and designers that use their unmatched abil-
ity to tap into pop-culture, fashion, and color
trends to develop a product offering that is
vibrant, fun and a great value.”
Beyond offering products with personal-
ity, Cool Gear is dedicated to being a positive
influence through the message and functional-
ity of its products. The company takes action to
eliminate disposable plastic water bottle waste
by bringing hydration stations to local and
national events. “These hydration stations give
event attendees access to fresh, filtered water at
no cost; we also design custom water bottles to
be refilled throughout the day,” says Stracuzzi.
Cool Gear also supports charitable organizations dealing with education, family, community and health. “To name a few, we support the
Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Autism
Speaks, The Roth Family Foundation, and The
Dana Farber Foundation,” says Stracuzzi.
Established in 1987, Design Design began with
one mission in mind, to connect people to people. “We started by selling only 72 greeting
cards and have since grown to be a single
source provider in eight product categories:
greeting cards, paper tableware, party goods,
birthday candles, cocktailing, gift packaging,
stationery gifts and home fragrance,” says Phil
Cowley, chief marketing officer.
This year, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based
company introduced two new product categories—party goods and home fragrance. The
party goods line includes celebratory banners
and tassels, cake toppers, party hats, cupcake
liners and balloons. Also released was Essence-scents for your soul, a scented candle line, in
the company’s home fragrance category. The
line is available in 22 blended, custom fragrances and four fragrance families—fresh
blends, garden bloom, artisan medley and
world journey. “These candles flood any room
with reflections of your soul,” says Cowley.
“They create the ambiance for connecting people to people in both everyday life and special
occasions—bringing the outdoors in, stimulating new culinary delights, and calling to mind
favorite or far-away places.
Hallmark Cards has an entire team devoted
to proprietary and innovative capabilities
and technology for greeting cards. This summer, the Kansas City, Mo.-based company
will introduce innovative collections including Virtual Reality cards and Playlist cards.
Virtual Reality cards, available for the first
time at Father’s Day, offer an exhilarating
adventure through one of today’s top tech
trends. The cards feature a pop-up virtual
reality (VR) viewer, and instructions for the
recipient to access a 360 degree video corresponding to the adventure theme of the card.
Playlist cards, also for Father’s Day, leverage
Hallmark’s sound card capability offering
exclusive access to a specially curated song
playlist created just for dad on one of today’s
hottest music platforms.
One of Hallmark’s most popular segments,
Hallmark Signature, will be available in new
ways in 2017—via hundreds of new card
designs and a new premium Spanish collec-
tion, new captions, price points, materials,
dimensional gift card holders for holiday and
more gift wrap.
Changing social and cultural trends are
influence greeting cards more acutely today
than in the past, offering exciting opportunity
for growth, says Stacey Howe, vice president/
general manager of national accounts.
“For the greeting card industry, it’s not a
one-size-fits-all approach,” says Howe. “It’s
important for grocery stores to provide a
product offering that’s relevant across this
evolving consumer landscape and reflective of each store’s individual demographics.
Hallmark leverages our broad greetings portfolio with our industry-leading localization
tools to give retailers personalized product
assortments at a rooftop level, based on the
unique shopper needs.”
IDEAVILLAGE PRODUCTS CORP.