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December, 2009

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Special Issue: Trade Shows!

From Miami to Seattle and from Tinseltown to Bean Town, national and regional trade shows are the place to be in the USA to see first hand the newest trends and product introductions from thousands of vendors. From large events like AmericasMart in Atlanta to small shows like the ones in Anchorage, Alaska, and Bangor, Maine, trade shows serve as the industry's gathering places, where vendors go from place to place and stand shoulder to shoulder (and looking over one another's shoulders!), displaying the latest in creative, classy, innovative and sometimes zany gift- and home-ware.

Next month another round of Gift and Home trade shows begins all across the country. Whether your store visits a regional or national trade show or not, the variety of products available for your store is impacted by the response vendors experience at the shows.

Jane Seymour signs her new book for attendees at South Bay showroom at Las Vegas Market.Trade shows are often as much pleasure as they are business, as seen at the Biloxi, Mississippi show, February 6 - 8, where 12 casinos line highway 90 on the Gulf of Mexico. But of course for gamblers, Las Vegas is the place to be, with two February shows at World Market Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

From Sin City to the City That Never Sleeps: The New York International Gift Fair reports that 600 new and returning visitors will swell its ranks to 2,800 exhibitors, presenting 100,000 lines in some 400 product categories. A new initiative launching at the winter market is The Licensing Gallery @ NYIGF® an exhibit area featuring some 30 companies offering art and design for sale or license. Through the gallery, home and gift manufacturers will gain exclusive access to artwork available for ready application to gift and home products.

October's Dallas Market fashion show. They say everything's bigger in Texas, so "Outdoor Living" is celebrating a decade at the Dallas Market Center with more new products and $10,000 in prizes and giveaways during the upcoming Total Home & Gift Market, January 13-19. Outdoor Living, located on the 6th floor of the World Trade Center, will host an anniversary party on Friday, January 15 hosted by the Dallas Market Center with hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and live entertainment.

If the Mile-High City is near you, you'll find lodge, rustic, western and Native American products at the February Gift, Home, Jewelry and Resort Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart. With over 550 exhibitors-175 permanent showrooms and 375 temporary exhibitors-representing more than 5000 lines, the Denver Show is also a major market for the souvenir and resort.

Buyers Shop at the Stephen Young Showroom at the Los Angeles Mart. The January Market is the best place to stock up on Resort product at the California Gift Show as well, as it features the best in Resort, Souvenir, and Licensing offerings. This is the destination for novelty gifts, themed goods, beach and resort wear, seaside themed décor and personalized keepsakes. The California Gift Show also boasts licensed sports and collegiate memorabilia from the NFL and more. Find fresh, unique Resort selections from Danny K., Barry-Owen, The Village, Mei Wah, GoGo Sports, Hawaii Pacific and Russ Co.

“Our Resort collection is a great addition to all of the unique resources and products already available at the California Gift Show.” said Mark Furlet, vice president and general manager L.A. Mart & California Gift Show. “We are so excited to offer west coast buyers the opportunity to shop distinctive, fresh Resort offerings in a top tourism locale.”

"Hotlanta", Georgia, has long been a destination for show goers across the country. Taking center stage in The Home Product Center is the re-launch of the fine linens floors 9 and 10 in Building 1, creating a seamless two-story product center offering a unique mix of soft goods and designer-oriented merchandise. Enriching this category, AmericasMart is strategically staging anchor showrooms on these floors to generate energy and attract more buyers with enhanced cross-merchandising opportunities. Aligning with these floors, the home furnishings and accessories floors 11-14 continue to develop into a designer-driven center.

Thanks to the various shows for providing the information for this article and the list of show dates below.

Featured Vendors in GiftsWholesale.Com
indicates a CAMEO EZ© web site.

Aspen Bay Candles: The best candles on the market--a result of our continual and diligent application of superior candle science. Take a moment to visit our unique high quality line of candles. Once you have experienced the superb fragrances and long burn times, we are sure you will be back again and again.

Brownlow Gifts: Brownlow produces a full line of inspirational gifts for every occasion. You will find useful and attractive home decor gifts for the kitchen, bedrooms, study and all other rooms in the house. Brownlow is well known for gourmet products, journals, gifted paper items, photo albums, photo frames, decorative sentiment plaques, a variety of stationery, many different ceramic gifts as well as a large assortment of inspirational gift books. Most products are in coordinating themes that retailers can purchase in eye-catching countertop display collections.

