Thursday, December 20, 2012

Giftware News Speaks With Newly Appointed SAFI Managing Director, Paris, Philippe Brocart

Thursday, December 6, Giftware News & Home Fashion had the opportunity to meet with Philippe Brocart. Joining the discussion were Frederic Bougeard SAFI, Director International Sales & Business Development Organizer of Maison et Objet, Paris and Maison Et Object, Philippe Bazin, Promo Salon USA located in NYC. 
The group discussed Paris as the gateway to Europe. It is a market of 500 million consumers, 10 million visitors each year visit Paris, and 2 million are trade visitors. The relationship for Paris and New York is an important link. Paris is legendary for fashion, the energy that grabs you — whereas NYC is young, fresh and is always renewing itself.
Creation is not a word, ones needs inspiration, to have a real experience. Brocart urged buyers to come to Paris, the history, the inspiration, the lifestyle ideals. The unique products that are only at the Maison et Objet show. This is a real experience. It is the Art of living, the art of Creation, it is a certain style of living. The show is not about categories but about lifestyle experiences. 

Later that evening, PREDA: Paris Region Economic Development Agency hosted a unique presentation by the Trend Forecasting Agency NellyRodi followed by a panel discussion between Paris-based trade shows and American experts at the Consulate General of France on 5th Avenue. Five major attitudes that are emerging this season were presented.
Covered in the presentation were story telling, the story behind ideas and creating new stories. The senses were discussed as a reflection of life, the expression of all lifestyle facets. Fun! Used as bringing lightness into the world. The New Cool is definitely coming from the street cultural. Cool is the Chic; self-expression through technology. 

Connectivity - the world is moving faster: what associations are there, who to trust, and being generous with others worldwide in sharing new ideas and giving opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Plenty of Prize Ideas For Increasing Retail Sales at IAAPA Expo

A special report from Giftware News' columnist Marilyn Nason

Having a Participatory Family Fun area in your gift store year-round may sound far-fetched, but the nearly 26,000 buyers attending the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions in Orlando, FL, recently would beg to differ.
Why? Think prizes, especially oversized colorful plush figures, and what they have long meant to everyone of every age visiting an amusement park, fair or carnival or other event where you are challenged to compete for a prize. 

For gift retailers constantly seeking profitable ways to create inventory that will appeal to core customers, displays among the more than 1100 booths at IAAPA Expo underscored the consumer impact quality plush, toys and challenging games have as the "prize" element in the continuing success of amusement parks and attractions for every age-group.

Whether a gift retailer calls its plush and/general toys/games section Participatory Family Fun or not as the IAAPA industry does, the point is the same. Since amusement parks appeal to every age, the need for an assortment of plush, toys, games for their diverse customers is similar to the diverse core customer base each gift retailer focuses on with every purchase order from infant to senior.

Several exhibitors displayed extensive, very elaborate 15-feet or more high, packed displays of plush figures, many boasting t-shirts and caps for specific college and professional teams, as well as licensed characters from comic books, cartoons and movies favorite licensed figures.

For gift retailers struggling with the perennial problem of gifts for boys and men, many of these plush items were perfect to appeal to fans of all sports, as well as NASCAR, Also included were team mascots, Star Trek and even Jason of "Friday the 13th." Many are also available in inflatable versions.

Several exhibitors indicated camouflage shirts will soon be introduced for a variety of plush toys, certain to appeal to boys and men in war games and military styles. Also shown were mini-golf and portable putting greens, the latter small enough to accommodate the tiniest backyard, deck, porch or office, as well as meant to rollup for a vacation trip or a visit to Grandma's backyard.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The November Digital Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Please click image above to start reading November's Digital Issue of GGD.
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New Business Opportunities To Be Offered by MACEF+

Macef will develop into a parallel digital event, becoming the most important online exhibition in the field of home, furnishing, and decor. Macef+ ( is the digital event devoted to trade operators who, by exploiting the web potentials, will be able to sign new commercial deals and extend their activities for 30 days after the end of the exhibition. 

Macef+ gives birth to the concept of "HD exhibition" which has been developed by Fiera Milano in cooperation with FieraDigitale in order to support trade operators through practical initiatives and develop business in an ever-changing market where time is getting more and more precious. Macef+ marks a new way to do business abreast of times, by exploiting the resources made available by the Web.

Through a simple procedure, buyers can get registered on, get in touch with companies, and view the detailed offers proposed by virtual stands; in turn, exhibitors enjoy the opportunity to manage their online platform, highlighting products, adding descriptions and multimedia contents, checking accesses to the stand and contacting buyers.

In this way, Macef gennaio 2013, thanks to Macef+, will remain open on the web until the end of February. The new online exhibition has been preceded by a pilot project that began in September at the end of the last Macef event and which was scheduled to end on October 31st. The project involves over one hundred companies and 500 buyers, and has allowed successfully testing the concept of online exhibition in light of its launch in January. The project is developed in partnership with Fiera Milano and FieraDigitale, the company at the basis of success.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

International Pool Spa Patio Expo Offers Year-Round Opportunities for Retailers

A special report from Giftware News columnist Marilyn Nason
This year's annual International Pool Spa Patio Expo November 2-8, in New Orleans, was aptly themed "The Backyard Experience," further reinforcing the importance of outdoor family living to today's consumers. Not only did the show offer countless in-ground and above-ground pools, spas, hot tubs, saunas and casual furniture but also an almost limitless and creative variety of toys, games for every age, barbecue grills, firepots, fireplaces, fountains and fire and water decorative combination — the latter perfect for savvy gift and home décor retailers to consider. 

As outdoor living assumes an increasingly important role with consumers where their backyards are concerned, exhibitors at this show were displaying limitless possibilities for gift and home décor retailers, especially where the elusive men's gifts are a factor.
With show officials reporting a 30 percent increase in display space this year, further proof that complete year-round practical family outdoor living has become a basic part of consumers' lifestyles, not a fleeting trend. 

Just as the recent Casual Furniture Show, furniture/home décor shows in High Point and Las Vegas, even the annual New York City International Toy Fair promoted this theme, the true family fully-accessorized center from pool, spa, patio areas to barbecuing, outdoor cooking and entertaining, games, all emphasized that today's backyard can not only reflect individual home décor tastes but provide enjoyment to capture the attention of every age and every pricepoint. 

Pool and lawn toys and games like basketball and volleyball offered the best in family fun. Same for in-pool exercising and fitness regimens; frisbies that squirt water on people or dogs who capture them and sleek bar stools equally at home in-pool or anywhere in the backyard, deck or patio. 

Perking up the backyard pool is a decorative cinch with round vinyl bottom-of-the-pool colorful mats in a variety of interesting graphic designs. Plush toys, especially in wildlife and goofy characters epitomized fun poolside possibilities for infants to teenagers, as did colorful pool floats for up to four people. 

As the growth in outdoor living points to long-term consumer interest, several exhibitors were highlighting the potential for almost year-round use of backyards even in areas where winters are a problem by showing practical and stylish fire pits, fire tables and infrared patio heaters, with built-in lighting. 

For the truly adventurous, tiki huts were on display, certain to excite gift retailers who can envision the accessories potential this backyard look could suggest to their customers.

Swim Way's Disney pool ring (

Float Storage's backpack (

Melissa & Doug's Suspend game (

Poolmaster's Hole-y Cow Island (

Thursday, November 8, 2012

ShopKeep POS Makes Time Clock Tracking Apps Obsolete

ShopKeep POS, a leader of iPad POS technology has announced a new time clock feature that makes it simple for merchants to log and track employee hours right from their ipad register. With payroll costing the average retailer 20-40 percent of sales, optimizing schedules is key to running a profitable business. 

