RetailingInsight Connecting the Best in Body-Mind-Spirit
Simple strategies to engage your customers
Vol32 32| | Issue21| 2018 | 2018 Vol Issue
How to design spaces for small brick-andmortar stores
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BEST-SELLERS ACROSS AMERICA
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The importance of making eco-choices
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In Every Issue 4 | EDITOR’S NOTE 6 | SHOP TALK Practical answers for tough business questions 9 | BUSINESS & MARKETING 10 Easy ways to build your email subscriber list 30 | INSIGHT Friendly to Engage 42 | FINE PRINT New and notable books for body, mind, and spirit 48 | PLAY LIST Reviews of great music to sell and enjoy 54 | TAKE FIVE Hopelessness 56 | ADVERTISER INDEX
Features 10 | CONNECTING THE DOTS The importance of making
COVER IMAGE: NettleSea Studio Greeting Cards N119 The Seasons by Sarah Brazeau
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15 | MEET OUR VENDORS O.B.DESIGNS 18 | SOCIAL MEDIA Simple strategies to engage your customers 26 | RETAIL DESIGN How to design spaces for small brick-and-mortar stores
36 | GREEN WISDOM Nature’s roadmap for sustainable success
24 | ECO-FRIENDLY Fashion & Jewelry Collection 28 | BEST-SELLERS ACROSS AMERICA A peek at top-selling
merchandise in independent book and gift stores around the U.S.
32 | NATURE INSPIRED Home Décor & Garden Accessory Ideas
34 | FRESH! A Galleria of NEW Products (Special Advertisement Section) 52 | EDITOR’S PICKS for Organic and Natural Beauty Products
2 March/April 2018 | retailinginsight.com
The Trade Show for Conscious Retailers!
June 15-17, 2018 • Friday through Sunday Pre-show Seminars Thursday, June 14, 2018
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editor'snote retailing insight magazine
Welcome to the Showcase Edition A special publication dedicated to our vendors who help us bring you the best of the best in the market industry. You may have realized that this issue is now also available in print. Since many retailers like to receive printed copies throughout the year, we don’t want them to miss out on the opportunity to receive copies with the special product showcase and great product reviews. In the Fresh! section you’ll find special advertisement information that includes new products, and in the Best-Sellers Across America we’ve invited small shop stores and gift shops to share their top-selling merchandise with us. As you navigate through the magazine, you’ll find meaningful features about nature’s roadmap for sustainable success written by James W., and the importance of making eco-choices from a retailer perspective written by Royce M., and how to engage with your customers by using social media by Jacki S. In addition, we have an interview about designing spaces for small brick-and-mortar shops that could help many retailers who are looking to redesign their space and attract more customers down the road. We also brought the Meet our Vendors back. Our guest for this month’s issue is O.B.Designs! And more… we have articles about eco-friendly fashion and jewelry products, home décor and garden accessories ideas, and an exclusive editor’s pick for organic and natural beauty and bodycare products. This is a very inspiring issue from front to back. Have an insightful reading,
Joe Mount Roberta Gazzarolle
Bill Binkelman Anna Jedrziewski Megy Karydes Royce A. Morales Kim Perkins Jacki Smith James Wanless
Kalani Burbank Karen Johnson Natalie Morris
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is published exclusively for independent retailers of unique and meaningful products for the body, mind, and spirit. Our purpose is to nurture retail store success by providing excellent business advice, honest product reviews, advertisements from leading wholesale companies, and outstanding coverage of the dynamic body, mind, and spirit market.
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©2018 Continuity Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN 2372-7977. Volume 32/Issue 2/ Year 2018. The magazine is published bimonthly/ six times a year (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov) by Continuity Publishing Inc., 428 E 4th Street, Suite 103, Charlotte, NC 28202-2492. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC. and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER send address changes to Retailing Insight Magazine, 428 E 4th Street, Suite 103, Charlotte, NC 28202-2492.
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Is there any kind of rule of thumb for what percentage of your monthly sales you should budget for purchasing given a relatively stable monthly sales rate (e.g., no major holiday or seasonal increases)? Or do you go by your gut and observations of what is selling? I’m looking for an overall percentage for a store where almost every product’s retail is at a keystone markup plus $1-2. I have been using a purchasing budget of 50% of sales--is that too much, too little or about right?
