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April 2013

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Apr. 2013
11-15 Atlanta
11-15 Minneapolis
16-19 New York
20-25 High Point

May 2013
5-6 Dallas
7-9 Atlanta
15-16 Long Beach, CA
19-22 New York
31-June 3 Kansas City

June 2013
2-4 Minneapolis
3-7 New York
3-9 Atlanta
6-7 Los Angeles
19-25 Dallas

July 2013
10-17 Atlanta
14-17 Boston
16-23 Los Angeles
19-24 Chicago
21-23 Columbus
21-24 Philadelphia
25-27 Phoenix
29-Aug. 2 Las Vegas

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OmegaNet Portals:
TheShoppePlace.Com (Retail)

Coalition Seeks Pro-Business Tax Reform

RATE National Tax Rates Chart The Fiscal Cliff, Sequestration, The Budget Battle: America has been lurching from one economic crisis to another for several months now. Democrats and Republicans can never seem to agree and nothing seems to get done in a conventional budgetary sense. But Washington, DC, has managed to hurt businesses: corporate taxes in the USA are the highest in the world at 35% as of a little over a year ago.

One organization is seeking to make a difference for retailers by trying to get the Federal government to lower corporate taxes is RATE, "Reforming America's Taxes Equitably". RATE is a coalition of retailers who "are joining together to advocate for sound and equitable reforms to the tax code that will restore the competitiveness of the United States as a place to invest and grow, and boost job creation and economic growth." (source).

Included among RATE's members are Boeing, Captial One, CVS, FedEx, Ford, GAP, Home Depot, Macy's, Nike, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile, UPS, Verizon and Walt Disney, to name a few (source). In all, the 30 companies comprising RATE employ about 30 million people.

RATE issued a statement April 5, 2013, concerning the March Unemployment Report which revealed that almost 500,000 left the work force and only 88,000 new jobs were created. In part, the statement said "While any report showing more jobs is a positive sign, it also highlights just how much stronger job growth could be if the economy were not hampered by an out-of-date tax code and the world's top corporate tax rate.

"America's international competitors understand the need to compete in the international marketplace in order to create jobs and are reforming their corporate tax codes accordingly. On Monday, April 1, the one-year anniversary of America having the highest corporate tax rate in the world, the UK lowered its rate to 23 percent, a full 12 points below ours. America's international rivals are aggressively lowering their rates to attract jobs and investment, in some cases directly from the United States."

Featured Vendors

indicates a CAMEO EZ© web site.

Badash Crystal: Our broad selection of mouth blown tabletop and decorative accessories from around the world will surely meet your needs. Every piece is individually and safely boxed. We offer superb quality and value for all your gift giving, bridal and/or personal pleasure.

Band Angels is a line of adhesive bandages in boys' and girls' colors (blue and pink) decorated with Scripture verses printed on them. CAMEO EZ© member stores can now log into a site one time and place orders from several manufacturers. Check back often to see more lines. One Login - Multiple Shopping Carts - Easy Checkout.

Camille Beckman is known worldwide for the quality of their fine creams and lotions. For the past 18 years, this 'Made in America' product has been rated #1 in the personal care industry and continues to offer formulas based on rich and wholesome ingredients, blending small batches and using hand-crafted, old-fashioned methods that create a difference you can feel! Being that personal care products are an indispensable item for many gift shops, Camille Beckman is a natural choice because of their 27 years of service to the locally owned gift industry.

Coast Lamp Manufacturing was established and incorporated in the state of Florida in 1955. Now, a North Carolina Corporation since 1975, located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. We are a family owned and operated company. Our product is UL/ULC listed and approved and made in the USA. Customer satisfaction and a long lasting relationship are our goals. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.

Divinity Boutique is a gift company that is focused on trendy and fun gifts that feature inspirational verse and themes.

