Meet Chris Wingert, Collegiate Territory Manager

Meet Chris Wingert, Collegiate Territory Manager for the Mid-Atlantic out of Hanover, PA. Let’s get to know a little more about Chris!
1 Wingert 2015
Q: How long have you been with OneCoast?

CW: I started January 1, 2012.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job?

CW: I love working with my customers and developing new programs that make sense for their stores. And whether I spot a fan on tv wearing a hat or t-shirt that I sold or seeing a car decal from one of my schools, I love seeing consumers connect with the products that OneCoast Collegiate team sells.

Q: You’re on the road driving to your next appointment. What tunes are you listening to?

Chris_golfCW: I love my satellite radio so I’m all over the place! 70s, 80s, but my 14 year old son keeps me pretty current too. I’m also a news junkie. I mix it up quite a bit. You’d be surprised! Get your groove on with the Kool & The Gang station on Pandora! Trust me!

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

CW: Analyze sales reports, of course! 🙂 Too much yard work! After that, If I golf or fish twice a month I feel lucky.

Q: Finally, fill in the blank: be ___ today! Be GREAT today! Or at least fake it until you make it! I also try to be THANKFUL every day!

Vendor Spotlight | About Face Designs

Written by Diane Faretta, OneCoast Territory Manager / About Face Designs Line Leader

ABetsys Hlmk-Macon GA1bout Face Designs has become a benchmark for heartwarming gift ware combining originality, creativity, high quality and exceptional value—and what I’d like to focus on here is the ORIGINALITY AND CREATIVITY part…because it’s a BIG part of who they are!!!

Katie Staudt and Alison James have been the pinnacle designers for About Face Designs for the past 5 years and have been instrumental in creating some of the most successful collections, such as ‘Sunnyside Up’, ‘Wanderlust’ and the most recent, ‘Hello World’ — to highlight some of the latest & greatest!!

While About Face Designs is known as one of the leaders in sentiment gifts, a key component of their success has been the design elements created by Alison and Katie.  In many cases, as we all know, so much often goes on ‘ behind the scenes’ — and such is the case here. These 2 talented ladies are the ‘quiet powerhouse’ behind so many of the product creations!!  Most of us don’t have the opportunity to interact with them often, so I wanted to help you get to know them a little bit better and understand more of where they pull their inspiration, as well as learn a little more about some future product direction 🙂

Ivy LaneIn current times, there is a huge resurgence of DIY, vintage and handmade art & product–and these trends are reflected in their designs.  Much of their inspiration also comes from Boho chic and hipster art & fashion, co-mingling natural and urban environments, social media, as well as other illustrators.  Vintage has truly become an ‘IT’ thing…anything from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and yes even the 90’s!! On top of the artwork, it’s the quick wit touches that are incorporated into each and every item that have contributed to the success of each of these collections.  Also, combining vintage and traditional products with new ideas and materials in a way that seems ironic—plus, adding a dry sense of humor whenever possible – have added to the success of many of the best sellers!

With the newest collection, Hello World, the goal was to develop a line that was fun, easy-going, light-hearted and sometimes a little edgy. Their target market goal was to appeal to a fairly large demographic – late teens to early 40’s.  They nailed it by using design techniques, typography and materials…raw and natural materials (such as cotton, rope, wood dowels); all -natural metals inspired the use of metallic gold printing and the lettering was hand- drawn and original – with imperfections purposely kept to show that it was handmade.  The end- result was a collection with a clean and simple aesthetic, as well as fun and edgy!!

Lucibelles - AFD display Vicki SheadNow…here’s a glimpse into the near future!!   About Face Designs is constantly reviewing trends and listening to comments from the field… And in an effort to stay at the top of their game and continue to be an industry leader in sentiment gifts, the product direction will be shifting slightly to incorporate lifestyle, functionality and simplicity.  There will be an expansion in the use of raw and natural materials, as well as developing products that lend themselves to a simpler & minimalist aesthetic. They will continue to keep their focus on the target demographic and their propensity to buy things that have a purpose.  There seems to be less interest in collecting and more interest in buying things for a reason…and, functionality is a good reason!

Keeping products functional, while still incorporating art and wit to keep them seem unique & special is the key to for customers to select highly desirable gifts for themselves, a friend or loved one! 🙂

C.R. Gibson Summer Show Recap

Show season is the busiest time of the year for our sales team.  With all of the preparation work and excitement that builds up prior to the shows, the shows seem to fly by and end before we know it.  With C.R. Gibson product being presented at various locations across the United States as well as Canada, our team is fortunate enough to interact with a variety of different retailers from various locations. We take advantage of the feedback they give us not only regarding our product, but the gift industry in general, from design trends to exciting new product and everything in between.  So, while the chaos, glamour and excitement of show season can never truly be summed up on paper, we have done our best to provide key points we took away from the past few months of summer shows.

 

  • 10561534_10153390161093879_5588336169221489363_nBaby fever! The excitement generating around baby product we witnessed at the show is definitely worth noting. Baby & Kids gifts as a category is booming. Past studies suggest that while parents are choosing to have kids later, they have larger income to spend on them. Whatever the reason, people cannot seem to resist all the adorable products those have to offer.  C.R. Gibson has specialized in baby product for over 144 years, and for the first time we have seen boy outsell girl in the baby gift arena.  Not only are we noticing this trend, but this is being seen in larger key retailers as well as smaller retailers. With the launch of our brand new soft goods line, Baby Dumpling, we look forward to continue watching baby & gift trends and expanding our presence in this market.

 

  • Go for the Gold. Metallic and gold accents continue to shine (literally) throughout design trends. Whether it be minimal pops of gold seen on various paper products or gold pieces in home décor, this look is still going strong.

 

  • 11692700_10153426282608879_1624052486859078585_nGlass half full. Retailers remain optimistic about the 4th With the holiday season coming up, there was definitely an excitement and buzz throughout the show for retailers to see what product they could add to their store collection that would stand out among existing product.

 

  • Keep it natural. Natural color schemes with red and metallic accents dominated the holiday product scene.

 

  • Creating Connections. Retailers are still seeking that pick me up gift right around the $10-$20 price point. Gifts with sentiment remain popular due to their creativity and ability to create connections.

 

With summer show season wrapping up, January shows will be here before we know it and once again we will be excited to see what is evolving in the gift industry. While trends seem to constantly be changing, one thing always remains the same every show season, bring comfortable shoes!


This article was written by C.R. Gibson for the OneCoast Blog.