Imagine that a potential customer is wandering aimlessly during the holiday
season. This customer is tired and frustrated because hes been looking
all day for the perfect gift. It has to be something special and personal,
and hell know it when he sees it. He notices a sign in your window
advertising that you do engraving and this intrigues him. He wanders into
your shop and approaches the counter. Im looking for a gift
for my wife he says, I want it to be special and something
shell cherish for years to come.
scramble around looking for something to sell to this new customer and
finally come back with a miniature trophy and eagerly tell him that you
can engrave a plate for the base that reads Worlds Greatest Wife!
Theres a moment of silence, he looks at you with tired and sunken
eyes, his shoulders slump and he turns on one foot and shuffles out the
lets rewind and try that again. A new customer wanders into your
shop and wearily approaches the counter. Im looking for a
gift to give my wife he says, I want it to be special and
something shell cherish for years to come.
have just the right thing! you exclaim, Actually I have many
different jewelry and gift items to choose from and all of them can be
personalized. Im sure that we can find the perfect gift for your
wife, something that she will treasure for years to come. How about personalized
jewelry or a teddy bear with your childs photo printed on it? Or
maybe a rich wooden picture frame, a stylish watch or a gold pendant.
Step right this way and I can show you lots of ideas!
new customer looks at you and you notice his shoulders begin to rise,
he stands a little straighter, color returns to his face, his eyes light
up and a smile spreads across his face. Oh, the joy of satisfying a customer
and the elation of a gratifying sale!
and more people want to put meaning into the gifts they give. The days
of toasters and ties (unless the tie is sublimated with a family photo,
for example) are over. If a new customer or one of your best customers
walks into your shop this holiday season, will you be able to sell him
or her the perfect personalized gift? If your answer is no
or at best maybe then dont worry, EJ has some exciting
new ideas for this gift giving season!
on about traditional jewelry and gift items sure to please and some not-so-traditional,
creative gifts that are guaranteed to receive a lot of attention. Almost
anything can be personalized and given as a gift as you are soon
to find out!
Traditional Engraved Jewelry
are many different types of traditional engravable gifts available this
holiday season, the most popular being jewelry. Personalized jewelry for
women includes bracelets, anklets, pendants, lockets, rings, watches,
crosses and more. Engravable jewelry is made out of many different metals
like pewter, brass, titanium, sterling silver, silver plate, gold, gold
filled or gold plate.
Brassil of Signature Engraving Systems, Inc. realizes that personalization
is very important. Personalization is heart-warming and touches
peoples lives. It makes the gift last forever. Brassil says
that their line of pewter heart-shaped lockets and sterling silver charm
bracelets are steady best sellers.
Glucksman of AColor, Warwick, RI, says that traditional gold or silver
plated jewelry is consistently popular from year-to-year, but that he
is also seeing a trend develop with their new stretch bracelets. These
beaded bracelets are available in three different themes: sports, inspirational
item that is gaining popularity, Glucksman states, is their new memory
bracelet. This bracelet is similar to a charm-style bracelet but has six
miniature frames where the customers personal photographs can be
inserted. An option that is available for the memory bracelet is an engravable
disc that slides into the frame. Not only can the bracelet be personalized
with photographs but it can also feature a special engraved date or saying.
are not to be left out of the personalized jewelry market. Popular gifts
for the guys include tie bars, belt buckles, cufflinks, watches,
rings, and probably the most popular item the money clip.
E. Lepper, Inc., Attleboro, MA, offers a full line of traditional engravable
jewelry for both men and women. Bob Lepper of John E. Lepper, Inc. says
Money clips are the most popular item for men. We have over 50 different
patterns in 1" and 3/4" sizes and 99% of them are engravable.
