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June 2014

A Wide Variety of Opportunities Characterize Summer Show Season

It's time for the summer trade show season. Here are just a few of the opportunities at some of the major shows.

AmericasMart's The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market (July 8-15) will have a full roster of seminars and events, ranging from multiple hospitality events, with a variety of food and drink, to a Kindle Fire giveaway and many informational seminars. The latter include "Keep it Clean and Comfy" with Sunny Anderson of the Food Network show "The Kitchen", "From the Outdoors In: Clients' Most Wanted Design", Presented by John Gidding, Host of HGTV's "Curb Appeal: The Block" and " 50 Store Display Ideas That Move Merchandise" presented by Becky Tyre, Senior Trends Editor of GIFT SHOP Magazine.

Many major trade shows have informational seminars like this one in Las VegasDallas Market Center announced in May that renovations are underway in two areas of the Trade Mart to meet the needs of the growing luxury gift, lifestyle design, and gourmet housewares categories in Dallas.

"The Trade Mart renovations are part of a strategic plan to further establish Dallas as a leader in fine gifts and lifestyle brands," said Bill Winsor, president and CEO, Dallas Market Center. "We launched our dedicated Total Housewares & Gourmet Market in January 2013 and have seen a surge across gourmet products and luxury gifts via our professional sales agencies and temporaries."

The upcoming Summer Las Vegas Market, July 27-31, will highlight an original series of programs and educational sessions led by top industry influencers as well as many leaders from various fields of business and design. The complimentary roster of sessions will be retail-facing as well as design-focused, and present attendees with a broad range of topics including merchandising, color and product trends, e-commerce and digital strategies, customer loyalty and sales training techniques, plus much more.

"Each market, we aim to deliver a compelling slate of programs that adds value to attendees' experience and gives them meaningful take-aways that will benefit their businesses," said Scott Eckman, chief marketing and strategy officer of International Market Centers (IMC).

Las Vegas seminars will include the fashion-focused seminars, such as "Behind the Design", a panel discussion of NBC's first season of "American Dream Builders" with the show's winner Lukas Machnik, celebrity designer host Monica Pederson and some favorite contestants from the show. Business-oriented programs will include Becky Tyre of GIFT SHOP Magazine presenting the "The Big Picture: Marketing Your Store to Get the Most from the Biggest Shopping Days of the Year!".

NY NOW The Market for Home + Lifestyle will extend its range of resources for retailers with the launch of a new co-located event, IMPULSE at NY NOW, beginning in August 2014. Presented alongside NY NOW's NEW! Collection at the Passenger Ship Terminal's Pier 94, this new trade event will offer buyers exclusive access to some 100 suppliers of impulse and point-of-purchase specialty gifts and accessories.

"This is the first of many exciting synergies resulting from Emerald Expositions' recent acquisition of NY NOW and GLM," said Christopher McCabe, executive vice president of Emerald Expositions. "IMPULSE at NY NOW is a reimagining and repositioning of our ASD New York Wholesale Expo as an extension of NY NOW, the nation's premier marketplace for design-driven home and lifestyle merchandise. By running concurrently with the NY NOW's NEW! Collection, we can increase the number and type of resources presented to NY NOW attendees and continue to provide Emerald Exposition's ASD exhibitors with new market opportunities."

See specific information about vendors in "Quick News" below.

For Complete Show info, see

Slay That Dragon!

Dear friends,
At the beginning of each new year, I like to give the year a name to inspire me to become a better and more productive member of society.

Frankly, I often fail.

  • The Year of Listening was especially hard.
  • The Year of Organization was soon forgotten.
  • The Year of Gratitude wasn't a big enough challenge.

In January, I had this brilliant idea to call 2014 "The Year of No Excuses". You guessed it. It wasn't long before I started making excuses for my excuses. With the word "loser" written all over my forehead, I soon lost hope in ever becoming a more dynamic leader or individual.

And then one morning, everything changed.

I woke up with three words that would change my year forever — Slay That Dragon. Within minutes, I jumped out of bed with a gesture resembling a karate chop. 2014 would become the Year to Slay My Dragons! With a renewed spirit to conquer and gain control of my crazy family and entrepreneurial life, I prepared to go to battle and slay all 3,042 of my dragons.

So where does a new dragon slayer begin? The big fangs and searing hot fire of the Procrastination Dragon was my worst and most relentless enemy which lead me to loads of little dragons or sub-dragons, like the:

The Dreaded Paper Dragon — After sorting through the papers on my desk and stacking them in order of priority, I gave myself 3-5 minutes to slay each one of them. Filing the papers or shredding them had equal satisfaction. Action never felt this good . . .

The Phone Call Dragon — One by one, I crossed each name off of my list. Chop. Chop.

The Decision Dragon — Making a decision was better than making no decision at all. Sure, sometimes I'd screw up. I had to learn to trust my gut again.

