Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Gift Post--When I Do My Gift Restocking, I Feel Like a Jumping Jack.

I promised I would stay home today from Boswell, but decided that it would only be half broken if I left home my laptop. I just felt so behind in getting gift items out (it's three weeks from Easter and our ceramic bunnies were still off the floor) that I gave myself three hours to do some receiving and restocking. The Folkmanis puppets that I mentioned last week are finally on the floor. More wooden boxes from Poland. More Melissa and Doug puzzles and sticker books. And new wooden-handled jumropes and jumping jacks.

These British inspired toys would probably have been more appropriate on a London Olympics table, but surely we have some Anglophiles that will take to these. On the other hand, I thought, "On top of the iconography of only male jumping jacks, we have a clown in the mix, which frightens at least one of my booksellers." On the other hand, there was no male cupcake cutie option.

Then I went home, after Amie tried to get me to promise not to go on the computer. Sadly this was not to be, as I realized this was the only day I could do gift buying and restocking. In addition to Moleskine journals and Mighty Bright booklights, I used our backer system to restock about five lines of cards. I did take home one catalog so I could pick out some new designs. For another vendor, I used their website. I'm a big fan of card backers. We use them when we get them (from Graphique de France, Madison Park, and others), but for smaller lines, we just design our own. Oddly enough, I thought one line didn't make these until our fourth order, where they inadvertently arrived with the cards. It's a large but pretty quirky line; what can I say?

My big problem right now is bookmarks. They are either too expensive (we found a nice line of metal ones for $20) or two skimpy (a line of stiff paper ones had as many taken as sold, because even though they were all priced, they simply looked like a giveaway). It seems like a paper bookmark needs a plastic package, both to give it heft, and to hang in our racks. And I've noticed that tassels do seem to add value for most customers. The problem? I can either find nice paper designs sans tassel or rather downmarket tasseled designs. And you have another problem--if a customer says "I could make that" then they won't buy it. Note: that's a shout out to a very nice person who showed me something that I passed on. I'm not going to give any more details.

So I suppose that's why I focused on the jumping jacks. I feel like one at the moment.

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