Gift ware


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
May 27, 2003
Watertown, SD
I am moving my shop into a building about 4 times as big as the one I am in now. I will also be in an area that has considerably more walk in traffic. I am looking for lines of better giftware to add to my frames and prints. I will also have some artist original artwork in store. Please e-mail me with any vendors you have that may be working well for you.
My community is not in a wealthy part of the country, so I can't move extremely expensive gifts but would like them to be upscale from the typical stuff found at Coach House, and the discounters. thanks for any help. Sharon
Hi Sharon,
Enesco sells a beautiful line of artistic porecelain figurines by artist Kim Lawrence. Most items retail for $25.00 to $100.00. Her line "Circle of Love" is great for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Christmas gifts. None of the local Hallmark stores here carried the line, but you might want to check with a local Enesco rep for your area to see what the competition might be.
I closed my shop last month, and the only items I sold out of without discounting prior to closing were these. They practically sold themselves.
All the best,
Pat Weekley
Hi Sharon-I would only add lines that have a good sell through with decent margins that you have some passion for.

The other factor I might look for is the "crossover" potential. Things that come to mind are things that might also be framed-to more accurately compliment your core.

Some people have done well with gift lines, but I would suspect that many more don't. Consider that same dollar of inventory investment being applied to a higher turnover line vs any potential new line.

Then look for the passion. No passion-no sales
Hi Sharon.

Have you considered going to some local (or, better still, not-so-local) QUALITY craft shows?

You may be able to find some very interesting, hand-crafted gift items, within your target price market, which are not readily available at your competition.
Thanks for the advice. I am right next to a gift store that sells Department 56, Enesco etc. I am looking at some lines of accessories. We have a real need in this town for decent clocks, accent lamps and small tables. It is always a challenge to add more merchandise. I will increase my lines of ready made frames and plate and flag frames also. I am excited and although the space looks huge now, I will probably find it will be full in a few months. Bob your suggestion of cross over merchandise is well taken. Thanks again.

If you are looking for clocks look into a company called Timeworks out of California, good product. You should go to a gift show. Kansas City is March 18-22 and there is one in Minneapolis is March 5-9.

The best thing to do is go to one or both shows and see what will work for you. Look for artists that are popular in your market, many artists now liscense their images and they are on everything.

Remember getting into giftware does take some time and you will make some mistakes but once you know what you are doing and people know that you have giftware, there is money to be made.

Look into the Willow Tree line by Demdaco, sold over 1000 pieces during the 4th quarter of 2003.
Sharon, I found myself in your exact situation almost 8 years ago. It took only a year to fill up the extra space! First of all, you should subscribe to a few trade mags like Giftware News or NICHE. I have lots of lines that you would probably do well with. Infinity Instruments out of California has great clocks and some jewelry boxes as well. SPI is good for brass accents. I could go on and on, but I'm not at work right now and I've had a bit of family drama today, so my brain is not fully engaged. Email me on Tuesday if you would like more info. I'd be happy to give you phone numbers to all of the above, and then some.