For women, the best sellers are pewter cuff bracelets and oval or heart
shaped lockets with engravable inserts. These items have been standards
growing trend in mens jewelry is engravable military-style dog tag
necklaces. The recent rise in patriotism has most likely contributed to
the popularity of dog tags. The tags, especially when worn on a beaded
metal chain, are very masculine in appearance. Personalizing the tag with
a favorite phrase, name, special date or as a remembrance of a loved one
can make these popular identification tags a wonderful gift.
frame memory bracelets, available from AColor, Warwick, RI, are part
of the newest craze.
and cuff bracelets are best sellers for John E. Lepper, Inc., Attleboro,
Traditional Engraved Gift Items
isnt the only gift idea this holiday season. Almost anything can
be personalized, including picture frames, desk clocks, wine glasses,
tankards, key rings, business card holders, trinket boxes, pens, door
knockers and more.
of these items can be given at the holiday season but enjoyed year-round.
For example, a picture frame personalized with a name or date can be placed
on the mantle at home or displayed at the office. Personalized glasses
or tankards can be used throughout the year for special occasions or during
a special dinner. Trinket boxes, key rings and business card holders are
also very functional year-round gifts. Brassil of Signature Engraving
Systems, Inc. adds that they also offer functional items that can be personalized
such as contact lens cases, lipstick cases and travel portfolios.
silver items are new this year for TSI Gifts of Recognition, Huntsville,
AL. These items include bookmarks with a star or cross design, key tags
with a heart shape or puppy design or a money clip or coaster, both in
a horseshoe shape.
silver photo frames are also available in sizes ranging from 21/2"
x 3" to 8" x 10". TSIs Rick Rainey says that he sees
an increasing interest in laserable products. He is now offering new natural
wood picture frames that can be laser engraved.
to Diane Clancy of Gravograph-New Hermes Inc., Duluth, GA, As for
the best selling engravables, we always do well with desk sets. The mahogany
desk clock, walnut desk bar and the stainless steel or leather flask are
hot items. Even luggage tags make nice gift items.
Gifts International, Canton, MA, introduces about one hundred new gift
items every six months. Lou McNeil, President of Creative Gifts, told
us about their new items. Wood items are a big growth area. This
year we are introducing five new wooden jewelry boxes and six new wooden
clocks. These items can be laser engraved or an engraved plate can be
added to them.
also reports that Austrian crystal is popular this year and has been added
as a decorative flair to items such as picture frames and key rings. For
example, silver-plated key rings are available in round or heart shapes
with the crystal beads embedded in the metal. Both styles have an area
also reports that their most popular item is a stainless steel flask.
Flasks are available in many different sizes and finishes. Because
of their popularity, we are also offering a small stainless steel flask
key chain. Another gift item that is always popular is the 12 oz. drink
shaker. Customers requested larger sizes so 20 oz. and 24 oz. sizes are
Creative Gifts with Sublimation
do you give to the person who has everything? Sublimated gifts are the
answer! Jewelry and gift items can be personalized with more than just
a name. Personalization can also be accomplished with photographs!
Systems, Mobile, AL, offers a very wide range of sublimatable gift items.
Some are traditional such as jewelry, mugs, and photo frames whereas others
are very unique and creative. David Gross, President of Condé Systems,
says that they are constantly adding new sublimatable items to their line
personalized keepsake dolls and teddy bears for sublimation imprinting
are probably the most unique and unusual items available. These dolls
are available in many styles with either a sublimatable miniature tee-shirt
or an area on the dolls face where a photograph can be imprinted,
essentially creating a portrait doll. Each portrait doll comes
with a piece of fabric cut to size with an adhesive backing. Just sublimate
the fabric, peel the backing off to expose the adhesive, press onto the
face of the doll and heat set. Gross reports that these are excellent
sellers because the technique makes them so fast and easy to do.
creative gift idea that Gross suggests is combining the sublimatable puzzles
and the sublimatable candy tin box into one gift. For example, sublimate
a puzzle with a family photo and then sublimate the same photo onto the
candy tin box top. The candy tins and puzzles come in a variety of shapes
and sizes so the perfect combination can be achieved.
alternative Condé gift idea, and one of the newest items offered,
is the SubliCoin. Each SubliCoin is a genuine United States Silver Eagle
Dollar that is produced by the United States Mint and is made of .9993
pure silver. By sublimating a favorite photograph onto the coin, a unique
gift is created.
doesnt have to just be traditional
it can also be sublimated!
