Oilily Summer 2015 Collection – Interview with Oilily Head Designer

When was the last time you were able to interview a head designer? We couldn’t think of anything either. We were super excited when Oilily’s own, Leontine Hagoort, Head Designer, gave us an inside peek at what to expect for Summer 2015!



From Leontine Hagoort:

Each collection tells its own unique story. The brand values and the strong heritage of the Oilily brand always determine the setting, but the events change per season. Print and color are two of the main pillars on which we built the narrative.

The prints will always be recognizable Oilily, but the challenge lies in creating prints and combinations that excite time and time again, while remaining faithful to the Oilily look and feel.

The Botantical Garden print, for example, has a very obvious Oilily identity. It is bright and playful, but with a definite nod to the era of Art Deco. A series of bags in which we combine the old with the new.

Shop floor appeal is vita. take for example the Dotty collection: a compact group of silhouettes that perfectly complements the Botanical Garden collection in color and shape. The solid faux leather styles bring an element of peace to your Oilily presentation.

The Tropical Peony group introduces the second story of the season: one that is a little more graphic and based on a deeper and richer colors, such as gold and navy blue. As spring transitions into summer, so do our bags.

Kids bags are obviously an undeniable element of every Oilily collection. This season, we have two amazing kids groups, both with signature Oilily “shaped” styles: two birds and two crocodiles. These items are full of tactile elements and are just as much a toy as they are a bag.

An Oilily accessory is bold, colorful and functional. I take extra care in making sure that every interior is just as gorgeous as the exterior.

Furthermore, my team of designers and I have a keen eye for the smallest detail.

I want to take this opportunity to reach out to the entire Oilily family and wish you all the success for the summer season.


authorLeontine Hagoort is a remarkable Dutch designer. Her first collection was presented in Paris in 2004. Her bags and accessories are exclusive little works of art, made with craftmanship and a great eye for detail. Each bag is designed to add some spark to your everyday life.

Information about the author found here.

Rebranding 101 | Part 1 of 3

askus2lWe received a question via Ask Us on how to reach a new demographic of customers. It is a key to any business to ensure that you are reaching your target audience. We asked OneCoast’s Vice President of Marketing, Majda Rensberger, to weigh in on the subject.

Since there is a lot of prepping, working and evaluating with something like this, we present our “Rebranding 101” series. This will be a three part series that will cover prep and evaluation, what is going on in-store and product mix and last but not least, marketing.

With any successful plan, you have to do some pre-work to evaluate your current demographic, product offering and overall store experience.

There are many ways to gather information about your current demographic and the demographics that you wish to target.

A great way to get to know all your customers (current and future!) is to invite them to VIP event, like a focus group.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start Simple: Turn this into a mother/daughter event or friends & family event in the demographic you wish to target.
  • Minimize Distractions: Plan the event after hours. This will allow to focus on the conversations instead of worrying about running the business.
  • VIP Only: Make this exclusive! Play music, serve some treats and offer a gift cards to your store in exchange for their feedback. Gifts cards are a great idea because this will bring them back to your store. Sweeten the deal by offering a “free gift” for the attendee and a friend when they come back to the store.
  • Ask Questions: Distribute a questionnaire to have your guests fill out. You can give them a quick tour of the store, ask for their feedback on feeling/perception of the store, shopping experience, products, how often have they shopped here, would they refer the store to a friend, etc. They can fill it out as they are going. Want to save some paper? Survey Monkey is a great choice and something they can do on their mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.).
  • How Did You Hear About Us: This is an important question! This will show you how effectively you reaching your target customer. BONUS: Ask them how they would want to hear from you. This will help later on when you begin marketing!

Excited for Part 2? So are we! Stay tuned and you won’t be disappointed!


Majda Rensberger is the Vice President of Marketing for OneCoast. In her 9 years with OneCoast, Majda held a leadership position in the development of the industry’s first National Sales Model (OneCoast ND One), implemented operational structures and led the development of the company’s Integrated Marketing and Sales Model.

Majda heads up the Marketing and Showroom departments where she’s responsible for marketing and branding strategies of OneCoast and their vendor partners, helping them effectively market their brands and drive B2B sales via e marketing, social media, mobile and public relations platforms. Majda is a member of the OneCoast Senior Executive team involved in the company’s strategic planning and new business development.

Majda has been a GHTA (Gift and Home Trade Association) member since 2009. During the November 2014 annual industry conference Majda was elected to serve on the Board of Directors where she’ll be involved in moving the Gift and Home industry forward.

Miniature Gardening 101

Written by Maura Lodes, Studio M

Miniature gardening has proven to be so much more than just a come-and-go trend – it took the industry by storm and now it’s here to stay. If you’ve never heard of mini gardening (or fairy gardening, as some call it), or if you’ve been hesitant to get into this category, I’m here to help you jump on the bandwagon. Below you’ll find some tips on entering the category, increasing sales, and of course, merchandising!


What is Mini Gardening, Anyway?

GG222 Play Tent_CroppedIf you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a pretty simple concept to understand. Very similar to a full-size garden, a mini garden is a little landscape designed as a space for relaxation, creativity, and self-expression. They can be planted in the ground, but many people plant their mini gardens in containers of all shapes and sizes – from old suitcases to wooden drawers, the sky’s the limit. Miniature gardens are especially great for apartment dwellers, people who don’t have an outdoor gardening space, or for someone who wants to bring a little life to their office or workspace.


