Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Old Town Imports Pre-Sale Buying Guide

Hi friends!  I don't know if any of you are still out there (since most have made the switch to other social media outlets, it seems), but if you are, I'm excited to tell you that Old Town Imports is having another Fall Pre-Sale, which means prices at 40-50% off retail. It ends TOMORROW, so you'll have to act fast!   Essentially, you place your order, pay for half now, wait for the items to be produced and shipped from Mexico or India, and then pay the other half of your balance when you pickup or have your order shipped to you.  You get the deep discount because of the wait-time.

I've loved these products for over a decade, and it's been so much fun to build my collection over the years.  There are so many reasons I love these serveware, and I'll give you  just a few:

  • Fabulous presentation: First of all, it's absolutely gorgeous, and really steps up presentation.  People eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouths, and when you use one of these platters, I guarantee your treats are going to go first at a potluck.  If you host an event and have no additional decor aside from this, it won't matter.  This serveware makes PB&J look gourmet.
  • Timeless look without the effort: This serve ware has the timeless look of silver, but the aluminum alloy its made of requires no polishing to maintain its high shine.  Many of the pieces I own have been used for 5-10 years, and as long as I hand-wash and hand-dry my pieces after use, they still look amazing. And trust me, white porcelain went out of style once, it's going to go out of style again. That, and it's not as versatile as you think.  Aluminum is the way to go! Plus, it doesn't break when you drop it :)
  • Perfect for serving, doubles as decor: Quality aluminum serveware like this maintains the temperature of whatever food or beverage is served on or in it.  Thus, if you fill up a punch bowl with water and ice, it will stay ice cold for your entire event, and if you serve hot rolls in a shallow dish, they'll stay nice and toasty too.   OTI is also great for centerpieces and home decor.
  • Space-Saving and Versatile: You may think I'm crazy when I say this stuff saves space, cause it's definitely not petite. It's HEAVY, and can definitely take up space.  But think about all the space you save when you don't have to store 20 different seasonal/novelty serving pieces that you only use once a year. I can use the same 5-6 pieces over and over again and just swap out my linens and decor. Brilliant!
  • Reflective Quality:  This goes without saying, but these pieces have a beautiful shine.  It's beautiful in and of itself, but it's also beautiful for what it reflects.   I use my aluminum serveware as a neutral base that allows the food I'm serving to be the focal point, not the serving platter itself.  It enhances and reflects what's placed around it, and I love that a bowl will reflect the color or pattern of whatever is below it, so it gives my events a really pulled-together look.  And again, this reflective nature allows me to use the same pieces over and over again, and all i have to do is switch up my linens and decor to give my event an entirely different look and feel.  

Check out the images below, as well as tips for shopping the sale, and my buying guide for getting your collection started.  These images all look totally different, right?  The pieces come from the same collection, and serve as a gorgeous neutral base for each event.  Notice how the metal reflects the colors and patterns around it... so cool!


Tips for shopping the sale:
  • Consider how you entertain: If you entertain primarily at home for your family, you'll want to choose everyday pieces like a pitcher, salad bowl, and a few serving dishes and platters.  If large parties are your forte, you'll want to consider large serving pieces like punch bowls, large serving trays with handles, and large dishes that make serving large groups a breeze.
  • Consider your current/future collection: Just like shopping for your clothes, consider the formality, colors, textures, and designs of pieces you already own.  And if you have a collection, think about what events you will host, and what you ultimately want your collection to look like.
  • Look for versatile pieces: Choose pieces that serve dual purposes, like a salad bowl that is deep enough to double as a punch bowl, or a platter that could serve not only for serving dessert, but also as home decor.    
  • Vary your sizes and shapes:  In order to maximize serving space, consider serving pieces with various shapes and sizes. If all your bowls are round, choose rectangular trays that even out negative space.  If all your pieces are round or square, you will quickly run out of space. 

 If you are considering starting from scratch, here are my must-have lists from the Pre-Sale inventory.

Get Your Collection Started: pitcher, large serving bowl, medium platter, servers.  My suggestions below (3 pieces + servers $120.96 total)

Empire Pitcher   $41.99 This was the first piece in my collection, and it's the one I've used the most over the last decade at family dinner each night (even when it was just the two of us!).  It helps to elevate the ordinary and  make every meal special.

Textured Rectangle Platter $24.99  This is the serving platter I use the most. It's great for desserts, appetizers, home decor, or a fruit plate. Since it's textured, I can use it as a fresh fruit plate and the finish doesn't stain (if you leave a banana on a smooth-finished piece it will eventually leave a stain.  With this bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, I've successfully left fruit on either with no staining)

Tranquility Bowl Large: $33.99  This is an awesome bowl because you can use it for just about anything.  Rolls, salads, side dishes, and since it holds 1 gallon, you can even use it as a small punch bowl. I do it all the time!

Bravo Servers (3pc set): $19.99  My rule of thumb is to have one serving spoon per bowl in my collection.  The serving piece must be the same material or softer (aluminum alloy, bamboo, or plastic), so that it will not scratch the metal excessively. If you use a regular metal spoon from your utencil drawer, it's going to scratch your serveware like crazy because it's harder than the aluminum alloy. This set gives you a salad set, and a serving spoon too.

Must-Have Additions (add on to the above, as your budget allows)

Designer Bowl Small $12.99 great for serving side dishes, candy, or snacks

Sauce Set, 5 pc $14.99  You can use this as a set or separate this to serve condiments, salad dressings, sprinkles, nuts, candy, etc.

Justice Plate $24.99  This is an extremely versatile plate that can serve a 12" cake, desserts, dinner rolls, or is also beautiful for use as a charger or as home decor.

Boat Bowl Large $49.99   This is one of my favorite serving pieces because it's so versatile! It is amazing for serving salads, dinner rolls, or I've even filled it with ice and put cans of soda inside.  It's also great for party favors- it's my go-to.  It is an unexpected shape and holds a ton.  You may want to consider purchasing another serving set with these, like the Fortune Servers for $9.99.

Square Bowl Mini: $5.49  my go-to for pretty much everything.  We use these for candies, nuts, condiments, dressings, and they make great gifts when filled with homemade candy!  We also use one for keys in our entry. 

Square Beaded Cake Stand $49.99 Great for serving cakes and cupcakes, and adds height to your displays

Favorite gifts:

Square Bowl Mini: $5.49  (repeat from above- it's that good!) This is my go-to dish for pretty much everything.  We use these for candies, nuts, condiments, dressings, and they make great gifts when filled with homemade candy!  We also use one for keys in our entry.

Star bowl mini $5.99 :     Fill with homemade candy for coworkers or neighbors, great for the holidays and the 4th of July too!

Holy Night $21.99 a classic Christmas decor piece at a great price-point.

Fruit Bowl Square $35.99  The classic salad bowl. It holds a ton, and it's such a classic, elegant design. Perfect for a wedding gift or birthday.

Group gifts:

Nativity, 13 piece $129.99 This is my most favorite Christmas decoration.  It's absolutely gorgeous, it's timeless, and will match any home decor.

Symphony Punch Bowl $139.99 This is on my wish list! It's such a beautiful piece, and woud be perfect for family reunions, holiday parties, etc. Hold 3 gallons.

Classic Punch Bowl $97.99  A smaller punchbowl that holds 2.5 gallons with a lower height and more decorative look that the one above. 

Do you have a favorite to recommend?

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