The integrated ShopKeep POS time clock solution eliminates the need for merchants to re-enter employee information into other time clock tracking applications. The feature also allows the owner of a store to make adjustments when employees forget to punch in or out of their shift. Plus, merchants will now be able to pull sales by employee to track individual performance better. The information is then exportable and can be used for accounting and payroll purposes.

"We know how important it is for merchants to accurately keep track of employee schedules," says Jason Richelson, CEO and Founder of ShopKeep POS. "We've built this feature in a way that is easy to use, saves time, and helps our customers make smarter scheduling decisions." 

The announcement comes on the heels of last month's announcement to integrate mobile payment providers Level Up and Dwolla into the ShopKeep POS iPad register and is part of the company's overall strategy to consolidate apps and devices that merchants want to use into one simple, affordable POS solution. 

The new time clock feature is available in the latest version of the ShopKeep POS app that is easily downloadable in the App Store. Current customers just need to update their existing app in the App Store to take advantage of this time saving feature right away. New customers can sign up for ShopKeep POS online at or right from the ShopKeep POS iPad app. 

ShopKeep POS is an easy-to-use and flexible point-of-sale solution embraced by more than 3,000 locations to manage inventory, customers, and facilitate transactions, all from an iPad. 

The subscription-based service includes unlimited seven-days-a-week customer care by phone, email and online chat, ensuring its customers are never in the dark and always able to get the help they need when they need it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NYIGF Announces Staff Changes

In connection with the summer 2013 reorganization of NYIGF into four broad market collections, GLM has announced a series of personnel changes, effective immediately, for the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) team. These staffing changes include creation of new positions, a new hire, internal promotions and shifts in areas of responsibility. 

According to Christian Falkenberg, NYIGF director and GLM vice president, "These staffing changes will facilitate the reorganization and introduction of four broad market collections — Home, Lifestyle, Craft and New — at the summer 2013 NYIGF. The new positions and related internal promotions are designed to maximize each team members' contributions to the show and the market overall." 

Changes to the NYIGF team, which are effective immediately, include creation of two new positions, Sales Director for NYIGF Home and Sales Director for NYIGF Lifestyle, with responsibilities including oversight of exhibit floor layout changes and exhibitor relocations connected to changes planned for August 2013. Both of these positions report directly to Falkenberg. 

Randi Mohr, a veteran member of the NYIGF staff, has been promoted to Sales Director for NYIGF Home Divisions. In this capacity, Mohr will oversee NYIGF's Accent on Design®, At Home, Gourmet Housewares Show and Tabletop divisions. In addition, she will continue to manage sponsorship and digital sales. Since joining GLM in 2003, Mohr has held increasing levels of responsibility on the NYIGF, most recently as sales manager for the Fair's Accent on Design, Baby & Child and Studio, and served as a member of GLM's sales team for the Gift Fair in Atlanta. Mohr graduated from Iona College, in 2003 with a B.A. in International Business, and in 2006 earned MBA Management with an International Business Certificate. 

Mohr will oversee five member of NYIGF's Home Sales team: Jaime Sikorjak, who has been promoted to Sales Manager of Accent on Design and Studio; Marc Delman, Sales Manager for Tabletop and Gourmet Housewares Show; Danielle Giacoponello, Sales Manager for At Home; Kristen Hamilton, Sales Representative for At Home; and Mary Hennessy, Sales Representative for Accent on Design, At Home, Gourmet Housewares Show and Tabletop

Scott Kramer, a gift and home industry veteran and former member of the NYIGF team, has returned to GLM to serve as Sales Director for NYIGF Lifestyle Divisions. In this capacity, he will oversee the Baby & Child, General Gift, EX•TRACTS, New York's Newest and Personal Accessories featuring Details divisions. In addition to Kramer's seven years with GLM – the first three for the Boston Gift Show and the last four for the NYIGF, his extensive sales and marketing experience includes three years with a school fundraising organization and eight years as the owner-manager of a gift retail operation. Kramer graduated in 1988 from the University of Hartford with a B.A. in Organizational Communications. 

Kramer will oversee six members of NYIGF's Lifestyle Sales team: Patricia Rivas, who has been promoted to Sales Manager of Baby & Child and will continue to work on New York's Newest; Paula Bertolotti, Sales Manager for New York's Newest; John Kelly, Sales Manager for General Gift; Melissa Engongoro, Sales Manager for Personal Accessories and EX•TRACTS; Nicole Climent, Sales Representative for General Gift; and Bibi Javed, Sales Representative for Personal Accessories and EX•TRACTS. 

Additionally, NYIGF's Handmade divisions will continue to be managed by Liz Beauregard, Sales Manager and Michelle Karol, Sales Representative. The newly launched Artisan Resource show will remain under the direction of Allison Rober, Sales Manager. 

NYIGF is the nation's premier gift, home and lifestyle marketplace, with 2,800+ exhibiting companies featuring an extraordinary breadth and depth of design-driven home fashion products and complementary giftware. The winter market takes place Saturday January 26, through Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Piers 92 and 94. Information and registration is available online at

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ganz Acquires Midwest-CBK Gift, Holiday, Home and Outdoor Decor Business

Midwest-CBK, a leading holiday, gift and home décor designer and manufacturer, has announced it has been purchased from MVP Group International, Inc. by Toronto-based gift company, Ganz. The acquisition includes the Midwest-CBK brand name and popular holiday, gift, and home and outdoor décor business. MVP Group will retain the Colonial Candle, Everybody's Ayurveda, Genuine Monkeez & Friends, Monkeez Makes a Difference and Goofballz brands, and Union City, TN. distribution facility and staff. 

The Midwest-CBK product line and the MVP Group International brands of Colonial Candle, Everybody's Ayurveda, Genuine Monkeez, Monkeez Makes a Difference and Goofballz, will continue to be available through the Midwest-CBK sales team. 

"Midwest-CBK is a perfect addition to the Ganz family of brands, a company with a similar heritage, strong values, experience, vision and focus," says Scott Wehrs, president of Midwest-CBK. "By combining forces, both Midwest-CBK and Ganz will continue to grow and provide the industry with exceptional new product design and development, and outstanding service." 

"This acquisition unites two renowned and highly respected market leaders, combining the strengths of both companies with best-in-class people, products, service and support for independent retailers," says Howard Ganz, president of Ganz. Midwest's and Ganz's product development and sales teams will continue to operate independently thereby allowing each to focus on their strengths. "This strategy brings many benefits and opportunities to retailers through an unmatched selection of holiday, gift and home décor products, innovation in products and programs, depth of design and outstanding sales and support teams, backed by a company with the combined resources of Midwest-CBK and Ganz." 

For more information, contact your Midwest-CBK account manager, visit or call 800/394-4225.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The September/October Digital Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

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NYIGF Offers Exclusive Exhibitor "Market Readiness" Webinars

Beginning in October, a monthly series of "Market Readiness" webinars — addressing marketing and selling strategies, tradeshow operations and lead follow-up — will be offered to companies exhibiting in the winter 2013 edition of the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF). Produced jointly by NYIGF and Right Angle Strategies, the series includes three pre-show webinars, one post-show webinar and free, one-on-one business consultations during NYIGF. 

"We want to do everything we can to help NYIGF exhibitors maximize the return on their tradeshow investment" said Christian Falkenberg, NYIGF director and GLM vice president. "Our partnership with Right Angle Strategies provides valuable 'before, during and after' training from industry veterans and experts." 

