June 15, 2021 •
It’s On! In-person gatherings are back, and no one sets the stage quite like Carlson Craft

{Sponsored} More Americans become vaccinated each day, which means all those postponed festivities can finally materialize, not to mention celebrating all those milestones that cropped up in the meantime. All this pent-up partying requires planning, and Carlson Craft can support you as you bring every last element of your customers’ visions to glorious life. Creative Director Lynn Lundberg shared insights on the new party climate — and how Carlson Craft supports its retail partners. 

Q. Aside from weddings, what events are you now seeing again? 

A. We’re seeing graduations and proms ramp back up. We’re so excited to see prom and grand march invitations coming through again, as well as graduation announcements and party invitations. 

Q. For upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, are the same components being ordered as pre- COVID-19? 

A. For the most part, yes. We’re even seeing customers add a matching envelope liner to pull the whole look together. However, we do see some change in that many people still send printed response cards, but some handle responses via email, phone or text. 

Q. What kind of styles are young women and their families gravitating towards? 

Bat Mitzvah Invitations from Carlson Craft
Bat Mitzvah Invitations from Carlson Craft

A. We’re definitely seeing luxe looks! High-end is popular but luxe doesn’t always mean expensive. We’re seeing larger invitation sizes, heavier stocks and plenty of foil stamping. Some young women go a simple yet casual route with lots of natural greenery elements. Colors are trending heavily toward pastels, and one of the biggest trends we’re seeing is the name printed prominently on the invitation. 

Q. How about young men? 

A. Young men gravitate toward strong geometric patterns that really engage the eye, and a heavy use of bold colors like black, blue and red. Bar Mitzvah invitations are some of the most creative and striking invitations we see ordered! 

Bar Mitzvah Invitations from Carlson Craft
Bar Mitzvah Invitations from Carlson Craft

Q. When it comes to circle of life events, from sip and sees to retirement parties and everything in between, have quantities changed? 

A. Order quantities decreased a lot last year but are coming back nicely. We’re not seeing pre-COVID numbers yet, but we are seeing a much shorter ordering window. Many retail partners are placing orders for events only one to two months out. 

Q. What day-of merchandise is hot? 

A. Graduation yard signs have been really popular! Of course, this trend really took off last year when the pandemic started, and families sought safe ways to celebrate their graduates. Yard signs are a fun way to celebrate, whether you’re having a party or just looking to show off your graduate’s accomplishment. We haven’t seen an increase in yard signs for other events, but we expect to as the year goes on. 

Q. While the celebrations, celebrants and occasions are diverse, what types of elements, treatments and embellishments do you see clients gravitating to? 

A. Since customers have had to reduce their guest count significantly, they seem to be creating more elaborate invitation suites with those savings. We’ve seen more embellishments and accoutrements come through like invitations wraps, belly bands, card tabs and ribbons. We have also seen a pre- COVID trend, Digital + Foil products, get even bigger over the last year, and colored stocks with white ink have also been doing well. 

Q. Are there any ancillary pieces that you are seeing a consistent desire for? 

Custom Napkins from Carlson Craft
Custom Napkins from Carlson Craft

A. Napkins, plain and simple. Custom napkins are always a hot item for any event, and they have increased big-time in the last few months. We offer both sparkling foil-stamped napkins and full-color, digitally printed napkins with choice of artwork or photo. So, you can imagine the possibilities are endless for any type and style of event. Plus, they’re an affordable way to get that personalized party feel. 

Q. What are your most successful dealers doing in this revitalized market that others are not? 

A. Flexibility is key. Many retail partners who relied on in-person meetings had to embrace technology during the pandemic. Whether they’re having virtual consultations, selling via a website or promoting on social media, they’re listening to what customers need and responding with engaging solutions. 

 © 2021 Carlson Craft 

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