The Sparks Gift Wholesalers Blog
- Full of key information & helpful advice about making a success of things in the gift trade -
1. Who Are Sparks Gift Wholesalers
2. Why Use Sparks?
3. Why Not Use Sparks?
4. How To Make a Window Display That Sells
5. Christmas Products. Cherrypicked For You.
6. Christmas Trends 2017
7. Upcoming Calendar Dates
8. Mother's Day & Easter
9. Get Tropical This Summer!
10. Fidget Spinners. And more!
23rd May 2017
Fidget Spinners. And more!
Idle fingers??? Bored at work??? Friday Daydreaming??? Got the Monday back to work blues???
All these things can be cured by the latest trend in town, Fidget Spinners !!!
Where have they come from?? What is this latest craze?
Well, unless you've been in the back of beyond in Mongolia these past few weeks you cannot but have helped notice the burgeoning sales promotions and selling ads offering these metal, plastic, single colour, multi coloured, glow in the dark novelties.
Essentially a three armed design plastic propeller with ball bearing ball races device that you place your finger in the centre of and basically spin. It has not purpose, is not constructive to any meaningful purpose but is fantastic fun. How fast can you spin it?, Can you spin multi layers of spinners in different directions at the same time? Is the metal more expensive one quicker or more fun than the glow in the dark one???: Questions that can only be answered by the individual using it !!!
Anyway, can't quite understand what I'm talking about, still confused? then what you need to do is get some ordered, display them prominently on your sales counter and get selling 'cos they are this seasons hottest property and they are selling fast!!!
Something just as Mystical but more understandable are Unicorns. Magical, fantasy, make believe creatures that reside mostly in children's bedrooms are the second most popular products at this time. No matter what type of customer base you have, Unicorns could magically transform your sales margins as the next must have product. Designed and manufactured in just about every possible category, soft toys, key rings, money boxes, purses and bags, bedroom slippers and night lights, mugs, ceramics and breakfast sets, stationery, pens and pencils there is almost a Unicorn for every customer in every town.
So, don't get left behind with the latest trends in town, either satisfy your idle fingers with a spinner or let your imagination take a fantasy ride on a Unicorn but whatever you do get selling these items now!
19th April 2017
Get Ready for Summer at Club Tropicana
Yep, it's going to be a full on Tropicana summer if the gift industry is anything to go by.
High on the agenda are Flamingos – most of them had migrated out of gift shops toward the back-end of last year and you could have been forgiven for thinking they'd gone for good... so what's going to be new in 2017? Well, they've re-appeared for another summer in the sun, flocking back to our shores, in larger numbers and are set to be a massive seller once again. Keep an eye out for various shades of pink, quills and feathers and the many shapes, sizes and poses they adopt. Coming to a garden or home near you soon!
Naturally, along with those exotic pink birds from distant tropical shores you'll also find many tropical themed gifts, homewares, candles, ornaments and novelty products. Cocktail themed accessories are also in the groove for summer '17 which makes it quite possibly the most colourful and fun-filled gift selection of the past few years.
Cocktail and drink themed gifts are right on trend this year as well – Mojito, Gin and Tonic, Pineapple and of course Prosecco are just a few that will be served along with Watermelon, Coconut and Pina Colada flavours.
Flamingos, cocktails and pineapples are all part of the tropical trend that is sweeping the gift industry this year, and it's a trend that we will be following closely here at Sparks, bringing you the best and the newest in trend-driven giftware.
So, there's no need to fly off to exotic climates (the dollar and euro are expensive anyway) just stay here in Blighty, support your local independent trader and stock up with all things Tropical.
From garden ornaments to napkins, serving trays to lip balm, candles to gift bags, drinking straws to brollys, stationery to sun shades and bath bombs to mason jars, you're gonna see them all in '00s of designs somewhere near you soon!
With the in mind, here's a recipe on How to Make the Perfect Mojito!
A muddler (or rolling pin)
A long glass
2 parts white rum
2 parts white rum
Half a fresh lime
12 fresh mint leaves
2 heaped bar spoons of caster sugar
Dash of soda water
1. Put the four lime wedges into a glass, then add the sugar and muddle (squish everything together) to release the lime juice
2. Put the mint leaves on one hand and clap. This bruises the leaves and releases the aroma. Rub the mint leaves around the rim of the glass and drop them in. Use a muddler, bar spoon (or even a rolling pin) to gently push the mint down into the lime juice
3. Half fill the glass with crushed ice and pour in the Bacardi Carta Blanca. Stir the mix together until the sugar dissolves
4. Top up with crushed ice, a splash of the soda water and garnish it with a sprig of mint
22nd March 2017
Mother's Day & Easter
First, here’s wishing all Mum’s everywhere a very Happy Mothers day this coming Sunday, 26th March. I hope that you all get spoiled rotten and have some amazing and fantastic treats lined up. Enjoy!