The webinars will be produced by NYIGF and Right Angle Strategies, a business strategy and coaching consultancy lead by gift and home industry veterans Stu Teller and Laura Blunt. As an added benefit, Right Angle Strategies will offer all webinar participants a free, in-booth, 15-minute business consultation at the winter 2013 NYIGF. 

Three pre-show webinars will focus on marketing, sales techniques and tradeshow operations. The fourth and final webinar, which will be held one week after NYIGF, will address market follow-up. 

The webinars are free for NYIGF exhibitors, and registration is available online at:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pets In The Spotlight At SuperZoo

A special report from Giftware News' columnist Marilyn Nason
Exhibitors and buyers at the annual SuperZoo Show in Las Vegas, September 10-13, were unanimous in predicting strong pet product 2012 holiday business. From the latest home decor-styled beds, food bowls and water dishes to the newest in dog and cat apparel and accessories, as well as fashionable print collars, leashes, harnesses and flexible carriers - the show seemed to offer something for everyone. This is important to retailers who indicated that their customers are now far more discriminating when it comes to pet products than in previous years. 

Formalwear for the dog from Road Wagz, Beverly Hills, CA, set the tone with fancy formal-styled luxury fabric tuxedo bowtie collar, button vest and matching socks in rich red/black patterns.

Oscar Newman, Batavia, IL, showed a casual dog sweater collection complete with matching squeaky toy, while Kool Tees, Deer Park, NY, offered matching t-shirts for both dogs and their adult owners featuring NFL and collegiate logos. Also in the NFL, NHL, NBA and collegiate logo vein were tees and accessories from Yellow Dog Designs, Greensboro, NC. 

Bow Wow Couture, Gainesville, FL, lived up to its name with durable hand-sewn bow-tie collars and matching leads in bright prints, plaids and solid patterns. Planet Dog, Westbrook, ME, zeroed right in on the upcoming holiday season with a special collection of Christmas-themed chompers shaped like colorful snowballs and tree bulbs. Also for Fido's holidays are classic plaid stockings with faux fur trim; squeaky gingerbread-shaped, snowman and slobber chews, perfect as stocking stuffers.

Humor and pets have long been a natural combination in everything from greeting cards, signs, plaques, place mats to garden flags, mugs, water bottles and glassware, with Westminster, CO-based All Natural Petchup and Meostard pet foods in familiar-styled bottle shapes getting a chuckle and ordering interest from buyers. 

When it comes to a hoodie for Fido, Hip Doggie Inc. Sherman Oaks, CA, showed off its patterned front-zippered washable model in conventional hoodie washed-grey tone. 

Most exhibitors and buyers surveyed indicated that today's consumers are focusing heavily on not only getting the perfect item for their pet from a visual, comfort and flexability/longevity standpoint but also they prefer eco-friendly and Made in America items when possible. This is similar to what retailers report as important considerations for today's entire home and lifestyle market. Here's some of what was displayed:

Earthy Tan SturdiTote by Sturdi Products

Home Alone (cat) by artist Gary Patterson from Chroma Graphics

Magnetic breakaway cat collar from P J Fox Mfg.

Muffin Halo's Guide for blind dogs

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dallas Total Home & Gift Market Draws Attendees for Last-Minute Fall Buying

Dallas Market Center’s upcoming September Total Home & Gift Market, September 8-10, will offer attendees the opportunity to buy last-minute fall and winter merchandise, as well as get a head start on products for the coming spring retail season.

Available products range from home accessories, furniture, holiday and seasonal items to gourmet food, floral, stationery, toys, jewelry and fashion accessories. All temporaries will be on the 12th floor of the World Trade Center (WTC). Gift and Home FINDS will offer order-writing opportunities in addition to the Cash & Carry section of exhibitors, all on WTC 12. 

“September Market provides attendees the special opportunity to buy for multiple seasons at once,” said Cindy Morris, COO, Dallas Market Center. “We pride ourselves on our extensive product offerings and easy-to-shop marketplace, which creates a complete, convenient buying experience.” 

Special events during Market will educate and entertain. The exciting Discovery Tour: “Top Trends in Gifts & Decorative Accessories,” led by retail expert Rawlins Gilliland, will take place on Saturday, September 8 at 2 p.m. Those interested in attending should meet in the Hall of Nations, WTC 1st floor. 

Seminars include “Wrap it Up in a Gift Basket,” presented by Donna Price at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon on September 8 and 10 a.m. and noon on September 9 in the Hall of Nations, WTC 1st floor. Attendees will learn simple, affordable ways to create unique, fabulous gift baskets. 

Market Orientation Tours will be held September 8, 9 and 10 at 9 a.m. The tour will start in the New Business Room, WTC 156A. 

In addition to September Market, First Monday & Tuesday Mini-Markets being held October 1-2, November 5-6 and December 3-4 are available for buyers to fill in gaps in inventory and stock up for the holiday season. 

For more information, visit

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Largest NYIGF Since 2009 Exceeds Expectations

Defying conservative industry expectations, strong retailer attendance at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) — the largest since 2009 — resulted in robust booth traffic and sales activity at the 163rd semi-annual NYIGF, August 18-22, at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal's Piers 92 & 94.

"Expectations for the summer market not only have been met, but also have been exceeded," said Christian Falkenberg, NYIGF director and GLM vice president. "Exhibitors are reporting solid and consistent order writing through the entire show." 

Giftware News was there and here's just a sample of what we saw. 

Susan Gravely, chairman & CEO of Vietri shows some introductions

Annie Morhauser, founder and owner of Annieglass

Julia Knight


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Best New Product Awards Presented at EX-TRACTS; Dulce Caramelo Collection by Votivo Named "Best of Show"

Six companies were presented with EX•TRACTS "Best New Product Awards" Tuesday, with Votivo receiving "Best of Show" honors for its Dulce Caramelo Holiday Collection. EX•TRACTS, one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), which ran through yesterday at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Five additional EX•TRACTS awards were presented in the categories of Bath & Body, Beauty Accessory, Cosmetic & Fragrance, Natural/Organic and Packaging. A panel of editors selected the Winners and finalists in each category based on several criteria, including innovative design, creative use of materials/construction and use of new materials/technology. 

The summer 2012 EX•TRACTS Best New Product Award winners selected from 133 products, are:

BEST OF SHOW: Votivo (Spartanburg, NC) for Dulce Caramelo Holiday Collection, a new buttery caramel fragrance designed to warm the senses, available as a holiday candle, holiday tin and holiday sample tin. 

BATH & BODY: Napa Soap Company (St. Helena, CA) for Tuscan Citrus Zest, Blood Orange and Syrah all-natural lotions, made with fresh grape seed oil and wine.

BEAUTY ACCESSORY: Metropolis Soap Company (Brooklyn, NY) for Vegan Lip Creams, a 100 percent vegan product made with essential oils, sunflower wax and sunflower oil.

COSMETIC & FRAGRANCE: RICA bath & body (Brooklyn, NY) for Bourbon Cavendish Body Tonic, a warm, woodsy blend of leather and tobacco with notes of patchouli, cedar and lavandin.

NATURAL/ORGANIC: European Soaps LLC (Seattle, WA) for The Queen's Honey Collection, a bath and body collection harvested from organic honey and royal jelly combined with shea butter.

PACKAGING: AQUIESSE (Moorpark, CA) for Decorative Tin Candle, an 11-ounce stackable tin candle with "perfect match" matchbook compartment. 

