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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Suzy Toronto Holiday Collection; Meet Suzy in Atlanta!

It's wild. It's wacky. It's all about wonderful women! We're excited to introduce the first ever Suzy Toronto Holiday collection! Toronto’s all new and giftable holiday collection includes her signature inspiring, uplifting and colorful designs with text and messages that evoke holiday humor. The new holiday line, exclusive to Midwest-CBK customers, features a broad range of items including personalizable and gift-boxed glass ornaments with humorous and uplifting text, gift-boxed Santa plate, banner, waterglobe, night shirt, travel thermos and mug. The new line will debut during the January markets in Midwest-CBK showrooms, with stock available for shipping in June 2011.

To kick off the new collection, Midwest-CBK will host an artist appearance and signing with Suzy during the Atlanta market on Friday, Jan. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Midwest-CBK showroom, located in Building One, Suite 16A7.

During the January markets, Midwest-CBK will also introduce an expanded Suzy Toronto Collection of everyday gifts, including 85 exclusive designs. New gift items include gift boxed Celebration of Life birthday plates and banners; “Behind Every Successful Woman Is a Substantial Amount of Chocolate” night shirt with canvas bag, travel thermos and wood plaque; magnets; and wood hanging plaques. The expanded Suzy Toronto Collection of everyday gifts also features continued best sellers such as Pink Ribbon breast cancer awareness items, mugs, coin purses, tile ornaments, night shirts, aprons and tea towels. Each item includes an uplifting, empowering or humorous message that speaks to women such as “A Wild Wacky Wonderful Woman Lives Here,” “Why Be a Queen When You Can Be a Goddess?” “Life Is All About How You Handle Plan B,” “Trust Your Crazy Ideas” and many more. Each item is also accompanied by a story or poem.

For more information or to see our new Suzy Toronto Holiday Collection in person, please contact your local Midwest-CBK account manager, visit us online or call 800-394-4225.

An Evolution in Home Décor!

Midwest-CBK introduces an evolution in its home décor collections inspired by today’s trends, blended with classic styling, and designed for changing customer needs and tastes. Midwest-CBK’s January 2011 décor and outdoor living introductions feature more than 400 new designs. Combined with original top-selling items, the new mix is intended to maximize current décor sales for independent retailers looking for innovation.

Key collections in Midwest-CBK’s revised product line include Vintage French, the Classics, Casa Cristina™, Mediterranean, and Heartland which is a tribute to American-style decor. Destination categories with high volume offerings include lighting, wine and serveware, frames, wall décor and clocks. Midwest-CBK’s outdoor living category also features fresh and comprehensive new themes, ranging in style from French to Regatta style outdoor accents.

All new collections will debut during the January markets in Midwest-CBK showrooms across the country. Suggested retail prices range from $10 to $250.

Midwest-CBK’s new lead categories include:
•Versatile, on-trend lamps and lighting from traditional to modern, designed to mix and match within themes or stand alone as individual looks. Midwest-CBK’s wide selection of designer lamps features entry-level, affordable price points, providing a one-stop shopping option for independent retailers.
•Classic, statement-making wedding and everyday photo frames designed both in-house and by licensed artists including Belinda Miley, with a focus on wide molded frames and unique sizes.
•Hand-woven, custom-designed baskets created by top artisan weavers provide multi-purpose storage options for any room. Reflective of the organic trend and inspired by a return to basics, Midwest-CBK’s new baskets are made with natural, indigenous fibers native to the Philippine islands. Colors are neutral, with baskets available in a number of shapes and sizes.
•One-of-a-kind, exclusive indoor/outdoor lanterns at affordable price points. Made of iron, designs range from Mission styling to Asian-inspired to elegant basket weave.
•On-trend, French-style lace table runners and cocktail napkins inspired by vintage Parisian finds provide the perfect touch for entertaining and hostess gifts.
•Cast-iron statuary, benches and accessories in eye-catching designs useable both indoors and out. Designs are classic and refined for staying power in the increasingly popular outdoor living category.