Our Mothers day range of gifts received a really good reception from you all and we only have few products now remaining so thank you for your custom and support – it is, as ever, very much appreciated.
But no sooner than we celebrate our Mums and all their hard work, we are starting to see bunnies appear everywhere!
This is not only actual but figuratively too– we are seeing baby bunnies appearing under hedgerows and on the sides of roads and in fields as Spring starts to get sprung and we leave our Winter behind.
So very much with bunnies in mind we turn our attention to Easter time and all that is lovely about it. Not only Bunnies but Chicks and Ducks and Eggs, Easter bonnets, Easter baskets and Easter Egg hunts which means it’s time to be looking for your range of Easter gifts and presents to offer your customers.
We carry a small but varied range of Easter gifts at Sparks Gift Wholesalers and so far we have seen really good sales. There is still plenty of time until Easter but may we suggest that if you’re buying then you get in quick as lines are starting to sell through.
Particularly strong this year is the Hen in carrier basket, egg shape candles and , ‘just in’ a fantastic product is our Metal squirrel – looks great and would grace any garden setting. (Move over Tufty!!)
As sure as (Easter) eggs are (Easter) eggs, I’ll be back soon with a few lines about what’s arriving soon at Sparks, what’s trending this Spring and the latest in Fancy gifts for all your customers.
Enjoy Sunday, Mums!
21st March 2017
Upcoming Calendar Dates!
Have you penciled in the upcoming seasonal dates?
Easter is coming up in just 3-4 weeks time (16th April 2017), and our Easter selection of products is being sold through thick and fast at the moment. Make sure you're prepared to capitalise on the Easter Bunny's visit, and if you read our previous article about making nice shop displays, this is a prime and perfect opportunity to make your premises look bright and colourful!!
It may seem far-off at the moment, but before you know it, Father's Day will be upon us! Our 'Father's Day' section will be filling up fast with lots of dad type gifts and male gift ideas, including mens grooming products and accessories, retro products ranging from tin vehicle models to vintage style novelty signs, as well as the Father's Day staples of mugs and photo frames! In what tends to traditionally be a time of the year in which sales begin creeping up and out of the Winter freeze, make sure you stock up early and fulfil the potential of your Father's Day sales.
9th March 2017
Christmas Trends 2017
Keep it Sparks, and stay on-trend this Christmas!
If you read our previous little article about our final 'Christmas Buy', you'll know just how hard our buyers have been working to find you the best new products at the industry's most competitive prices. Our team have been scouring exhibitions, factories and showrooms across the UK, Europe and even as far as China, to keep you up to date with the latest trends, and to offer you an unparalleled selection from the world's best collections, all under one roof.
You can always rely on a few staple Christmas ranges and traditional styles to feature year-in year-out, but each year tends to feature some key new trends, and 2017 is no different, with a few styles which are shining through as on-trend this year!
LED Products are making a really strong comeback, and if your festive selection this year isn't lit-up, you've missed out!! This is a trend that we're following heavily, and amongst the hundreds of different products that we'll be stocking are lots of beautiful light-up products with twinkling LEDs. Who can't resist a fairy light or two!?
Another strong trend for 2017 is the natural wood finish. Products made from natural, unpainted and untreated wood are everywhere this year! In fact, many designs are a mixture of both natural wood and LEDs, making for an awesome on-trend mashup. Neglect these at your peril! In-keeping with these soothing beige tones, we're seeing a popular rise of brushwood or buri-art style woodland creatures. Higher-end but truly adorable little woodland animals, squirrels, rabbits, bears and reindeer are all bang on-trend for 2017 and you'll find some of these gorgeous designs available to order at Sparks this year.
Traditional Wooden Advent Calendars. Four words that all Christmas traders should be familiar with. Beautifully crafted wooden ornaments with 24 cute little wooden drawers in which to place advent treats. Simply adorable! Sales of these have always been strong for us, and year-on-year this range seems to gather strength and becomes gradually more mainstream. This year we'll have more wooden advents in-stock than ever before. From experience, people are really disappointed when these run out, so make sure you're the right side of our stock levels this year! You'll also be able to preorder these soon... we'll let you know as soon as they're ready.