The judges noticed these particular products for their unique and innovative approach to personal care products," said Melissa Engongoro, EX•TRACTS sales manager. "These awards further extend EX•TRACTS positioning as a showcase for the industry's best new products." 

The Best New Product Award judges were: Tina Benitez-Eves, Gifts & Decorative Accessories; Rona Berg, Organic Spa Magazine; Nancy Jeffries, contributing editor; Patricia Norins, GIFT SHOP; Candice Sabatini, Beautynews NYC; Barb Wujcik, Giftware News; Jean Warshaw, Beauty Store Business; and Victoria Wurdinger, Salon Today

EX•TRACTS features 100 exhibitors of cosmetics, perfumes, skincare, bath & body care, beauty accessories, haircare, natural and organic products and well-being lines. The winter 2013 edition will take place January 27-31. Information is available at

Thursday, August 16, 2012

California Gift Show Concludes With Strong Performance and High-Volume Order Writing

Idyllic weather and robust optimism provided the perfect backdrop for an impressive and energized summer Market for California Gift Show. Sustained attendance of new and returning buyers, highly-trafficked showrooms busy taking orders and exceptional merchandising presentations from distinctive, in-demand lines continue to prove Los Angeles is a must-shop destination for today's modern retailer. 

As consumers become ever-more informed and discriminating in their purchasing habits, retailers seeking unique products with greater intelligence look to L.A. Mart and Los Angeles as their entrée to manufacturers known worldwide and to the innovations for which California is renowned. More than 40 states were represented. 

California's mystique was also top-of-mind on the international front spanning North America, as Canadian and Mexican merchants shopped alongside Pacific Rim buyers from Hawaii, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as Middle East retailers from Dubai and Kuwait. 

Trends resonating this Market included "Made in America" and "Made in California," reinforcing the gift show's California-centric positioning and the overall sentiment to support American manufacturing. Also highly evident and in-demand were multi-functional, multi-purposed products. "This Market witnessed an increase in retailers supporting a 'made-locally' position," said Jeff Sampson, vice president marketing, L.A. Mart/L.A. Mart Design Center/California Gift Show. "We are proud that nearly half of our permanent showrooms offer California designed/manufactured products year-round. Quite a few of those products fell into the multi-purpose category as consumers expect greater value which these multi-functional items deliver on." 

Nearly 20,000 square-feet of new/ expanded permanent resources debuted this July Market, including Western states rep group Keena; echo by Fine Lines, the new division of Fine Lines Company presenting boutique lifestyle brands; Design Center anchor PALECEK with an additional 6,500 square-feet of merchandise available for immediate purchase; Chow's Oriental Fine Arts and Noir Trading rounded out the new year-round buyer resources.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

GWN's August Digital Insider is Now Available for Viewing

Click on the cover to begin viewing now

Giftware News and Baby & Kids Sponsoring NYIGF Orientation

Giftware News and Baby & Kids will be sponsoring the NYIGF Orientation August 18—20. Our own Susan Tucker, NE Regional & Europe Sales Manager will be joining Moderator, Helen Overly with NYIGF's Buyer Services. In this information packed hour, they will be sharing tips on navigating the show, discuss effective resourcing and offer helpful hints from years in the gift industry. Tucker's involvement in the gift industry spans over two decades that included positions as a Nordstrom Gift and Accessories buyer, National sales manager and manufacturers' representative.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

International Market Centers Announces Strategic Growth Plan for Las Vegas' Gift + Home Marketplace

International Market Centers (IMC) has unveiled plans for a strategic evolution of the Las Vegas market that will firmly position it as the most comprehensive buying platform for buyers in the western United States. The three-phase plan, which begins in 2013, includes the introduction of new product categories featuring tabletop, home textiles and lifestyle collections, growth of existing categories and re-merchandised presentations. 

"This plan re-imagines and re-aligns the presentation of gift and home décor at the Las Vegas Market. By strengthening existing resources, launching new categories and enriching the presentation of better goods, we will create an unparalleled marketplace for gift and home products in the western United States," said Dorothy Belshaw, president Gift + Home Décor. 

Beginning in winter 2013, IMC will designate thirteen floors, comprising 1.7 million square feet, in Building C as the destination for gift and home décor resources at Las Vegas Market. As part of this re-positioning, IMC will present a collection of high-end home décor resources on C3 as an extension of the fully-leased, highly-successful B3 initiative that launched this week at the Summer 2012 Las Vegas Market. Directly connected by an inter-building bridge, this adjacent "neighborhood" on C3 of sophisticated and synergistic accessories will facilitate the buying experience for better home décor merchandise at Las Vegas Market.

"This new merchandising strategy creates a clear and compelling identity for Las Vegas Market, both as an established venue for the furniture industry, as well as a dynamic, rising marketplace for the gift and home industry," said Robert J. Maricich, CEO, IMC. "This multi-dimensional platform is truly relevant for today's cross-category buyers and suppliers, and offers opportunities to explore new distribution channels, such as hospitality and design." 

Phase One strategic plans continue at the summer 2013 Las Vegas Market with the introduction of two dynamic new categories. "c-ONE" — a new, cross-category showcase of directional resources presented in a curated collection on the first floor of Building C, will include tabletop, gift, and home resources in both permanent and temporary presentations. Also debuting in summer 2013, the Lifestyle Collection on C10 will feature suppliers of on-trend resources from in-demand categories such as fashion accessories, personal care and fragrance, stationery, juvenile merchandise, and technology accessories. The addition of these category presentations will create compelling "neighborhoods" of high-end merchandise throughout the building. 

Phase Two includes the expansion of sophisticated home décor resources on C4 and C5 to include the addition of specialty home textiles resources. Also in Phase Two, Las Vegas Market will launch gourmet, kitchenware and casual tabletop categories on C11 designed to provide a viable, regional resource for the extensive specialty gourmet retail audience in the West. 

Finally in Phase Three, Las Vegas Market's tradeshow component, which has experienced steady growth over the last three years, will relocate to C12 and C13. This relocation will allow for expansion opportunities on C14 to include new merchandise categories to further enhance the overall assortment. 

In 2013, Las Vegas Market will take place January 28-February 1, 2013, and the Summer Las Vegas Market will be held July 29-August 2, 2013. In 2014, the winter show will be held January 27-31, 2014, and the Summer Market will occur July 28-August 1, 2014. Market dates have been carefully planned to optimize opportunities for gift suppliers and buyers, avoiding significant overlap with established gift and home shows. For more information, visit

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July's Digital Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to July's digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD July CoverThis Month's Featured Content:
• New Look in Cottage Chic
• Gift Alerts
• Pleasing the Senses
• The Comforts of Home
• Sharing Christmas of Home
• Marketing to Millennials
• Making it Yours
• Just for You
• Stationery Round Up
• Products You'll Love
• Playing Outside
• Pillow Talk
• Cheers!
• Newsmakers 
• Calendar 
• And More...

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

CHA Craft Fusion Show is a Big Success

The 2012 Craft & Hobby Association Show was held July 16—19 at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL and Giftware News was on hand to experience the sights and multiple demonstrations of the show. 

In booth 523, Ranger was featuring a demonstration by Tim Holtz. Holtz was demonstrating how to use the signature Ranger supplies to a large group of craft enthusiasts and buyers. Additionally, there were demonstrations at Martha Stewart Crafts, 3M, Mod Podge and many others! 

The show was busy with orders and crafters trying out new products and sharing insights into how to get the best use, and sales out of the crafting supplies. The smell of hot glue and fun was in the air! 

