Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giftionery Taipei: Unicake Bag

We all know that we're supposed to care of Mother Nature, but who remembers to tote along reusable bags when going out? Unicake Bag to the rescue! Starting out as a cupcake, cake, or other sweet treat, when you open the package they unroll to reveal a reusable bag.

Unicake can be personalized for weddings or companies, and make a great door prize or favor. The bags are the perfect size for bringing to farmers markets or the library. Established in 2004, the company initially offered a face towel wrapped up like a cake under the Unique Cake Towels brand. In 2010 they expanded to Unicake Bags. To learn more about Unicake, email

Giftionery Taipei: Pim

Serving tea is a traditional Chinese custom, but between the rise in Asian restaurants and hotels offering tea service, it's a ritual that seems to be gaining popularity in the United States. Pim, a Taiwan-based company, offers some of the most beautiful tea pots and cups I've ever seen.

Made of bone china, the designs for the tea pots, cups, and saucers are based on nature—cups resemble raindrops, the curve of a tea pot's spout is based on a person's smile. The line includes cups that can swivel in saucers, cups with handles and without, and tea pots with a little red hat (above). Pim also offers trays, soy sauce bottles, and salt and pepper shakers, like a cute angel and devil set.

To learn more about Pim, visit their website or email

Giftionery Taipei: DOSEE

One of my favorite companies that I met at Giftionery Taipei is DOSEE Design, which inverts traditional Taiwan crafts to give them a modern spin. The company, run by a group of young artists, got its start through metal arts, manufacturing sculpture, bookmarks, and more. Recently, though, they've made the jump into paper products, offering creative, unique items.

DOSEE takes the idea of a Taiwanese market, which sells fruits and veggies on the street, and presents paper products in the same way. Garlic shaped coasters are wrapped in red plastic bags, a presentation that mirrors the way garlic is sold. Small flower pots actually offer mini Post-it notes as opposed to leaves and buds. The line is focused around a traditional Taiwanese family, with images representing family members displayed on each product. The set-up of the group's booth at the fair, seen above, also mimics a market. It's colorful, innovative and providing a breath of fresh air to the traditional arts.

For more information, visit the group's blog here, or email them at

Giftionery Taipei: Piyo Piyo

One company worth noting for U.S. gift stores that offer kids items is PiyoPiyo from Tung Ling. I met with Piyo Piyo in at Giftionery Taipei and learned about the company, which offers products for children ranging from newborn to pre-teen.

While most design for the products is done in Taiwan, production is done in China. Piyo Piyo began 20 years ago on the stationery side and moved into children's products 10 years ago. They've recently begun entering the junior market, with new bedding and lunch boxes, and are working toward offering more stationery.

The photo is of a line of stuffed Piyo Piyo ducks, Abby Bear, Kaeru Fog and Genki Dog. The line includes stuffed toys, sheets, lunchboxes and silverware, rattles, clothes, and more. There's also a related Christmas line.

To learn more about Piyo Piyo, visit their website.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Giftware News Goes to Giftionery Taipei!

Giftware News Associate Editor Amy Cavanaugh is currently attending Giftionery Taipei, the annual exhibition of gifts, stationery and other products. She's meeting with Asian companies and attending seminars to uncover new and notable products and anticipate trends for the coming year. This is the first blog post about what she found; look for products to appear in future Giftware News articles.
On Thursday, Giftionery Taipei held an afternoon of international seminars on design trends. The most compelling discussion, on what we can expect in the world of product design in the coming year, was led by Elaine Tam, product manager of WGSN, which predicts global design trends. Tam presented three different areas — Cinematic, Laboratory and Primal Futurism — which can be directly translated into gift stores through products or store displays.
• Cinematic is based on 1950s California style, so think vintage, tropical florals and summer shades. Turquoise is hot, and so is retro photography. The age of digital cameras isn't over, and iPhones feature apps like the Hipstamatic, which takes retro-inspired shots. 
Ways to incorporate this into your store: cool reproductions of vintage cameras (Diana and Holga cameras are huge right now), products with Hawaiian floral prints or tiki-inspired dining items and generally anything with a laid-back vibe.
• Laboratory is the intersection of art and technology, which Tam says is inspired by art galleries showcasing work in online blogs. Think punches of bright colors set against white backgrounds. 
Ways to incorporate this into your store: Look for gift items made of transparent materials, like glass, or bright designs printed on a neutral background. Geometric shapes are big, and you can find cool geometric-inspired jewelry to sell.
• Primal Futurism is a complicated way of saying something we've been including in sister magazine HomeFashion & Hospitality a lot lately -- rustic is chic. The trend features heavy forms that are made upscale and more contemporary for today's living. 
Ways to incorporate this into your store: Rustic doesn't just include furniture — think accent pieces like throw pillows in dark browns and greens, country-inspired products (look to our June issue for a round-up of new country items!) and animals prints.
WGSN predicts that we'll see all three of these trends in the coming year, so if you start including them in your stores, you'll be ahead of the curve!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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

Dear GGD Reader,

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

GGD April Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Paper Power
• Season Greetings
• Paw Prints
• Baby Lookbook

• Top it Off
• Honeysuckle
• Calendar

New Feature:
Now Viewable on Ipads


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

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wholesaler Update: Dogeared Jewels & Gifts

Giftware News checks in with leading giftware and accessories designer, Dogeared Jewels & Gifts.

Giftware News: Tell us a little background on Dogeared. How did the company get started?
Marcia Maizel-Clarke, founder of Dogeared: Dogeared was started in California in 1991, out of our desire to share good energy with the world. My passion for beautiful design ultimately led me to start hand-making jewelry. The look was hip, casual and very California, and people loved it! The company has been growing ever since. Dogeared incorporates messages of hope, inspiration and wisdom into every product, and that has made us stand out as an industry leader. Dogeared is committed to the same values we held when we started 20 years ago: to be Earth friendly, to be 100-percent made in the USA and to work with non-profit organizations that share our vision of a better world.

GWN: What are the current goals for the company?
MMC: To celebrate our 20th year, we’ve increased our commitment to our non profit partners and launched a yearlong giving initiative called Karma in Action. Throughout 2011, portions of the profits from our bestselling Karma collection will benefit two of Dogeared’s nonprofit partners, One Voice and Girls Learn International. We’ll be launching a limited edition 20 Years of Good Karma necklace in August to help support this effort as well. We’re asking our customers to join us in creating a circle of Karma and making a lasting impact on the world. Our big goal for the year is to take what we’ve been doing for the first 20 years of the journey and do it bigger and better for the next 20 years and beyond!

GWN: What are some of the biggest trends in the industry for 2011?
MMC: Limited edition is huge right now. People want jewelry that tells a story, that they love to wear and that they don’t see on everyone else. Dogeared creates a limited edition Jewel Box collection every season, and people get really excited about that. Raw stones and other natural materials are being used to create a kind of unpolished, organic look and feel that’s really in right now. We’re seeing lots of rough edges: tassels and fringe, movement and texture. Geometric, architectural pieces in unexpected shapes, like square bangles. People are designing with layering in mind. Our favorite current craze is rose gold. We absolutely love it for its warm, inviting sparkle.

GWN: What does Dogeared have in mind for the future?
MMC: We want to keep doing our best work and looking for new ways to keep putting good energy into the world. Everything happens organically for us; the best things just unfold. Last year we launched Dogeared Bridal, and we hope to keep growing that part of our business. It’s all about choosing a direction that’s authentic and doing what we believe in. When we’re true to who we are, success always follows.

Photo courtesy Dogeared Jewels & Gifts.