Norton Shows Talk Trends


The Norton Shows, all season wholesale markets held in Tennessee’s state-of-the-art Gatlinburg Convention Center, have been the go-to trade shows for apparel, jewelry and gifts since 1987. Tom and Linda Norton own the Gatlinburg Apparel and Jewelry Market LLC and their daughter, Nikke Norton, is the sole proprietor of Norton’s Gatlinburg Gift and Variety Show, LLC, and the two always show together. Held in March, June, September and November, these iconic events draw buyers and exhibitors from all 50 States, Canada, Central and South America, and The Caribbean Islands.

Each show, held in the city known as the gateway to the Smoky Mountains, draws between 10,000 and 21,000 buyers to shop 500 to 800 booths. “Our wholesale cash and carry is very important because retailers can stock their stores without waiting for shipments,” explains Linda Norton. “They won’t have an overload of inventory because there generally aren’t minimums.”


With their knowledge of the retail industry, marketing skills and, just as important, dedication to helping people succeed, the Norton Shows’ owners make it their business to know what is trending. “What’s leading the market today are fashion jewelry and fashion accessories—that’s where the money is,” shares Norton. “Jewelry is fun and fashionable, and many of today’s lines are reasonably priced.” Tonobi fine jewelry, for example, is a popular collection of gold, silver, and semi-precious stone bracelets, earrings and necklaces designed by Egyptian born Shwikar (Shu Shu) El Tonobi. “Her designs fly off the shelf,” Norton comments. Another hot item is Druzy gemstone jewelry. “Druzy is fabulous and affordable, and I keep telling people to buy it because it’s going to go up and up in price.”

druzyNot only is Norton on top of what’s trending, she is always on hand to share tips with exhibitors that will help them showcase and sell their merchandise. At another show, Norton says she noticed a jewelry company complaining to the promoter. “They had their merchandise displayed on dark cloths on tables all of the same height,” Norton recalls. To attract buyers, Norton suggests people use different patterns, varying heights and colorful fabrics to break up the space and elevate the eye. “People have to make full use of the space they have.”

Norton shares another example: “At one of our shows, a jeweler came in from Peru and was showing a video of their native land.” To generate a greater buzz, Norton recommended the exhibitor post large pictures of Machu Picchu. By displaying blown up pictures of this 15th century Inca site, she says, they could have “surrounded people with the Andes Mountains and let them enter the world of Peru.”

Having hosted trade shows for 26 years, Norton knows the importance of being resourceful, and she does what it takes to help exhibitors and buyers alike succeed. “We want everyone to be happy and to have a fair chance to conduct business.”

The Norton Shows
June 1 through 3, 2013
September 7 through 9, 2013
November 16 through 18, 2013
March, 2014

Contact information:
The Norton Shows
P.O. Box 265
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Tel.: 865-436-6151 or 436-6158
Fax: 865-436-6152