And now, for something completely different…
As busy as the past several weeks have been in the home textiles world, our pals in the gift industry have been even busier — with January shows in Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and Las Vegas.I popped into the office of my colleague, Maria Weiskott, editor-in-chief of Gifts & Decorative Accessories, to find out what was happening in her corner of the home furnishings universe.What’s hot in the gift arena: Christmas, women’s accessories, jewelry, personal care, home entertaining, and infant and juvenile gifts.Home textiles folk probably see a couple of categories there that send their antenna quivering.
According to Maria, the trend you might want to pay particular attention to is Christmas. Christmas has been in a slump for several years, she says, owing in measure to the economic slowdown in the first part of the decade, which saw young singles returning home to live with their parents rather than setting up their own homes.
The kids have finally left the nest, and they like Christmas and Christmas decorating. Another key and growing trend: homeowners have taken to setting up multiple Christmas trees: one for the family heirloom ornaments and at least one other for the family decorator’s inner Martha Stewart. (My sister in California, for the record, put up three trees this year. Yes, she’s a McMansion gal.)
So as Maria was going on about the Christmas trend, her eyes alight, she suddenly stopped and said: “And one of your companies was at the show with beautiful table runners!”
She whipped out the business card of a bedding company that in home textiles world prefers to fly under the radar. I told her as much. She replied: “They’re not flying under the radar in gift. In fact, they called us several times to make sure we’d come see them.”
I offer all this as a reminder that there are niche opportunities to be had outside the strip center. You can read more about the January gift shows here.
UPDATE: Home Accents Today, another sister publication, gives its take on the New York International Gift Fair here.