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 27, 2011

NEW! 2012 Wonderlights From Midwest-CBK

Capture the light, magic and motion of the holidays with these fun and whimsical LED light characters and icons. Every year when our talented design crew sits down to design and develop a new Wonderlight collections I am truly amazed by their creativity and innovation year over year. This year we've introduced new rotating elements, projection graphics, new finishes, detailing and materials. Combined with our experience in character design - the result is magical! We've also reduced them in size and created brand new lapel pins and magnets - the perfect stocking stuffer and mini-gift! Retailers - the full collection will be showcased at the January 2012 Winter Markets and is also available to order NOW through your Sales Account Manager or online http://www.mwcbk.com/  - product is ready to ship starting March 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays To You!

Celebrating traditions and making memories with family and friends is the hallmark of the Christmas season. It is also a time to thank those who have shared in your successes, inspired you with new ideas and challenges as well as giving and sharing with those less fornutate. At Midwest-CBK we love nothing more than working on seasonal and holiday decor and gifts because we cherish those values and love the magic of this season - so from our family to yours - we thank you for your business and we wish you and yours a very happy holidays and a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wild, Wild West!

I had the opportunity to visit Austin, Texas a few weeks ago. What a fun, vibrant and welcoming town. People were very nice – and we had fun walking the city and visiting retailers, restaurants and a few musical venues as well. While a true Texas college town – home of the University of Texas, Austin was rich in western history, style and culture. The city was starting to decorate for the holidays. What was truly refreshing was the mix of styles – part Tex-Mex, part country-rustic and a splash of elegant refinement. When we were back in the office we created this wreath display to try and match the vibe we picked up from our retail research. Elegant and festive with the right about of western influence.http://www.mwcbk.com/

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bottle Stoppers Add Style to Any Party

Bottle stoppers make great hostess gifts but we sometimes wonder if people really use them since any great bottle of wine goes pretty fast – at least from our experience. After some debate and sharing observations from a string of recent holiday parties – the answer is a resounding “yes”! Our light up bottle stoppers perched on open bottles of wine on a party table or bar area adds a great sense of style with festive colors, shimmer and shine. They are eye-catching, colorful and even a bit funny. So next time you see them at your local gift or wine shop – buy a couple and keep them on hand as gifts or for your own entertaining. Retailers - shop www.mwcbk.com today and have them in time for New Year’s parties.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fresh Vintage Style

Hello, we are just back from a two week round of holiday open house events at our retail partners across the country. Our specialty, gift and garden center stores have transformed from everyday merchandise centers to a magical, winter wonderland of great ideas for decorating and gift giving. Every year I am amazed at how quickly these stores turn over their displays and create warm and inviting spaces that put you in the holiday spirit the minute you walk through the door. This year, one recurring trend that was clearly evident in all the stores I visited and from diplays I saw was elegant vintage Christmas themes. Now this isn't retro or old fashioned by any means - it's a bit nostalgic but more "inspired by" cherished holidays gone by. This "new" vintage style borrows style, design, color, materials and techniques from times past but is re-invented to feel right at home today. From chunky glitter, to pastel colors and slight distressing, these vintage style elements make each figurine, ornament and decorative accessory an instant collectible. The photo featured here is our Vintage Collection which you can find at retail right now www.mwcbk.com and as you can see it creates a stunning tablescape and blends well in a traditional and contemporary room settings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Year Is It?

What year is it? This may sound like a crazy question to ask. Well, as Trend Manager here at Midwest-CBK, I can tell you it’s not. Check out the view from my desk – truly – this is organized!

After reading this blog post – you may find yourself asking “What year is it?” too.  November is a very busy month at Midwest-CBK – it’s when the seasons collide. You have to look deeper than just the approaching 2011 Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to see what I am talking about. We are at the peak of our business cycles, where three seasons of product development and design cycles converge. Picture this . . . our 2011 holiday and gift collections just hit the retail market and we are busy helping our specialty, gift and garden center retailers promote their Holiday Open Houses. At the same time – my ROCKSTAR marketing team just finished sending our 2012 Holiday, Halloween and Gift catalogs to the printer (almost like Vogue’s September issue we are at 625 pages). Yes, I said 2012 Holiday, Halloween and Gift. . . those collections hit the gift marts in January and we are busy preparing to showcase and present our new collections to retailers at showrooms across the country. Now, you may be thinking this doesn’t sound too complicated but here is where it gets tricky. . . layer on top of all that I just described - we are also busy looking at incoming product samples for Spring and Easter 2013 . . .2013!