3M craft demo table

Clear Bags Marketplace

Craft Demo

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Energetic Atlanta Market Provides Buyers With An Abundance of Choices

The Atlanta America's Mart lifted the summer buying season with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The show was well attended from all over the country and internationally and attendance numbers are projected to have held up to those of a year ago, boding a good market. The quality and variety of the offerings — from textiles and jewelry to pottery and basketry — provided a wonderful selection of unique goods to offer customers and separate the savvy gift retailer from the big box crowd. 

Giftware News was there. Here's a sample of what we saw.

Beaded flamingo

Billy the Artist mannequin

Hillary Thomas Design

Kitchen papers

Thursday, July 12, 2012

VHC, Inc. Launches Dedicated Bella Taylor Website

VHC, Inc. has launched, a dedicated website for Bella Taylor, a rapidly growing line of printed and patchwork quilted handbags, wallets, purses and travel pieces.

The website, targeted to potential retailers, includes information on available collections, new promotions, fixture programs, catalog request/viewing and becoming an official dealer.

With record breaking sales in the first quarter due to independent retailer support, brand awareness, mix of price points and a heavy launch cycle, the company saw a need to segregate Bella Taylor from its other brands.

"As Bella Taylor succeeds in the apparel, fashion, accessories and gift industries, its relevance to our home décor client base has become part of the past" says Bella Taylor Product Development Manager and VHC, Inc. Co-Owner, Julie Kline. "With a heavy emphasis on trend-forward sizes and colors and a focus on print and trendy patchwork designs, we've captured a new segment of retailers."

The website gives retailers a centralized location to receive all Bella Taylor related information. The dedicated website has followed the launch of Bella Taylor's integrated marketing campaign involving Print, Digital, E-Blast and In-Store Fixtures and Signage. Retailers will still be directed to the company's main website,, for e-commerce and information on general company policies.

"We are truly committed to developing partnerships with our retailers and providing the resources to succeed," states CEO, Ken Kline. "Immediate shipping, no minimum reorder requirements, the industry's best fixtures, quality products in a price-point driven framework, and now a dedicated website that delivers all the answers: These are all reasons why Bella Taylor is where it is today."

Bella Taylor is available from VHC, Inc. wholesale to the trade only.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Urban Acquires California Gift Show From MMPI

Urban Expositions has announced its acquisition of the California Gift Show from Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI). The management transition will take place following the July 2012 edition of the semi-annual show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The acquisition further solidifies Urban Expositions' plans to revitalize the trade show marketplace for retailers throughout southern California and surrounding areas. 

"We seized the opportunity to buy this show as we felt it could accelerate our efforts to rebuild the southern California gift market's brand as a leading trend, product and style resource," explains Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions. "Our original plans to launch a new event in Anaheim were grounded in our firm belief that the timing and market conditions were right to pour significant resources into bringing a fresh, vibrant show to the region's substantial buyer base. We'll be able to accomplish this goal much quicker and better serve the overall marketplace by using those same resources to build upon the foundation of the established California Gift Show and the synergistic opportunities that exist with neighboring permanent showroom buildings." 

Urban Expositions will assume all management duties from MMPI following completion of the July 27-30, 2012 edition. At that time, the company will take over all sales, marketing, operations and other day-to-day duties for the January 25-28, 2013 California Gift Show and all future editions of the semi-annual show. Urban Expositions will work closely with MMPI leading up to the July 2012 event to ensure that a smooth transition of ownership takes place. 

Urban plans to significantly expand the exhibitor base of the California Gift Show -- targeting a Winter 2013 show opening with more than 2,000 domestic and international lines. The popular/destination categories of Kentia Hall — World Style, Jewelry Cash & Carry and Vintage will continue to be a mainstay. Order writing will be expanded to include Design LA, Handcrafted, Gifts, Personal Style (including Spa) and two new categories — Outdoor Living and Boardwalk. Outdoor Living will focus on the casual lifestyle unique to Southern California and Boardwalk will feature souvenir, resort, beach and board sport resources. 

For buyer information, visit or call 800/318-2238. For exhibitor information, contact sales team members at 800/318-2238: Joan Ulrich at ext. 0336 |; Dirk von Gal at ext. 0345 |

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June's Digital Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Welcome to June's digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD June CoverThis Month's Featured Content:

• What's Trending for Christmas 
• Gift Alerts
• Looking for some Inspiration

• Show of Shows
• An Artisan's Touch
• Beautiful Body
• Everything is Illuminated
• Step on This
• Coo Coo for Chocolate
• Summer Markets
• Baking made Easy
• The Newest Accessory
• The Stars' Favorite Baby Products
• Newsmakers 
• Calendar 
• And More...

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

Dallas Market Center Announces New App & Expanded Free Wi-Fi

Dallas Market Center has announced that it has once again furthered its commitment to technology with a new and improved App and an enhanced campus-wide Wi-Fi network to better serve buyers and exhibitors. 

"Business success is becoming increasingly dependent on mobile devices," said Cindy Morris, COO, Dallas Market Center. "Connectivity is crucial to the exchange between buyers and exhibitors. With our new mobile app and enhanced Wi-Fi system, Dallas Market Center is at the forefront of the industry and will continue to be a leader in tradeshow technology." 

The new Dallas Market mobile app is available in the iTunes store for the iPhone and iPad. The update includes live data that can be set to automatically refresh each time the app is opened, so that information can update in real-time. Other new features include: Quick searching, screen rotation, better maps, calendar integration, social media integration and Shuttle and DART rail information. 

Buyers and exhibitors are encouraged to delete the previously downloaded app and add the new Dallas Market App to their mobile devices. Those without a smartphone or tablet can see the App in action at any information booth across campus during Market. 

To support its new mobile initiative, Dallas Market Center has also greatly expanded its free Wi-Fi system. Nearly 300 Wi-Fi access points have been installed along with 10 times the system's original bandwidth, creating a seamless wireless network covering the 5 million square-foot campus.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

GWN's June Insider Digital Magazine is Now Available for Viewing

AmericasMart July Market Is Unmistakably Extraordinique

When the world of wholesale buying and selling comes together at one time and in one place this July the experience can only be AmericasMart and The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and The Atlanta International Area Rug Market. The world's single-largest home, gift, rug and apparel product collection — extraordinary by every measure — plus all the advantages of a unique global marketplace designed for business and built for buying assure retailers from every U.S. state and more than 90 countries an experience beyond comparison. 

Leading the line-up for the July 11-18 (Temporaries July 13-17) home and gift market and the July 12-15 rug market are these signature exclusives: Greatly expanded HOME product resources, continuing the category's rapid growth, including: 

Global Views' new 13,000 square-foot flagship corporate showroom housing its complete line of decorative accessories, lighting, furnishings, wall art, rugs and more on Floor 14 of Building 1. 

HD Home, the epitome of furniture and accessory design, featuring its celebrated juried collection on Floor 1 of Building 1, with a special preview on Thursday, July 12 from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. 

Expanding GIFT category resources, including:
The expanded WWRD (Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton) showroom, now featuring a broader and deeper selection of its classic china, crystal and other tableware lines on Floor 9 of Building 2. 

Forty-two new showrooms in Building 2 and Building 2 WestWing 

The newly configured corridor on Floor 7 of Building 2 and Building 2 WestWing, giving buyers added ease and convenience for navigating the campus and finding new product resources.
The inaugural showing of Lovelinks America, a Denmark-based gift and accessories company, in its first-ever showroom on Floor 16 of Building 2. 