Another core festive product range that is growing this year off the back of it's success and popularity in 2016, is our range of Christmas Door Wreaths. This year, you can count on us having higher quantities and a much wider range of designs to. They've been sourced from several different suppliers that require high minimum orders, and we'll be offering these to you lucky lot at extremely keen prices! Just like the popular advent calendars, you'll be able to preorder our Christmas Wreaths in plenty of time.
Stay on trend with Sparks Gift Wholesalers, and make 2017 your best Christmas yet!
3rd March 2017
Christmas Products. Cherrypicked For You.
We’re making a list, we’re checking it twice ………….!!!!
Yes, yes, I know that we’re in March now, Spring is on it’s way and the Daffs are starting to bloom but believe it or not, since saying goodbye to Christmas 2016 and saying Hi and welcome to the New Year we have been busy, busy, busy selecting our choice of gifts for Christmas 2017.
Now, many believe that Santa, along with his helpers, spends all year making the presents up there in the North Pole but I have to admit we didn’t quite get there. Instead have been visiting showrooms, exhibitions, factories and manufacturers to get the best possible choice and selection of gifts and products for this Christmas.
I am not joking when I say checking our list twice, either.
We have been spoilt for choice with absolutely loads and loads of fantastic designs, styles and trends on offer and having now exhausted ourselves with many miles under our belts, and with many lists of ‘possibles’, we’ll start to finalise our choice ready to present to you later in a couple of months, at which point you’ll be able to preorder and reserve your favourite products!
We will be keeping you informed of progress and allow plenty of time for you to start getting ideas, seeing what’s available and on trend for this year and start choosing and deciding.
We look forward to showing you hundreds of gorgeous Christmas lines in May/June!
24th February 2017
How To Make a Window Display That Sells
It is certainly true that selling gifts online, rather than in a traditional shop or stall, is a trend that has been gathering pace for years... but the humble giftshop still has a special place in the hearts and minds of customers, and in the hearts of communities and high streets up and down the country.
Online selling has frequently become an add-on to traditional in-situ retailers, and is definitely a fantastic way to keep up with the times and to supplement your income from another source of sales. Being an online business ourselves, we highly recommend it, and we'll be writing articles very soon about how you can compete for a slice of the online pie.
However, whilst bricks and mortar remain the bread and butter of the gift trade, we thought we'd write a little article about one of the essentials for any giftshop owner... how to create a beautiful and enticing display.
Without teaching you to suck eggs (we've seen many of the wonderful displays that our lovely customers have built), here are some helpful hints and tips for creating a glorious shrine to your livelihood:
1) Have a Plan
You should always start with a plan!
You don't necessarily have to stick to your original idea. Some of the best results often come from thinking on your feet and tweaking things that aren't quite right, but your plan is an essential starting point. This plan can evolve as you build, fixing areas of the display that don't quite look how you had imagined, but starting your creation without a scooby often ends with a display which looks messy, overly busy and confused.
2) Be a Showman (or Showwoman)
You want your display have designated spaces for key products, which are cleverly positioned to draw attention to them.
Think about where in your shop customers are most likely to stand, and face key products right towards them. Break customers' line of sight with larger items. If you've got a large Santa as the centrepiece of your Christmas display, have his eyes facing right towards the right spot, whether that be right in front of the door as people walk in, or as they queue for the checkout. You know your shop better than we do!
3) Lights, Camera...
Lighting will play an essential role in your display for a number of reasons.
Cleverly placed lighting can help accentuate certain areas of the display. It can often be a good idea to face spotlights or downlighting towards a region of smaller products. Whilst your large Santa draws attention to itself by virtue of being bloody massive, the display of small tree decorations next to it might need some help to get it's share of the limelight.
Aim light towards the most glittery of products, the best-sellers, the products that garner the highest markup. You get the idea...
Lighting also has power to set the mood, the tone, and the feel of your display. Do you want your shop to feel like a moody and sultry cavern, in which customers explore dingy corners to discover hidden treasures? Do you want it to be bright and fun, a space for children to hunt for colourful toys? Or should it be a welcoming place with warming tones to go with your cosy homewares? Lighting has the power to do this.
4) Have a Theme
Just like your plan, before you begin constructing, give consideration to the theme of your display.
The theme of your display might seem obvious, for example, Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas, Valentines etc... but you can develop this further. If you've got a Christmas display, try sectioning the products into a colour scheme. An area for white and glittery products, another for red and tartan etc.
