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January, 2010

GiftsWholesale.Com is not responsible for changes in show information or typographical errors. OmegaNet and GiftsWholesale.Com are not directly associated with any trade show.

Feb. 2010
Jan 30-Feb 1, Miami
Jan 30-Feb 3, New York
Jan 31-Feb 4, Toronto
1-5, Las Vegas
4-6, Salt Lake City
6-7, Oaks, PA
6-8, Biloxi
6-8, Memphis
7-9, Bangor, ME
7-9, Edison, NJ
20-22, Rochester, NY
21-23, Lansing
21-23, Columbus
21-24, Edmonton, AB
22-24, Verona, NY
27-Mar 1, Portland
27-Mar 1, Monroeville, PA
27-Mar 2, Denver
28-Mar 1, Louisville
28-Mar 2, New York
28-Mar 3, Las Vegas

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In this issue:

Men's Gifts Present Unique Challenges

Selecting a gift for a man can be a challenge. The old saw "for the man who has everything" may apply to most men, since men tend to buy what they want. An online poll conducted by MenScience revealed some interesting things about men's preferences when receiving gifts:

  • 75% prefer useful gifts, as opposed to unique or funny ones.
  • Only 8% found every gift they received in the past five years to be useful.
  • 50% believe they are difficult to get gifts for, but 40% agree that the most difficult person they must buy a gift for is their spouse or significant other (male friends follow next, beating out parents, female friends and siblings).
  • 97% of men polled would enjoy receiving high-end men's grooming products as a gift.

That last point is perhaps the most surprising. Based on these results, MenScience projects that skincare and grooming items will continue to rise in popularity as men's gift options. Of course the results could be skewed by the fact that it was an online poll and MenScience is a mens skincare product company. (source)

But according to Dermatologist James Fairfield, men are catching on to the idea that it's a part of good grooming to take care of their skin. "Maybe you've seen a bottle or tube of 'product' lurking around the bathroom!" suggests Fairfield. But, a man's skin is different from a woman's, so it's very important to make sure he gets the right skin care products. "Extra care must be taken when choosing skin care products for men," Fairfield notes. "Harsh bar soaps and alcohol-based colognes and aftershaves are just too drying." (source)

So what do men want? The website SixWise.Com has a list of simple steps to giving gifts to men (source).

1. Think function, not sentiment
While a woman may be completely impressed by a house filled with roses, a man would probably prefer an item that he can hold on to and use. Think a gift for him like a Swiss Army Knife with 30 different implements versus naming a star after him, for example.

2. Listen to what he wants
While women may offer hints as to what the "perfect" gift would be, men tend to be less subtle and may come right out and say what they want.

3. Center it around his interests
When looking for a functional gift for men, be sure it centers around something he likes, perhaps with a unique edge.

4. Avoid generic "token" gifts
Token gifts for men, like socks and underwear, are regarded as "low cost and low effort".

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. Designs³Many of our retailers tell us that their customers come in and purchase our cards by the handfull!²  Gina B. Greeting Cards feature unique and colorful art with simply stated messages - at a great price-point.  Gina B. Designs is an award-winning greeting card, gift and stationery company featuring exceptional art and design.  All products are made in the USA.

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.

snoozies!® are not socks and they're not slippers - sort of a crossover between the two and that's why we call them "foot coverings"! snoozies!® are made with a brushed fleece exterior in colorful & fun printed patterns and then lined with a soft Sherpa fleece inside.

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.

Tripar International Inc.: Tripar International is your source for both displays and decorative accessories. Our extensive product line includes a wide assortment of easels, risers, ornament stands, plate racks, mirrors, jewelry displays, and unique display pieces. We are also an excellent source for wine accessories, wall décor, inspirational signs, and cookbook stands. We offer quality with style, low minimums and fast shipping.

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!

A Fresh New Start

January marks a fresh new start. It's the perfect time to restrategize and RE-imagine a bold and exciting new year. As is evident at the 2010 winter trades shows, there's a renewed enthusiasm and energy in the marketplace. Retail is alive and well! As a retailer, you wear many hats. No wonder it's easy to lose sight of your New Year goals. Several years ago I began naming each year. This simple idea helps me focus on an area of my life and/or business that needs improvement. The Year of Gratitude and the Year of Listening not only made me a more effective leader and shopkeeper, it made me a much better person--habits I continue to use today in nearly every professional and personal interaction. Interested in naming your year? Here are some ideas:

  • Year of Heroic Customer Service: More than anyone else, your customers deserve your gratitude. Show them how much you appreciate their business with every single exchange: in person, on the phone or online.
  • Year of Social Media: If you haven’t already, create a Facebook fan page and start Tweeting! The best thing that comes from these mediums is increased contact with customers. Plus, it’s a fun way to brag about new products or promotions in your own unique voice.
  • Year of Internet Marketing: Try bi-monthly e-blasts or newsletters using a service like In addition to social media, newsletters are an effective way to communicate and inspire. Vow to wow your customers with timely product updates, trend forecasts, and news about upcoming events. Include a coupon.
  • Year of Product Knowledge: So often, we pick up great sales tips from vendors or reps but fail to pass that knowledge along to the people who are on the front lines every day. Educate! As one retailer recently told me, "In the new economy, you need to take every opportunity you can to validate your product."