Imagine sporting earrings with photographs of your pets or wearing your
childs picture on a pendant around your neck. Johnson Plastics,
Minneapolis, MN, is one company that offers aluminum sublimatable jewelry.
Heart, round and oval shapes are available in two different sizes. Each
piece features a polished scalloped edge and can be sublimated on one
remember, not every object can be sublimated. The item must have a sublimation
receptive coating. The good news is, as the sublimation market grows,
more and more sublimatable items are being offered. Work closely with
your suppliers to assure that the new holiday items you are planning to
sublimate are sublimation receptive.
tags from Gravograph-New Hermes, Duluth, GA, make a great modern day
silver items are new this year from TSI Gifts of Recognition, Huntsville,
Personalized Holiday Gifts
the holiday season is fast approaching, it is only fitting (and profitable)
to stock holiday themed merchandise
that can be personalized of
course! Dont forget that the holiday season doesnt mean just
Christmas Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also celebrated at the same
time of the year.
is the Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights which lasts
for eight nights. Although Hanukkah is not traditionally a gift-giving
holiday, more and more people are including the exchanging of gifts into
their celebration. Kwanzaa is a newer holiday based on age-old African
celebrations. These celebrations traditionally took place near the end
of one year and the beginning of a new year. Research your area to determine
if merchandise with these themes is appropriate for your clientele.
ornaments are the most popular engravable holiday-themed gift item. Ornaments
of many different styles and materials are available in Santa shapes,
wreaths, bells, angels, stars and more. Standard shapes can also be decorated
with a Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa image or saying.
Hermes Inc. is one such supplier of engravable ornaments for the holidays.
They offer many holiday favorites such as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a rocking
horse, candy cane, church scene, Babys First Christmas
and Peace Around The World. These ornaments are brass with
inlayed enamel in bright holiday colors. They also offer gold-tone puffed
designs including a teddy bear, an angel and a bell shape as well as various
glass ornaments including a stocking, bell, a circular shape and a star
shape. Other styles include ornaments made of pewter or bronze, photo
ornaments and designs using faux jewels.
Duchin Inc., E. Providence, RI, offers an extensive line of engravable
holiday and themed ornaments. Robyn G. Smalletz, President of Gloria Duchin,
says their company characterizes their ornaments as jewelry for
your tree. The company carefully watches the trends in jewelry and
home decor in order to anticipate what will be popular for their line
of ornaments. Smalletz states, Matte gold and champagne gold continue
to be popular. Silver is currently popular in jewelry and is now popular
for ornaments too. Also, polished silver with matte tone accents and Swarovski
crystals are very trendy.
introduced is a new ornament line of fun and funky designs geared toward
the Generation X market. These silver tone ornaments are silk
screen printed and include stunning Swarovski crystals and various colors
of chiffon ribbon. Some of the new design themes include a pink crown
with the word Princess, a high heel shoe with the word Girlfriends
and a funky girl with the word Diva.
company also has new ornaments made of genuine pewter with glittered epoxy
accents. All the pewter designs are hand-crafted through a very artistic
process. The new ornaments include an electric guitar, butterfly and the
accessories have also been very popular. Smalletz states,
The great use of color accents keep the ornaments very fresh and
on trend. The new accessories include appliqués such as googly
eyes on a purple and lime green cow with a Babys 1st
theme and a yellow pompon used on a chicken ornament. Beads of peridot
or amethyst in colors such as burgundy and dark green are also being used.
