So I’m not going to lie… Being a Target buyer is a pretty sweet gig. Never mind the fact that I run my own multi-million- dollar business, bring cool items like this first to market, negotiate terms such as pricing, exclusivity, and promotion … There are some perks that take me away from the normal day-to-day buyer to-dos. Case in point: last week was the 2012 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago – the world’s largest marketplace for all peeps in the home and housewares industry (apparently there are 60,000 of us!) OR… you can call it what it is: 4-days of rubbing elbows with VIP vendors and business owners; 4-days of the best trade shopping, browsing, perusing of items that have yet to be seen by the public eye; and 4-days of the greatest eats and drinks. I mean c’mon! If we’re going to be in Chicago, we might as well grub and hydrate at America’s finest, right?? Plus, the housewares industry has a natural affinity for all things foodie-related so culinary trend-shopping (*ahem*, EATING) is just part of the job 🙂
Anyway, it was a whirlwind trip and you’ll get to see some of my favorite top-secret goods on our shelves this October. But until then, in the spirit of Rob Gordon (or Rob Fleming, depending if you watched High Fidelity or read it), I’ll leave you with my Top Five moments of the 2012 International Home and Housewares Show :
- Having dinner cooked by Iron Chef Michael Symon – ooOoh yeah daddy-o… Grandma Symon’s baklava recipe??? Amazing. psst… Grandma’s secret is crushing graham crackers with the pistachios… game-changer. I swear.
- Partying with Aussie celebrity chef Curtis Stone and making sure he told his baby mama that the Target buyer is her biggest fan.
- Embarrassing myself by getting completely star-struck from meeting Top Chef Stephanie Izard… and then proceeding to continue the embarrassment by earning the Creepy McCreepster award by continuously sneaking photos of her while she was cooking and not looking…
- A dinner and private wine tasting that involved Pride Viognier, and Opus One Cabs, and French wines I can’t pronounce.
- Comp shopping on State St and Mag Mile… and yes, I realize that TopShop doesn’t sell small appliances, but you can’t blame a girl for wanting to double-check!
Not too shabby, eh? But even with all the fancy-pants meals and foodie celeb run-ins, it’s nice to be back home. The only downside to the trip… unpacking my suitcase. Blech. And just between you and me, it’s still not unpacked. Don’t tell my mother.
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