Trade Show News

July 9, 2020 •
Changing how we connect: Atlanta Market makers weigh in

{Sponsored} In the current climate, business is evolving. We’re watching our favorite vendors embrace the challenges and rise above them. Many buyers are connecting with vendors online via the Atlanta Market Exhibitor Directory. Additionally, hundreds of brands are signing up for ShopZio, IMC_di’s current ecommerce platform.

Besides utilizing the tools that Atlanta Market offers to connect those who’d normally connect during market, several makers are also changing the game for the stationery and gift industries — setting an example of how unique products and ideas can reach consumers’ hands.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IN AN ONLINE-CENTRIC WORLD

As we shift temporarily from thinking about how to engage customers in person to how to gain and retain digital-only sales, we flip the retail paradigm on its head.

Three makers are making waves and setting the example on how to make this shift in how we do business. We caught up with Yellow Owl Workshop, which is represented in Daniel Richards at Atlanta Market; Color Box Design & Letterpress and Inklings Paperie in the Temporaries.

COMPLEMENTARY AND UNIQUE PRODUCTS

Now more than ever, we’re seeing cards being sent via traditional mail. The revival of using the post office to keep in touch is based on the personal connection we feel when reading something written by hand. As such, cards are a hot item, and finding ways for stores to stock and sell cards, as well as complementary products that can share an envelope with a card, is one way retailers can weather this “storm.”

With a new way to think about stationery, Inklings Paperie offers scratch-off and pop-up cards. With a palette that matches across the collection, it’s easy to make a

InklingsPaperie-Cards-GCE053
Scratch-off card from Inklings Paperie

beautiful virtual display of their products.

Color Box is redesigning what stationery means, creating thank you cards with little gold pencils as placeholders at the Thanksgiving table, making prints of maps on heavy paper that come with flags to mark travel destinations, and interactive family trees. Another way they are catering to those stuck at home is by offering paint-by-number sets with nice paint brushes and watercolor paints, with a Luxe version due out by the end of the summer. “We use color excessively. Pretty whimsical but also sophisticated. We like bright and cheery things. For things you display in home, we go neutral, though,” said Rhonda Warren of Color Box Design & Letterpress.

You Color My World card from Yellow Owl Workshop
You Color My World card from Yellow Owl Workshop

Yellow Owl Workshop’s prints are made on Risograph, meaning each item is unique. Risograph prints one color at a time, and the combinations of different saturations creates the shades in the final product, plus unique variances in registration on each card. Christine Schmidt, founder and self-proclaimed “big cheese” at Yellow Owl Workshop, calls the resulting prints “fun, which is something we need right now.” They’re also selling jewelry and socks, plus DIY badge and stamp kits to round out their offerings.

CONNECTING ONLINE

Inklings has had great success connecting with customers via Instagram. “We want buyers from all over the world to discover our line. That’s always been a big part of how we do wholesale. There’s nothing like the face-to-face time where they can touch and feel products and learn their more story, so that is why we signed up to do Atlanta Market in the summer. This wholesale season, come this summer, people will be looking to replenish shelves,” said Lindsay Henry, founder and creative director at Inklings Paperie.

Both Color Box and Yellow Owl are ramping up their online presence as well. All three makers are offering free, high-quality photography to their vendor shops to help those shops sell products online. Color Box is meeting customers where they are — through Etsy or the Color Box website, but also on social media.

SPECIALS FOR ATLANTA MARKET CLIENTS

Even if buyers and makers aren’t together right now, makers are working to extend specials to buyers to keep stores flush with new products and able to keep selling online. Inklings Paperie is extending excellent terms to wholesale customers, such as free shipping in the U.S. for orders over $250.

Yellow Owl is offering discounts on orders over $500 for those paying with credit cards, and even extending sales to accounts that already owe them money. “It is a risk for us to have product out and not know when we get paid, but we value these relationships and have to take that risk,” Schmidt said. “I really feel for the

Thankful Card from Color Box Design & Letterpress
Thankful Card from Color Box Design & Letterpress

reps, looking at my unpaid invoices, knowing they are hurting. We want stores to survive, so we are being accommodating. We’re even coordinating giveaways with stores.”

Color Box is sending catalogs and extending specials they would normally run at Atlanta Market: a free set of cards for order over $250 and free shipping at the $400 mark.

While we’re all anxiously awaiting the return of Atlanta Market in August, we’ll keep working together to help each other weather this storm. To learn more about Summer Market — including proposed health and safety measures — and to browse the Exhibitor Directory, visit AtlantaMarket.com.

Please note: Since press date, the Temporaries have been suspended for Summer Market. Please visit AtlantaMarket.com for the latest updates.

© 2020 AmericasMart Atlanta




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