When jewelry designer Stefanie Wolf asked me to come to New York City and help her sell her collection, Stefanie Wolf Designs, which are all handmade on Martha’s Vineyard, at the NY Now gift show (which is the largest in the country), of course I said yes.
First, what a fun reason to go to NYC, and secondly to support an Island designer who creates beautiful jewelry inspired by the Island. I also think she’s a pretty amazing person too.
The NY Now gift show is a five day show where retailers from not only around the country, but from around the world, come to sell their products, wholesale to retailers. The show is held at the Javits Center, located on the West Side. Over 35,000 people come to shop for three categories, home, lifestyle, and handmade.
Stefanie’s jewelry was in the handmade section. Never attending this show before, I had no idea what to expect, but I was up for an adventure, and Friday to Monday sounded like a good little getaway.
I was lucky enough to catch a ride to the city with Scott Mullin and Kate Shanor, the owners of Brickyard in Vineyard Haven. That in itself was fun. Stopping at a diner in the middle of Connecticut, ordering serious diner food and dessert to go, coffee a plenty, and a lot of chatting made for a short and entraining trip.
Arriving in New York City for me was like arriving at Disney World for a five-year-old. The sight of the buildings and all the people and the hustle and bustle, excites me. There’s a shift in my energy, I am ready for adventure.
The NY Now Show
I arrived on Friday night. Stefanie and her manager Kathryn had arrived days before me and had to set up the booth. I was glad that I got there early enough to help set up. I also got a chance to poke around a bit, which was fun.
The Javits Center is HUGE! It felt bigger than Vineyard Haven. The walls of glass and the endless sections, it was pretty amazing to this country chick.
Stefanie’s booth was beautiful, full of her colorful jewelry, and was a wonderful reminder of home in the vastness.
We woke early so we could be ready for the show which started on Saturday at 9 a.m. I learned it’s a must to begin your day with an egg sandwich on a roll. A New York thing. Me, I am a bagel girl, but when in Rome.
The show opened, and Stefanie’s booth was immediately greeted by retailers eager to see her and her jewelry line. People from all over the country were drawn to her unique handmade jewelry, from tiny boutiques to major museums.
It was fun to be representing her brand, answering questions, and helping people pick out what to order. It was so exciting, the whole place was so full of energy and perfect for people watching!
Each day, we ladies were adorned with the jewelry and it was literally selling right off of us as we ventured out to other areas of the show that first day.
People were so interested in the fact that every piece was made on Martha’s Vineyard. People heard the location, and you get see them get a wistful look in their eyes, wishing they were there.
In addition to Stefanie, Kathryn, and myself, another Island gal, Dana Nicolette joined us to help. Dana just added to the fun! What a group we were.
What I was not prepared for was how hard working the show was. I am not used to being on my feet for nine hours, nor am I used to being “on” for business savvy, fashionable, smart people for all that time. But it sure was fun.
In addition to selling her jewelry, Stefanie wanted to use the opportunity being there to expand her shop on North Water Street in Edgartown. So, we went searching for accessories that she could sell that would enhance the beauty of her jewelry.
Being a “buyer” was a bit overwhelming, but it was so exhilarating when you found a line that works with what she makes.
I can give you a little tease. There will be the most fabulous handmade in San Francisco cork handbag/clutch line, a gorgeous leather accessories line from Brooklyn, leather journals from England, and beautiful, colorful scarves.
Everything coming from small designers similar to Stefanie herself. Personal note – I got a cork clutch and a leather wallet coming. It’ll be hard to wait until April for them to arrive!
All in all, helping Stefanie was a truly wonderful experience. I loved helping an Islander whose work I believe in, spending time with some great Island girls, and being a true professional for a couple of days. It was really inspiring!
When Not at NY Now
Yes we woke up early and worked long, hard, exciting days, but the nights were super therapeutic! One of the greatest joys of New York City is eating at its restaurants! Every night was something completely new and different.
One night was Bocca DiBacco – this contemporary Italian restaurant that was beyond delicious. With a bottle of red, truffled mushroom bruschetta, house made pasta and a hip vibe, I could have stayed forever.
There was Asian food, and Thai food, and amazing lunches, all shared with amazing women. Dining together and savoring every moment was the perfect remedy for our exhaustion. Perhaps sleep would have been better, but hey we were in NYC!
Another added bonus was that one of my dear friends, Mary O’Doherty was also at the show launching a new line she is a partner in, Anantya US. It’s line of gorgeous home decor items from India. The best thing was that her line was the only of its kind.
It really stood out among other home accessory booths, and this summer you’ll be able to see Anantya pieces at Tracker Home Decor in Edgartown! Owner John Murphy purchased a number of her pieces. So excited for her and so proud, she’s pretty amazing.
Being that she was there, that meant dinner together! She, myself, Scott, and Kate got together for dinner on Sunday at Navy, a seafood restaurant in SoHo. It had a great feel to it, small, intimate, hand written menus. It was nice, I felt very swanky being there.
However we couldn’t stay because we had to watch the rest of the Superbowl. We dredged through the snow and found a great little bar with the game one.
We got there just in time to catch only the best play ever! Beer in hand, bar in the city, surrounded by friends, and a final play like that. It was perfect, special even.
Why share this story with you? Well, to see an Island artist bring her work to an event like that, and see the response people had to her jewelry, and about where it was made, was wonderful to experience. I felt so proud to be a part of it and Stefanie’s team.
How a sense of place can make you want something even more. The specialness of this small Island many of us call home has an effect on people.
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