Awards & Engraving

September '16

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60 • A&E SEPTEMBER 2016 T hese days, everyone wants custom- ized phone cases, handbags with monograms, and cheer bows with sublimated school logos. Personalized products are currently the hottest fad and span a variety of markets: technology, school, corporate gifts and sports teams, to name a few. But what some may not realize is there's another niche market that can be perfect for personalized products: kitchen and house ware. For those customers that order awards for their kid's baseball team from the local trophy shop, offering some personalized products to feature in their house is a perfect upsell. Awards retailers already have the equip- ment, it's just a matter of a little personal touch. FOR THE HOME At first glance, it may seem like a tough market to sell, but it's not all that difficult to present kitchen and house ware items to your existing clientele. Starting with the products cus- tomers want, and those currently available, it's actually easy as pie. When it comes to kitchen and house ware, the amount of products available for personalization is practically endless. The staple items are relatively easy to add to your business offering, and you may already sell some of them. According to David Gross, Condé Systems, those items include drink ware and bar accessories. But it goes beyond that—he also lists cutting boards, aprons and fridge magnets among popular items that can be personalized for the kitchen. For some unique ideas, the team at JDS Industries suggests carrying bamboo spoons, spatulas and bowls as well as wine accessories. "Adding these items to (your) inventory is a great way to broaden your product base," the team points out. Jennifer Foy and Peggy Waters of Unisub take it outside the kitchen, sug- gesting an artistic view on house ware products. "Message boards (and) photo panels for décor… are some popular kitchen and house items," they state. "Designs and images can vary based on the style of the home, but retro diner décor (1950s, '60s) and food themed décor (latte/coffee shop theme, country cooking, etc.) are popular." Aside from specific themes, there are a few general design trends that will always be popular in this market. "Initials have continued to be a big hit and are at the forefront of customization," the JDS team emphasizes. They suggest adding the date and name of an event or a couple's wedding date for a great design. Gross is quick to remind retailers to keep the focus on the family for customized home items. He suggests incorporating children's artwork, old family photographs and favorite family sayings into your designs. THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME The kitchen and house ware items available for personalization are practically endless and can be customized with various designs. IMAGES COURTESY CONDÉ SYSTEMS By Cassie Green Customizing Kitchen & House Ware

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