“Under the new leadership of Midwest-CBK’s home décor design and development expert Molly Kinney, we’ve begun an evolution to refine and re-design our décor and outdoor living collections. Our strategy will be to focus on our past successes but layer in savvy, trend-right design with a broad and universal appeal in today’s marketplace,” says Frederic Contino, Midwest-CBK President. “Our new décor and outdoor living collections fuse past sales data with current trends, and are strategically designed to help our customers achieve increased sales and growth. And this is just the beginning – stay tuned for more improvements throughout 2011 as we continue to evolve in home decor.”

For more information, or to see our new home décor collections in person, please contact your local Midwest-CBK account manager, visit us online, or call 800-394-4225.

Don't Forget - Book Your January Show Appointment Today

Holiday, gift, decor, outdoor living and candles - oh my! Make Midwest-CBK your one stop shop, and see more than 3,000 new designs during your January market visit. Booking your January show appointment is as easy as clicking here, or contacting your local Midwest-CBK account manager.

We look forward to seeing you soon in a showroom near you! Happy shopping!

Introducing the Casa Cristina Holiday Collection

We're excited to announce an exclusive partnership with Emmy award-winning journalist Cristina Saralegui to introduce her first designer holiday collection of inspirational ornaments, figures, nativity sets, votive candle holders, lanterns, stocking and tree skirt. The Casa Cristina™ Holiday Collection will feature more than 50 new designs debuting during the winter 2011 markets in Midwest-CBK showrooms across the country.

Our new Casa Cristina™ Holiday collection is inspirational, elegant and hand-crafted, featuring spiritual icons such as angels, nativities, birds, stars, crosses and hearts. Unique textures and materials such as metal, capiz, wood and glass combined with a fresh color palette of gold, silver, cream, blue, green and plum create a modern blend of history and culture. From the style and décor of her Miami home to the artistry and memories of her childhood, Cristina’s unique style and taste create a spiritual and inspirational collection. This exclusive new line blends the design sensibility of her heritage interpreted for today’s elegant, gracious homes.

“I am excited and proud to work with Midwest-CBK to bring my own personal style and vision to this new holiday collection, and share these exquisite, inspirational designs with retailers and families across the country,” says Saralegui. “My long-standing partnership with Midwest-CBK is an excellent example of how far we’ve come with the Casa Cristina™ brand, starting nearly seven years ago from a small line of home accents to today’s range of multiple categories including tabletop, accents, garden, gift, lighting and now holiday décor and gifts.”

Midwest-CBK is also expanding the Casa Cristina™ Home and Lighting collection with more than 30 new designs in today’s best-selling home décor formats including lamps, pottery with unique turquoise glaze and distressed white finish, antique wooden mirrors and nested table sets with embossed metal detailing, that reflect Cristina’s unique Mediterranean style and taste.

For more information or to see the new collection in person, please contact your local Midwest-CBK account manager, visit us online or call 800-394-4225 to request a catalog.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shelves Empty After Black Friday? Time to Restock!

Congratulations, you survived Black Friday! And Cyber Monday! According to the National Retail Federation, visitors and sales were up over last year (hooray!!). The group reports that 212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the four-day Black Friday weekend, up from 195 million during the same period last year.

People also bought more, with the average shopper this weekend spending $365.34, up from last year’s $343.31. Total spending reached an estimated $45.0 billion.

We hope you enjoyed a successful kick-off to the holiday season, too! If Black Friday left your shelves a little empty, now's the time to restock for the holiday rush. Best selling holiday gifts like Genuine Monkeez & Friends, mini shimmer lights, bottle toppers, Lights in the Night, plus everyone's favorite holiday fragrances from Colonial Candle, and decor from Casa Cristina, Belinda Miley plus lamps, clocks, wine accessories and more available for immediate shipping. Click here to see a complete list. To place an order, visit us online, call 800-395-4225 or contact your local Midwest-CBK account manager.

Happy holidays! And happy selling!