Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Gift Post--An Order Arrives from the Chicago Gift Show, and Another from Wauwatosa.

Though I just came back from the Minneapolis gift show, I’m still getting product orders that I placed back in Chicago. This week our new Girl of All Work show order came in. We sell their Page Flags quite well, and I’m beginning to see similar items from other vendors, most recently C.R. Gibson. Girl's own new Page Pals and Book Buddies are die-cut variations of the Flags. Everything is just sort of the next generation of 3M’s Post It product. We passed the 3M headquarters last weekend and I thought of their foray into cuteness, the Glugul glue stick with cartoon style toppers. I actually bought as many as I could before the product disappeared. Instead of producing the product themselves, they should have licensed the designing to someone else. Girl of All Work, I have your next hit product!

In any case, our pal Rebecca was by yesterday and gave us a thumbs up on the new designs, and I trust her instincts.

I had an interesting conversation with a jewelry vendor about how difficult it can be for local vendors to break into Milwaukee stores. I generally have the opposite problem—if I see something local, I feel like I see it everywhere. But the jewelry vendor I talked to (we won’t do jewelry at her price point without a locked case) said that everyone thinks that everyone else is selling it and so nobody takes it. It’s also likely that they see that vendor selling his or her work at all the craft and gift shows and sees that as overexposed. Who knows? But I know that any local chocolatier vendor that I consider stocking will be at every store nearby that sells chocolate—it’s a given.

It can also happen with cards, and I’ve noticed that one local line we’ve carried for a while has had sales slow as it’s appeared more places. We did just bring in one new line, Man Vs. George, which is from a studio based in Wauwatosa. The cards are shrink wrapped, and though they are all blank inside, I can assure you that customers will be trying to break them open. Sigh.

Anyway, we like the clean designs of the new line, and the bonus art on the back of the card (Fomato style) doesn’t hurt either. I was sort of surprised that the assortment wasn’t heavier on birthday, which is by far the strongest category. Birthday drives reorder in most cases, so having to rely on thank you, congrats, and get well puts a card line under a bit of pressure. We’ll see how they do, and I’ll bet we’ll see a bigger birthday assortment in the next release.

Back to my obsession with Gluguls. Here is a fabulous ad for the product, which was discontinued several years ago. Better still, it's in Greek.

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