April 14, 2010 • Sarah Schwartz
The News Isn’t All Bad
As I write this, there’s no shortage of bad news in the air. The nation is sharply divided over healthcare, unemployment rates fester and the economy continues to limp along. But there is still some fun and freshness in our air, one of the reasons I love this industry so.
Taking advantage of short leases and shorter attention spans, many big names, from Levis to Lexus and Gap to Gucci, are embracing the phenomenon known as pop-up stores. Typically a location opens up for a few days, weeks or perhaps a month, creates a fabulous buzz and then closes shop. It takes advantage of the sense of haste so prevalent in our digital-driven times.
In this issue, we document a month-long pop-up spearheaded by Manhattan’s Wedding Library in Brooklyn. The first three weeks were each devoted to different aspects of wedding planning and culminated with a week of real nuptials in a chapel created by none other than the inimitable Martha Stewart.
Which brings us to our Designer Profile, in which we interview the domestic diva herself. She’s definitely infused our industry with excitement thanks to the release of a wedding invitation line. It’s not just the release but its presentation that’s a breath of fresh air. Instead of a heavy album, retailers are encouraged to display samples, and designs are encapsulated in a lookbook that brides can take home and pore over along with their wedding magazines.
We also examine the social networking phenomenon as it applies to small businesses. Love it or hate it, it is flourishing, and thanks to an e-blast, several of our readers who have found inspiration, information, friendship and, yes, even sales share their insights.
Finally, in preparing our first Occasions Issue, I gave a lot of thought to occasions, both everyday and infrequent. I’m not a great cook, nor is my house anywhere near “done,” but I want every guest who leaves my home’s double red doors to do so smiling and hopefully feeling a bit spoiled.
So I’m mindful of little things — making sure every drink stays filled, that guest towels are neatly stacked in my powder room or even just remembering a neighbors’ favorite snack. Adopting a similar approach can move any product. So explain how a fill-in, an affordable indulgence in small quantities, may be more special than an e-vite for a cocktail party. And any missive resonates more mailed than e-mailed. If customers, be they job hunters or social climbers, want to set themselves apart, much of the product in our industry is just the key.
When it comes to milestone occasions that roll around infrequently, celebrants are more likely to be prepared to spend. Then you must really show them how to shine. This issue is full of ways to do just that … so put your feet up and enjoy the read!
Until next issue,