Smalletz concludes, The new ornament designs continue to compliment
the traditional line, but we still see strengths in angels, Santas, snowmen
and Christmas bulb designs.
dont forget about sublimating ornaments to give as gifts! Johnson
Plastics offers sublimatable holiday ornaments. These ornaments are available
in ball, tree, bell and star shapes with a hole at the top for a hook
or ribbon. The ornaments have a gloss finish and are sublimatable on both
suggestion, given by Mike Johnson of Johnson Plastics, is to sublimate
a photo on one side of the ornament and a special message on the other.
The ornament will look attractive no matter which direction it faces while
hanging on the tree.
are many other holiday themed gifts available. McNeil of Creative Gifts
International says their holiday theme spreader sets (used to spread cheeses
and dips onto crackers, bread, etc.) have been wonderful sellers. One
of their most popular styles is a set of four spreaders depicting Santa,
a snowman, a candy cane and a toy soldier. The blades are stainless steel
and the toppers are made from pewter. New this year is a set of spreaders
with three snowmen, each in a different pose and each having inlayed Austrian
you can see, almost any item makes a great holiday gift when engraved
with a holiday saying or theme. For example, a picture frame (whether
it be silver, gold, wood, etc.) makes a great present when engraved with
Peace on Earth Christmas 2003 or a rich wooden box
engraved with the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. A silver bookmark engraved
with the name of a family member or friend and Hanukkah 2003
would surely be appreciated.
Hermes offers these stainless steel and leather flasks as their new
jewelry boxes from Creative Gifts International, Canton, MA.
Marketing All This Really Neat
so now you have all the really neat merchandise thats sure to boost
your sales this holiday season. Theres the sublimatable jewelry
and teddy bears, engravable picture frames, bright shiny lockets, money
clips and holiday theme items
the problem is, its all in boxes
in the back room and none of your customers know you even have it. Now
what? Well, if you just pull it out from the backroom it should sell,
right? Or do we need to create special holiday displays?
are the key to informing and educateing your customers about the holiday
products and services you have available. Not only does a display show
off the merchandise in an aesthetic and pleasing way, but samples of the
personalized holiday merchandise will help your customers see the potential
for personalization. Your customer may not know what sublimation or laser
engraving is but with a finished sample to look at, they can see the visual
appeal of the different processes.
Annette Tuck of Tuck Everlasting Gifts, Akron, OH, says that in her shop
she displays an engraved sample of at least one of every holiday item
she sells. If the customer cant see it, they cant envision
it. She also adds that she ends up selling a lot of the pre-engraved
well-thought-out display, or grouping of displays, can really accent a
new product or draw some much needed attention to your holiday products.
Keep displays interesting and exciting without creating a cluttered and
chaotic mess. This can be accomplished by setting aside one or more areas
for your holiday display.
example, if you would like to highlight your new line of silver giftware
items with a special holiday display, use a clean piece of fabric (velvet
works very well) that is free of marks, lint or stains. A deep color such
as a forest green or deep red will provide a nice contrast of colors with
the silver items and will make a great holiday display.
a few small sturdy boxes or risers on the shelf or countertop at varying
heights and drape the fabric over them. Place the new silver items on
top and around the boxes, making sure that the merchandise is clean and
void of fingerprints. Then add a well devised, professional looking sign
to draw some attention to the display.
from Condé Systems is a genuine United States Silver Dollar
with one sublimation-receptive side.
ornaments with Swarovski cystals from Gloria Duchin Inc., E. Providence,
well designed display is great but can your customer see it? Lighting
is important when it comes to displays. If your exquisite holiday display
is tucked away in a dark corner or in an area of your shop that doesnt
receive much light, then it isnt doing its job. Shine a little light
on the display and you will be amazed at the difference it creates! Track
lighting is a wonderful way to spotlight your displays. Many different
styles of track lights are available at your local home improvement store.