The standard formula for a purchasing budget, commonly called Open-to-Buy, is usually figured each month as the inventory levels in your store rise and fall. Open-to-Buy calculations take a few minutes, but they can be an integral part of financial success. Open-to-Buy Calculation: Planned Sales + Inventory Needed (at retail) - On Order (at retail) = Open-to-Buy at Retail Example: $5,000 + $4,000 - $2,300 = $6,700 Open-to-Buy Dollars at Retail Open-to-Buy Dollars at Retail x Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) percentage = Open-to-Buy Dollars at Wholesale Example: $6,700 x .55 = $3,685 Open-to-Buy Dollars at Wholesale This means that if you project your sales for the month to be $5,000, and you have $20,000 in inventory and you’d like to maintain a level of $24,000, and you have $1,000 on order (which translates into $2,300 in projected retail sales at a 2.3x markup), and your overall COGS percentage is 55 percent, then your Open-to-Buy amount is $3,685. If you use this same formula for each area of the store (books, music, candles, jewelry, etc.), you will have a far more accurate way of projecting merchandise purchases, since each area has a different mark up and COGS percentage. To answer your question concerning whether a purchasing budget of 50% of sales is the right amount also depends on other significant financial indicators on your Profit and Loss statement, such as your COGS percentage and your Gross Profit Margin (GPM). First of all, there is not a magic number that is right for every store. Your Gross Profit (or Gross Profit Margin which is the same number
6 March/April 2018 | retailinginsight.com
Practical answers for tough business questions by Kim Perkins
expressed as a percentage) is the amount of money that you have after you have deducted your COGS from your total sales. It is the amount that you have left to pay all expenses other than the cost of merchandise. Your GPM will probably range from 48% to 58% of your total sales. You want your GPM to be as high as possible as this then allows you to pay your expenses and have more left over in bottom line profit. As a rule of thumb, I suggest that your GPM be 52% or higher. This percentage varies based on how much you have to pay for your merchandise and your mark up. For instance, books cost you approximately 60% of the pre-priced retail price. (If you have an online order, you might only pay 58% or 59%, or you might pay up to 65% because of shipping costs.) So, for books, your GPM is fairly low – 35% to 42%. Because books are pre-priced, your profit margin is fixed. The same is true for cards (50% GPM) and music, which runs closer to books. So, if you want your GPM to be 52% or more, you have to make up the difference in gift items. Some retailers have had great success packaging their own merchandise, essential oils, for instance, because there is a much higher mark up. Other items such as jewelry and stones typically have a 2.5-3.5 mark up (necklace $10 at cost might sell for $25 to $35). Personal care products and candles can often be marked up at the higher rates and still offer a good value to the customer. It is in these areas that you can compensate for the lower profit items and keep your business healthy and your GPM strong. To create an Open-to-Buy plan, first establish how much money you need to have in inventory to have our store look well-stocked without being overcrowded. Once you have that number in retail dollars, the next step is to project what your sales will be over a given time period. When you have your projected sales number, multiply it by your COGS percentage (the percent of sales that it costs you to buy your inventory overall), and then deduct any orders that you have already placed that have not yet been received. This final number is the amount of money that you have Open-to-Buy. Spend more than that number and you may experience an unpleasant cash crunch. Go below it, and you may be missing out on sales, and therefore, profits. When you talk about your pricing philosophy as keystone plus a dollar or two, I am assuming that you are talking mostly about gift items and that you do not markup pre-priced merchandise. If you find that you need to decrease your COGS and therefore increase your GPM, a good
place to start is to take the price of gift items and multiply it by 2.3. Then manipulate the price up or down until it “feels right." At a very minimum, you have to cover the cost of the item plus the shipping, and then add a bit to offset other items (books, cards, CD’s) that are pre-priced, and you are unable to mark up. Example: Take an item that costs you $8.50. When you “keystone," you double the cost and charge $17.00 for the item. With this new formula, $8.50 x 2.3 = $19.55. Look at the perceived value of the item and then round down to $19.50 or up to $19.95 or make it a flat $20.00. The extra $2.50 to $3.00 will help cover your receiving and shipping costs and decrease your COGS. As a final thought, be sure to add in a percentage for profit on your bottom line. Healthy retail businesses plan for 3-10% profit. According to the American Booksellers Association ABACUS Study, successful book and gift stores have a profit margin of about 6%. If you are always just breaking even, it’s hard to find money to replace fixtures, reward employees, and support growth. If you set 6% as your profit goal, you can achieve it by maintaining a 52% Gross Profit, holding COGS at 48%, and keeping your expense level at 46% of Total Sales. We could also achieve a 6% profit with a 48% Gross Profit if you can lower your expenses to 42%. The important thing to remember is that a good profit level doesn’t usually just “happen” on its own.
How important is it to move things around in a store that is mostly visited by tourists?
The main reason that most retail store consultants emphasize changing displays and rearranging merchandise is so that your store looks “fresh” and, rather than being bored, customers have the impression that there is always something new and exciting to be found each time they visit. As your question suggests, when your clientele is mostly tourists, you do not have to rearrange and create new displays as often as if you have a regular, hometown customer base, but it is still important. One thing to consider is that, while you may have a large number of tourists visit your store, there are probably some regulars. These may be people who live nearby and bring their family and friends (some of the tourists) when they come to visit. So, it is essential to provide them with new items to explore and appreciate too, if only because it makes them excited and that excitement gets them talking and thinking about sharing that excitement with friends. The other thing to consider is that moving merchandise around is not just for appearance sake. There is the cleanliness aspect – when things get moved shelves get dusted and cleaned. And holding, touching, dusting and relocating items helps them sell better. I have no scientific proof of this, but I do know from years of experience that changing a display, or switching merchandise to a different shelf, somehow makes it noticed and more desirable. And that includes customer attention. I can’t tell you how many times an item will sit for days or weeks and not sell, and then a customer will
notice it, love it, and even plan to come back and buy it, and another customer will walk in and buy it later that day! Items simply sell better when attention has been paid to them. So, if you decide to move things around less, be sure that you have some kind of rotation timetable, so merchandise does not just sit. Also make a regular cleaning schedule so everything is clean and inviting.
