Last night at the awards ceremony held during the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia, Max’s was named as one of NICHE magazine’s Top Retailers of 2008! What a great surprise and fabulous honor! Quoting directly from the press release, “the annual Top Retailer Awards program recognizes craft retailers who are committed to fair business practices and to growing and strengthening the North American craft community.” We were one of 33 retailers and gallery owners from across North America who were recognized by the magazine in various categories. What I think is especially great about this award is that artists nominate the retailers who they think are deserving, and then the nominees are judged by other retailers from across North America. I am so proud that Max’s has earned this kind of respect in its short 2-year life! A huge thank you to all of our artists whose creativity is at the core of Max’s success story, as you enable us to bring beautiful work to our customers.
Many congratulations to all of the women profiled in last Saturday’s (July 19) Minneapolis Star Tribune as the “bag ladies” for their wonderful handbag designs! A very special “YIPPEE!” goes to Laura Nelli, who worked at Max’s between 2006-2007, and Tracy Dyer, one of Max’s favorite customers (Tracy…..LOVE the ring!). It was a lot of fun to open the paper on a sleepy-eyed Saturday morning and utter “wow…I know them!” Well done ladies!
So, do you think there’s a such thing as too much chocolate for one person? No, I don’t really think so either, but there was a time in the last couple of weeks when I began to ask myself that question. I was in New York at the Fancy Food Show searching out some new chocolates to bring into the store as well as getting a glimpse…and a taste….of some new products from some of our current chocolatiers. One of my goals was to find some more single-origin chocolates that were manufactured in the same country that the beans come from. Well, after having eaten countless samples of different types of chocolates….bars, truffles, toffees, caramels, you name it….I’m happy to report that I’ve found some wonderful new products. We now have some bars made of chocolate that is grown, crafted and packaged in Madagascar, as well some new chocolates from Equador…again grown, crafted and packaged there….which include some chocolate covered berries and banana pieces. We also have some delicious new chocolates from Sao Tome and Principe Africa…the beans are grown and the chocolate bars are produced there by the farmer and his two sons. And, finally, at least for now, we have some chocolate discs that are made in a very traditional Mexican style that uses stone mills to grind the beans into a coarse texture. So….too much chocolate? Never!
It’s with a great deal of both pride and humility, that I want to let you know of Max’s nomination for a NICHE award as a top retailer for 2008! The NICHE Top Retailer Awards, which are sponsored by NICHE magazine (a trade publication for retailers of fine American Craft), recognizes the nation’s best craft retailers, arts nonprofits, museums and guilds for growing and strengthening the American craft community. The program annually recognizes 24 retailers and gallery owners as Top Retailers and one Retailer of the Year, and gives awards in 10 other categories. Needless to say, I am thrilled that we were nominated! We will find out in August whether we have been recognized with an award, so stay tuned. As an FYI, in addition to publishing NICHE magazine, The Rosen Group produces the bi-annual Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, the nation’s largest wholesale American craft tradeshow which is a major source for many of the wonderful artists we represent at Max’s.
Hard to believe, but July 4th is next week….in the words of Charlie Brown, one of my childhood (and adult, I suppose) heroes….AAAGGHH! I can hardly believe it. I thought I was planning so far ahead when I went into the jewelry market earlier this year and specified the summer and early fall as our desired shipping dates for some of our new artists, and now that seems like just yesterday. Oh well, as we all know, there’s no changing time. The good news though is that the summer months mean that we have some wonderful new work coming in all of the time. One of the artists new to Max’s that we’re really excited about is Aaron Henry. Aaron is a wonderful jeweler from L.A. and this is just one example of his beautiful work (see rings above!). He works in precious metals and stones and I feel really lucky that we are the only ones here in Minnesota who are carrying his work. Of course, that’s true about so many of our artists, and I am so appreciative that we’ve been able to create some wonderful relationships with our artists who are so loyal to Max’s. Stay tuned to our website as we’re going to be adding some more pages in the next 1-2 weeks of some of our artists work including Aaron Henry, Patricia Tschetter (her work will be here the first week of July), Marya Dabrowski, Laura Gibson, Mio Studio and Ananda Khalsa….just to name a few! In the meantime, what do you think about these rings? Click here to link directly to Aaron’s website: www.aaronhenry.com
Well, here we go! I really had never thought about blogging before when, suddenly, I started receiving several suggestions (some subtle, some quite direct!) in a short period of time that Max’s should/must have a blog. I dismissed the idea at first, thinking that people really didn’t want to read more (or have the time to read more), but the longer that I thought about it, the more it seemed like a great way to get information to you that would (hopefully) be of interest. My hope is that the blog will provide you with information that is relevant…what I’m finding in the market in terms of trends, the new artists whose work we’re carrying, the new items that we think are really great, store updates, and upcoming events that we’ll be having. I’d love your feedback….please let me know what you think of the blog and what you’d like to see on it.