The GOURMET collection in Building 2 WestWing, Floor 8 continues growing to meet the consumer demand for housewares and home entertaining options: The eight new exhibitors are a la carte, Art & Cuisine, Bormioli Rocco Glass, Café D Amore, Design Imports, KAF, Nusteel and Sherry Matthews. 

The TEMPORARIES are conveniently located throughout the campus in designated, easily shopped collections. Among the highlights for July: The Made in America collection expands to meet the growing consumer demand for products produced in the United States. A reinvigorated Pampered Pets category helps buyers capitalize on the on the multi-billion dollar pet industry. 

AmericasMart delivers a comprehensive experience of product, education and entertainment during July Market. Among the business building, informational seminars offered to help educate and inspire: 

Interiors Forecast, Fall and Winter, 2013, Friday, July 13 Jamie Thomas, trend forecaster, provides a projection of the design considerations influencing interior décor for both commercial and residential spaces for Fall and Winter, 2013. Thomas keys on consumer behaviors and key drivers like color, materials, hardlines, softlines and lighting. Building 1, Floor 14, Seminar Room, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. 

Design with Personality, with Jillian Harris, Friday, July 13 Join Designer Jillian Harris of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" as she discusses how design trends and experiences relate to creating an interior with personality. Building 1, Floor 14, Seminar Room, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. 

What to Buy in July: Gift Edition, Saturday, July 14 Julie Kenney of The Gifting Experts presents her Top 10 Gift Lists in consumer categories featured at AmericasMart. Building 2 WestWing, Floor 6, Escalator Lobby, 11 a.m.-noon.

Chef Curtis Stone, Cook – Create – Celebrate, Saturday, July 14 Curtis Stone, Chef and Host of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters," shows how to whip up some of his favorite dishes. He emphasizes keeping the process simple. Book sale and signing will follow. Building 2 WestWing, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen, 2-3 p.m. (A full list of seminars, events, classes and demonstrations is available online at 

Highlighting Market, the ICON HONORS 2012 celebration is scheduled for Saturday, July 14 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Cocktails will be served at 7 p.m., and the dinner and 2012 Honors Presentation begin at 7:30 p.m. Honors will be presented to home and gift retailers, manufacturers, sales agents and service providers from across the industry. Celebrated American comedian, television and radio personality and author Jeff Foxworthy will take the stage, and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter guitarist Kenny Loggins will step into the AmericasMart spotlight as featured musical entertainer. Purchase tickets and tables at

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Joy To The World Collectibles Establishes West Coast Presence at CMC

The California Market Center (CMC) has announced the addition of premier glass ornament company, Joy To The World Collectibles, to its growing array of GIFT & HOME showrooms. This new addition to the CMC's GIFT & HOME showcase reinforces the building's growing reputation as the strongest resource for holiday, seasonal, and collectibles on the West Coast, joining Melrose International, Katherine's Collection, TJ's Christmas, Vickerman Trees & Lights, RAZ Imports, and many others.

Established in 1998, Joy To The World Collectibles pride themselves on offering a wide range of designer handcrafted glass ornaments that are 100 percent sourced and made in Europe. Exclusive collections include: The Pet Set, the largest and most comprehensive dog breed ornament line on the market; Collegiate lines, including USC, UCLA and Cal Berkeley; Officially licensed ornaments for Diva Dog, Glitterazzi, and Metzler Bros by Joy To The World; as well as a custom division that caters to all budgets. Their new CMC showroom will also double as a design studio where they will meet with clients to create custom ornaments or private label collections.

“The CMC is offering a fresh approach to the wholesale trade industry, which is why we chose the building” said Lisa Kelechava, President and Founder. “We have clients in the Western US that prefer to do their buying closer to home and we hope that this new showroom will service customers that we have not been able to reach otherwise.”

Gerry Seibel, Vice President of New Business Development for Gift and Home shared in Lisa’s excitement, saying: “We are ecstatic that Joy To The World Collectibles has made the CMC their new West Coast home. Their handmade ornaments are unmatched in quality and design, and no where else in the Western US are there similar products.”

The next CMC Gift & Home Market will begin on Tuesday, July 24 at the CMC, and will run through Tuesday, July 31.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Urban Expositions Launches Facebook Contest for Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show

As part of an expanded buyer relations campaign for its 2012 Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show, Urban Expositions is launching a Facebook social media contest. Running in tandem with Buyer Relations Director Briana Mackey's visits to retail stores in the months leading up to the show, the contest invites buyers to "like" the show's Facebook page for a chance to win a two-night hotel stay during the 2012 edition. 

To enter, buyers can simply "like" the Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show Facebook page and write a brief post about why Mackey should visit their store during her travel schedule from June 1- August 31, 2012. If their store is selected, they will receive a special visit and prize package, including a free two-night hotel stay in Las Vegas during the show. 

"We find that the visits our buyer relations team makes to retail stores are among the best building tools we have for a show. In addition to bringing show information and news directly to our customers, when Briana calls on stores she's able to gather wonderful information and feedback that helps us continue to fine-tune and strengthen our show to meet retail needs," said Doug Miller, president, Urban Expositions. "Since Facebook is all about conversation, we thought this contest could be a fun way to continue gathering feedback while building our online community too." 

The 2012 edition will provide retailers with thousands of lines of souvenir and resort product in a wide range of categories, including destination, resort and tourist merchandise, souvenirs, green products, t-shirts, beach items, made in America, coastal and nautical, lake, mountain and lodge, ski-themed products, destination, logo products, shell items, giftware, jewelry/fashion accessories, toys/games and more.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

National Stationery Show Held May 20–23, 2012

National Stationery Show Renews Partnership With BizBash To Cultivate Special Event Planner Audience 

Building off the successful 2011 launch of a new relationship between the National Stationery Show (NSS) and BizBash, this year the Show will welcome hundreds of corporate marketers, wedding and special event planners to the May 20-23 event, taking place at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The NSS serves as an ideal venue for event professionals to source the latest in personalized accessories and customized invitations. 

"Last year we made great strides in attracting this new category of buyer to the National Stationery Show, further diversifying attending the BtoC audience and creating new opportunities for the 800 companies exhibiting," said Patti Stracher, NSS General Manager. "Now in our second year, we'll continue to combine strategies with BizBash to introduce these professionals to the vast product resources and services available at the NSS that are relevant to their businesses." 

Founded in 2000, BizBash is the leading trade media for the event industry. BizBash publishes magazines and e-newsletters, hosts websites, and produces tradeshows and award shows for corporate event and meeting professionals, event marketers, and sales, public relations, fund-raising, and human resource executives. The company is committed to assisting its readers and show attendees in uncovering ideas, gathering resources, finding inspiration, enhancing their careers, and creating effective meetings, events, promotions, and other face-to-face opportunities. complements the print magazines by offering the latest event news and information. BizBash serves event planners in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami/South Florida, New York, Orlando, Toronto and Washington. 

The 66th annual National Stationery Show, the comprehensive source for greeting cards, social stationery and related lifestyle products, will run Sunday, May 20, through Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The Show features nearly 800 exhibiting companies and attracts some 11,000 buyers worldwide. The Show also presents educational programming, industry events, and networking opportunities throughout the market week. For more information, visit

Gift For Life & National Stationery Show Team-Up For 2012 AIDS Walk New York

Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home decor industries' leading charitable organization, has partnered with the National Stationery Show to participate in AIDS Walk New York, a charity fundraiser in New York City's Central Park on Sunday, May 20 (opening day of the Show). The Gift For Life/National Stationery Show team will recruit walkers and raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS. 

