Vendor Spotlight | 8 Oak Lane/Shade Critters

Blog post written by OneCoast Territory Manager/8 Oak Lane Line Leader, Kerry Whippee 

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8 Oak Lane successfully launched in January 2016. As you may have seen in Giftware publications, they are a fabulous housewares brand that are bringing Millennial’s “pins” to life. And of course, when I say “pins” I’m referring to the ever so popular, Pinterest. The Millennial girl is on Pinterest (daily) trying to capture the essence of what the latest trends are – not only from head to toe, but also what sits on her bathroom sink and what platter she uses at her dining room table. The Millennial girl is price conscious, however, still remains a savvy, trend driven fashionista!
Fred and Maureen Schmidt, husband and wife and also co-owners of 8 Oak Lane have hit it out of the park since the launch in January. Maureen’s background started in her early days at the Limited Too. She has watched the Millennial girl grow up and understands what’s important to her ~ personalization, a focus on what’s new and trending, and affordability, just to name a few. Fred has been really successful in capturing the importance of a curated collection. In January there were five distinct collections for retailers to peruse. You were really given an easy option of creating a story within your store because they had already hand selected appropriate product to go together. The work was done for you! The collections can also cross-merchandise. Girlfriend gifting paired nicely with Holiday 1.0. It all works together seamlessly which is why 8 Oak Lane has seen so much success right out of the gate.

Trends for 4th Quarter are Holiday pastels. You will see pinks, teals, and of course gold. Gold is still very strong and not going anywhere. I wouldn’t even say Gold is a color trend; it’s a staple and should be in your store!! Other trends that you’ll see in the Holiday 2.0 collection are the continuation of Girlfriend gifting with fabulous makeup pouches. They were a HOT seller in January and remain a #1 requested item! Their bar story evokes a level of sophistication that is snazzy and chic, while also remaining gift worthy for every-day use.

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I would be remiss to not highlight the darling swim and play-wear line also by Fred and Maureen Schmidt, Shade Critters. This sun-protective line of children’s wear is stylish and functional. Maureen was recently quoted describing Shade Critters by saying, “This mom is health conscious and knows the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays from the sun. She has sun protection in her makeup and knows about aging issues that go along with sun damage and has a regimen and routine. Now, it’s all about passing along that knowledge to her little ones.” Along with their fabulous line of children’s wear they have created some great accessories including dry/wet bags, terry cloth towels, bucket hats and duffel bags to fit all of the kids’ toys and necessities for a fun day at the pool, park or lake! I have to add in here that I personally outfitted my almost 11 month old son in Shade Critters. Not only is it protecting his sweet baby skin, but I’m getting a lot of compliments while at the pool. The material has a great stretch and is heavy duty enough that it will hold its shape.

Between these two lines, the Schmidt’s have created products that are being desired. Whether it’s to host a fabulous dinner party with your girlfriends, to give your boss that perfect present this Holiday Season, or to rest easy while your little one climbs the jungle gym at the park this Summer, 8 Oak Lane and Shade Critters are top notch and are excelling as Top Brands among consumers. And just you wait… this Summer Show Season there is more to come. More excitement. More fabulousness. More of what you’ll come to expect – quality, innovation and style from 8 Oak Lane and Shade Critters.

Vendor Spotlight | Mud Pie

Content provided by Mud Pie and Mud Pie Territory Managers, Leslie Dickinson/Christi Aldridge

Known for always being on trend, Mud Pie truly offers brilliant design, high style and amazingly affordable gifts.

For the savvy retailer our varied collections for Home Living, Fashion and Kids naturally lend themselves to unlimited possibilities for cross merchandising within the line to create compelling and imaginative color coordinated and occasion themed displays.

Want a sneak peek at their Fall Fashion line? Take a minute to watch this video!

Mud Pie known for all of their lines. What some people may not know is how they give back. Mud Pie is partnered with the March of Dimes. Here’s a breakdown of their partnership works. MDO

Did you know that the #1 way that Americans donate to causes is by purchasing products that support charities? Mud Pie retailers can join us in the fight against premature birth, by selling Mud Pie baby socks and soft headbands. Mud Pie donates a dime for every sock and soft headband sold to the March of Dimes. Since 2013, Mud Pie has donated over $360,000 to the March of Dimes!

Check out the other ways Mud Pie retailers can participate, below.

Host an event.

Here is how it works:

  • You can locate your local MOD chapter by clicking here.
  • When filling in the request box, tell them you are inquiring about a partnership as a distributor/retailer of the National Give Today, Give them Tomorrow partner, Mud Pie: “I’m inquiring about a local partnership opportunity here in ____________. I am a local retailer who sells Mud Pie merchandise through the Give Today, Give them Tomorrow program. I would like to become more involved locally. Please let me know how we can connect.”

Event ideas include:

  • Ask customers who shop during a specified time frame (e.g. Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, graduation, holiday) for a “check-out” donation to the March of Dimes. It’s easy, you ring the donation to a specified code and at the end of the program the store presents a check to their local March of Dimes chapter.
  • Host a shopping event in your store and donate a portion of the day’s sales to the March of Dimes in your local community.
  • Let your Mud Pie Territory Manager  know that your store is hosting an event and they will help with giveaways. Please allow 2 weeks for delivery.

The ideas are endless and the March of Dimes and Mud Pie are happy to help!

Store Donation

As a retailer, you may wish to make a monetary donation to show their support. All checks should be directed to be sent to the National Office with a letter sharing that it is in support of Mud Pie’s participation in imbornto.

March of Dimes National Office
Attention: Zoe Henriquez
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
(914) 997-4488



Have questions on Mud Pie, March of Dimes or anything else? Contact your Mud Pie Territory Manager today!