Dana Bullock was frustrated by the limitations of trade shows as a means of spreading the word about her handcrafted gift line. She thought there must be a better way to get products in front of buyers — and thus Go Gift Box was born. The company is now just a year old, and its… Read More

In a splendid example of letting bygones be bygones, July has been declared to be Independent Retailer Month in England. After all, July 4th may be celebrated here as our Independence Day from the British — but 1776 was a long time ago, and today retailers on both sides of the pond face similar challenges.… Read More

The saying “as Chicago goes, so goes the nation” has its roots in politics. But only time will tell whether the changes that are happening in the trade show arena in the Windy City are signs of things to come in other regional markets. I hope not. If it seems that I am taking the… Read More

Are you drowning in e-mail? I think many of us feel that we’re barely able to keep up with our inbox (which makes me particularly grateful that you’re taking time to read this blog).  It’s tempting to spend much of the day dealing with these messages as well as looking at products online and composing… Read More

Think about your reaction to a sign or menu insert at your favorite restaurant announcing the day’s specials.  You assume these are items currently in season, or recent creations by the chef, or perhaps just good offers.  The fact that the specials are only available that day gives them an urgency they wouldn’t have if… Read More

Recognizing the designer of a product by name is a well-established tradition in Denmark, which is where we got the original inspiration for our shop many years ago. But most of the gift lines we now don’t credit the talent behind the product, with the exception of greeting cards and other paper goods. That is… Read More

Summer is coming, and vacation time means that almost every area of the country will be receiving visitors.  Whether they are nearby residents who have time to explore because of time off from work, or international travelers who have come from afar, they bring with them tourist dollars that will be especially welcome after this… Read More

As retailers we are bombarded with as many “buy me” messages every day as our customers. The one we received recently from Byers’ Choice Ltd. was so well done that I think we can all learn some important lessons from them. First of all, it was carefully targeted.  In nm addition to having our shop… Read More

It can be a challenge to find American craftspeople able to sell their goods wholesale. Locally-produced merchandise is a great addition to almost every merchandise mix, but visiting art fairs can result in dead-end conversations when wholesale pricing of the merchandise isn’t high enough to make it worth the artists while — or is too… Read More

“Get money to grow your business in minutes! Now funding ALL small businesses!” Chances are good that you’ve seen these sponsored spots of Facebook, encouraging you to apply for a loan.  I must admit that I’m impressed by what appears to be 4,000 likes and 1,400 shares for this ad.  But it got me wondering… Read More