Spring-Summer 2018 Color Trends

By Madeline Merryman, Division Sales Manager of C.R. Gibson

As Spring/Summer 2018 is quickly approaching, a new wave of color and design trends are expected to hit the market. According to industry reports and CR Gibson’s findings, you are likely to see a range of designs including animals, florals, natural elements, modern lines, intricate patterns, and textile pieces trending this summer. Aviary Garden, Earth Tones, and Tropical are three of the many color & design trends popping up in the 2018 market, and you will be sure to catch these designs and patterns in the retail industry for Spring/Summer 2018.

Aviary Garden: A bit unconventional and a tad old-fashioned. Painterly feminine florals and watercolor backgrounds are the focus, while birds nesting in the branches, ornate butterflies, and beautiful insects play a supporting role. Delicate shades of pink and peach combine with some of the most vivid hues to create this romantic look. The Aviary Garden color trend includes soft toned pinks and corals with bolder accents of pinks, turquoise, and greens. Finishes include a mixture of shiny, matte, and aged golds. Embellishments include glitter, foil, transparent/semitransparent materials, and soft feminine fabrics and touches.

 

Earth Tones: A salute to the ultimate inspiration, this look draws on the majesty of mountains, earth forms, trees, woodland characters, feathers, and leaves to inspire its design. Wood and bark in all their forms are present, as well as a host of natural fibers like canvas, jute, and natural yarns. Discover nature’s palette in the warmest browns, earthy greens, and dashes of cinnamon and lusty ochre. The Earth Tones color trend includes earthy greens, tans, and rock tones with uncoated, textured, rich, and industrial finishes. Embellishments include canvas, cording, jute, and vines.

 

Tropical: A vibrant rhythm of calypso colors tango with tropical patterns in a dance as steamy as the rainforest itself. With a nod to the pulse of the jungle, sultry splashes of neon characterize visuals of lush foliage, while vivid birds, festive fruit, and flashy florals swing and sway to a tropical beat. Tropical colors include bold prints paired with solids or tonal prints, neon bright set against black backgrounds, and metal accents. Finishes include matte/gloss combinations and texture mixing, while embellishments include glitter, sequins, foil, pom-poms, and tassels.

 

Meet Our Vendor | Grace Management Group

Meet Our Newest Vendor, Grace Management Group

Meet our newest vendor, Grace Management Group, a family-owned and operated company that specializes in fragrance creation and application and develops products for four distinct brands: Votivo, Bridgewater, Greenleaf and The WillowBrook Company. Read on to learn more about this incredible company and what makes them a leader in the gift industry.

 

Q: Tell us a little about your company, how long in business, how you got started, etc.

A: Founded in 1975, Greenleaf got its start as a greenhouse, wholesaling plants throughout the southeastern US. In an effort to offset the seasonal nature of the spring bedding plant business, husband and wife team, Bob and Sylvia Caldwell, created their first fragrance product, the original scented envelope sachet. Fast forward several decades and Grace Management Group was formed by the Caldwell family. It since has grown into one of the largest home fragrance manufacturers in the US through brands that include Greenleaf, The WillowBrook Company, Bridgewater Candle Company, and Votivo. Staying true to its roots, Grace Management Group remains family-owned and operated in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Q: What are your product offerings?  What’s unique about your products vs. other fragrance companies?

A: The product lineup vastly ranges from scented candles, sachets, diffusers and home fragrance oils to room sprays, auto vents clips, hand creams and soaps. One differentiating aspect is that Grace Management Group is one of very few companies in the United States with its own in-house perfumery team. While many candle manufacturers opt to work with outside fragrance houses to develop new products, Grace prefers to garner fragrance expertise from within.

Having an in-house fragrance lab allows our brands to monitor the quality of fragrance oils going into the products and the fragrance load. Our in-house fragrance experts also specialize in fragrance application. Each product line and brand undergoes the process of functional fragrance development, a unique specific process by which each fragrance is formulated and then adjusted to function appropriately in various types of products

Q: Where do you get your inspirations and trend direction from for new products?

A: Again, we have an amazing in-house team of talented artists, creatives, forecasters, researchers and developers that monitor the landscape from various industries and compile their findings for strategic integration, growth and new launches.

Q: What do you love most about attending the markets? 

A: At the end of the day, Grace still remains what it was at inception, a family-owned and operated company. That family-oriented spirit permeates our showroom from the warm hospitality and dancing to the sweet homemade chocolate chip cookies that we serve. We treat our customers as a part of that family, and market time is like a reunion to get everyone together. It’s our time to exchange information, learn from one another and continue to grow. It’s also a time of welcoming new members to the family through new account business.

