World Stationery Day with C.R. Gibson

World Stationery Day by Ruthie Bird, Sales Coordinator, Specialty Division with C.R. Gibson

collection 2World Stationery Day, a day to celebrate the hand-written note and all things stationery, is definitely a celebration I can get behind. In an increasingly digital world, communication has become as convenient as ever. Millennials like me, those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, are at the forefront of this digital movement. Making up over 1/3 of the U.S. population, we are the largest generation in the U.S. and the most tech-savvy. Coined as “generation tech”, we are experts in all forms of digital communication. With such a large portion of the population more apt to pick up their phone rather than a pen, this may have some wondering if the hand written letter is a slowly fading tradition that will fall into the nostalgic realm of “the good old days”.

collectionAs a millennial, I may not know much about the good old days, but I do know that a hand-written note is as important and special as ever, especially in a digital world. With everyone so accustomed to a quick text or email, a message that has been written by hand is a thoughtful gesture sure to be remembered. Whether it’s a card from my grandma filled with stickers and glitter, or a note from my best friend loaded with inappropriate humor, it will always be remembered and cherished more than a text or email. So let’s raise our glasses (or pens rather) to World Stationery Day, and celebrate all of the beautiful products that make the written word possible (and gives us an excuse to buy adorable stationery).

To celebrate, I will be sending a few of my close friends a fun card to remind them how much I appreciate them. The Made In America collection by C.R. Gibson includes notecards with fun sayings and regional phrases. I love their vintage letterpress look which is trending throughout the stationery and design world.

I’m from the South, so of course a Southern shout out will make my favorite list:

You can find a collection of stationery from C.R. Gibson here!

Made in America collection coming May 2015!


RuthieMy name is Ruthie and I am the sales coordinator for the Specialty Division with C.R. Gibson.  As the sales coordinator, I work closely with OneCoast’s ND1 division to provide any and all kinds of C.R. Gibson sales support.  A typical day at work looks different every day; there is never a dull moment! I love the people I work with and the creative aspects that working within the gift industry brings.  In my spare time, I love being outdoors.  Camping, hiking, biking, you name it! Music is another love of mine, living in Nashville the “Music City” there are always great concerts and music festivals year round!

Vendor Spotlight | Oilily

By Karen Weil-Osman, OneCoast Territory Manger/Oilily Line Leader

The story and photos below are from one of my accounts, Barn White in McAllen, Texas.

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Leslie’s Personal Oilily Bag

Leslie, the store owner, has invested in Oilily because of one bag that she purchased with the bright colored daisies on it.

She has a personal attachment to the brand and the bags. Leslie purchased her first Oilily bag 10 years ago while traveling throughout Europe. The quality of her Oilily bag has not only lasted, it has was held a special place in her heart as one of her favorite accessory pieces.

As we all know, we make impressions on people we meet everyday. Who would have ever of thought, that one bag, 10 years later, would lead to a store owner picking up the very line? This has meant so much to her and having it become apart of her business’s success make it all worth it today.

It has given new meaning to Oilily coming to the United States! Getting to know Oilily and its fashion has opened great opportunity for several new stores in the and we are just getting started!

Leslie’s story is just one of many businesses that carry Oilily.

2Correct product placement and merchandising is key when selling a fashion line. It is important to merchandise Oilily with the design statement of your store and embrace the uniqueness of the collections. A large bag displayed with wallets and umbrella will create a unique display. Let this statement move into another colorway and include another collection. For example, two different colorways from Botanical Garden collection will tie nicely with the Dotty collection. Since there is a large bag and wallet with matching umbrella, finish it off with a small shoulder bag to create that fashion minded customers look. Complete the look! These all look great together and you have just merchandised a beautiful suggestive selling display.

Make sure to highlight your best sellers! Put them front and center. I get stopped when I am wearing my Tropical Peony bag. What works here, in Texas, might be different than something that works in Florida! S3tay on top of trends and see what your customers walk in wearing!

I love this line because it brings unique quality to their line. From the zippers, lining, to finding logo, the brand thrives and sets standards. Oilily embraces fashion in many ways. Customers who have purchased a piece while traveling abroad become emotional while sharing their story.

My favorite product throughout the line is the Office Collections. It matters not which pattern or color is your favorite, create a statement in your store with several different colorways.

This line will truly be a hit for every fashion minded business woman out in world today!

Want to add Oilily to your fashion line up? Contact your Territory Manger now!


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Check out our Oilily Pinterest boards for more display tips and ideas!

Top Wedding Trends for 2015

With so many great bridal magazines, websites and blogs out there, we narrowed down our top wedding trends for 2015 and compile it here for your all in one place.  As we enter the peak months for weddings, now is the perfect time to talk weddings. Be sure and grab your brides attentions by offering top trending products in your store, perfect for all their gift giving needs.

The British are Coming

With the wide spread success of the TV show “Downton Abbey”, the British is definitely having an influence on the American wedding with hints of lace, afternoon tea and Victorian décor.

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The Burlap Trend Continues

This hot trend is its way into the bridal industry with rustic trims on reception and shower décor to bridal gift giving.

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Farm Stand Freshness

The farm-to-table trends are making their way into the bridal industry with rustic, home-grown feeling of mason jars to accents of burlap and tin.

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Going Copper

For more glamorous weddings, copper is trending to be a good alternate vs. gold or silver.

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Sparkling Wedding Ideas to Ring in Sales

Meet Jeff & Lisa Landry, owners of I Do Boutique in Cypress, Texas. The couple specializes in weddings, special occasions and event planning. They take great care in working with their customers on personalizing many of their products to make their events unique and special. Today, they share with us a few display ideas featuring wedding and bridal products.

