Las Vegas Gift Show - Stand-Outs & Trends!
It's "show season"! What trends do we see?
A new year is here. It's time to reflect on the previous year and get busy planning for the year ahead. Carah and I have been busy planning and just returned from our first show, the Las Vegas Gift Show. This show is an amazing experience. It's a true example of the amazing customer service that Las Vegas has built its reputation around. You never wait for anything: the bus, your lunch, a bottle of water – they keep you feeling relaxed so you can shop!
We walked the 12 floors of building B looking for the trends coming this year – both for teachers and for our kids toys. There were a few key things that stood out for me:
Lemon Yellow –
Everywhere we looked there were lemons. Lemon tea towels, lemon glassware, lemon pictures and lemon teacher decorations for the classroom! Teacher Created Resources (TCR) hit a home run with their new line, Lemon Zest! TCR wasn’t at the gift show but it was clear where their inspiration came from. We can’t wait to see all of the educational games teachers come up with using lemons, lemonade stands, and all things yellow!
Giving Back –
We met some amazing people doing amazing things, and making the world a better place every day with the work they do and the products they sell. We were lucky enough to meet the owners of two companies I want to share with you.
The first company is Drinking Straws LLC.
Kattie and Jeremy started their company in 2011 with a mission to eliminate the use of single-use plastic straws – they were way ahead of their time! (At least, way ahead of me!). I was impressed when I learned that any restaurant wanting to eliminate their use of plastic straws can contact Drinking Straws LLC, and Kattie and Jeremy will supply their straws to the restaurant for FREE! We will be carrying their basic clear straw but we will also have decorative straws with unicorns, ladybugs, dinosaurs, and sea turtles. The straws will be arriving in our store any day. Keep checking back if you want to do your part to eliminate plastic straws. Bonus: Drinking Straws LLC straws come with a lifetime guarantee!
On day two, we met Alessandro Teichner the co-founder of Colors for Good.
The mission of Colors for Good is to change the world one bracelet at a time. This company employs the women of the Yucatan, in Mexico, to make the bracelets.
Watch the Colors for Good story on YouTube, here! Our Story
Each bracelet represents a positive attribute and / or raises awareness for a world issue that need attention. Finally, Colors for Good gives back 10% to NGOs working to make the world a better place. We have SOOO many colors coming in because, well, I just couldn’t choose!
The final trend I noticed at the show was puzzles –
Round puzzles, square puzzles, puzzles with animals, puzzles with a cause, two-piece puzzles, 50 piece puzzles, 1000 piece puzzles, family puzzles. Puzzles are making a come-back –
I think people just want a way to reconnect, find a bit of peace and create something beautiful.
Puzzles are a great way to connect with your family. This week I was with a young family who has two children aged 4 and seven. The four of them had just completed a 500 piece puzzle by working together a bit each night for several weeks. There were a number of lessons in this process I am sure, but delayed gratification and patience have to be at the top. Imagine the sense of accomplishment those kids felt when the last piece was placed in the puzzle. Springbok even makes puzzles with different sized pieces so little ones can be working on their pieces while the older folks are working on theirs!
Puzzles are also a great way to get a little alone time. You can find a quiet corner, set up your puzzle, and just be. Put in a few pieces in here and a few pieces there, a meditative break from the day.
I hear puzzles even help us improve our short-term memory! So pick up a puzzle and play!
Visit this USA Today blog post to learn more about how puzzles improve memory: The Surprising Benefits of Puzzle Solving for Adults