Thursday, February 24, 2011

Behind the Design: Ink + Wit

Excitement is building for this year's National Stationery Show, and we're checking in with a few of the leaders in the paper industry. Giftware News goes behind the scenes with Chicago-based letterpress stationery company, INK + WIT.

Tara Hogan, founder of whimsical design company INK + WIT, harbors a not-so-secret adoration of letterpress printing, despite today’s digital age of e-cards and text messages. “I love the history of letterpress, the texture and the way it makes everything feel like a keepsake,” says Hogan. “In that way, it feels more sustainable as well. People save letterpress cards, frame them or find resourceful ways to reuse and repurpose them.”

Hogan, a graduate from Syracuse University’s School of the Visual and Performing Arts, has always had a secret love for design and paper products. Hogan’s at-home Web and print designing work eventually led to running her own paper studio out of her home, and she’s since added on an impressive client list, creating works for the likes of babysoy,, Great Arrow Graphics, Graphique de France, Bella Figura and Pinball Publishing. With a firm goal in mind to create elegant, simple designs, Hogan has focused on the creative dialogue in her pieces. INK + WIT has evolved to include not only greeting cards, but to letterpress prints, apparel, customizable and ready-made wedding stationery and more.

Hogan finds her inspiration everywhere: yoga, animals, nature, Scandinavian folk art, Dutch design, abstract expressionism — and the list goes on. But being constantly inspired means a consistent slew of new projects. This year, she has added letterpress calendars, linen tea towels, felt bunting, stamp sets and bamboo mobiles to her line. And there’s more coming for 2011, including illustrated books, sculptures made from reclaimed wood, ceramics and more. Despite INK + WIT's foray into several different mediums, letterpress will always remain close to Hogan’s heart. “Letterpress has a tactile feeling and a long history,” says Hogan. “Although most printing is done with photopolymer plates these days, originally all the type was hand-set, and the perfectionism in this craft is extraordinary.”

Photo courtesy Ink + Wit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wholesaler Update: Upper Canada Soap

Giftware News checks in with leading personal care company Upper Canada Soap.

Giftware News: Tell us a little background on Upper Canada Soap. How did the company get started? Who were the founders, and what was their mission? 
Chantelle Tersigni, director of marketing: It all began with one bar of soap created in the founder’s basement in 1969! Now, more than 40 years later, Upper Canada has expanded its product lines to include more than 2,000 bath and body products, candles, soaps and specialty gift ideas for women, men and children.

Upper Canada is known as Canada’s most  revered bath, body and beauty company, recognized particularly for quality in personal care. Upper Canada continues to bring to market some of the most innovative products the industry has to offer — from Danielle Lunch Totes to our Greetings Bath Program, as well as our signature Naturally soaps, lotions and body care products.

Today, Upper Canada Soap products are sold across North America and in 10 countries worldwide including Costa Rica, Dubai, the Bahamas, Australia and across Europe. 
Giftware News: What are the current goals for the company? 
CT: Founded on a desire to bring both innovation and value to bath and body products, Upper Canada Soap’s product developers are focused on creating new and exciting products with packaging and fragrances reflective of the quality and value today’s woman desires. Upper Canada Soap’s commitment to excellence, from development to product, ensures its customers that every product is made with the highest quality standards. Upper Canada aims to continue to drive innovation and bring to market the latest and greatest items that are on trend and exactly what our customers are looking for. [We’re] always thinking of a woman’s needs from head to toe.
Giftware News: What are some of the biggest trends in the personal care industry for 2011?
CT: The Natural category will continue to evolve in both high-end and mass markets. A focus on key ingredients and extracts will play up many formulations. Naturals will continue to build on the well-being trend with the idea that the body can benefit from being nourished on both the inside and outside.  
Giftware News: What does Upper Canada have in mind for the future?

CT: Upper Canada is driven to produce more innovative, out-of-the box product ideas. We will continue to push the envelope on formulations to result in beauty breakthroughs and must-have items.

Photo courtesy Upper Canada Soap.

The February Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the February digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD February Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
All Aglow
Mad about Mom
Home Safe Home
Gourmet Gift Guide

Luxury at HomeWall Art

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is now easier then ever!

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Giftware News Supports Gift for Life

While in town for NYIGF, Giftware News got the opportunity to attend Party for Life, the annual fundraising event for Gift for Life, one of the gift industry's leading charitable organizations. Set in the stunning Boathouse in Central Park, guests mingled among cocktails and plenty of food while bidding on silent and live auction items. The evening culminated with an awards presentation: Kathy Ireland received the Design for Life Award, David Moses received the Bert Tonkin Gift of Giving Award and Mud Pie CEO Marcia Miller received the Trailblazer Award.

Altogether, the event raise more than $150,000 on behalf of DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. On behalf of Giftware News, congratulations!

Images courtesy Steel Associates, LLC

The January Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the January digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD January Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Playing a Selling Song
• Lasting Ties
• Plush Perfection
• Gorgeous Glassware

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is easier then ever!

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety. 

Please click HERE to begin reading!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at

The GGD Team