A Bloomin' Holiday Idea

I've always urged retailers to look for unique gift-type items to sell as impulse add-ons, especially during the holidays. Friend and outdoor retailer, Lisa Hollenbeck of the Alpine Shop in Saint Louis, Mo., passed on a great holiday gift idea. She recently met a local artisan who sells handmade papers under the name Cast Paper Art. Ho hum, you say? Well, there's nothing ho hum about this company's products.
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I've always urged retailers to look for unique gift-type items to sell as impulse add-ons, especially during the holidays. Friend and outdoor retailer, Lisa Hollenbeck of the Alpine Shop in Saint Louis, Mo., passed on a great holiday gift idea. She recently met a local artisan who sells handmade papers under the name Cast Paper Art. Ho hum, you say? Well, there's nothing ho hum about this company's products.

Outstanding among its offerings is the Blooming Expressions line of holiday ornaments. All are made of 100-percent recycled cotton fiber embedded with fresh flowers and 12 varieties of perennial wildflower seeds. They come in the form of angels, bells, stars, Christmas trees, hearts and butterflies. Each has a card attached explaining the planting procedure on one side and "Season's Greetings" on the other. The idea is to enjoy the ornaments during the holidays and plant them after to create a spring wildflower garden. Besides being the perfect "green" product for the outdoor store, the Blooming Expressions products are beautiful to look at. The ornaments retail from $2 to $4 each. Also included in the line are inspirational bookmarks and note cards.

Another great gift idea from Cast Paper Art is a set of eight note cards embedded with bits of flowers and leaves. A set of eight cards, eight blank inserts and eight envelopes neatly bundled and tied with raffia retails for $12 or two for $20.

There's still time to order for the holidays, so check out Cast Paper Art on its website at www.castpaperart.com or call 314-968-6896, fax 314-968-7390. Email at customerservice@castpaperart.com. Do something different this year!

Sharon Leicham's merchandising column appears twice a month in SNEWS. Leicham is the author of Merchandising Your Way to Success and How to Sell to Women and is a frequent contributor to trade magazines writing on merchandising and marketing topics. She recently launched a website, www.merchandisingHUB.com, with information targeted at the independent specialty retailer.

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