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April 2013 Posts


A Day in My Shoes
Blog Entry

Episode 5 - A Day in My Shoes - NY International Gift Fair - NY Now

Monday, April 8th 2013 @ 12:00 AM

A Day in My Shoes – Shopping for High SocieTea House at NY International Gift Fair (NY Now) - Episode 5

Welcome to A Day in My Shoes – a blog and sometimes vlog as The Tea House Times publisher, Gail Gastelu, puts herself in another person’s shoes for the day – going behind the scenes in the tea industry!  If you are just joining us, go to the Archived entries in the left column to catch up - beginning with January 2013.  OR Click HERE for a complete listing/directory of entries and topics.



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In January, I walked the New York International Gift Fair.  This is something I normally do as press, but this time was extra special as I had also decided to put myself into Bernadette Solari’s shoes for the day and see the show through her eyes…. and…. well, her shoes!

In case you don’t already know, NY International Gift Fair is now called NY Now.  The website was nyigf.com and is now nynow.com but I am pretty sure both web addresses are currently working.  My general purpose to walk this show or any other gift, food, or tea trade show is to find new products.  It is a value added service I have been providing for a very long time to tea room owners across the country.  All show reports can be found within TheTeaHouseTimes.com website – available to tea room owners once logged in.  This helps new tea rooms find products and wholesale suppliers of everything from tea to teapots, and other food and gift items of particular interest to tea room owners and small retailers.

Bernadette and I met at her tea room (High SocieTea House) in Wayne, NJ and carpooled to the Javits Center in NY for the show.  At first we split up so I could put on my press hat for a while and then we met back up to look at a few interesting products together. 

One fun thing that happened is that April Cornell was making an appearance in her booth so we had the pleasure of “shopping” with April personally and found some very nicely priced merchandise including beautiful floral aprons, tablecloths, napkins, tea cozies, lace tea dresses, on and on. The April Cornell brand has been well known for at least 25 years. Bernadette placed a very nice order with April.


Bernadette’s routine was to look up vendors she has a relationship with and place orders for upcoming holidays and to seek out some interesting new products as well.  On this day she was looking for favors for Mother’s Day. 


Another product Bernadette carries in her shop are these adorable glass teapots, large enough to be paper weights or just small decorative pieces.  Dynasty Gallery has a line of heavy glass teapots with flowers or some other decoration inside the glass. I had seen these before but did not remember seeing the exhibit for this (and after seeing it you would know why) The exhibit was huge with loads of beautiful, heavy decorative glass pieces, but the tea section was on a small shelf. 


A few of the other products that I found and shared with Bernadette included quite a few of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” licensed products including bed pillows, tea towels, napkins, guest towels, and other tea related merchandise.  This is particularly hot right now and the most frequent request I receive from tea rooms looking for help finding new products. 

We had both ventured over to Andrea by Sadek, a booth not to be missed and full of beautiful and affordably priced tea ware. With themes such as shells, starfish, bees, polka dots or flowers, there is always something beautiful and new by Sadek. 

Yedi Houseware had a new “Classic Woven” white tea set that looks like a cable knit sweater. I just love that set. 

AppleTree Designs had loads of really cute fun styles of tea sets, tea for ones, and so much more.

Supreme Housewares had tiny sized items related to tea, but far too cute to pass up like tiny spoons, spreaders, cup tops, tea scoops, etc.

Metropolitan Tea Company had loads of new things: teabag rest shaped as a teacup rather than a flat teapot as normal, teabag shaped infuser, strawberry shape infuser, lemon shape infuser, new sniffer jars, great new teapot cookie cutters (press style w release) -- Photo below: Bermuda Tea Bag Holder from Metropolitan Tea Company

Tea Forte – new garden harvest collection

Sharon O’Connors – well known Menus and Music.  New Paris Cafes, and trip to Paris coming up.

So, I’d say my trip to the show with Bernadette was about the same routine as I normally experience on my own, but it was nice to spend the day with her and have some company walking the show for a change.

Any tea room looking for new products, just give me a shout and I will connect you with the latest and greatest!

Stay tuned, A Day in My Shoes continues on with cooking, dishwashing, and tea industry executives!




If you would like to visit High SocieTea House yourself,
Call High SocieTea-reservations required: 973-696-8327
Location: 20 Old Newark Pompton Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470 (highsocieteanj.com)


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