The Gift For Life/National Stationery Show team will walk 10 kilometers (6.2miles) through Central Park and across New York City's Upper West Side. At the conclusion of the official route, the Gift For Life/National Stationery Show team will "go the extra mile," finishing the walk at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where the National Stationery Show runs through Wednesday, May 23. 

"The National Stationery Show is delighted to partner with Gift For Life to support AIDS Walk New York," said Patti Stracher, General Manager of the National Stationery Show "The event's overlap with the National Stationery Show's opening day offers members of the social stationery industry a unique opportunity to support this important cause — whether as walkers along the course or as donors from the exhibit floor." 

Industry members and friends are invited to join the Gift For Life/National Stationery team as both walkers and as donors. AIDS Walk New York begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 20. To join the team as a walker, or to make donations to AIDS Walk New York, visit the following URL:

For questions, contact Cathy Steel, team organizer, HERE or call (203) 340-9251.

Design Design To Debut New Brand and New Retail Opportunities at the 2012 National Stationery Show
Design Design, Inc. will debut their new brand, Destination Department for retailers, at the National Stationery Show May 20-23, at the Javits Center in New York City. Attendees will experience a totally new brand from the company including a new logo, brand messaging and visual presentation including a redesigned booth. 

The new merchandising concept, the "Destination Department" creates a customizable, one-stop, full-service celebration destination featuring the company's hottest product lines including greeting cards, paper tableware, gift packaging, cocktailing accents and stationery gifts. Its goal is to transform any space based on a retailer's individual needs, and create a single shopping destination for their customers. NSS attendees will have the opportunity to preview the customizable installation firsthand at Design Design's booth - 2320. 

The company has also announced new additions to its product lines including over 40 new handmade card selections for Christmas, Autumn and Everyday. Designed and produced with the latest foils, glitter treatments and three- dimensional attachments, these artful treasures add an extra special touch to any occasion.

Already known for whimsical and graphic paper tableware, the company adds more sophisticated choices to dress the table. With new collections such as Estella, Linen and Grandflora, the focus is bright, beautiful color with refined prints to complement any occasion or get together.
"It's a brand new day at Design Design," says Colin Littler, Marketing Director. "We've redefined our brand, expanded our already diverse product line and launched our sensational Destination Department to offer even more choices to our customers. For our retail partners, we can transform any space and turn it into a stunning profit center of personal expression products. And what better venue to debut this experience then at the National Stationery Show," says Littler. 

Design Design Inc. is a wholesale provider of greeting cards, paper tableware, gift packaging, cocktailing accents and stationery gifts. Family owned for 25 years, for more information, visit

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Special Quarterly Edition of GWN's Insider Digital Magazine is Now Available

Please Click HERE or Above to Start Viewing

Kameleon's Mascot Heads to JCK

Kameleon Jewelry has adopted a chameleon puppet as its mascot who has been appropriately dubbed "Princess Pops-a-lot" by its Facebook fans. Due to an overwhelming response and demand for more from "the Princess", the Kameleon marketing team decided to send Princess Pops-a-lot on a virtual road trip which will eventually lead her from Kameleon's home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to the JCK show in Las Vegas. 

As Princess Pops-a-lot travels from the east coast of Canada to Vegas, Kameleon will be posting travel photos from her trip on their Facebook page. Fans are required to guess the puppets location in each photo as well as identify the closest Kameleon retailer to that location. Each correct answer will give Fans an entry into a draw to win a Kameleon prize package. Princess Pops-a-lot has already posted photos from Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, and the L.L. Bean Boot in Freeport, Maine. The photos have already received an overwhelming response and attention is expected to grow as she visits more famous and some not so famous sites across the U.S..

Kameleon President Robert Smith is very excited about this "new addition" to the team, "Our line has always had an element of fun; it is something that we encourage in our marketing especially on our Facebook page. We love that Facebook allows us to interact so closely with our fans. Having the Fans suggest names for the mascot really gave them the feeling of being a part of the fun. With a name like Princess Pops-a-lot how can you not smile! She is a great addition to the Kameleon Jewelry team and we look forward to sending her on more adventures in the future!" 

Retailers can look forward to seeing, and having their photos taken with Princess Pops-a-lot and the rest of the Kameleon team at the upcoming JCK Jewelry Show.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Giftware News' eWeekly Special NSS Edition

National Stationery Show To Be Held May 20–23, 2012

North America’s most comprehensive showcase of all things paper — from greeting cards, custom invitations, gift wrap and partyware, to journals, frames, writing instruments, decorative desktop and complementary lifestyle gift — will return with the latest trend-setting products from nearly 800 exhibiting companies, May 20-23, 2012, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Some 11,000 buyers from around the world will convene at the National Stationery Show (NSS) for four days of sourcing, buying, networking and discovery of this important and profitable product category.

Perhaps the most intriguing draw of the National Stationery Show is the debut of hundreds of new talents — such as Applesauce Greetings, Flour Pot Cookies, Kookaburra, Plum Paper and Stationery HQ — alongside the industry’s most revered brands, including Anna Griffin, Avanti Press, Caspari, Crane & Co., Envelopments, Papyrus/Recycled Paper Products, and William Arthur. This combination sets the stage for the industry’s most diverse presentation of social stationery and related lifestyle products not found in any other market. Registration is free for qualified buyers through May 4. For more information or to register for the show, visit

Off the Show floor, the National Stationery Show presents excellent opportunities for business education and professional development. The 3rd annual Future Conference — an engaging, two-hour, pre-Show program in a “Ted Talks” format — kicks off the educational component, followed by a seminar series addressing multicultural marketing, color and retailing trends, bridal market insights and more, Sunday through Tuesday.

“Whether an independent stationer, lifestyle gift shop, bookstore, pharmacy, home décor retailer. …, the National Stationery Show presents refreshing, profitable, complementary products in a focused, easy-to-shop format. Plus, the show is filled with clever visual merchandising trends which inspire great ideas to bring back to the store,” says Lynn White, show manager.

Market Highlights include: 
The Future Conference – "Social Stationery: What's New, What's Next?" will be held Sunday, May 20, from 8 a.m.—10 a.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The 3rd annual Future Conference will take a "TEDTalks" format. Each speaker will offer her perspective on significant forces impacting the social stationery industry: marketing to Generation Y; the intersection of technology and paper; the critical role design plays in product development and consumer impact; and the importance of the web as a promotional outlet. Speakers include: Kelly Ricker, Executive Director of Product Development at American Greetings; Katherine Rosman, Feature Reporter for The Wall Street Journal; Elizabeth Bailey Weil, Owner Paperwheel Press and Head of Culture and Brand ExperienceTwitter, Inc.; and Rachel V. Ivey, VP of Creative & Product Development, Crane & Company. Tickets are available for $75 each through NSS attendee registration

Ascending to the Show entrances on both sides of the Crystal Palace, the Trend Walkwayreveals the latest trend predictions seen through the eyes of leading editors from Martha Stewart Weddings, Stationery Trends, Gift Shop, Gifts & Decorative Accessories, Party and Paper Retailer and Giftware News.

Taking center stage at the 2012 National Stationery Show are the latest product launches from nearly 800 exhibiting companies. Hundreds of products making their debut at the Show will be found in the New Product Display, located in the Crystal Palace Lobby. Product categories are All Things Wedding, Celebrations, Eco-Chic, Lifestyle, Luxury, Paper Style, and The Desktop. The New Product Display also serves as the judging arena for the coveted Best New Product Awards, which will be determined by an esteemed group of editors. Winners will be announced on Sunday, May 20.

