastly, Ellison came equipped with a Fall display that made us drool.
In the upcoming days we are so excited to bring you updates and posts as to what we are finding and picking for you. We’ll keep you informed and you could be helping us pick some new finds too! Check out Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and Facebook feed too!