Elegant Baby Elegant Baby® understands that babies deserve style just as fresh as they are! Our marvelous collection of baby products is full of bold colors and spectacular designs. From traditional to contemporary, today's baby gift is sure to become tomorrow's treasure. Products ranging from My First Rubber Ducky to My First Baby Bible, My First Baby Blankie, My First Baby Jeans to the iconic silver spoon, Elegant Baby is where style meets tradition.

Europa Home decorincluding glass, candleholders and candles for garden, lodge, awards, gourmet food, sale items and more.

Gina B. Designs is an award-winning greeting card, gift and stationery products company featuring exceptional art and design. With an array of styles, variety of products and outstanding customer service, Gina B. Designs has "something for everyone."  All products are proudly made in the U.S.A.

Halle Joy is a different type of company, committed not only to designing beautiful products, but to bringing joy to people throughout the world. A portion of the proceeds from every piece we sell goes to support worthy causes around the world.

Hook Line Greetings offers the world's first patent-pending "Gift-in-Greet" Fishing Lure Cards. The company's unique and clever greeting cards contain an authentic hand-tied fishing lure as the "gift" that can be taken out for immediate fun and enjoyment. Just "release" the fishing lure from the card, tie on a line and go fish!

Highland Graphics: a leader in functional gift with decorative items for gift giving and kitchen. From our topselling 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.

InDesign, Home of The Sophie Collection, one of America's leading fashion accessory wholesalers! All products designed by Anna Larsson Daley using only the finest textiles and materials available. We provide retailers with unique, high quality fashion accessories including the # 1 selling jewel embellished scarf at retail.

JTP Wholesale: Monogrammed toilet paper and coasters - The perfect gift for the person who has everything.

Leslie Handpainted Glass: Leslie Hand Painted Glass is Proudly Painting in Portland Oregon USA Specializing in Custom & Regionally Specific Designs - Personalized Wedding & Bridal Parties - Corporate Gifts & Events.

Nicole Brayden Gifts: a bright and trendy collection of stationary and home decorproducts. Lots of fun colors and designs offered. Introducing new and exciting "Purse Pad" stationary assortments as well as the trendy Cheeky Chic collection.

O3 USA: Founded on principles of creativity, functionality and a funky spirit, O3 USA strives strive to offer products that are unique, stylish, and, most importantly, cool. From kids' backpacks and luggage with integrated coolers, to fun accessories for the family, we hope you find what you are looking for with us here at O3!

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.

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.

Stupell Industries: one of America's premier suppliers of handcrafted decorative accessories for upscale homes and offices. In business for over 30 years, our line includes a wide variety of baby products, kitchen and bathroom plaques, wall hangings, faux windows, picture frames, and other unique decorative objects. We are constantly enlarging and updating our product offering to keep abreast of the latest trends and styles in the fast-paced home decorative market.

Sunbelt Marketing Group, Inc. Licensed functional and decorative giftware for the home and tailored for the men's market, i.e. (clocks, signs, coat/key racks, salt and pepper shakers, bottle openers, shelves, picture frames, games key chains and more). Licenses include Coca-Cola, General Motors, Pepsi-Cola, Farmall Tractors, Shelby and the Shelby Ford Mustang and Dodge. Product mediums include wood, polyresin, and glass and mixed mediums.

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 decor, inspirational signs, and cookbook stands. We offer quality with style, low minimums and fast shipping.

Wellspring makes functional products with fresh designs for companies that sell gifts. Great fun and cute personal accessories designed for the purse, stationery designed for organization and Flip Notes- the best-selling slim notepad consistently ranked by retailers as a top 10 in sell through. Perfect 4th quarter pick up gifts at under $10 retail- a sweet spot with today's consumer. Now with collegiate logos!

Storytelling to Win Customers and Sales

Dear Friends, If you want to grow an exciting and thriving business today, look for ways to help your customers live the BEST STORY of their lives. Think of a normal day: waking, bathing, dressing, preparing breakfast (or a bag lunch), working, exercising, decorating, texting, shopping, relaxing, reading, dining, organizing, driving, cleaning, caregiving, car pooling, celebrating, attending athletic programs. The list is endless!

