You know, I had all sorts of ideas like that. All I think about here is how much fun I would have doing some creative buying/designing/importing. It just comes down to the lack of a system. To really make it work I'd need to deal in some amount of quantity. That involves having a shop or showroom or doing trade shows.
I could not only scout really direct sources here, but I could custom things to give them a unique look. Anyone out there want to back a project? Send me an email. For a big buying trip it would be totally worth the expense of traveling!
I have considered opening a store. My problem is that I would enjoy the buying, I would absolutely love the designing of the shop, but who wants to sit and run it day after day? I need a partner who wants to run a store! Oh yeah, and some cash. Any takers???