The Conversation Dragon — You know, those tough but necessary conversations with an employee, vendor, spouse, or sister. It was time to have them.

I won't bore you with the Email Dragon, the Wellness Dragon, the Passive-Aggressive Dragon — you already get the picture. So what have I learned? More karate chops, more slaying my dragons equals free time to enjoy the rest of my life with less burden, guilt, and worry.

Slaying ALL of my dragons is a process and it will take a lifetime. My husband wanted to make sure I'd never forget. On Valentine's Day, I woke to a beautifully wrapped package on the bed. Could it be that candelabra from Patina I had been yearning for? Not a chance. Instead, it was a two-foot tall lime green plastic dragon! With an actual symbol of my year to live by in my office, I am now reminded daily that Slaying My Dragon will make 2014 an especially exciting, peaceful, and prosperous year. Now my friends and family members want their own dragon. I guess I'm not the only one with dragons in my closet. Oh, you too? I'd love to hear your story.

Ever grateful,

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


Sassy Stuff will be showing in Atlanta and DallasSassy Stuff to Show In Dallas and Atlanta

Hot Springs, AR, June 4, 2014 - Sassy Stuff will be showing their "unique girly gifts" this summer at the Dallas Market in the June Kidwell & Co. showroom (#209 WTC) and in Atlanta in the Gift Temps with BK Enterprises, Building 3, 5th Floor. Many of the products are embellished with rhinestones, embroidery & hand printed "attitude" phrases.

Show Specials Featured by All For GivingShow Specials Featured by All For Giving

Scottsdale, AZ, June 4, 2014 - All For Giving is offering five percent off orders written at the Atlanta Gift show of $501 or more and three percent off orders written at for orders of $300-$500. All For Giving will be in the DHR Showroom (Building 2, Space 1500) at AmericasMart. The vendor's wide array of accessories includes: wine stoppers, wine glass charms, wine boxes and faux fur wine bags, Along with coordinating picture frames, magnetic note pads, votive candles and coasters. All For Giving collections include: coastal, vintage, classic, animal print and a old world style that will impress even the most difficult. Decor Magnets are pictured.

Don Mark Eshibiting New Toilet AccessoriesDon Mark Exhibiting New "Toilet Accessories" at Summer Shows

Atlanta, GA, June 4, 2014 - Don Mark has gone to the Crapper. A must see are the Toilet Accessories by Don Mark, new this Summer. Between 52 different styles of "Toilet-Tattoo's" and 3 styles of "Bob's Butt Wipes" Don Mark has something you just have to see. Over 100 new items debuting at the summer shows in the company's Atlanta showroom (Building 2 734), New York (Booth 5435) as well as our rep showrooms in Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis.

Desden Rolls Out Collegiate Items for Summer ShowsDesden Rolls Out Collegiate Items for Summer Shows

Houston, Texas, June 9, 2014 - Desden has added several new items to its line of collegiate licensed, Made-in-the-USA and everyday items. New are Collegiate licensed Clear stadium totes as well as canvas totes in several colors. They are great for monogramming and all made in the USA. Desden will be showing in The Southern Link showroom in Atlanta (Building 1, 16th floor) and the Next Generation showroom in Dallas (Trade Mart 1028).


Shade Tree Greetings Announces Marianne Richmond Card Line

Shade Tree Greetings Announces Marianne Richmond Card LineRochester, New York, May 2, 2014 - Shade Tree Greetings announced a completely new release of an inspirational line of cards. Written and designed by the well-known talented writer and painter, Marianne Richmond, "Art from the Heart" will feature several categories from birthday to sympathy and include a range of associated items such as travel mugs, magnets, and note pads. Shade Tree president Rich Cancilla says, "We feel very fortunate to have found such a fresh and exciting look which Marianne has created for Shade Tree. Since Shade Tree is widely known for it's humor lines, "Art From The Heart" gives us an opportunity to offer our customers a totally new type of product."

Recently cited as a top 10 line by Giftbeat, 22-year-old, Rochester, New York-based company attributes it's growth to quality products with a constant commitment to refreshing it's lines, all of which are supported by industry leading customer service.

New (or New Look) Wholesale Websites

Paulson DesignsPaulson Designs built a brand new CAMEO EZ© wholesale website this month. The company is a college decor and accessory manufacturer, specializing in quality canvas prints for college fans everywhere to enjoy. It's motto is "KEEP TRADITION", which stems from its founders' commitment to honor those who "KEEP" each University's "TRADITIONS" sacred.

UniformedUniformed just opened its new CAMEO EZ© website. The Uniformed mission is simple, to provide a means for past, present and future service members and their families to strengthen and preserve their memories of serving our great nation. It is about more than just providing an album that looks great: we want our military community and its supporters to feel pride and secure their memories forever, laying the groundwork to inspire others to make a difference by serving.

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