Don Mark DUEL OPENING Stainless Steel Water Bottles. -“Go Green” to protect you and your environment. Refill, reuse and reduce our landfills. Each bottle comes with dual, leak resistant caps, one for drinking, the other wide mouth to insert ice cubes and make hand cleaning easier. Also comes with handy carabineer clip. Our lightweight bottle weighs less than 6 ounces and holds 24 ounces of your favorite cool or cold drink (not for hot liquids). Comes with attractive “Go Green” hangtag. Visit our web site to see our entire line of petzzz plus over 180 other unique gifts and gadgets.

Europa Home decor including glass, candleholders and candles for garden, lodge and more.

Gina B. DesignsA wonderful "gift-to-go"! Newly designed Acrylic Note Sets at a great price-point are available in 9 fabulous designs. Gina B. Designs is an award-winning greeting card, gift and stationery company featuring exceptional art and design. All products are made in the U.S.A.

Highland Graphics: A leader in functional gift with decorative items for gift giving and kitchen. From our top selling Absorbastone coasters, to our decorative bamboo cutting boards, everything we manufacture is made in the USA. Our high quality plus competitive pricing lets our customers make higher margins. We feature licensed art, official collegiate products and have a full range of custom capabilities with low minimums.

Mud Pie: Mud Pie products are now featured in three catalogs: Mud Pie Baby, Mud Pie Gift, and Mud Pie Pet. It has always been our goal to offer innovative giftware that's affordably priced and adorably packaged.

Natural Life: Fashionable and fun treasures to share or keep! Whether you’re shopping for friends, family, baby or yourself, Natural Life has the perfect gift for you.

Peking Handicraft, Inc. is a global manufacturer and wholesaler specializing in home textiles decorative accessories and gift items. The company expertise in sourcing, manufacturing and brand development are second to none. Peking’s variety of products consists of renowned designer collections as well as exciting designs from their in-house design studio. Both are trend right and of exceptional quality and value. With over three decades in the home textiles and gift arena, Peking is proven to be a company that you can trust today and in the future.

Regal Art & Gift: Offering unique & colorful Metal Garden Décor, Home Décor and Gifts. Garden items include: 3-D Garden Décor, Garden Stakes, Wind Chimes and Welcome Signs. Home items include: Wall Art, Wall Hooks, Candleholders, Ornaments, Boxes and Photo Frames. Popular themes include: Garden Bugs, Birds, Frogs, Tropical, Coastal, Fish, Suns & Celestial, Southwest, Western, Crosses, Americana, Country, Halloween, Harvest & Holiday

Sample House Take a look at our unique collection of original design gift bags, tissue paper and home to the 2-second wrap. We have a complete selection of Take-Out-Cartons solids and prints, tissue, bags, wraphia and more.

Shade Tree Greetings' "Actual Pictures" are recognized as one of the best-selling greeting card lines in the industry. Nostalgic photographs and clever, funny verses make these cards a success. Go to our website to browse over 300 styles. GREAT introductory programs and free fixtures.

Spring Street is proud to offer the finest assortment of personal, home, and office accessories. Our extensive product lines are all theme oriented, from baby to bride and beyond. All of our gift items are hand epoxy enameled and adorned with faux jewel encrusted motifs. Many of our designs are inspired from the famed Soho district of New York City where the very real Spring Street is located.

Sunset Vista Designs: From the same creative team that brought you Care and Wonder Company; We're back with a fresh new line of the latest in home and garden decor.

Wellspring: a great gift and stationery line. We bring art and organization to everyday life! Our products include: hand-painted ceramic pieces, note pads, Flip Notes, compacts, pill boxes, recipe books, and much more!

After the Razzle Dazzle

Registers are ringing, products are flying off of displays and you're constantly shifting items to fill in the gaps where product has sold. You've wrapped a zillion gifts and cash flow is the best it's been all year. Ten more days of holiday buzz and sales bliss. No humbugs here.

Suddenly it's December 26. The beginning of a routine we retailers know all too well: sales, inventory, the removal of holiday glitter and tinsel. The high of the holidays has turned into, "What happened to my store?" The sales floor looks flat and dull. Where are the lights? The razzle? The dazzle? The customers?!

Thank goodness, it's nearly SHOW TIME! A time to re-energize (and maybe even reinvent) yourself and your store. Soon you'll be browsing trade show aisles and getting inspired by magical spring displays, thousands of stunning new products, and seminars rich in marketing, display and trend insights. Spring may not have the razzle dazzle of Christmas, but it's still brimming with wonderful events: weddings, baby showers, birthdays, graduation. Shoppers will still need presents, and they'll need beautiful, creative displays to buy them from.

Most of all, they'll need YOU! Your imagination, creativity, optimism and the way you build and nurture your community.

From our heart to yours, may your holiday be filled with peace, prosperity and plenty of joy.