I have been hiring and paying staff to do weekly physical inventories of our individual departments since 2011. Our annual shrink rate has ranged from 0.16% to 0.19% in that timeframe. Is it worth it for me to continue paying for these inventories given our stellar shrink rate?
With a shrink rate that low, I agree that weekly physical inventories are an unnecessary expense for your business. But kudos to you for being on top of this and knowing what your shrink rate is! Not all store owners/managers have that information. Most independent bookstores do inventories once a year although my opinion is that this is not enough – too much can happen in 12 months and if you are having a shrinkage problem, it’s best to find out as soon as you can. There are a couple of ways I would suggest that you approach taking inventories throughout the year. The simplest way is to expand your time between inventories and take them monthly or quarterly. If your shrink rates remain low, you could even stretch it to six months. The second way is to take inventory by vendor, especially when a larger order arrives. You did not list the different departments you provide, but I will assume that you have candles and jewelry (most stores do) in addition to books. Utilizing this method, when a candle order, for instance, arrives, the individual in charge of that department would take an inventory of the candles in stock from that vendor and be sure that your inventory records agree before the new order would be added to stock. This practice provides three benefits: First, you get to verify that your physical inventory is correct for that vendor. Second, it highlights products that may be overstocked or not selling well and brings them to the attention of the person in charge. And third, it is easy to identify where you might be losing sales when a best-seller, that is not on the incoming order but is low stock, needs to be ordered in a larger quantity to avoid missed sales. From S.G. Cassadaga, FL Kim Perkins is a business consultant, author and national speaker. She was co-owner of Elysian Fields, Books & Gifts for Conscious Living, an awardwinning store in Sarasota, Florida, for over 20 years. As a consultant, Kim specializes in helping small businesses achieve financial health and excellent employee relations. She can be reached at Kim@kimberlykperkins.com.
Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 7
business&marketing 10 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rate by Megy Karydes
Our last issue discussed how to build our email subscriber list in
Be Mobile. Research shows that more than half of email recipients
order to drive more traffic to our store and e-commerce sites. Now, how do we get our subscribers to actually open what we sent to them? The following are 10 easy ways to increase your email open rate.
now open their emails on a mobile device, which means you have both your subject line and usually the first sentence or two in the body of your email to convince your customer it’s worth her time to open it and read more. Take more time drafting your subject line and first sentences of your email because if those aren’t compelling enough, the rest of your email content won’t matter.
Email Them & Be Consistent. This might seem obvious, but if your subscribers don’t regularly hear from you, they’re less likely to bother opening your emails or worse, opt to unsubscribe or click that spam button. If you’re going to go through the trouble of collecting emails, be sure to stay in touch so they don’t forget about why they signed up in the first place.
Subject Line Rock Stars. Notice any subject lines that you think are effective? Keep a running list of good ones and see if you can incorporate similar tone or words into yours.
A/B Test Different Subject Lines. Email software companies often make this easy so take advantage of testing different words and length of copy to see what resonates with your customers. A/B testing is when you test one subject line (A) with another subject line (B) using the same content. What you’re trying to see is whether one subject line pulls a better open rate. You can test things like using action verbs versus non-action verbs or adding an emoji or not.
Lean on Friends. Ask a handful of friends if they’d be willing to serve as a mini focus group for email subject lines. It can be as easy as creating a poll on a private Facebook group page and asking them to weigh in on which ones they’d be more inclined to open.
Be Timely and Include Content They Can Use. Rather than focusing on what’s in store, why not offer tips from a local business on how to make your own dishwashing soap or unique ways to upcycle items for Earth Day? How about including a recipe by a new restaurant in your community? Depending on the brand, Amanda Elliott loves getting emails that motivate her. “I like that Nike motivates me with their apps and tools,” she says.
Create Urgency. Rosey LeVine opens emails from businesses that remind her of items she was considering or to “use your $XYZ credit by X” date. Similarly, Elliott responds to sale offers, but not any sales offers: “big sales”.
Be Mindful When Personalizing. Personalized email advertisements are far more likely to repel customers than to attract them, according to a study led by a Temple University Fox School of Business professor. Translation: don’t address the recipient by name in the subject line or first sentence of your email. However, the same research, which drew from 10 million marketing emails sent to 600,000 customers, also showed there is a way companies can use personal information without driving customers away: send them deals on products they want. If your customer never buys apparel but always buy accessories, don’t bother emailing her updates on your latest shipment of dresses.
