Our first venture into live wholesale buying, Allison and I stumbled into Americasmart in Atlanta a lot like two toddlers crossing into Magic Kingdom. At check-in, we received our lanyard and fully legit badges proclaiming us as buyers for Soulshine Boutique! Peeking forward, it seemed like Jenga squares of clothing booths…so many options, where to even begin?! Remembering a tip from a veteran buyer, we rode the 11 sets of escalators to the top floor to begin our search. Stumbling into a large and stunningly adorable booth, we began searching the racks. Instant overwhelm. The prices listed couldn’t be wholesale…they were sky high! We couldn’t expect our customers to pay that price, so we found the first available rep to clarify. Explaining our confusion and newbie status, hoping for guidance, instead we received the Pretty Woman treatment. “They want to know if we have less expensive clothing”…right in front of another customer. Hello cheek flush. Tail between our legs, we wandered into what appeared to be a buyers lounge and found an angel of a rep who gently guided us to the proper floors. 5,4, and 3 were our happy places. The boutiques found there were single brand reps (versus multi-brand distributors) and much more happy to receive us.
Beginning to feel legit again, however, the combined 2 hours of sleep and early flight were beginning to take a toll. We headed back to the hotel for some dinner and drinks. Curious about the rotating rooftop bar, we queued up to the exclusive elevator podium. With a sweet yet patronizing smile, she gently tapped on the framed entry requirements: No casual attire, no flip flops, no denim, no athletic shoes. Oh. She did not appreciate my adorable Adidas. Half exhaustion, half expectation we let out a huge belly laugh and found our spot at the normal people bar.
Country mice in the big city, we didn’t let it deflate us. We were there for a purpose: to seek out the most adorable clothing and jewelry for our Soulshine Peeps. And that’s exactly what we did after 13 hours of solid sleep on Day 2.