Online Catalog Gallery. The Online Catalog Gallery, available for viewing through, offers retailers the opportunity to browse exhibitor catalogs before, during and after the National Stationery Show. The page-by-page browse books give retailers a sneak peek at what will be seen on the NSS Show floor. For participating exhibitors, the key benefit of the Online Catalog Gallery is the lead-generating capability, which extends the life of the Show from four days to a full year, including bonus exposure with the automatic connection through the online product search tool. To participate, email Stephanie Leon-Santiago at

A division of the NSS, The Supply Side returns this year with more than 50 industry suppliers, including finishing specialists, die-cutting, die-making, foil/hot stamping, embossing, holography, lamination, packaging/box specialists, converters, paper manufacturers, specialty printing/thermography, production machinery, envelope manufacturers, custom displays/fixturing systems and others. The division will be located in 3E Hall. To register as an attendee, visit 

The Supply Side Networking Receptions will be held Monday-Tuesday, May 21-22, 6—7:30 p.m. at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Level 3, Hall E. Suppliers to the social stationery industry exhibiting within The Supply Side division will have dedicated time to connect with NSS exhibitors during The Supply Side Networking Reception, where a casual atmosphere and complimentary refreshments will foster networking among colleagues. Advance registration is not required.

NSS Mobile App. Back by popular demand following the 2011 launch, the NSS mobile app is ready to navigate attendees through the aisles. Designed to help attendees shop the show more efficiently, the mobile app allows users to instantly search for exhibitors or products by name, product line, product category, or description, with results including company names and booth locations. In addition, it provides details about NSS seminars, events and shuttle schedules, as well as the floor plan. The application is compatible with Android, iPhone and Blackberry Torch devices.
“For the gift retailer, in particular, the NSS presents a vast number of exhibitors and products spanning all styles, price points and designs that appeal to a broad audience. This lends itself to a superior buying experience unparalleled to markets with limited focus on this product category. Paper products are in high demand today from a consumer that is oversaturated with electronic communication – and greeting cards and boxed notes, in particular, can retail in almost any store environment,” says Patti Stracher, show general manager.

National Stationery Show Announces Seminar Lineup
From wedding market insights, multicultural marketing advice, and design and color trends, to social media tips and retail strategies for success, the 2012 National Stationery Show (NSS) seminar program will serve as the industry’s foremost opportunity of the year to stay ahead of trends and marketing tactics driving the social stationery business forward. This professional development opportunity coincides with North America’s most comprehensive exhibition of social stationery and related lifestyle product manufacturers, May 20-23, 2012, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

“The programs offered this May have been carefully selected, each offering information that will keep participants’ businesses relevant and thriving,” said Patti Stracher, NSS General Manager. “Insights from successful retailers, trend predictions, and leading edge marketing strategies are vital for growth – and will be delivered in this tactical seminar lineup.”

The 2012 National Stationery Show seminar lineup includes:

Sunday, May 20, 2012 
11 a.m.—Noon, Wedding Market Insights. Learn how to tap into the lucrative $161 billion wedding industry by joining Liene Stevens — wedding marketing expert and author of the book, “Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace”— as she discusses the consumer behavior of engaged couples —70 percent of whom are now Millennials — and shares how to use digital media to reach today's brides and grooms. Presented by Liene Stevens, CEO, Splendid Communications
2—3 p.m., Multicultural Marketing. Demographics in the U.S. are changing, and so are your customers. To stay relevant, your store's marketing strategies must change, too. Find out how as David R. Morse — author of the book, “Multicultural Intelligence: Eight Make-or-Break Rules for Marketing to Race, Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation” —explores cultural and societal trends among Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians and the LGBT population, and defines best practices in ethnic marketing and merchandising. Presented by David R. Morse, President and CEO, New American Dimensions

Monday, May 21, 2012 
11 a.m.—Noon. Color Trends To Keep Your Eye On. Internationally recognized color expert Leatrice Eiseman, whose latest book looks at “The History of Color in the 21st Century,” will reveal the upcoming year's hottest color trends. Eiseman will provide information to help you make the best and most educated choice of color when purchasing new products, creating eye-catching displays and promotional materials, or updating your store's décor or website.
Presented by Leatrice Eiseman, Director, Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training; and Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

2—3 p.m., Top Bloggers Talk Stationery Trends. Today's top stationery bloggers are young, savvy and always have their fingers on the pulse of the market as well as on their computer keyboards. This panel features four of the stationery industry's leading bloggers, who will offer their observations on up-to-the-minute trends in design, typography, innovations, customer-buying habits and more — to help you sell more invitations and stationery products. 
Moderated by Sarah Schwartz, Editor, Stationery Trends Panelists: Nole Garey, Founder & Editor, Oh So Beautiful Paper; Kristen Magee, Editor, Paper Crave; Suann Song, Designer & Printer, SIMPLESONG Design, and Proprietor, Fifteen/Eleven; and Lyndsey Wells, Editor, The Stationery Place

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 
11 a.m.—Noon, Turning Clicks and Likes Into Store Visits and Sales. Stationery industry veteran and retail web expert Brian Lawrence will share how to draw more visitors to your store's website and Facebook page — and how to turn those clicks and Likes (or connections) into increased business. This enlightening session will cover everything from enhancing the design and effectiveness of your website, to generating loyal customers and referrals through the use of email, blogging and Facebook. Presented by Brian Lawrence, Founder, Local Traffic Builder

2—3 p.m., Stationery Retailers Share Success Stories. Retailers love hearing what other retailers are doing to be successful, so we've assembled some of the best stationers in the business to share their secrets to success. This panel of sharp, passionate, experienced stationery retailers will talk about their best-selling products, most effective promotions, most creative displays, social-media strategies, and other ways they keep customers coming back and their stores in the black. Moderated by Kathy Krassner, Director of Communications, Greeting Card Association

Seminars are $20 each if purchased by May 4, and $30 is purchased after this date or onsite. Seminar registration is available through NSS attendee registration,

24th Annual LOUIE Awards Tickets Now Available on GCA Website
Tickets for the 24th Annual LOUIE Awards are now on sale through the Greeting Card Association's website. Members of the industry interested in attending the Awards can purchase tickets online by visiting and clicking on the gala information button below the LOUIE logo. Ticket prices are $185 per person or $1,850 for a table of ten. The event, which celebrates the "Greatest Cards on Earth!" will take place from 6:30—10:30 p.m. on a new night, Sunday, May 20, at Espace, located at 635 W. 42nd St. in New York City. Complimentary transportation from the National Stationery Show will be provided via shuttle service. The Awards gala, a fun-filled evening of celebration, will feature an exciting display of all of the nominated cards, a dynamic ceremony honoring the finalists and winners, and a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow industry members.

"We are thrilled to present such a creative theme and gala for this year's LOUIE Awards," said Katy Greenspan, Director of Creative Services at and this year's LOUIE Chair. "The 'fancy circus' theme should lend itself to a fun and festive atmosphere and a wonderful event that celebrates the creativity, originality, and imagination of all of the finalists and winners."

The LOUIE Awards would not be possible without the generous support of this year's sponsors: The United States Postal Service, GLM and the National Stationery Show, American Greetings, Glory Moon, Hallmark Cards, Inc., JAST Company Limited, Bobst Group North America, FREEMAN, and Infinity Foils, Inc. and Universal Engraving, Inc. — UEI Group Companies. Through their financial support, these companies, along with many others, ensure the success of the LOUIEs. To purchase tickets, learn more about the LOUIE Awards, and to see a full list of finalists, visit