First off, they feature the Mud Pie Personalized Mason jars.  These are great items to have as a gift for a show or for the entire bridal party.

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Next, they feature a decorated display highlighting great reception tabletop ideas.

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Here are a few other display ideas featuring bridal gifts.

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And more into the personalization, I Do Boutique sell the Mud Pie Burlap totes and offer to do the embroidery for the customers.  Here are perfect gifts for bridemaids.

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More ideas to share…

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New Vendor | Meet Crystal Media

Crystal Vilkaitis launched Crystal Media in August of 2012 after working for SnapRetail for several years. After meeting with retailers across the country giving seminars on social media, she found that many of them needed additional assistance with their social media marketing. Crystal Media works exclusively with independent retailers who need help marketing their stores on ever-changing social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Read on to learn more about Crystal and her passion behind her company.Crystal-Vilkaitis-1

Curious to what Crystal does to help out indie retailers and how her company got started? So were we! We had a chance to have a little Q&A with her!

Q: Tell us a little bit about Crystal Media. How did you get started?

CM: Crystal Media works exclusively with independent retailers who need help marketing their stores on ever-changing social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

I started Crystal Media in August of 2012 after working with SnapRetail for several years. Part of my job there was to travel to wholesale markets and teach retailers across the country how to use social media. But they needed a lot of help, more than I could provide in an hour seminar at market.

After meeting so many retailers who felt lost when it came to marketing and finding how much I love to teach and help them succeed, I launched Crystal Media and Social Edge two months later. Social Edge is a membership website where retailers can access on-demand social media training courses, at any time, from anywhere.

Q: How has 2015 been going so far?

CM: So far, 2015 has been an awesome year. In October of 2014, we started managing social media for retailers, because they are often too busy to really leverage these online tools. Plus, they don’t always know what works and they don’t want to learn it, but they know it’s important to their store.

In 2015, we’ve seen great successes for our management clients, grown Social Edge by more than 20% and I personally have spoke at more conferences and markets in 2015 than I did in all of 2014. I was the keynote speaker at a conference for jewelers in New Zealand in March. Talk about an incredible opportunity and experience!

Q: What do you love most about your products and services that you offer?

CM: I LOVE teaching and helping the retailer. Too often I hear, “This is a stupid question, but…,” and to me, there are no stupid questions, especially when it comes to social media marketing. These sites change daily and there are so many hidden tools and tricks that people don’t naturally know about, or can easily find. I love helping a retailer navigate these waters and receiving an email from them afterwards filled with enthusiasm, telling me about their success. To see independent retailers grow their business using social media, to help the heart beat of America, that to me is so incredibly rewarding.

Q: What do your customers love most about YOU and your business?

CM: I’ve heard from several retailers that I have a way of teaching social media that makes it very understandable and less intimidating. I also work hard at providing examples and content that relates to retailers, giving examples of how to market an in-store event, use an email to amplify a sale, how to run a Facebook Ad campaign to target people who love a certain product line they carry in store, etc. What retailers love about Crystal Media and Social Edge is the content, and for our management clients, we’ve heard from many of them that we become their voice, quickly. We work hard at representing our clients online in an authentic tone, targeting their perfect clients. I’ve also had retailers tell me, “You help me sleep at night!” because they don’t have to worry about their social media. We take care of it. If I can help a retailer get a couple more hours of sleep, then that counts for something. I know how busy retailers are J.

Q: What’s on the horizon for Crystal Media or something new you can tease us with?

CM: After seeing such great success with our management clients, we’re opening more spots for retailers to become a client, and growing our team. We’re also releasing a new service offering soon where we manage all of your online local listings and help you get found in Google, Yahoo and Bing search results from a desktop computer AND mobile device. Finally, in May Social Edge is becoming it’s own website. Currently it lives on CrystalMedia.co, but we’re moving it because it’s grown into such a valuable resources that it requires it’s own brand and website. Exciting things are happening, and I’m so thankful for my team, our partners and of course, the incredible retailers I get to work with each day.

Q: What are the benefits to becoming a member of Social Edge?

CM:

  • Access to social media training courses in one location so you don’t have to spend time researching or going to several sites to try to find answers
  • Training content that is made for retailers, which provides case studies and success examples that Social Edge members can replicate for themselves.
  • Support! You can’t call Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook but you can contact me and finally get your questions answered. I can’t tell you how many times a Social Edge member has said, “You have no idea how long I’ve been trying to figure this out! Thank you so much for the help.” Social Edge members have access to a monthly, live Q&A session where they can read other retailers’ questions, and get answers to their own.
  • Updates on social media changes so you’re current, following best practices and abiding by rules and terms.
  • Access to a community of other like-minded retailers. We have a private Facebook group where members can share successes, challenges, new tools or websites they find, and of course they can ask questions.

Q: What ONE Idea would you like to share with other retailers?

CM: Just one?! It’s hard to pick just one but something I say often is the store owner, in my opinion, should not be the person updating their social media each day. I know how incredibly busy owners are and their time is valuable.

I recommend delegating the posting, picture taking, image and video creation, etc., to someone on staff, and the owner should oversee what they’re doing each month by asking for tracking reports, successes, challenges and focuses for the next month. The owner should tell this person what their goals are for social media marketing to help this person work towards something, be able to measure success, stay motivated and be held accountable.

Owners often want to do everything themselves but that’s not realistic if you want to be as successful as possible. They can still be involved and even post occasionally, but shouldn’t be the one managing all platforms, setting up Facebook ads, optimizing, posting and responding.


 

Screen-Shot-2014-11-23-at-9.27.20-AMCrystal 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.