Scan Your Analytics. Figure out which day of the week, and which time, works better for you by studying your open rates. Is your customer a white-collar professional who is tied to her desk during the day and won’t have time to enjoy retail therapy or a stay-at-home parent who doesn’t even look at their email until later in the day or weekends? For some, Sundays are the kiss of death, while others find Mondays are dead-ends. Keep testing and reviewing your analytics until you find your sweet spot.
Thank Your Customers. Remind them why they thought it was a good idea to subscribe and open your emails by giving them something of value. Offer them access to special offers, private events or first dibs on new products. Emails are a reflection of your business and the way you approach the content of your message should be the same as the way you approach the homepage of your website or merchandising your front windows. First impressions matter, so take your time and do it right. You’ll be rewarded with better open rates and a healthier bottom line. Megy Karydes is a marketing and communications consultant. She’s also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Megy is currently working on a book about how businesses can better market themselves. Sign up to get her monthly marketing tips at MegyKarydes.com.
Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 9
The Importance of Making
ECO-CHOICES By Royce Amy Morales
10 March/April 2018 | retailinginsight.com
or as long as I can remember, I’ve been on a persona l quest to discover deeper levels of awareness, trying to understand Truth in e ver y a rea of life. W het her searching for answers to Big Life Questions “What’s the meaning of life?” and “Why are we here?” or trying to understand why things are the way they are, I became a truth junky the minute I learned the word "why" — to my mother’s utter dismay, I might add! The more I explored, the more I understood the Universal Truth that it’s all the same. Most spiritual disciplines are saying the same thing in different ways; people all have the same desires, goals and fears; and, no matter the time in history, we’re faced with the same issues only with varying levels of drama. This led to discovering another profound statement of Truth: “Everything is interconnected.” I started experiencing it superficially: Nine times out of 10, I would think about someone, the phone would ring, and it would be them on the other end. Then, it got deeper: I would need something, no matter what it was, and, like magic, it would appear at the exact perfect moment. Like desperately needing gas money, looking down on the ground and finding several dollar bills floating by. A s this inner journey became more enmeshed, the expression expanded to become even more real. I could tangibly feel an “energetic web,” of threads that connected everything. Even apparently disjointed issues somehow fit together in the Bigger Puzzle of life. The Zen koan about the flapping of a butterfly’s wings being felt across the world made perfect sense. When planning to open my shop, the notion of interconnectedness became a central theme, etched firmly in my Mission Statement. Committedly, I chose to only sell merchandise that fit earth-friendly, Fair Trade standards, all with positive spiritual messages. In 1994, pre-Al Gore and Google, these were fairly groundbreaking notions. Discovering quickly that it was no easy task finding such items to fill glaringly empty shelves, I devised a Sub-Mission: Convincing vendors to provide green product lines. I didn’t know it then, but this too would not be easy to accomplish. Come hell or high water, I forged this uphill battle. When shopping trade shows, I excitedly
offered specific earth-friendly suggestions in every booth. I was nice, but I became a thorn in many sides, repeatedly bugging them each time I would see them. Trusting (albeit naively) that vendors would rather make a healthy choice than a harmful one, I persisted. As an example, when I learned that paraffin candles were made from petroleum waste products, it became my priority to locate earth-friendly alternatives. I went into every candle vendor booth and politely inquired as to what wax their candles were made from. Many would proudly explain they were using ‘very pure paraffin,’ a true oxymoron. I’d explain that, no matter how pure it is, it’s still a petroleum by-product. I’d tilt my head, give my best puppy dog look and say, gosh, I’m sure you wouldn’t want your customers sitting in an enclosed room breathing as much exhaust as if they were sitting in freeway traffic? Often, their reaction was shock, and just as often defensiveness. Sometimes they’d actually walk away. However, out of this persistence a few manufacturers started offering beeswax and soy wax alternatives. Now-a-days, the vast majority of candle vendors proudly brag about their line of ecofriendly soy candles! I never say told you so, but rather thank them profusely. Okay, I admit there’s a moment of self-aggrandizement that my nudges maybe had something to do with this transformation!
CONVERTING CUSTOMERS Now the bad news: It’s taken a lot longer to convince set-in-their-ways customers as to the importance of making green choices. For years, I was covert with customers about my passionate eco-commitment. I selected products that didn’t scream “earth friendly.” I rarely informed them that what they were purchasing had stringent environmental reasons for being sold in my shop. If I did choose to educate them, I would clear my throat, look down to avoid eye contact, and mention it ever so casually. Occasionally, it would spur more conversation, more education, more loyalty. Just as often, they would take their purchase and leave in silence, perhaps feeling some guilt about not making more green choices. This is only conjecture. Granted, it was a tough challenge sticking with this walk my talk, however, once green became “in,” it was easier. When the New York International Gift Show finally
bedecked their lobby with dozens of examples of earth sensitive booth items, I celebrated that the world had finally caught up. And, I could hopefully breathe easier. Now, even big corporations are starting to rise to the occasion, marketing to savvy, wellnessconscious consumers about the power of their purchases. People are shopping smarter and paying attention to their footprint as zero-waste becomes aspirational. As passion grows about personal and planetary health, companies are stepping up by offering more natural and (even) organic products. Until the last few years, natural products were often a mixture of true organic brands and wanna be (read: phony) labels, touting claims of healthy ingredients to those who didn’t know better. Now, with watchdog organizations such as ingredient database ranking systems, the demand for transparency and non-toxicity is finally hearing the call. The outcome from retailer and public demands have made all this possible.