Let Your Displays Do All the Talking

The first thing you should know about selling this category is that display is key. If shoppers can’t see examples of a few mini gardens, they won’t fully understand the concept. As a busy independent retailer, you can’t always be there to explain this irresistibly fun hobby to shoppers – so let your displays do the talking for you. Put together a few simple gardens and really make a statement so that your display doesn’t get missed. These items are small, so it’s important that they can stand out among other products in your store!



TIP: If you’re worried about keeping your display gardens alive, keep in mind that you don’t have to use real plants! You can create a maintenance-free garden by putting a piece of Styrofoam in your container, covering it with fake moss, working in fake plants (fake succulents are great!), and then placing structures, accessories, picks, etc. in your garden display. You can also offer these tips to shoppers who have trouble keeping plants alive to remind them that mini gardening really is for everyone!












 Round Out Your Offering

If you’re not sure about bringing mini gardening into your store, start by testing the waters. You don’t have to go deep into the category right off the bat, buy broad and get a little of everything to see what your customers like best. Make sure you have a few items of each type – structures, furniture/accessories, picks, and signs of life (animals or other creatures). If you want to set yourself up as a one-stop shop for mini gardening, you may also want to offer ground cover or landscaping materials. Bottom line, it’s important that you get enough products to really give the category a chance. Make a decently sized, creative display and see how shoppers react.



Big Benefits of Mini Gardening

I like to think of a mini garden as something that is always growing and changing. This is one of the top reasons retailers do so well with this category – the pieces become somewhat like collectibles and people always come back for more. A shopper might see an expansive miniature garden display in your store and be inspired to start their own garden, but they’ll probably just start out with a few items. Over time, they’ll come back to see what else they can add to their mini garden. Make sure you’re always stocked up on new products so your customers can keep their mini gardens growing!


gg display pot b_CroppedTIP: Don’t forget about the seasonal aspect of this category! Mini gardening creates an opportunity for gardeners to have a little something that grows all year round. By adding themed items each season – like harvest, Halloween, or Christmas – your customers will be able to change things up and add festive décor to their mini gardens.

Mini gardening is a hobby that’s fun for people of all ages and skill levels, and this growing category shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a fantastic opportunity for all types of retailers, from garden centers to gift shops and everything in between. I hope this info will help you successfully launch this category in your store! Contact your Territory Manager for more info about Gypsy Garden!





5 Social Media Ideas To Boost Your Business This Spring and Summer

Written By: Crystal Vilkaitis

Temperatures are rising and your sales should, too! It’s an exciting time to be using social media to market, but the key is knowing what works and how to get the most out of your efforts.

Here are five tips to help grow sales and exposure this spring and summer.

iphone1. Just like Oprah, create a list of your favorite things for spring and summer. Here’s a great example from the team at Shop Therapy Boutique, who featured six items on their Instagram account and added text to the graphic so it stood out to people scrolling through their feed. To create a similar graphic that has an image and/or text on top of the picture, try an app like Pixlr or WordSwag (only available on iPhone).

2. Spring cleaning is a must for our homes and stores, but take it a step further and offer “Today Only” deals on your social media outlets for products you’re ready to get rid of. The keys to making this successful and selling the items are to:

  • Include a photo and/or video
  • Include the original price and the sale price
  • Clearly state this offer is available *Today Only*
  • Use Facebook ads to promote the special deals, since Facebook has stated they won’t show posts that are “overly promotional” for free. This is content your fans will want to know about, so it’s worth promoting or boosting. Note: If you boost, make sure you only target your fans to keep conversion rates higher while spending less.

3. Speaking of Facebook Ads and special deals, consider using the Facebook Offers ad objective and giving your network a super hot spring and summer deal. Click here to watch an episode of Crystal Media TV where I share the Facebook Offer Ad I used to help a retailer generate just under $7,000 in sales and drove 35 people into the store. These ads are a great way to drive foot traffic (and web traffic, if you sell online) and are easy to track so that you know exactly how many people bought from the ad.

4. instagramContests have always been a fun and effective way to get people following you online and interacting with your social media outlets. Consider running a contest where people have to tag their friends to enter to win, which helps increase your online exposure and gets new people into the store.

For example, you can ask people to tag a friend who should receive a gift certificate to your store, or someone who needs a spring/summer makeover. Or you can create something similar to the contest graphic including clear rules that Annabelle posted. To get the ball rolling, you might need to post some of your own pictures and ask staff/family/friends to do the same thing. Then, regram on Instagram or Share on Facebook so people can see examples.

5. Finally, get your online audience involved this spring and summer. Ask them to share their favorite things to do, places to go and their favorite products they bought in your store. An easy way to motivate customers to share pictures of products they bought from you is to post signage in your store and reward this type of behavior.

For example, post in-store signage that says something like, “Each week, we pick one lucky winner to receive a $25 gift certificate just for sharing a picture of something they bought to Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us, @YourStoresUsername, and thanks for being a customer!”

Crystal VilkaitisCrystal Vilkaitis is the owner of Crystal Media; a company dedicated to helping retailers integrate proven social media, mobile and email marketing strategies into their businesses. Crystal started Social Edge, an online membership group exclusive to retailers looking to gain an edge over competition using social media, who need direct access to what’s important and relevant when it comes to marketing their store and products online. For more information and to receive free bi-weekly social media tips to your email inbox, visit crystalmedia.co or watch a sample course from Social Edge by clicking here.