January 6, 2015 • Sarah Schwartz
New Year, New Beginnings
In our last issue, you probably noticed a letter from Stationery Trends’ Publisher Kimberly Baker on some exciting changes that have recently occurred at our parent company Great American Media Services — namely, the acquisition of Gift Shop magazine. That was huge news, not only for the company, but for the gift industry too, because when a major publication changes hands, it’s only natural that its voice will somewhat change too.
To that end, I’m so happy to share with all of you all that Gift Shop’s voice will now have mine chiming in. The magazine’s Spring Issue will mark my formal inclusion on Gift Shop’s masthead as its Trends Editor, but I have already begun working with its team, led by the amazing Julie McCallum.
What does all this boil down to for Stationery Trends’ readership? For the designers and companies whose beautiful work fills these pages, there will be a new synergy amongst Stationery Trends and Gift Shop. Every submission I receive for Stationery Trends’ pages will now be considered for those I generate in Gift Shop — and also the reverse. My hope is that any reader of this publication will now get acquainted with even more new vendors than usual!
And for our retail readers who sell stationery online, at a brick-and-mortar, or both, I find this arrangement to be particularly compelling since it mirrors a trend I’ve seen over the past several years, namely, that the best stationers have had no choice but to diversify their merchandise mix. No longer is it enough to just offer top-notch cards and invitations — savvy shopkeepers realize they’ve got to broaden their scope and accent those familiar categories with comparable gift product. By doing so, they actually have more fodder to tell a great story and make all their offerings, regardless of category, really shine.
Underlying this important shift is the idea that devoted shoppers return over and over to the favorite stores not just based on any one item or category they carry, but rather on the perspective the venue and its brand represents. I truly want to help every store articulate its vision, attract new customers and keep their existing clientele entertained by sharing the most interesting product I find in my inbox. Likewise, I love stumbling across that little obscure line, and then by sharing it, helping it partner with those retailers that will allow it to blossom and thrive.
You’ve got to love a win-win situation, and my hunch is that this is one of them. If you have any suggestions for me as I begin my new role, please don’t hesitate to reach out. So enjoy this glorious issue — and I hope to see you in the pages of Gift Shop as well!
Until next issue,
— By Sarah Schwartz, editor