NEW AGE CATCH UP However, there’s a peculiar idiosyncrasy going on in the New Age retailer world. A disconnection of some crucial dots, glaringly out of character with being in the business of consciousness. It seems that many shop owners haven’t bridged the chasm of the interconnection between saving the planet and doing business. When stepping into a shop with a New Age theme, I’m often shocked to see little if any concern about earth friendliness in the products being sold. I peruse shelves filled with toxic, imported from China items, rainforest destroying wooden knickknacks, greeting cards printed on non-recycled paper, petroleum-based paraffin wax candles scented with synthetic perfume, crystals mined in a destructive way. Shaking my head, I can’t escape fast enough from a place filled with the energy of so much destruction. If I do hang out longer, and observe a customer purchase dropped into a bleached, virgin paper bag, I want to shake the owner and yell “Can’t you see that even the smallest things we do are important?” Pondering this conundrum, all I can figure is they’re just not seeing the bigger picture.
WE ARE RESPONSIBLE Here comes the mini lecture: As independent small business owners, we’re truly the
Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 11
backbone of the economy. With this crucial position, not only do we have the responsibility to be a good example, we have the ability, dare I say duty, to be the Hundredth Monkey. The good news is, unlike “big box” stores, we don’t have to ‘go through corporate’ or attend endless committee meetings to transform. Most of us can readily make the choice to purchase earth consciously, stating that we care as much about the environment as we do about our bottom line. Think about the message being sent out by not making fully educated, green choices in business. We might be working long hours to make sure our shop is running optimally, even profitably, yet are we creating nothing more than New Age Walmarts? What a paradigm shift it would be to have a majority of small businesses go green.
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Several years ago, I conducted an educational seminar with several speakers from various environmental and social organizations in attendance. Our intention was to shift outmoded thinking, aiming to alleviate the environmental crisis. One of the speakers was a former cattle rancher gone vegan. He presented an extremely moving talk about what was happening in the beef industry behind the scenes, graphically explaining why he chose to stop eating all animal products. During the break, I chatted with the next speaker, the founder of an animal rights group. She was shocked and inspired by the upsetting disclosures from the previous speaker. Clearly, there were light bulbs popping over her head. “Wow, I never thought about the fact that I’m dedicated to working for animal issues, yet I’m eating them! I sure can’t do that anymore!” It was a profound moment when she connected her personal dichotomy dots. Once we do that, as she discovered, there’s no going back. That moment was meaningful for me as well, but for different reasons. Since I’ve always been an avid dot connector, I was amazed that this obvious interrelationship between animal rights and what we eat could’ve been missed. This awakened my understanding as to how easy it was getting caught up in our own cause and missing a Bigger Truth.
IT’S ALL ENERGY Being involved in the New Age movement, most likely you already accept that everything
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has consciousness. Bringing something into your shop is a choice to bring in the energy that tags along with it: The way it was created; how the materials were obtained; the people who made it; even the intention behind it. How willing are you to be aware of what you are offering your customers? Are your product choices based on more than what will be an easy sell, keystone markups, a need to fill shelves with trendy items that your competitor doesn’t carry? Feeling good about what you sell means having integrity in every aspect of your choices. Once I was at a trade show searching for handmade journals (made with recycled paper, of course). A booth selling beautiful journals caught my attention. As always, I asked about the materials they were using. “They’re hand dyed leather,” the artist boasted proudly. Politely, I thanked him and made a quick exit since I didn’t sell any animal products in my shop. As I left, I felt moved to let him know why I was leaving his booth. “Oh, but these are made from recycled leather,” he proclaimed loudly. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked what recycled leather means. I knew of some companies taking unusable factory scraps, grinding them up into a reclaimed leather pulp product. I still wouldn’t carry it. “No, this is made from cows that expired naturally in India where they hold them to be sacred,” he continued to brag, so confident that his choice was environmental and spiritual even. I shook my head, attempting to wrap it around this concept. Granted, it was an admirable ideal to bring use to a material that would’ve been discarded, but I still couldn’t get myself to support it. To me, it was still an animal product, and, no matter how it was acquired, it would be bringing energy of death into my shop. Sometimes you just have to draw the line.
LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION I learned the hard way to listen to my inner voice, that knowing tug telling me what I should or shouldn’t be buying for my shop. That voice that contends “What are you doing? You know this item is never going to sell!” That voice that insists there’s something “off” about what you’re about to purchase even though it seems like a perfect choice. That voice works overtime, screaming at me in especially high decibels at trade shows. It leads
me into booths I ordinarily wouldn’t go near only to find one item that would be perfect to carry. Or, I find that earth friendly something I never would’ve guessed was green. Once, stubbornly refusing to listen to that inner voice, I placed a sizeable order of a body products based on the vendor’s absolute promise that the ingredients were ‘100% natural.’ I should’ve known something was off when he didn’t happen to have a listing of the ingredients with him, calling them natural rather than organic (there is a big difference!). I was in love with ‘the look’ of the product and desperately wanted it to be a fit for my shop. Mid November, when the six cases arrived, I was able to read the ingredient list. Appalled, I discovered more chemicals in this line than the Table of Elements! Remembering that nagging feeling that something was “off,” I now understood. A little devil on my shoulder presented the temptation to ignore those truth tags and sell the products anyway. He insisted “Oh come on, no one cares if there are a few chemicals in their bath gel. And besides, no one will even notice they’ll be so enthralled with how beautiful this line is. This is a huge part of your holiday inventory and what are you going to do without it?” At that moment I made a tough choice: I decided to listen to my conscience. Contacting the manufacturer, we had a long and heated discussion where I reminded him of his assurance that the line was all natural. Eventually, I ended up eating the shipping costs and sending everything back. Interestingly, and probably just coincidentally (sure!), that holiday season was one of our best, even without this “important” product filling my shelves. Lesson learned.
BE THE ELEVEN PERCENTERS It’s said that if a mere 11% of the planet’s citizens reach a certain level of consciousness, all of humanity will take a quantum leap to the next level. It’s time for the New Age, Mind-Body-Spirit movement to join forces with its sister Green Movement and help reach critical mass. Here are some suggestions to help raise green awareness with reps and vendors at trade shows: Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions of vendors. Such as: What are the ingredients used in the product? If it already has an ingre-
dients list, question why certain things were included (do your homework first because they’ll probably argue their choices). How was it manufactured? Not only will you find out their level of green education, you’ll be inspiring them to make changes by showing your legitimate concerns. Don’t ever assume they know all the latest green information. Educate them and make suggestions. If they don’t show appreciation or seem defensive, move to the next booth — they are only concerned with making a sale. Eco issues don’t stop at just buying green products. Find out the social policies of the company you’re about to purchase from. Do they willingly show evidence about the working conditions of their factory? Are they certified Fair Trade? How are their products packaged? Do they use recycled or minimal packaging (or none)? Will they ship things using biodegradable cornstarch peanuts? Again, are they open to suggestion as to shipping in an eco-way? Contact the trade show promotion company and request a green section if they don’t already have one at their show. Encourage identifying signs that let buyers know if a product is truly earth friendly. What about all the waste that goes on at trade shows? Encourage recycling bins and point out anything else that’s an eco faux pas. If you aren’t already converted, here are some reasons to carry earth-conscious items (and some talking points to convert even the most skeptical customer): PLANETARY ECONOMY – Earth-friendly products are typically made with fewer raw materials meaning less use of natural resources. This is not only good for the environment, but also makes economic sense for the planet. GETTING THE MOST FOR MONEY – Value doesn’t always mean “costing less;” it’s not always represented in dollars and cents. The far-reaching impacts go beyond the price tag to help repair and sustain our damaged and fragile environment. GREEN THROUGH-AND-THROUGH – Since earth-friendly products require less toxic chemicals and materials to produce,
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their manufacturing process is significantly safer and healthier for workers as well as consumers. Keep in mind that companies claiming to be “green” may only be applying that label to the end product itself, not the manufacturing process. True earth-friendly applies to the entire lifecycle of the product, from development and manufacturing to usage and disposal. LONGEVITY – Sustainable, earth-friendly products typically last longer which means they cost less in the long run. Some organic products may be more expensive because it takes more time and attention to grow in a pesticide-free environment. Even so, these products have a longer payback period and represent the correct use of resources. NATURALLY SAFE – Earth-friendly products are often derived from plants making them safe for humans and the environment as well. The bi-products of these goods are typically non-toxic and biodegradable unlike
many of their petroleum-based counterparts. They also tend to be phosphate and paraben free, protecting humans, animals, plants, waterways and the atmosphere.
process for many non eco-friendly products emits high levels of carbon dioxide, increasing the greenhouse effect. This results in negative effects on the earth’s ecological balance.
VARIETY AND SELECTION – There’s a vast selection of earth-friendly products because they are constantly being created and ingenuously manufactured. They may have interesting textures, an earthy feel and an unpretentious look that will fit in any shop.
IT FEELS GOOD – People want to do the right thing. Sometimes just because, but that feel-good factor will come home with whatever they purchase.
R ECYCL ABLE – Not only are earthfriendly products often manufactured from recycled materials, they are more likely to be recyclable themselves. Savings are on both ends of the product. The initial costs may be higher, but as there is more demand to produce them, the costs continue to go down. ENERGY SAVING – The development, creation and disposal of earth-friendly products requires significantly less energy than synthetics. Additionally, the manufacturing
PROTECT THE FUTURE – The absolute best reason to choose green is that choices we make today have serious impact on the future. Our children and grandchildren will inherit the planet and the environment we leave for them. From the quality of water, air and soil to energy sources, pollution and waste disposal, it’s up to all of us to protect the future of our planet, today. Royce Amy Morales is the director of Perfect Life Awakening coaching. She has also published the book Know: A Spiritual Wake-up Call. Morales is the former owner of Harmony Works, a soul-nurturing shop in Redondo Beach, CA.