Your friends at OmegaNet

~ Cheryl Karpen is president of Gently Spoken. A retailer and a manufacturer, Cheryl is best known for authoring the Eat Your Peas Collection, a series of 21 gift books that begin with a promise. Visit Cheryl at and

Quick Industry News


Petoskey, Michigan Show In New Facility

The 30th annual Gift, Petoskey Gourmet & Souvenir Show will be held at North Central Michigan University in Petoskey, Michigan, April 17-19. Featuring 100's of manufacturers in a spacious, well lit, new, state of the art facility in Petoskey, Michigan barrier free exhibit hall. Over 25,000 square feet of exhibit space, conveniently located on one floor. Now featuring cash & carry exhibitors and order taking exhibitors. All attendees receive a free Premium Pass Voucher for the Odawa Resort Casino.

Louisville Gift Show Celebrates 50th Show

The 50th Louisville Gift Show will celebrate this milestone of 50 shows with exhibitors and buyers during the Sunday February 28th and Monday March 1st show. On Sunday there will be a lite lunch served for all attending the show along with drawings for each registered business who attend. Monday the Kentucky Hospital Gift Shop Association will hold a luncheon and again there will be drawings through-out the day. The drawings will be a combination of gift cards, cash, exhibitor product and discount incentives. This Louisville Gift Show will be the second show at their new location, The Paroquet Springs Conference Center in Shepherdsville Kentucky. The August 2009 show experienced more than a 20% increase in attendance and expects a larger attendance for this 50th Show Celebration. For show hours and directrions visit

St. Louis Gift Show Relocates To St. Charles

Rosehill Enterprises, Inc. announces a new location for the 46th St. Louis Gift Show. After fifteen years in Collinsville, Illinois the show will be relocated to the new state-of-the -art St. Charles Convention Center, on the north side of St. Louis, in St. Charles, Missouri. Historical St. Charles is 10 minutes from Lambert International Airport and easily accessible from all interstate highways in and around St. Louis. The St. Charles Convention Center is attached to the number one rated Embassy Suites in the world, with free breakfast and a managers reception each evening with Hors d'oeuvres for overnight guests. When making reservations ask for "St. Louis Gift Show" special rates. Show dates are Sunday January 10th and MOnday January 11th. The show will be larger than past shows with vendors form across America with a greater selection of product. Drawings for buyers will be held both days.

Pittsburgh Gift Show To Be in New Convention Center

The Pittsburgh Gift Show announces its return to Monroeville, Pennsylvania, at the brand new Monroeville Convention Center. This venue is right next to the now closed Pittsburgh ExpoMart, its home of many years.

The Pittsburgh Gift Show, has been in existence for over 70 years. It is a regional wholesale show marketed to Giftware Buyers. Buyers from a 200 mile radius attend, including Western PA, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Again, this season Exhibitors have the option of selling by "Order Writing Only" or "Cash & Carry" or a combination of "Both". This popular option,(especially in these economic times) has been appreciated by both Buyers and Exhibitors. Offering a choice of how to buy and sell has resulted in increased Buyer attendance, sales, and new customer leads for all Exhibitors.

Western New York Served by Coral Productions

The Western New York Gift Show, which has been in existence for over 70 years is a regional wholesale show marketed to Giftware Buyers. Buyers from a 300 mile radius attend, including Western NY, Buffalo, Syracuse, east towards Albany, the NY Southerntier (Binghamton) south to the PA border and into Canada. Again, this season Exhibitors have the option of selling by "Order Writing Only" or "Cash & Carry" or a combination of "Both". This popular option,(especially in these economic times) has been appreciated by both Buyers and Exhibitors. Offering a choice of how to buy and sell has resulted in increased Buyer attendance, sales, and new customer leads for ALL Exhibitors!

Beckman's Handcrafted Show Returns to LA and Expands in Chicago

New to January's California Gift Show, the Beckman's Handcrafted Gift Show®, the renowned brand of shows for handcrafted and artisan products for retailers with more than a 30-year legacy, makes an exciting return to L.A. as Beckman's West. Beckman's West will debut at the January California Gift Show with an extensive collection of artisans and handcrafters who will offer an exclusive array of distinctive, cutting-edge works.

"We are thrilled to offer buyers an unparalleled product selection that includes contemporary and traditional handcrafted products produced locally," said Peggy Coleman, vice president marketing, L.A. Mart and California Gift Show. "With the addition of Beckman's West, Los Angeles is the destination for amazing handcrafted product and unique resources buyers are looking for."

The Chicago Market Welcomes 30% more new Beckman's exhibitors and the list is growing daily. For over 30 years, Beckman's Handcrafted Show has showcased the best in original work to discerning specialty retailers looking to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Chicago Market Announces Fair Trade Pavilion

This January, The Chicago Market: Living and Giving® is excited to announce the addition of the Fair Trade Pavilion, an area that will be dedicated to Fair Trade Federation artists and products. The new Pavilion will be adjacent to the Beckman's™ Handcrafted Show and will offer buyers and retailers high-end quality products which create sustainable and positive change for some of the world's poorest communities.