So when you hear the question “what year is it?” from one of our staffers it sounds completely normal!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One-of-a-Kind Ornament Display

Create a dramatic and eye-catching focal point in your store, on a mantel or as table centerpiece with this creative display idea. Take your favorite decorated and embellished Christmas ornaments and finials and set them on top of an arrangement of vintage glass bottles. Mix and match styles and colors to create a display as unique as you!http://www.mwcbk.com/

Monday, October 10, 2011

Entertaining At Home

As fall settles in and the last leaves rain down from the trees, we enter the season of holiday entertaining. From fall festivals to holiday celebrations, more and more people are entertaining at home. From small intimate gatherings to large scale "Martha Stewart" worthy events. Every year, at Midwest-CBK, we work hard to create hostess gifts for this very reason. Something small and affordable, yet elegant and refined to give to your gracious hosts. Our wide range of wine ware and accessories are perfect for entertaining or gift giving. From bottle stoppers, bottle holders, serveware and home decor accents - there is something for everyone. http://www.mwcbk.com/

Friday, October 7, 2011

Share Your Midwest-CBK Halloween Displays

It is one of our favorite times of the year - the leaves are falling, the sun is shining on cool mornings and Halloween will soon be here. We love the fun and spooky Halloween collections we launched this year and are so excited to see them creatively displayed in all our gift, specialty and garden retailers. Please share your Midwest-CBK Halloween decorations displayed in your store or home!  Post photos on our FB page   www.facebook.com/midwest-cbknow through October 31st .  We just may send you a  little trick or treat!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mini-Shimmers Make Great Gifts!

Mini-shimmers may be tiny but they bring delight and smiles to anyone who receives them. These pocket-sized treasures make great affordable stocking stuffers, gifts for teachers, daycare givers and for school classmates. Mini-shimmers light-up and change colors, sparkling when light hits the glitter. Retailers - mini-shimmers are also perfect impulse items when merchandised on your store counters.

Now through October 31st, 2011 receive 10% Off Midwest-CBK Wonderlights, Mini-Shimmers and Genuine Monkeez and Friends (TM) with qualifying purchase. Take advantage of these savings - call your  Account Manager today for details!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nature's Soul

Nature's Soul is a heartfelt and inspirational gift collection from Midwest-CBK. This collection was inspired by the love of art and craftsmanship shared by father and daughter. Barbara Musch, a longtime designer at our company has always been inspired by her father's metal work and the contrast between the beauty of the piece and the roughness of the material. From this contrast - Nature's Soul was born. Nature's Soul gifts and accessories make great holiday gifts for those you love, for someone who needs comfort or to celebrate faith.   Ask your gift retailer about Nature's Soul from Midwest-CBK. Retailers - in-stock and ready to ship in time for holiday sales.  http://www.mwcbk.com/

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vintage French Bistro Set

http://www.mwcbk.com/Enjoy the romance of Parisienne bistros without leaving home with this chic bistro set from Midwest-CBK. Perfect for patio, porch or a sunroom. Enjoy a croissant and a café au lait and you'll feel like you are sitting on the Champs de Lysee. Retailers  - in-stock and ready to ship at http://www.mwcbk.com/

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Vintage French Collection

Introducing, Midwest-CBK's Vintage French collection -  ooh la la, c'est tres chic. We were fortunate to travel to Paris earlier this year to hunt down the latest trends in color, design and style for this collection.  What a great city to be inspired by - the sights, sounds, food and even architecture brought a wealth of ideas to our Design and Product Development teams. Taking cues from cakes stands in legendary pastry shoppes to vintage lamps on picturesque streets to charming outdoor bistro furniture. we've brought Parisienne style to you.  Ask your local retailers about Vintage French from Midwest-CBK. Retailers - for complete product collection and to order online go to  http://www.mwcbk.com/http://www.mwcbk.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beauty of Blown Glass Ornaments

