Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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

Dear GGD Reader,

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

GGD March Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Zen-spirational
• Dear Ol' Dad
• Time for Tabletop
• Garden State

• Natural Designs
• Shelftalk
• Calendar

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

Behind the Design: Fig. 2 Design Studio

Continuing our pre-coverage of the National Stationery Show, we've peeked behind-the-scenes with new exhibitor Claudia Smith of Fig. 2 Design Studio.

Giftware News: What's the history behind Fig. 2 Design
Claudia Smith: Fig. 2 Design started purely out of coincidence. As a graphic designer, I designed various custom wedding invitations throughout the years. When I left my full-time job at a local design studio to pursue my own clients, I sent an announcement to a bridal boutique here in Washington, D.C. hoping they would simply refer me to their brides. After meeting with the boutique, they asked if I would put together a collection of designs they could carry in their store, and so Fig. 2 was born. 

GWN: This is your first time exhibiting at NSS. What are you hoping to take away from your first show? 
CS: I hope to take away a better understanding of the stationery business. I want to meet new people (both buyers and media), get exposure, and build on the Fig. 2 brand.  

GWN: Why did you decide to exhibit at this year's NSS? 
CS: It was my time. I learned a lot by having my album at the bridal boutique — the pros and cons of certain printing methods, what brides like and dislike, etc. It took a long time to find the right printers as I offer offset and letterpress, but I found excellent, quality printers to work with. 

GWN: What are your future plans for Fig. 2
CS: I focus mainly on wedding invitations but will have some note card sets that will debut at this year's show. I'm eager to learn how the bulk side of the business goes. For next year, I have plans for a baby announcement line.

Photo courtesy Fig. 2 Design Studio.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Getting to Know the GHTA

As a retailer, getting involved in the industry is a vital tactic for keeping up to date and promoting your store. We spoke with Diane Carnevale Jones, executive director of the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA), to learn a little more about getting involved with other retailers.

Giftware News: What's the mission of GHTA, and why should retailers get involved?
Diane Carnevale Jones: The mission of the GHTA is to lead and transform the gift and home industry, ensuring its long-term health and viability. The Association helps and encourages vendors, sales agencies, industry affiliates and retailers to work together, improving relationships and making business better by providing members with the opportunity to exchange ideas, develop content and effect positive change in our industry.

GWN: Tell us about the yearly GHTA conference. 
DCJ: The GHTA conference provides all GHTA members with an opportunity to connect, learn and contribute. This year, our conference will be held in Las Vegas at the Red Rock Casino and Resort. The theme is "Playing to Win: Strategies for Success." All of our speakers and breakouts will speak to this theme, highlighting how vendors, sales agencies, retailers and industry service providers can build upon this year's upbeat markets.

GWN: You recently announced a health insurance program. What does this mean to GHTA members?
DCJ: GHTA members now have the opportunity to identify the best possible health insurance provider through our insurance partner. This is a real breakthrough for our industry — an opportunity for individuals to secure affordable healthcare. Members are encouraged to contact our insurance partner and to follow the process outlined. Our health insurance partner works with nearly 250 other trade associations, so we are happy to be able to provide this same opportunity for our own members!

GWN: How can retailers get involved with the GHTA? 
DCJ: There are several ways in which retailers can get involved in our Association:
1. Network: Take advantage of each of the networking receptions the GHTA hosts at market centers throughout the year.
2. Conference: Attend our annual conference and learn from speakers, from peers and from all members of the Association.
3. First Fridays: Join a GHTA member-only webinar and hear industry veterans discuss relevant topics to our industry.
4. Participate in the Members-Only Industry Forum, located on our website (
5. Take advantage of the many member discounts and free legal counsel, as outlined under Member Benefits.
6. Volunteer time on one of the many Action Groups, which address industry issues and opportunities.

GWN: What do you have planned for the future of GHTA?
DCJ: Our Association and its leaders continually work to offer tangible benefits to our members — benefits that impact the bottom line. Over the next few months, several new member benefits will be announced, all of which will help the retailer and our other members immensely.

GWN: How can retailers learn more about GHTA membership?
DCJ: Visit the GHTA website, review the member benefits and sign up online or via fax or mail. We encourage all retailers in good standing to join our growing network of industry partners to work together to make improvements within the industry!

To learn more about the GHTA, visit

Image courtesy GHTA.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Merchandising Fair Trade

For many retailers, incorporating fair trade products into your store isn't the easiest transition. Giftware News spoke with Andrea Newman, manager of the Chicago-based fair trade retailer Greenheart Shop, to get a few ideas on creating a fair trade display in your store.

1. Group like things together. Your display can be grouped into a specific fair trade category, like jewelry, or grouped by a characteristic, such as eco-friendly products. "We move and re-merchandise every day so our displays stay fresh for regulars and look new to someone who has been here before," says Newman.

2. Use informational signage. You never know how much your customers know about fair trade, so including brief information (bullet points are helpful) will help them understand what makes these products so special. Newman suggests keeping it professional; use a clean-looking sign, and a plexiglass cover is always a good idea.

3. Purchase items for your store that support each other. "You don't want your display to have zero continuity or flow," says Newman. "For example, we're expanding our home decor selections from pottery to dinnerware and ceramics. We have to have other things that support that group of products. Giving people help visualizing what you can do with products is helpful."

Photo courtesy Greenheart Shop.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Show Coverage: Ambiente

Catch up on all the excitement from Ambiente in Frankfurt, Germany. With more than 4,000 exhibitors, Ambiente is the largest consumer goods trade show in the world, and more than half of the attendees are from other countries.

George Little Management and Forty One Madison brought together industry leaders and executives for an annual cocktail party during February's show.

GLM & Forty One Madison reception hosts (from left): Marc Delman, sales manager NYIGF; Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president; Cathy Steel, owner of Steel Associates for NYIGF; Alan Steel, president of GLM; Laurie Burns, executive director of Forty One Madison; and Christian Falkenberg, NYIGF manager.

From left: Mark Ross of Two's Company, Dorothy Belshaw of GLM, Bobbie and Tom Gottlieb of Two's Company

From left: Raquel Goldberg, Ted Goldberg and Karen Mainenti of Alene Candles LLC

See you next year!