Well. Ahem. It’s been quite some time since we added anything new to the blog, not for lack of news, but because we’re always so wrapped up in life at the Pomegranate ranch. It’s been very busy around here, and that’s a good thing. We had a record-breaking 2017, and sailed into the new year with bells on. We are so thankful for each and every one of you who visits and shops and supports our small business. We are truly the definition of a mom-and-pop business, and couldn’t do it without strong community support!
This year will be our 20th at our same little “slightly off the beaten path” location (stay tuned for info on our blow-out 20th anniversary party). We can hardly believe it ourselves. We’re a bit older (hah!), but the enthusiasm hasn’t waned. In fact, we attended three back-to-back markets in January, looking for new lines and finds for 2018. And we found them. We’re so happy with all our picks for this season and beyond (we already did most of our Christmas buying, too). A lot of it is already flowing in: on any given day you might find us trying to squeeze out some room on a shelf for new things, or tripping over boxes of newly-arrived merchandise. We may have gone overboard (we need a bigger place!), but there are some things you just must have. We follow our own advice very well: if you love it, buy it, and find space for it later. It’s a bit of a problem around here.
I would love to have more of a spare, open space of a store, but it simply isn’t possible, between bringing in just about every single loved thing, and the layout of our three little buildings. So, we pack it in and hope you have the time to see it all.
Of course, there are a lot of things we don’t love at all at market. It’s interesting (and sometimes mind boggling) to see some of the products that make it into production (just like some really bad movies, you wonder who had the brilliant idea to throw money at something so hopeless). Robert and I always have a little contest to find the ugliest, most ridiculous product. Usually it’s a clown lamp or mer-men wall sculptures. This year, it was super-sized resin garden statuary of Sasquatch, 5′ tall squirrels, outer space creatures, dinosaurs, and gnomes. And yes, buyers were looking at them. Really?
Fortunately, there are plenty of other vendors with good taste and brilliant designs. And we hardly held back at all. We found luscious new candle lines, including Magnolia Home candles (of “Fixer Upper” fame) and a new line from Portland in beautiful, modern white ceramic vessels with wood tops. We have more soaps and lotions from France, and from the wonderful Beekman 1802 boys (who I had the great pleasure of meeting twice: once at a book signing and once in the elevator at the hotel!). We found beautiful paper, and lots of cards (if you thought it was a bit empty after Christmas, you now almost need a map to find all the pockets of card offerings). More textiles: tea towels, throws, runners, napkins, ponchos in gorgeous linens and cottons. Fell in love again with marble and quartz. Handbags, totes: did not hold back on ordering. I adore our new Italian leather line of bags (very well priced, too, especially for being made in Firenze!), and really excited about new travel bags from Baggallini and Travelon, who make a line of chic, but very secure handbags. I love all the details, including little zipper locks that make it twice as hard for someone to try and reach into your bag. There’s new glassware, pottery, serving pieces, gourmet foods, books, and lots of great gifts. Lots of new garden things are starting to roll in, and there’s more coming every day. Some of it won’t get here until summer, like the pottery we ordered from South African artisans – truly stunning, modern, and unique. Cannot wait for that!
Some of the big trends we spied at market weren’t necessarily things we bought into: some of it just isn’t quite us, even if there were some good ideas. Cactus was everywhere. On cards, on pillows, on tea towels, mugs, journals. There were cacti salt and pepper shakers, cactus-shaped vases, cactus serving platters. Cactus christmas ornaments. Overkill? Maybe. Millennial pink was a big color this season; some of it really great in pale, pale tones… and some missing
the mark entirely in shades of Pepto-Bismal. Monograms were stronger than ever, but that seems to be so much more of a Southern / Eastern thing. We just don’t see much of it in the west, although it works in barware. Another overwhelming trend: sayings and signs and memes on everything, from t-shirts to aprons, towels and totes, bags, mugs and plates, planters and paper… some of it snarky, some corny, some just a little too earnest. If anything had a surface
that could be printed on, somebody was doing it. What do you think? Is cactus the next owl? Do you want clever sayings on everything you own? Would you buy a pink sofa?