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John and I were in New York last week attending the NYNow gift show. Last year I went as an exhibitor; this time I was a buyer. Or, I should probably say, a “looker.” I did place some orders, but mostly I spent my time looking, my senses wide open and tingling, absorbing the dazzling array of colors, textures, scents, fonts, graphics  – all the facets of what’s happening right now in design and merchandising.

I’d ask myself, What attracts me? What feels fresh? What feels  a bit stale? And how would our customers respond? I was taken with the oranges and reds and intense turquoises, with moss and galvanized steel and soft fluffy spring things.

There were workshops and seminars that left me buzzing about all the things I should be doing for my business but probably don’t have time to do: Re-arrange the shop weekly!  Pitch our “story” to the media!  Send samples to prominent bloggers in hopes of getting reviewed! Update our photography!

How to digest this over-stimulation, this kaleidoscope of wonders?

Nature is providing an answer: it’s telling us to hunker down at home, surrounded by mountains of dirty snow and ice, waiting for the next blizzard to arrive sometime tonight. John has the flu. I have started to sneeze a lot. Maybe I’ll go make some soup.

What a difference a week makes!