The best themes (and the best displays) contain stories. They tell tales that relate back to the central theme of your display. Instead of thinking 'Easter', think about telling the story of a lost bunny. You could position bunnies around your shop, pointing towards your Easter shelves, telling a story of their journey to find a bucket-full of carrots, sitting at the foot of your display. Be inventive!
Your theme is only as strong as your story, and your story will require passion and imagination. Customers tire of being 'sold to' constantly, they want to be entertained and inspired to part ways with their hard earned shillings.
5) Keep it Relevant
You'll need to work hard to revamp and refresh your main display area.
It goes without saying that it should be kept relevant and very seasonal. Prepare for important diary dates, holidays and events at least a month in advance and keep things fun, topical, on-trend, but most of all... relevant to the next important selling date.
6) Draw Them In
Whilst big and obvious centrepieces are great for grabbing attention at 40 paces, don't forget to you'll need to draw your customers much closer than this to get them to pick up the product.
If minimalist shelves and spaced out products are part of your theme, then it can work quite well to help tell your story, but most often, it's the intricately crafted displays, with a cascade of tightly packed products which will make your customers strain their eyes and encourage them to take a closer look. You can take steps such as product colour-coding to avoid the messy and cluttered look, but a tightly packed display can be an effective tool for reeling customers in. It becomes a worthwhile few footsteps, a space worth exploring because with the amount of products within those few feet, surely they'll find something, right?
23rd January 2017
Why Use Sparks?
We recognise that sometimes it is hard to meet a
minimum order level. Your budget may not stretch to 'X amount' from
this company, 'X amount' from that company, 'X amount' from another
etc. etc. - This is where we can help!
You could look at the importers and note that they
carry similar products - they do! They do all have different design
concepts and lead their respective markets in different directions
but can you carry an extensive range from each of them?
If not, this is where we may come in handy – we
have already chosen from their respective ranges which means that we
have done most of the leg work leaving you to browse and order their
products all from just one website – And don’t forget – not
only do we have no minimum order thus you can buy as little or as
much that you like, but we also are very competitively priced too! –
Of course, if you can afford to carry a wider
range direct from all the importers then we can still help – maybe
you just need a small top-up rather than a massive order at the wrong
time of the year etc.
We are there, no matter how big or small your
trading platform is – large shop, small shop, E Bay and Amazon
E-Tailer, Florist, Garden Centre or just an independent Party Planner
– Sparks Gift Wholesalers are here to help.
We have even supplied Harrods !!!
This means that you can shop with us and choose
from a very wide range of gifts from renowned UK importers with no
minimum order quantity – you can buy from all these companies, in
singles through just one website.
So it could be a photo frame from Widdop, an
ornamental figurine from Leonardo, some Shabby Chic gifts from
Sifcon, Angels, Cherubs or Fairies from Puckator – you get the
Have a browse – we’re here waiting to serve.
19th January 2017
Why Not Use Sparks?
Well, if you read our previous Blog about why you
should use Sparks you may think this a strange question, But…
please read on.
Whilst we are proud and pleased to offer such an
extensive range of gifts from the many UK gift ware importers we also
recognise that we, like most of you, also cannot carry all of their
products. We are, after all only human, only have a certain
amount of space and also, unfortunately do not have a bottomless pit
of cash! ( I wish we did, then we could buy even more gorgeous gifts
for you to choose from !)
So therefore to build and run your own successful
gift business you need to put together ranges of gift products chosen
by style, design, trend and of course budget.
These ranges need to be as wide a possible given
money, space and choice, and that’s exactly this point – CHOICE –
we know that along with Sparks there are other gift suppliers
competing for business so it is only right and proper that you
consider all. This way you know that you will have chosen from the
best possible available on offer.
So, consider and look around, do your research and
hopefully after all that you will find that Sparks very much has a
place to help fulfil your giftware requirements along with your other
We hope, as many hundreds of our customers have
found, that we become and remain your number one giftware supplier,
but we also want to help you to have the best product offering that
you can. This might mean using other suppliers too sometimes, but we
want to see your small businesses thriving.... after all, what's good
for you is good for us, and that will probably mean shopping around
for a healthy mixture of products.
We endeavour to give the best possible consumer
service, be honest and transparent about what we can and can’t do,
offer extremely competitive prices, and be there if and when you need
Think gift supplier, think Sparks!
17h January 2017
Who are Sparks Gift Wholesalers?