Awards & Engraving

December '17

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58 a-e-mag.com • A&E DECEMBER 2017 THE RIGHT FIT Once interested retailers have a strong grasp on what products they're looking for, it's important to do some due diligence in looking for the right products to fit their business plan. Certain manufacturers will fall in line with what an awards shop is looking for, and others will not. Once you've got that narrowed down, it becomes a big business decision. Johns brings up a crucial point about sourcing these products: "Products without a certification label can still be considered 'sustainable' and responsibly sourced." Retailers should pay attention to all the details such as where the wood comes from and how it's been manufactured. Stewart dives a little deeper. "Retailers can inquire if the manufacturer of the prod- ucts they are purchasing is using lumber that is harvested from certified sustainable forests," he notes. For those awards retailers who've asked all the right questions and found manu- facturers that line up with their needs, the question as to whether or not to add these products narrows down to one thing: cus- tomers. There are a few things to examine here: do you have the customer base and is it worth it? Know that these customers do exist, whether they've come to your shop or not. Stewart lists quite a few: "Govern- ment entities, educational institutions, environmental groups, many corporations, and international customers seem to be the most interested in these products." Johns has even more to add to that list: zoos, aquariums, and wildlife groups are just a few organizations who led the original charge toward becoming more environmen- tally aware. Because of this, they are also likely to be looking for awards and custom products to match their current business practices. And the best part is, sustainable and recycled wood works great for both tra- ditional awards products as well as custom gifts such as keepsake boxes. So, the question is, are you willing to take the leap? "I think as a matter of social conscience and concern for future generations the buying public is becoming more aware today than ever before of environ- mentally friendly and recycled products," Stewart says. And if you're willing to provide them, customers are usu- ally willing to pay. A&E Sustainable and recycled wood both work great for creating awards and custom gifts. IMAGE COURTESY COLORADO HEIRLOOM IMAGE COURTESY LASERGIFTS

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