Good Afternoon Luv Bugs! Today I had the opportunity to shop Black Friday in a non traditional way! Allow me to introduce ya’ll to the Sip & Shop Atlanta:
AP: When I received an invitation to attend I figured why not? Now, I’m not a big brick and mortar shopping type of person because I love the comfort of shopping from home in my skivvies if I want to. Also, my body goes through a lot of pain due to health issues; so being on my feet for an extended period is not pleasant for me. But I was so intrigued I decided to go see for myself what it was about. So I registered my Bear and dragged him along to be my stand in photographer for the day!
Jay: I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Level V. The first win for me was the free off the street parking. I always appreciate when I can attend an event in a city location and still park for free. Gold star for that!
AP: The location of the Sip & Shop Atl was in Buckhead at the Level V Lounge. The upside to this location was there was on site free parking. The downside for me was that it felt really small for the amount of vendors they had. I feel like I would’ve enjoyed the experience a bit more if the venue had been more spacious. It made navigating a bit more difficult, especially for a plus size lady of my stature!
Also, there was no handicap accessibility. So if a person who uses a mobility device needed access, this was not the venue for that!
Jay: My first con however was I couldn’t tell if I was early to the event or not. It didn’t appear to be in progress as the first thing I was greeted by were people putting settings together. Now I’m a blue collar dude with a family who drives a mini- van. I know a lot of work goes into these events and I appreciate the effort it takes to put on a production but I have never felt confused as to whether or not the event had started or not. There wasn’t even a person to greet us or welcome us in the traditional sense. Sorry but I have to ding them for that.
Now the venue was very appealing to me. I like the black decorum and when I went up the stairs the event appeared to be in full swing. Some things were still underway and being put together but the vendors for the most part were in place and ready to sell, sell, and sell. I was disappointed again that no one was there to check us in, ensure we got our swag bags or even checking for guest a midst all the hub bub but again; it’s a lot to maintain so I understand. I still have to ding for a half a point there though.
Jay: I appreciated the music that was provided. It was a young lady doing her thing on stage with an electric violin and Dj on a nice stage setup. They sounded good initially but Ivstill felt like some kinks were being worked out as the Dj didn’t appear very engaged with the crowd. I didn’t mind that. That happens more often than not and is acceptable at least initially.
AP: I really enjoyed the violinist who’s name is Joy Black. She sounded (and looked) beautiful! I think her presence gave the whole event a classy vibe. I wasn’t really cognizant of the DJ because she was a show all on her own. I was pleased to be able to hear her above the chatter in the room!
AP: I definitely loved the fact that there were a LOT of different vendors there; some I was familiar with already such as Kloset Threads (who’s earrings I’m wearing in today’s look; but that will be for another blog post); but a bunch of different vendors I wasn’t familiar with:
Jay: Making our way through the vendors was also very pleasant. I love to see young people, especially young women of color, trying to create their own lane in the world today. These women were beautiful, well dressed, engaging and everyone had merchandise that I would be glad to recommend. Whether it was classy looking lingerie, organic health care products, hand-made jewelry, beauty products, head wraps, clothing, accessories, vegan foods, even bedding; you name it was represented. My favorite products were Superior Vegan Lyfe, Real Time Pain Relief, Green Gold, Luxurious Linens, Butta Natural Body Care (like that Selfish Box), Imari Creations, and last but definitely not least the lovely accessories of Kloset Threads.
AP: Ultimately I thought it was a good collection of vendors. I personally shopped Real Time Pain Relief because if ya’ll keep up with my blog you KNOW my body is going thru it!
AP: And we bought some tasty, ginger based juice from Superior Vegan that was EXCELLENT!
AP: If I hadn’t been in so much pain from standing (they didn’t have any seating available) and I didn’t have to get ready for my closet sale tomorrow; I might have stayed longer to try out everything! In all it was a pretty cool experience; but I do feel like the experience wasn’t a well thought out production. Anytime you cram a lot of vendors into a small space with no real functional set up; it screams “money grab” to me. If anything I felt for the vendors who paid to be in this space and I hope they made their money back!
Jay: It was nice event all in all and I know the future ones will only improve upon the small short comings that I noticed. My last final critique would be to just be mindful that while the event holders and their vendors want to get that dough remember you aren’t herding cattle. We are consumers that want to be appreciated and catered to for more than our dollar. This isn’t an assault so please do not take it that way. I just want to be comfortable while I spend my coins in the building. That means seating whether I am VIP or not. That means a bottle of water at a minimum in the event I am thirsty. It wouldn’t hurt to also walk away with some type of merch whether I spent money or not. Remember you are building a brand not just hustling to make the rent this month, I’m just saying. It’s all love though. Me and wifey enjoyed ourselves and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Keep up the good work folks. Sky is the limit. Peace.
Check out the gallery below!