Front Windows & Entry Ways
windows or an enticing entrance can grab a potential customers attention
and draw him or her into the store. Tuck says that she is fortunate to
have a store front and utilizes the front window to its fullest potential
by constantly decorating and rotating the display area. She states that
bright holiday displays really draw the customers in.
Everlasting Gifts staff members are encouraged to wear samples of the
holiday pieces of jewelry while working. Tuck states that customers will
undoubtedly ask about the jewelry and then the pieces can be brought out
and shown to the customer.
Other Holiday Display Ideas
Annette Tucks shop also offers embroidery. During the holiday season
Tuck will monogram Christmas stockings to hang next to a tree decorated
with engraved ornaments. She suggests engraved ornaments for the people
that may be overlooked at the holiday season such as a teacher or the
babysitter. These pre-engraved ornaments are great impulse items because
they remind people that they need to purchase a gift for that person.
also wraps gifts to display under the tree and uses engraved ornaments
as gifts tags. Ornaments as gifts tags are great sellers all year-round,
exclaims Tuck. She also offers gift themed suggestions such as a baby
shoe for showers, bells and doves for weddings, trains for a boys
birthday and crosses for communions and other religious celebrations.
and Santa ornaments are always popular sellers during the holidays.
Photo courtesy of Gloria Duchin, Inc.
receptive ornaments from Johnson Plastics, Minneapolis, MN, can be
decorated on both sides.
stuffers can be a valuable marketing tool. A holiday coupon, promotion
or just a simple thank you can easily be designed on your computer and
printed out. You can make the bag stuffer any size from a quarter, to
a half or full-page size. Be sure to include your company contact information
and possibly hours, and let them know you have many holiday gift giving
ideas Print a quantity that would be suitable for your business and place
one in each bag ahead of time. When your customer makes a purchase, the
bag stuffer is already in their bag and they will think of you at holiday
your customer list includes an e-mail address, why not tell your regular
customers all about the new, exciting holiday items you have to choose
from this year. Imbed a photo of one of your newest items in the e-mail
so they can see what you have to offer. Or if your website contains photos
of holiday items, include a link to your website.
large sign or banner out in front of your shop can also draw the attention
of potential customers passing by. Signs can announce Holiday Gift
Items Now Available! or promote a special holiday sale. They can
also draw more attention to the services your business offers such as
Personalized Holiday Gifts While You Wait.
shares that word-of-mouth has been her best promoter. Her philosophy of
customer service is simple: I will work with you to make sure you
get the everlasting gift. Referrals have been phenomenal and she
now has customers spanning from Maine to Florida and elsewhere.
customer service and a friendly attitude are probably the most valuable
sales tools. They dont cost a thing but can generate multitudes
of sales. People like to feel confident about where they spend their money
and will often ask friends and family for advice on where to go to make
about the last time you had a bad experience at a restaurant or store.
You probably told a number of people about your bad experience and advised
them not to frequent that certain establishment.
what about the last time you had a really good experience, one where the
salesperson went out of his or her way to make sure that you were happy
with your purchase and with your experience in their store. You probably
told a lot of people about your experience and have most likely recommended
that business to others.
can be very powerful, so make sure that the buzz about your
business is as positive as it can be.
The Holidays Are Fast Approaching!
you ordered new merchandise, it is neatly displayed,
your store is well lit, a new sign is hanging out front telling passersby
of your new holiday merchandise and you have sent out holiday promotions
to all your customers. You are ready for the holiday rush!
course we have only touched on a fraction of the jewelry and gift items
that are available this holiday season. With a little engraving and sublimation
imagination and a touch of marketing creativity (not to mention quality
samples on display) anything can become a holiday hit! You can find more
information about jewelry and gift items and suppliers by using the R&I
Directory on-line at www.engraversjournal.com.
oh! Here comes that new rush of customers. Its a good thing that
you are prepared to sell them the perfect personalized gift this holiday