Whatever you name 2010, be sure to discuss it with and share it with your associates. Implement an internal Name Your Year campaign. Post signs in the backroom and on the cash register. Live your year and see amazing results. Here's to a fabulous 2010!

Cheryl Karpen

~ 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

"Best of Floor" Awarded December Diamonds

"Candy Cane" and "Peppermint" are the names of these table pieces pictured with the award from AmericasMart

Atlanta, GA -- At the January Show in Atlanta, December Diamonds won the "Best of Floor" award for outsanding visual display for 2010. The company, which originates 75% of its own designs, makes ornaments and table pieces in it's new red, white and silver color scheme which it displayed against white walls in its showroom. The "Peppermint" and "Candy Cane" themed items filled the first showroom.

Mud Pie Earns Honorable Award for "Best Gift Item"

Atlanta, GA -- The award-wining international gift company, Mud Pie, was recently awarded a 2009 Earnie Award for "Best Gift Item." The coveted Earnie Award represents design excellence in kids' products and is the industry's only comprehensive award program that recognizes essential brands that offer high style and consistent value. This year's Earnie Award was presented in 20 categories, including the infant and toddler market, girls' wear, boys' wear, sleepwear, swimwear and accessories. Nationwide retailers from all market channels selected the winning companies.

The Earnie Awards is hosted by Earnshaw's magazine. Earnshaw's is the premier media resource serving the children's market, including apparel, juvenile products and gifts. With more than 90 years of experience, the magazine is the established voice of the industry. Mud Pie was also recognized with an Earnie Award in 2006 for its creativity and innovation when in the "Best Gift-able Items" category. Mud Pie gift products are sold at fine gift and department stores across the country.



LOS ANGELES, CA - L.A. Mart® Design Center (LAMDC) is announced four new tenant-partners with significant regional/national import.

Complementing an impressive roster of current home furnishings showrooms, LAMDC welcomes AGA John Oriental Rugs, Provasi, Loft Appeal Marketplace and a new chapter office for ASID Los Angeles, adding nearly 20,000-square-feet of new designer offerings to serve the Southern California design industry.

"We are thrilled to present such an extraordinary selection of new design center showrooms," said Mark Furlet, vice president and general manager, L.A. Mart Design Center. "Each of these well-established companies delivers the highest caliber of product along with strong brand value among the design community. Their desire for an L.A. Mart Design Center presence reinforces our position as a pivotal marketplace to create commerce within the industry."

Aga John Oriental Rugs (Suite 157) features an international selection of hand-made carpets and tapestries, fine art, antiques and furnishings. The LAMDC showroom is the company’s fifth California showroom and illustrates Aga John’s commitment to serving the design community in the region.

Provasi (Suite 110), designers and manufacturers of classical Italian furniture, offers the design trade access to eight exclusive lines of case goods, upholstery and draperies, lighting and decorative accessories.

Loft Appeal Marketplace (Suite LL-50) started as a furniture retailer serving, for the past seven years, L.A.’s burgeoning downtown lifestyle market. Providing a combination of new contemporary furniture and furnishings alongside a massive inventory of props from three major Hollywood studios, the new showroom offers designers an eclectic mix of chic styles to satisfy many different project aesthetics.

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Los Angeles, the leading organization for interior design professionals, chose LAMDC as its newest location for a variety of reasons, most importantly due to the key role the facility plays advancing the needs of the region’s design community.


Introducing new delightful Dena designs to debut at 2010 winter markets
Peking Handicraft Invites Customers to Get "Happi" with Designs by Dena

(San Francisco, Calif.) -- Peking Handicraft, Inc., a global manufacturer and wholesaler of high quality home decor, tabletop and giftware items, introduces new everyday textile designs by Dena™. Dena's whimsical everyday patterns blend vibrant color, elegant florals and polka dot designs on new kitchen towels and aprons offered exclusively by Peking Handicraft. The company's new Rachel, Happi Floral, Happi Monogram and Happi Cupcakes designs are both fun and functional, and feature exceptional quality at value prices.

Dena Designs has offered delightful home goods for nearly 20 years. One of the most sought-after and influential designers in America, Dena's unique artwork combines a finely tuned sense of market trends with a creative flair. Dena's latest designs for Peking Handicraft can be viewed at the company's 2010 winter market locations in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

Die-cut cards create an element of surprise.
New Affordable Greeting Cards

Gina B. Designs releases 80 new Greeting Cards in everyday occasions, including these fun and colorful Birthday Cards for kids.  The company's Greeting Cards feature unique and colorful art with simply stated messages - at a great price-point.  Printed with soy-based inks on FSC certified paper and made in the USA.  MSRP $2.25-$2.50.