Q: Why do customers love your products?

A: Our decades in business have proven our commitment to quality product and fragrance expertise. We have built a reputable reputation with our customers. They know our lines will set their stores up for success.

Q: What does the future holds for Votivo, Bridgewater, Greenleaf, and Willowbrook?  Maybe a small sneak peek into future product expansions, ideas, etc.

A: Season after season, we continually strive to deliver the best fragrance experiences that stay authentic to each of our brands. We pride ourselves in continuing to research new technologies, improve fragrance application, and focus on product innovation. Stay tuned as we have some revolutionary fragrance application projects in the product pipeline on track to launch soon.

 

 

 

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In-Store Event Guide to Drive Traffic

Hosting in-store events are important for independent retailers. They take planning, dedication, and hard work, but are all worth it in the end. Here is a collection of some of our favorite events that we would like to share with you. Keep this list handy and refer back to it from time-to-time. Whether you opened your doors days ago or have been in business for quite some time, these ideas will help to provide direction for your next event that will undoubtedly drive traffic and sales.

Winter/Fall

  • Holiday Open House – Let this be your big holiday introduction revel to your customers. Offer specials promotions, giveaways, and treats to create a party like atmosphere. Click here for tips from Paddington Station in Ashland, Oregon on hosting a Holiday event.
  • Tailgate or Sports Event
  • Decorating for the Holidays – Partner with a local interior designer to hold a decorating class for your customers plus provide treats and a giveaway basket.
  • Cause Marketing Event such as March of Dimes, World Autism Day, Breast Cancer Awareness or connect with your own local charity or non-profit organization. Click here for tips on hosting your own Cause Marketing event.

Spring/Summer

  • Graduation themed Event – “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” With borrowing the theme from an American favorite, Dr. Seuss, post quotes from the book around your store, hang balloons, create a space just for gifts for grads.
  • Blushing Bride Wedding Events
  • Salute to Mom – Mother’s Day Event
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Gardening and/or Miniature Gardening Event – Click here for tips on hosting your own Miniature Gardening Event from Brown Dog Gardens in Alpine, Texas
  • Cinco de Mayo May 5thServe festive treats and offer a special discount or door prize
  • Sidewalk Sale & BBQ Event
  • Spring Fashion Show – Great opportunity to showcase apparel, jewelry and accessories for a particular season.

Great non-seasonal Event Ideas

  • Wish List Event – have your female customers come in to your store before a big holiday like Mother’s Day, Birthdays, or Christmas and ask them to put together a wish list of products they would like. Then consider doing a separate event for just the men while serving beer, nuts, and popcorn and let the men shop for their spouses or significant other from their list.
  • Store Anniversary or Birthday Celebration
  • School Fundraiser Night – Designate a specific day/night when customers can come in and shop. If they mention that specific school, you’ll donate 20% of the net proceeds to the school.
  • Pamper Yourself Day – Invite a local massage therapist to come in for short neck massages. Demo a specific line of new products.
  • Wild & Wacky Wednesdays – Determine your lowest sales/traffic day and do a promotion that will encourage people to come in.
  • Ladies Night & Men’s Night
  • Meet & Greet with Treats – Host an artist, author or creator signing in your store and provide light treats during the events.
  • Jewelry Event – It’s What Girls What
  • Pampered Pet
  • Gourmet Cooking Night – partner up with a local chef to present a cooking demonstration using products from your store.
  • Baby Showers – Sell kids products? Then consider holder baby show events within your store. Invite soon-to-be Moms to come and complete a wish list. The family members and friends of the Mom-to-be could then shop from that list. Serve refreshments and provide a few atmosphere with music and giveaways.
  • Happy Indie Retailer Month – Take the entire month of July and host different specials and events each week. Need more ideas? Click here for suggestions!

Other Helpful Tips to Drive Traffic

  • Cross market with other local merchants whenever possible
  • Send thank you and birthday cards to your customers
  • Keep your social media presence active and attractive
  • Develop a Frequent Shopper Program and host VIP events. For every $100 spent, your customer would receive a free gift or special discount

Quick Checklist for Hosting an Event

  • Pick your theme, date(s) and time of your event.
  • Determine your budget for refreshments, entertainment, marketing/advertising, and additional staff.
  • Develop your marketing plans that includes any advertising, social media, giveaways, contests, and/or print marketing.
  • Decide what you would like to serve regarding food and beverages.
  • Set your expectations with your team and determine if additional staff is needed. Review your sales goals with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Take pictures and/or videos during your event and post them on your Facebook page to create buzz and excitement.
  • Analyze your event and make notes on the successes and improvements that you would like to address for your next event.