I know it’s a new year when all the catalogs from existing and potentially new vendors start to roll in.
It gives me the shivers- to see new ideas, patterns, color combinations.
But it can be a real challenge to walk the fine line between what I personally like and what I think my clients –both existing clients and potential new clients- will like.
I am very proud and excited about the resources at Lisa’s Gift Wrappers. Many of the sources are not found anywhere in Metro Detroit, Michigan or even the Midwest. Papers from Madison Park, Wooster and Prince, Snow and Graham, OCD, and Waste Not (retail name Paper Source) are my primary single sheet vendors. Some of my favorite roll papers come from DesignDesign, a manufacturer in Michigan. But I also travel outside of this circle to bring items to our customers that mirror what is new and forward thinking.
Our papers get the once over by me and my Wrap Artists (they know and interact with our customers) and me. I’ve learned to trust my design esthetics and color palette in selecting what we eventually select to sell.
Here’s the fine line I have to walk – what is available as “commercial” can vary from “yikes, what were they thinking” to “Wow- how fabulous”. We certainly know what absolutely doesn’t work- for instance yellow wrapping paper. In the 15 years that I have been buying, the only yellow paper we have ever marginally done well with is a current baby themed paper with yellow ducks. After that- na-da. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t sell.
I happen to like the color yellow- in fact it is considered one of the trend colors for 2009 in fashion, interiors and other color places. But, it hasn’t been popular since the 1970’s- so what gives?
My job is to resist being a slave to trends, but rather examine them from all angles and see what influences are appropriate and what we should do ourselves.