Decorating with blown glass ornaments adds sparkle to any setting. Display on your christmas tree, hang with a ribbon or fill a glass jar or vessel with your favorite ornaments.  Stock-up for holiday sales - best-selling Christmas ornaments, décor, and gifts are in-stock and ready to ship today. Place your order at http://www.mwcbk.com/http://www.mwcbk.com/

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nostalgia - A Strong Trend This Christmas Season

One of the strongest Christmas trends you'll see this coming season is nostalgia.  From decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies and spending time with family - there has never been a more important time to celebrate family traditions.  At Midwest-CBK, nostalgia for Christmas is what inspires us - we feel like we work in Santa's workshop all year round.   Retailers:  Midwest-CBK Christmas decor, figurines, ornaments and more, are in-stock now and ready to ship today - shop online at http://www.mwcbk.com/

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stock-Up For Christmas Sales!

Retailers - we have best-selling Christmas characters, ornaments, decor and gifts in-stock and ready to ship. Order now at www.mwcbk.com to stock your shelves in time for Christmas sales.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Social Media Webinar for Midwest-CBK Retailers

Coming September 27th - A Social Media Webinar for Midwest-CBK Retailers! Join us for "Our Holiday Gift to You - A Seasonal Marketing Guide for This Wonderful (And Busy) Time of Year!"

This is a free social media webinar presented by Snap Retail. SnapRetail’s Crystal Vilkaits shares with you tips and startegies to use Social Media to promote your business. Join us on Tues, Sept 27 at 11:00 am EST.

For more info and to RSVP- http://ow.ly/6rYny

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spooky Bottle Toppers - Party Ready!

Hosting a haunted house party or a spooktacular fright night? Add a spooky glow to your bar or table with light-up, shimmer bottle toppers from Midwest-CBK. In a variety of designs and colors, bottle toppers also make great hostess gifts. Ask your local gift, garden or specialty store about Halloween bottle toppers from Midwest-CBK. Retailers stock-up for halloween sales - best-selling items are in stock and ready to ship today!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall is in the air

Every year when back-to-school shopping begins, we start to see touches of Halloween decorations and costumes pop up in local stores and we always ask "is it too soon?" Here at Midwest-CBK, holidays are our life, we go home at the end of every day covered in glitter - so it is never too soon. Your local gift and specialty stores will soon be setting up spooktacular displays so shop early for best the selection. Retailers: Midwest-CBK Halloween items are in-stock and ready to ship.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go Back To School With Genuine Monkeez & Friends™

Genuine Monkeez & Friends™ - a Midwest-CBK original design - brings a smile to everyone's face, especially when we launch new Monkeez designs and introduce new friends to the family. Our favorites are Otto monkey, Doogan dog and Kooky koala - oh so cute! Also available as key clips for backpacks - the perfect gift for back-to-school. Ask your favorite specialty gift retailer about Genuine Monkeez & Friends. For our retail partners- instock now and ready to ship at www.mwcbk.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Retail Display Contest Winners Show Design, Style, Sparkle!

Drum roll, please! We're excited to announce the winners of Midwest-CBK's fourth annual “Design, Style, Sparkle” in-store display contest for independent retailers, including:

• First Place: Uniquely Yours in Faulkton, South Dakota
• Second Place: New River Pottery in Wilmington, North Carolina
• Third Place: Greenhurst Nursery in Nampa, Idaho

Midwest-CBK sponsored the contest to bring attention and recognition to independent retailers who have shown creativity and excellence in retail display and merchandising, one of the key elements to driving traffic and sales.

Midwest-CBK president Rick Contino says, “We are proud to shine the spotlight on the talents of these successful independent retailers, who excel in creating original, eye-catching retail displays. The entries are becoming more creative, every year, proving the continued importance of display in driving traffic and ultimately sales for independent retail business.”

First place winner Uniquely Yours created a magical holiday room setting, complete with not only holiday décor such as Santa figures, “Believe” signs, Wonderlights, ornaments, oversized snowflakes, florals and garlands, but also seamlessly integrated everyday home décor such as lamps, trays, vases, candleholders and more for a warm, welcoming scene designed to invite customers in, become a part of – and recreate at home.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest this year! We hope to see your beautiful creations again next year!