Making Magic Happen for
(800) 810-3837 COVENTRYWHOLESALE.COM
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MEET OUR VENDORS:
O.B.DESIGNS by Roberta Gazzarolle O.B.Designs is the brainchild of two friends, Kate (a buyer) and Leesa (a graphic designer) who were working together for a water sports company in Byron Bay, Australia. When Kate got pregnant in 2007 with her beautiful (now ten year old) daughter Evie, she noticed a lack of quality, unique and affordable children’s products. When Leesa handmade some beautiful teethers as a baby gift, they knew that they had to do something together using their combined talents. Over the kitchen table, ideas began to flow, and Leesa’s flair for creating unique, original designs led to the name O.B.Designs (which actually stands for Odd Bod!). The initial aims for the company remain, which is to create stylish, functional, unique and affordable gifts for children around the world, using high quality materials. K ate a nd L eesa were ada ma nt that O.B.Designs should be as eco-friendly as possible, and that products should be used to help those who are less fortunate. At O.B.Designs, they focus on using recycled, bio-degradable packaging whenever possible, and they have supported several charities for many years. All products are safety tested for children and meet the standard requirements for both EN71 and the CPSIA regulations. Today, Kate and Leesa remain as passionate as ever and their once tiny company now has products in stores all over the world. Every detail counts, and every creation is an inspiration. Because we like to inspire our readers, we invited Kate Nicolson, one of the owners behind the brand O.B.Designs, to share their story with us.
Retailing Insight – What is the story behind your brand? How did you start? What inspired you to leave everything behind to begin a new chapter in your life? Kate Nicolson – I discovered I had a knack for international trade when I was a surfer traveling around Indonesia and Australia in 2001. I had just completed my college degree and was going on what was supposed to be a short surf trip with some friends to Bali. Things changed when I met my (now) Australian husband out in the surf! I drained my bank account of the last $500 I had and bought some jewelry and sold it all when I got home to Florida for a good profit. It was enough to buy me a ticket back and then buy more jewelry to fund my travels for the next two years around the South Pacific. While on this journey I discovered I was self-motivated, which is an important part of being self-employed. After two years, I got to a point where I didn’t know how to grow my business in a sophisticated way, so I landed a job as an International Buyer for a water sports company in Byron Bay. That is where I met my now business partner, Leesa Hallahan. We worked well together and decided early on we were going into business together but
weren’t sure in what. I became pregnant with my daughter Evie and realized that there might be a hole in the market for beautiful, yet unique baby toys at a price my friends and I could afford. Leesa created some prototypes and the world’s first dingarings were born! Although they’ve had some refinement over the years, they remain one of our most iconic and well-loved product lines to this day. RI – What was the process that you had to go through in order to step up to a new career, be your own boss, and manage all different aspects of a business? KN – Starting a business for me was just what I needed. I was never good at being an employee, so being brave enough to commit to it was the easy part. The hardest part of all was learning the bookkeeping. I did not know a thing about it! I had an arts and science degree from University of Florida, so I had to teach myself all about MYOB and sat with an accountant and did a small business course which helped me get on my feet. I also learned about how to manage time effectively because my time was so limited! By the time Leesa and I actually had some samples, when
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I was pregnant with my second child Willow! They were 14 months apart in age. I am still juggling my time because my third child, Hunter, who's now four at home. He goes to school these year which is both exciting and sad for me. I will miss him when he is at school. However, I am looking forward to having many more hours in the week to focus on customer service, logistics and ensuring we keep bringing new ideas to fruition. RI – Your products are very appealing and well-designed. Who came up with the design concept and product ideas for children? KN – Originally the idea of creating a children’s toy business was mine. I wanted a beautiful teething ring for my daughter Evie, but couldn’t find anything I liked on the market. This is where Leesa came in strong. Leesa is a naturally creative type – she instantly had some great ideas about animals and timber and using beautiful fabric. The Dingaring line was born! Since then, we have co-designed many product lines together, usually over a nice coffee! We always work
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together on product development and over the years, we have incorporated our sense of humor and style into O.B.Designs. Even after 10 years together, I still think she is the best partner ever. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life and absolutely LOVE having a children’s gift business. Making people happy is what makes us keep loving our jobs. RI – How do you manage two locations in different countries with one being in the U.S. and the other in A.U. successfully? How do your logistics work? KN – I am based out of Lennox Head NSW right now. The Australian business is larger than the USA since it is nine years older. I rely on a good Shopify Website which has amazing APPs and it also syncs with my fulfillment warehouse and accounting software. I try to mirror the businesses, so I know how to use the software and it is not confusing to switch between the businesses. Because my family all lives in the U.S., I absolutely love coming here for trade shows since I usually get to have a little visit with them before or afterwards!