A few weeks ago, when I had the opportunity to present the Art of Wooing--using storytelling to win customers and sales during the Minneapolis Gift Show, I shared with my audience a "Why People Buy" list. They loved it! Maybe you will too. Bring it with you to market or whenever you're sitting down to do some major buying. Here's why people buy:

  • to communicate feelings (cards, gift books, art, jewelry, wall art)
  • to simplify their lives (cookbooks, organizational items)
  • to save time (gourmet food, home tools and gadgets)
  • to feel better about themselves (make-up, nail polish, fashion accessories)
  • to inspire (wall art, books)
  • to live a healthier life (cookbooks, kitchen gadgets, yoga mats)
  • to laugh (cards, books, plaques)
  • to learn (educational programs, activity programs, books, DVD's)
  • to enjoy (games, books, furniture)
  • to look younger (personal care, hair accessories, clothing)
  • to appear successful (books, handbags, shoes, furniture, home decor, jewelry)
  • to entertain (kitchen and wine gadgets and accessories, gourmet food, candy, candles)
  • to attract the opposite sex (perfume, clothing, personal care, jewelry, candy)
  • to be organized (files, desk top accessories, furniture)
  • to increase enjoyment (all of the above)
  • to be excepted (clothing, jewelry, well-groomed nails)
  • to appear trendy (jewelry, clothing, notepads, post-it notes)
  • to escape stress (essential oils, personal care, relaxation tools, music)
  • to be popular (jewelry, clothing, yoga mat)
  • to keep up with the Jones's (everything!)
  • to feel safe (pepper spray, locks, whistles, radon detector)
  • to attract praise (clothing, jewelry, home decor, gourmet food)
  • to give to others (all of the above)
  • to satisfy hunger or thirst (food, beverages, candy)
  • to participate in a hobby or learn a new skill (art and craft kits, yarn, scrapbooking)
  • to save money!

When you help your customers live the best story of their lives, you'll win their hearts and their pocketbooks. Begin today!

May smiles and blessings be yours,
Cheryl Karpen

As a speaker, author and product developer, Cheryl Karpen thrives on telling stories that inspire the heart and mind. With nearly a million gift books sold, her self-publishing company, Gently Spoken, is best known for the Eat Your Peas Collection ( Cheryl can be reached at 877-224-7886 or at

Quick Industry News

New Wholesale Websites

These CAMEO EZ© websites are new for April. Check them out!

My Town Art features the art of prolific artist Patrick Reid Obrien. Chances are you can find your town among his thousands of prints, which are available on paper or canvas in five sizes and can be personalized with your own wording.

Oatmeal StudiosOatmeal Studios has a new CAMEO EZ© website. The company has been in the business of making people laugh for over 35 years! People everywhere enjoy the unique, colorful graphics and on the mark humor that is featured on their extensive line of greeting cards and Self-Stick Notepads.

Atash by LalaAtash by Lala is a brand new CAMEO EZ© client. Lala has been creating jewelry since she was 14 years old. Starting her first jewelry company in 1979 at the World trade center in Dallas, TX, her focus has always been to create each piece of jewelry as if it is a work of art.

Pocket PlusAnother new CAMEO EZ© site is Pocket Plus, which features a portable pocket that was designed to attach over your waistband and stays secure with magnets — no need for a belt or belt loops.

Atash by LalaLamar Creations has a new CAMEO EZ© client. Lamar Creations is the premier supplier of the highest quality, fastest selling Fashion Jewelry with Cubic Zirconia (CZ) in the market. We feature three categories of jewelry: Brass, Sterling Silver and Stainless Steel. Each item is crafted with the same casting, polishing and stone setting techniques used to manufacture fine jewelry.

CAMEO EZ© is the B2B e-commerce system developed by OmegaNet Inc., publisher of this newsletter, for use by retailers in ordering inventory for their stores. A partial list of CAMEO EZ sites can be found at the company's portals such as,,, and A complete list of sites is available in the "Directory" on