Thursday, August 30, 2007

Getting Catty

I couldn’t agree more with Jess’s last post. Pet products are hot! But, as the happy owner (mommy?) of two cats (and Jess, herself has a kitty…) I had to wonder why she’d gone to the dogs!! Well, it certainly is much more difficult to put a cat in a cutesy outfit, or on a leash, so I get that there would be less of this kind of thing available, but how about all the great products that help us celebrate our fabulous feline friends?

I am a huge fan of the fold and mail line that Cat Fish Greetings is doing. Look at this cute one with Milton featured on what becomes the back of the mailer. The color is great, and Milton is so cute. I would love to use these to send to my friend who lives in Rome, Italy. She’s a cat-lover, and the fold and mail aspect of this really appeals to me.

And have you seen this “Stuff on My Cat” line? I think the whole thing started with a website and contest! Folks were asked to submit photos of their cats adorned with “stuff” (bows, feathers, stuffed animals, fake antlers…you get the picture) and from there Chronicle Books has licensed the line. .They are producing calendars, stationery and notecards (pictured below) - Apparently, this line has quite a following!

My cats just wouldn’t be patient enough for me to do this to them! You have to laugh. In fact, I don’t think I can stop.

If putting stuff on your cat isn’t funny enough, (poor babies) how about the Bad Cat card line from Nobleworks. This one gets me every time! Look at that face!

It’s that time of year to go calendar shopping, and every year I buy a travel-related calendar - Italy, France, England… This year, I found this: Cats of the Greek Isles by Graphique de France. I leave my cats at home when I travel, but always come home with pics of cats in their native environment. This calendar may save me the trip! (Yeah, right – hope to go to Greece one day!)

And how about this wrapping paper?

Cute, right? It’s from Design Design. I will wrap my cat-to-cat presents in this paper. (What…you don’t do this? Well, there are plenty of us out there who do!)

I’ve been having fun with words lately (another story, another day) and Magnetic Poetry’s Cat Lover edition is…umm…well, the cat’s pajamas? Get it?

Anyway, this kit makes a great gift for any cat lover, for kids or any wordsmith!

If that’s not enough, how about this funny “Little Ugly” from UglyDolls – his name is Gato Deluxe, and he was introduced to the line earlier this year. I’ve always had a soft spot for these homely little guys, and Gato is no exception!

I know there is just so much more out there celebrating cats, and the love of them. (Frames, magnets, gift bags, tags, paper plates – you name it!) It was really hard to choose what I wanted to show you!

- Kelly

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pet Extravagance

Last week I had to buy 2 presents: one for my best friend and one for her dog, Charlie. Which present cost more? The dog’s!

“Pet extravagance”, as I call it, is not the fad I thought it would be. Years after Paris Hilton started clothing her dog in diamonds, pet boutiques, gift stores and doggie spas are everywhere, and still very much in business! I never had reason to step into any of these locations until I received an invitation to Charlie’s birthday party. I couldn’t resist! After spending over an hour in the store, I walked out with my arms full of the cutest dog clothes and toys I could find and spent a good part of my paycheck enthusiastically. My favorite purchase being the mama’s boy t-shirt:

After this shopping excursion, I remembered the number of exhibitors in NSS who create products specifically for the pet-loving public. Pictured below are a few examples - from cards to magnets to frames, pets are on everything!

Greeting Card: Dr. D’s for Dogs

Magnets: Gifty Idea

Frame: Pearhead, Inc.

I am sure that “man’s best friend” will enjoy even more attention from our creative industry this holiday season. Hey - what about the rabbits, guinea pigs and goldfish?

Until next time,

Friday, August 3, 2007

Summer Stripes

Hard to believe it’s August…if time could just slow down a bit wouldn’t we all be a bit happier? I know I would. I’ve barely begun to exhale.

Summer is a time when so many of us kick back, relax and recharge. The business travel this summer had many of the NSS girls on the road – not the most relaxing of tasks, but surely among the most fun. It’s wonderful to see our customers, our friends, really, as we visit shows and stores around the country. It’s also a great way to see how a trend is interpreted across different American cities. For instance, stripes…

Here I was in the middle of the country in a small, independent home d├ęcor shop. There, I saw a dense, 9-color stripe on ceramic tableware. I thought, how perfect for my must-replace set of dishes! Loved the stripe, loved its luster on the ceramic. Next stop, a store local to me (NY suburb), a favorite, really, for cards and custom printing. The same stripe on notecards and paper tableware – and on giftwrap, which this store used as wallpaper – neat idea. Keep going, right? Yes indeed. Take me to the Southeast, baby! The same stripe on luggage, golf club covers and rain boots! What??? Next stop, Southern California…Throw pillows, mousepads and dresser liners. And, instead of wallpaper, this store put the paper in a fabulous frame.

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me. Anything goes when you think creatively, flexibly. But, I just had to share because thinking outside the proverbial box can take us places that can bring us success and growth where we least expect it!

~ Patti ~