The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a trade association that strengthens and promotes North American Organizations fully committed to Fair Trade. The Federation is a part of the global Fair Trade movement, building equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty. Fair Trade products are in high demand in the Midwest and across the country and The Chicago Market has expanded its handcrafted selection with Beckman's to accommodate a Fair Trade Pavilion.

"For more than sixty years, Fair Trade Organizations have offered high quality products which create positive change for some of the world's poorest communities," said Federation Executive Director Carmen K. Iezzi. "We are delighted to be working with MMPI to establish a special place for buyers and retailers to access Fair Trade products at The Chicago Market. The FTF logo indicates that a company has Fair Trade at the heart of what they do."

DHR & Company Plans Events During January Show

DHR & Company in Atlanta's AmericasMart will feature a number of special events during the January Show, such as an opportunity to meet Patience Brewster, artist, creator of the “Krinkles”. Brewster will be in our showroom introducing her new 2010 Collection of Ornaments, Gifts and Cards Thursday, January 7 from 4-6 p.m. You can also have Lunch with Patience Friday the 8th from noon to 1 p.m. and there will be a signing Saturday from 2-4 p.m.

Beaucoup Designs will have a Mardi Gras Party Thursday the 7th from 9-11 a.m. The agency showroom will also feature free Jewelry Boxes w/qualifying orders during that time. On Saturday from 5-7 p.m. Slant will sponsor a cocktail party.

New vendors this show include Star Home, Unique Metal Tabletop Accessories & Gifts handcrafted by skilled artisans, and Bombay Duck, newly updated collection for 2010. Expanded displays will be featured for Byers’ Choice (expanded showroom space 1510), Clay Art (introducing a new line of Ceramic Tabletop accessories) and Santa Barbara Design Studio (featuring a collection from New Artist Christopher Vine. Celebrate Life’s True Values with Kimmidoll & Kimmidoll Junior. See all the new items from Lolita).


Peking Handicraft Sneak Peak at New D.L. Rhein Designs

New Collection to Debut at 2010 Winter Markets (San Francisco, Calif.) -- Peking Handicraft, Inc., an international manufacturer and wholesaler of high quality home decor, tabletop and giftware items, offers a sneak peak at some of its hottest product collections to debut at the 2010 winter markets. The firm's new D.L. Rhein 2010 Collection will include ultra fashionable needlepoint word pillows. The one-of-a-kind, retro modern designs feature a contrasting block letter overlay on a vintage fleur-de-lis pattern. Customers will find these and additional D.L. Rhein designs at the January 2010 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market in Building 1, Suite 10A4.

The new D.L. Rhein word pillows are available in Wish, Dream, Love, Family and Peace. All pillows are down filled and crafted of needlepoint stitching using 100 percent cotton. The 16" x 16" square pillows are seamed with white ribbing and retail for a suggested $72.

These useful little Gina B. Designs Introduces Line of Mini Journals

Gina B. Designs, Inc. will be debuting a line of Booklet-style Mini Journals, in addition to many new designs at the January Atlanta Gift and Home Furnishings Market. The journals are pretty and fun - perfect for purse, briefcase, car, or by the phone. The are made in the USA with 36 blank pages, individually packaged in a cello sleeve.

Gina B. will be located in Building 3, Floor 4, on the Atrium, Booth 500-502. Gina B. will also be featured at the following Winter Shows: Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto and Edmonton, Canada.

Sunset Vista Designs Introduces New Items In January

Sunset Vista will introduce over 250+ new items at the upcoming winter show. The company has leased a new corporate showroom space in Atlanta's AmericasMart at the "Living. Outdoor/Indoor, The Garden" in Building 2 WestWing.

"At Sunset Vista Designs Inc., we continually strive to bring you compelling product, that offers you extra margin opportunities, and sells thru at retail," says Philip Wong, president. "We offer innovative designs, in proven products, with space saving merchandising solutions, and attractive package deals that all add value to the quality products we offer. Our entire team has worked very hard to bring you what we feel is our 'best ever' line of innovative gift, garden, and home décor."

New Lustre Candle Line Rhapsody Candles Debuts "Lustre"

Rhapsody Candles introduces its new line of candles, Lustre just in time for their 10th anniversary. These candles are created with Rhapsody’s unique cold extrusion process and produce the same signature vertical streaks of color as the original Rhapsody candles. But the Lustre candles have a smooth texture that shows the candle colors in a more vivid and striking look.