gifts and home insights
Florists reveal what's up, what's down, and what strategies they use to buy and sell giftware and home décor.

Seasonal merchandise is the top-selling giftware category at Tipton & Hurst.

by Kelsey E. Smith

Most flower shops offer add-on gifts to complement their floral offerings, but delving into giftware beyond the traditional balloons and plush categories can open a whole new world of revenue. Whether you are thinking about getting into giftware and home décor or looking to expand your lines, consider the experiences of these florists.
• Resito Pecson; twigs & MOSS; St. Louis, Mo.
• Chris Norwood, aifd; Tipton & Hurst; Little Rock, Ark.
• Kendal Hall; Happy Canyon Flowers; Denver, Colo.
• Mark Silacci; Swenson & Silacci Flowers, Inc.; Salinas, Calif.

1. What are your best-selling giftware categories?

Resito Pecson: Vintage (curiosity) items and scented candles.

Chris Norwood: Seasonal is our top seller right now.

Kendal Hall: Personal accessories (scarves, handbags, jewelry); tabletop; home décor; books (lifestyle, decorating, cookbooks); lotions/soaps; and candles.

Mark Silacci: Candles, vases, baby items, spa products, clocks, pictures and wall hangings. We’ve brought in some fresh, colorful and fun “girlfriend gifts” that we’ve sold through a few times. Table runners and toppers have been hot, too.

2. What are your hottest lines?

Resito Pecson: sayitwithbookcovers, our line of book covers with quotes. Each set is priced at $20. When a customer finds the “right” quote, he or she can give a gift with a message, making it the perfect gift. Another hot line is Lafco Candles’ House & Home collection. The decision to carry this line took three years due to a $55 retail price. It is now a best seller.

Chris Norwood: We sell a lot of colored Murano glassware.

Kendal Hall: Our hottest lines are Spartina 449 handbags and scarves; Uttermost lamps and home décor; Global Views home décor; and Vietri, Arte Italica and Michael Aram tabletop.

Mark Silacci: Lines we’ve carried for years and do quite well with include Melrose International, Raz Imports, Root and Demdaco. In the past couple of years, we’ve done very well with VIP International, Creative Co-op, Santa Barbara Design Studio, Stone Candle and Pomeroy. Popular “girlfriend gifts” are “Flipnote” from Wellspring; colorful candles from Santa Barbara Design Studio; and extra-mini colorful alarm clocks from Present Time, which fly off the shelf.

3. What changes have you made to your giftware/home décor offerings in the past three years?

Resito Pecson: In an effort to offer unique items, we have increased our offerings in our “vintage” category. Within this category, we have expanded in what we call “curiosity” items. We even find ways to make these pieces a little more special by adding on other items in the store. For example, the vintage shoe forms we carry are embellished with a French ribbon line we sell. Vintage printers’ blocks are grouped to form words enclosed in a line or specimen glass boxes that we also sell.

Chris Norwood: Our clients are more interested in lines geared toward gift-giving as opposed to décor for their homes, so we have adjusted our offerings accordingly.

Kendal Hall: We’ve brought in upholstered furniture from Company C. The line is vast, including rugs, throw pillows, throws and even bedding. We offer just a few accessory items for color and quality, then sell through their catalog. The line is geared toward boutique sales, not furniture stores.

Mark Silacci: We’ve tried to get a little “younger” and more relevant to what I call “my wife’s friends”—the 35 to 50 crowd—with lots more “girlfriend gifts,” napkins, wine and bar items, etc.

Seasonal merchandise is the top-selling giftware category at Tipton & Hurst.


St. Louis, Mo., flower shop twigs & MOSS launched its own line of book covers in 2010, and it has quickly become one of the shop’s best-selling lines. Each set of five, which retails for $20, includes two blank book covers and three with words that form a combined quote. They are available at twigs & MOSS and on the product’s dedicated website, www.sayitwithbookcovers.com, and owner Resito Pecson also has started selling them wholesale at national gift shows, including The Chicago Market, the New York International Gift Fair, the California Gift Show and the National Stationery Show.

 

 


... To read more on giftware and home décor, look to the May 2012 issue of Florists' Review.
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