Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Gift Post: Umbrellas

Though Jen is now buying just about all our gift items except for loose greeting cards, we're still
working pretty closely, and got to travel to the New York gift show. Most of our lines are pretty standard - boxed cards and journals, office accessories, plush and games, and various impulse items, there are several categories that we can half fun with at the right time. We have a nice sale (if modest) sale on Eastery stuff for kids (and I should note here that we'll be open on Easter from 10 to 5, and if you want to say hi to me, I'll be there). We have a decent sale on lunch totes and thermoses for back to school in July and August (though we're less successful with backpacks - too much competition), and for the last few years, we've been doing one umbrella order to arrive in March.

We started with umbrellas for kids, working our way through several lines - Melissa and Doug, Toysmith, and Vilac (also known as Magic Forest). When we looked at the Shedrain line last year, we noticed that that they had nice umbrellas for adults too, and more than that, they solved a problem that I in particular have had in windy Wisconsin storms - they have vents to let the wind pass through. So last year we brought in about four designs for adults, and the sell through was very good. It appears there is a market, if limited, for a nice umbrella. So this year we expanded the selection a bit, with Jen bringing in some of these vented compact umbrellas in four designs, traditional stick umbrellas, and a restocking of some of the kid designs.

I of course wanted one and was torn between the gentlemanly Metro Houndstooth, and the slightly flashier Norma, which is either a small buffalo check or a giant gingham. I went with the latter, but might still get the former as a backup. The problem is that not only do I break umbreallas on windy days, I also lose them. Perhaps the next step is umbrellas with GPS or radio frequency trackers. Please note I am not asking for this.

I tested our umbrella on the day of rain this week and it worked fine. Sharon has been using the Zot, a polka dot model we brought in last year, and has been quite happy with it.

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