Welcome to the Midwest-CBK Design, Style, Sparkle blog; your place for product news, trend information, and display ideas. We are a leading designer and manufacturer of Midwest-CBK™ holiday and gift products. We feature innovative and original artist-driven designs which are created by our in-house design team as well as nationally known licensed artists.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Colonial Candle Fragrances - Yum!

Thank you to everyone who visited our Chicago digs - we're happy to report a strong market in the heartland!

We've covered some of our new home decor and spring/Easter collections, but now let's turn our attention to . . . candles! Under our Colonial Candle brand, we've introduced three new holiday and fall candle collections featuring eight new and exclusive fragrances, and two new gift candle accessory collections including Balsam Forest and Peppermint Swirl, just in time to boost fourth quarter sales.

Colonial’s eight new fall and holiday fragrances are inspired by Americans’ favorite scents of the season and holiday traditions. And all new fragranced candles are made in Colonial’s U.S. facility recognized for its green manufacturing. New fragrances include:

• Balsam Wreath: Notes of iced Douglas fir, spruce and rich balsam radiate with woodland sage, earthy thyme and a touch of fresh felled oak.

• Joyful Noel: A festive and elegant fragrance with the feel of glacial air and sparkling green freshness.

• Fireside: Enjoy the cozy allure of a fireside glow with warming accents of crackling woods, lush oakmoss, soothing violet and a touch of amber.

• Mountain Birch: Capture the silver birch blending coriander and cypress with fig tree leaves, vanilla and fresh woods.

• Caramel Apple: A delightful fall classic of crisp, juicy apple notes with drizzles of caramelized brown sugar, sweet smooth vanilla and a touch of maple.

• Crème Brulee: A tempting rendition of creamy eggnog blended with sweet vanilla custard, grated nutmeg, spicy clove and caramelized sugar.

• Warm Gingerbread: Holiday indulgence of warm spices and rich molasses infused with warm milk for a delightful and tempting aroma.

• Spiced Pumpkin: A delightful blend of creamy pumpkin swirled with spicy cinnamon, golden nutmeg, brown sugar, chestnuts and warm vanilla.

Is your mouth watering? :-) Good!

If you haven't had a chance to check out our new fragrances yet, give your Midwest-CBK account manager a shout and he or she can stop by with delicious-smelling samples for you to try. If you don't have an account manager yet, we invite you to call 800-394-4225 to request a visit.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank you in Atlanta - Off to Chicago!

Thank you to everyone who visited Midwest-CBK in Atlanta! Our showroom was hopping and your response to and feedback on our new home decor, gift and fall and holiday Colonial Candle collections was outstanding. Thank you!

As the Atlanta market comes to a close, we'll leave you with another creative display idea that drew attention over the past week in our Atlanta showroom.

Our visual display team created a sweet, inviting garden party display by using a series of trellises embellished with stems and vines from our new Spring Elegance collection. They added tables from our home decor line, set with tabletop pieces from Spring Elegance. We added chandeliers to the trellises for add another elegant, romantic touch. This look is very simple to create, yet establishes a dramatic display that draws customers in to shop and become a part of the story.

Thanks again to our friends, guests and team in Atlanta. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago this week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daisy Do Display

If you can't make it to the Atlanta market, we'll bring it to you. Here's a quick snapshot of one of our most popular displays: Daisy Do! Daisy Do is a fun, new tabletop, kitchen and hostess gift collection featuring bright, bold colors and lots and lots of - you guessed it - daisies! We created the cutest kitchen display known to man (or woman) prominently featuring daisies (of course), along with a whimsical flower and utensils "chandelier." Our savvy visual display team used a grid suspended from the ceiling, added thin plastic cording to match and tied the utensils at different lengths. The daisies are simply crimped to form a hook and fastened right to the grid. It's a super simple way to create a look that demands attention. Happy pickin'!

Red Hot Display Idea in Hotlanta

Greetings from Hotlanta! As you may have read in yesterday's post, Red Hot is a new collection of clean, modern home decor all in red - very bold, very sleek. The color does all the work for us in this collection, and you can see from our Atlanta showroom display that pairing items all in one color palette can create a bold statement! We used a neutral background color - "Wild Asparagus" - and clean, white fixtures to set a stage for the boldness of the color statement, allowing the products to take center stage.

More to come from the market - stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Midwest-CBK Announces Major Design Update In Home Decor; Featured in the News

Now that we're smack dab in the middle of summer market season, we're excited to introduce a major design update in our home décor collection: a new, re-imagined line designed to appeal to today’s consumer tastes, now debuting in all eight Midwest-CBK showrooms. The newly designed line was just featured in Gifts & Dec, HomeFashion and Giftware News this week.

The new home décor collection also features the largest introduction of new designs, with hundreds of new designs presented in four new trend-driven, coordinated themes. The newly designed collections feature best-selling, core home accent formats such as lamps, wall décor, vases, frames, and candleholders. Each theme is designed around a current trend featuring a coordinating color palette, patterns, and style, bringing independent retailers designer looks at budget-friendly prices.

Our new home décor themes include:
• Urban Habitat: With a blend of city chic styling and natural materials of wood, ceramic, metal, wire and glass, the allure of Urban Habitat lies in its power to transform spaces into something refreshingly modern and new. Carved wood, leaves, branches, birch bark and linen patterns, twigs and natural wood elements combine multiple textures and patterns for a trend-forward, modern edge. Formats include lamps, vases, wall décor, frames and candleholders.

• Refined Rustic: The naturalistic, refreshing style of Refined Rustic carves a new path in home decor. Authentic materials of wood, stone, faux leather and metal meld into modern formats of sleek vases, trays, photo frames, candleholders, lamps and furniture accents with clean, modern lines.

• Hollywood Glamour: Inspired by the retro glamour of the 1920s and 50s, Hollywood Glamour features high-design and Baroque styling with crystal drops and mercury glass for drama and sophistication. Features shimmering materials and colors of silvery black, platinum, champagne and gun-metal gray. Key product segments include lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers, candleholders, frames, wall décor, mirrors and candelabra.

• Red Hot: With red the “it” color for 2010, Red Hot features a transitional collection of dramatic red and black décor, designed to appeal to younger customers. Key product segments include lamps, frames, candleholders and vases in metal, ceramic and glass.

If you're in Atlanta this week, we invite you to check out our new collections in person. We look forward to seeing you!