This year we didn't find too many gift items at Book Expo. It felt to me that there were fewer gift vendors. The card line Fresh Frances was there, but we'd already been buying from them. Sometimes it's nice to see the new items in person, as was the case for Out of Print clothing. We haven't gotten the Jane Eyre shirt we ordered at the show yet; I'm hoping it will come in before our talk with Sheila "Becoming Jane Eyre" Kohler talk on July 9.
But one card vendor I hadn't really bought from before was Fotofolio. Their per item minimums are a little high for us at sixes, whereas most of the other vendors we buy from are three to four, for boxed cards at least. We carried Fotofolio over the years at Schwartz, but minimums weren't really an issue, as we divided up most shipments to an average of four stores. But at Boswell, an order of six boxed cards means I have to keep three in overstock, and it also affects my turn.
But Lucy of Buffalo's wonderful Talking Leaves told me she does very well by the line. She does a nice-sized order at the show and spaces out shipments over the year. How organized! I tend to run around, scrampling for product, though I did do my Accoutrements Christmas order in February, as last year I forgot. So with her encouragement, I put something together.
They have some nice licenses, with William Wegman being the probably the most likely to sell quickly. I bought an assortment of cards, and was also attracted to their 3D rulers. Unlike the other vendors I've seen with this kind of thing, the images were a little more sophisticated, with artwork from Da Vinci and Van Gogh, and photos from Eadweard Muybridge. His work really works well on rulers.
Most of the things we brought in are put out; a few are being staged for later. Anne just put together our London display. We're hoping to do with London what we did with Paris last year. But don't count out another Paris display--we've already booked an French memoir called Paris: A Love Story, for September 5.