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Archive | January 27, 2009

K&Co Goodies

The mothership was calling me…I had to go check out K & Co! And I wasn’t disappointed. Lots of fabulous feminine florals!

kandco-paper-web

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Prima Clear & Small

Prima has both things that are everywhere – clear stamps and small packages. Oh, and of course OWLS. Tons of tummy yummy (@#$%^ iPhone autocorrect!) in this booth. Been hearing lots of buzz about it.

prima-iphone-photo

Later: Here’s a better (not taken with an iPhone in a convention center that is as dark as a cave) photo that shows close-up views of some of the small stamps. Note the owl motif that seems to be everywhere right now.

prima-stamps-web

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CHA-Winter 2009 Business Trends

Earlier today, many of you may have caught my Twitter message about how there aren’t any big trends this year. That, in one way, is true – there doesn’t seem to be any dominant style trends like we are used to seeing (like particular colors, etc). The only style trend that I could really point to so far is the use of the 70′s retro owl logo designs, a clear carry-over from home decor and other areas.

But there are definitely trends in areas besides design styles. Call them market trends, if you will – many of them are shaped by the economy.

Smaller Order Minimums: Many of the manufacturers have lowered their minimum order for retailers to extremely low amounts so that they don’t get shut out of the budgets of stores that only have limited amounts to spend.

Smaller Packages:
This trend is appearing on both the wholesale and retail sides. Package sizes are containing fewer items so that the price point is lower for that item. At wholesale, this may mean a retailer only has to purchase 3 of an item instead of 6, meaning they can bring in a full line of sku’s for a lower overall investment and then reorder if it does well. For retail consumers, it means that they will be able to buy items such as stamps without having to commit to a price that is a large percentage of their shopping budget. (For example, these Maya Road stamps that come in small sets – and notice the owl!)

maya-road-small-stamps

Wedding Bells: So far I haven’t seen a lot of themed lines (except from the companies that have continually specialized in that type of product), but one thing that I am seeing a lot more of than usual I think is wedding themes. This may be an attempt by some manufacturers to capitalize on the DIY wedding concept that is growing in popularity as the economy has softened. Interestingly, most of the wedding collections I’ve seen so far have been similar in color – using black and creme (not white) as their basis. (This Making Memories wedding display is a good example, although it does incorporate some white as well.)

mm-wedding-collection-2

Restraint: The whole tone of this show seems to be restraint in general – smaller booth staffs in a lot of places, toned down (and thus less expensive) displays, smaller lines from a lot of companies, fewer attendees, a smaller show floor, tried-and-true product ideas (nothing experimental and thus risky).

Editor’s Note: In the interest of being able to collect as much information as possible to bring to my readers, I have opted to not post much in the way of updates when the show floor is open since it is so time-consuming to do so and the show floor is so huge. Instead, I am collecting as much information as possible during the limited time I have on the show floor and am bringing it to you in the evenings and after the show. However, I will be twittering my way through the show today, so watch my twitter stream for micro updates!

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CHA Winter 2009 New Exhibitor Section: Scrapbook Exhibitors

I took a quick spin through the New Exhibitor section Sunday after Paris Hilton’s appearance and that was all it took to see the scrapbook-related new exhibitors.

It is a definite reflection on the state of the scrapbook industry that I don’t believe that any of the few exhibitors that I saw are completely brand new companies. Instead, they are companies that have been around for at least a little awhile and realize they need to exhibit at CHA to take their company to the next level in the business. In the not-too-distant past, the new exhibitor section at CHA shows was crammed with newly born scrapbook companies vying for the their piece of the exploding market. It used to be you could spend a whole day in the section and not really see all of the scrapbook-related companies. I did it in 2 hours yesterday, with lengthy visits to each booth.

So who was there?

Bella Blvd:

bella-blvd-display-webBella Blvd. has been around for awhile but this is their first show. They are showing four collections that all coordinate together to mix-n-match. The collections are somewhat themed, but not all of the elements within each collection are themed, making them fairly versatile. They indicated their travel collection was being extremely well received, which surprised me because of the economy, but the versatility of many of its components to be used for other subjects may be working for it.

bella-travel-collection-web

Ribbon Ring:

This idea’s genius is in its simplicity! These tabs are designed to hold your ribbon on a ring so that it is easy to see, sample and use, and so it doesn’t wrinkle or need ironing. Below is a photo of the new 2″ wide version:

ribbon-ring-closeup

Here is what it looks like holding 180 pieces of ribbon:

ribbon-ring

Jillibean Soup:

Kraft cardstock fans may be interested in this one…it’s collections of patterned paper that are largely based on kraft-colored backgrounds. The company is also offering alphabet stickers and a few embellishments like ribbon.

jillibean-soup

Imagine That!

This company was showing collections from two signature designers, Dena, and Brenda Pinnick (whose work many may recognize from QVC). Brenda’s blue, purple and green “Iris” collection was a special favorite of mine in the booth. [Note from Brenda's comment below that it will also be available as fabric soon!]

imagine-that-brenda-pinnick-web

Edited to add: Commenter Beth is correct that I somehow missed one new company that was in the New Exhibitor section during my flying visit to it. I found out about them later when I met someone that was there working for them. It is still striking, however, that I could only find one brand new company when not too long ago there would have been at least 5-10 at the Winter show.

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