RI – Do you have any message(s) of inspiration that you would like to share? KN – Persistence! If you keep persisting you will achieve your dreams no matter what they may be! My husband will tell you this is one of my best (and most annoying?) character traits! The journey towards success is just that – a journey. It is never a straight line and there are always going to be setbacks. How you recover is what matters! Visualize your goals every day and do not give up. – Thank you, Kate, for letting us get to know you and for sharing your amazing story of success behind your brand! It’s a great story worth sharing!
We believe that every company has its own unique story to tell about their brand. Connections are all around! Stay tuned for another great Meet Our Vendors. To know more about O.B.Designs and their collection, visit www.obdesignsusa.com
Simple Strategies to Engage your Customers
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T by Jacki Smith
he Sales Cycle article (Resources 2018) touched on the pre-sale part of the sales cycle and how people find you and then decide to shop in your business. Engaging via social media is an opportunity to dive into and empower your pre-sales and interact with your customers where they are already looking. The key to getting your customers connected with you is to go to where they are and there are 3 billion1 active social media users waiting for you to meet them in the internet world. Since it's a large ocean of people to connect to, if you dive right in, you are going to have to work hard to find the customers you are looking for. It’s like going to a large family party and trying to talk to everyone at the same time, that chaos would be mind blowing. These numbers are eye opening! When you look at the statistics for social media, you realize not engaging your customers there is a tremendous missed opportunity. According to GlobalWebIndex 2, 16- to 24-year olds have an average of seven social media accounts. That is up from an average of three in 2012. But those 24-year-olds in 2012 are now 30 and they are even more imbedded in social media. If that’s not enough, social media users grew by 121 million between the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2017. That’s a new social media user every 15 seconds. Facebook and WhatsApp process 60 billion messages a day. That makes Facebook the only global phone company3. There are more Facebook messages than there are text messages. The USPS only processes 506.4 million pieces of mail a day 1/100th of the number of messages we send via instant messages4. Social media is our new global community. It’s not a trend, it creates trends and you leveraging your tiny corner of it can change your business for the better. It’s hard to know where to start with social media and googling the information brings out thousands of experts with conflicting information. Even today, writing and researching this article, I uncovered new trends that will shift my company’s aggressive social media plan. We didn’t panic, we just went through the buyer's journey again and updated our strategy. When you take the time to walk through a strategy and build a plan, it’s easier to track your success, pivot when needed and know if you are wasting your time. In the beginning, my social media strategy was like throwing pasta on the wall and I just waited to see what stuck. After a while, I have a lot of wasted pasta on the floor and a really messy wall. This was not a plan, it was a crapshoot. I had unrelated posts, missed opportunities and I was breaking my brand with a variety of images and fonts that were inconsistent. I was frustrated with what looked like a waste of my time and as a business owner, time is the last thing we want to waste. This is when we started looking at our social media as a way to connect all of our marketing and advertising in a way that engaged our customers instead of just bombarding them. Our strategy is much more effective now, yet there is always room for improvement. The process of building an engaging social media strategy is quick and empowering. You will find that by systematically looking at the ocean, you can find the little islands of customers who want you to visit with them.
Always Start with Your Customers In every marketing or sales seminary that I’ve attended, the program starts with you creating a description of your customer. Avatars, buying profile, demographics by any name, are a look at the same thing; who is buying from you and why. These are the customers you are taking on the Buyer’s Journey and looking to engage in your social media campaign. Put aside the need for an ideal customer, they do not exist, but your primary customer does and keeps you in business. It may feel easier to make up that ideal, fantasy customer than dig in at an uncomfortably intimate level about who your customer really is. You may turn up some facts you were ignoring or not wanting to admit. This isn’t being judgmental, it’s being observant.
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Start with your primary customers who spend the most money consistently and ask yourself a few questions: Who are they? Give them a name and description that includes their ages, what they buy from you and their main characteristic. Example: Urban Magic Makers. They come from an urban upbringing, mostly people of color that are 30-60. They buy candles, oils and charms for specific solutions. They come in several times a month, pull a few oracle candles and stock up on the products they need to use.
What does this group care about your product/service solution? What else is important to them, what do they respond to or spend money on? Example: The UMM is focused on empowerment and community. They have a circle of people they take care of and will take care of their physical appearance. They care about a good deal, especially on things they feel are quality.
Where does this group get information, help or answers? Example: The UMM are word-of-mouth, Facebook and text message. They listen to the news in the car and share the information with each other. They want to know if they can text us orders. They post a lot on Facebook and do a lot of re-sharing of positive quotes and social awareness memes and information.
What’s the biggest pain or issue this group faces and deals with?
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Example: The UMM are in a state of struggle on so many levels. They wonder if the world they fought for will be there tomorrow. They need quick fixes, so they can get on with their life to keep their job and their relationships intact. They don’t have time for deeper spiritual pursuits, they need a fast fix yet talk about wanting a deeper meaning to life.
How do you want customers to feel after using your product/service? Our goal is to give real answers to our customers. We want them walking away with trust that what we sold them will do the job they want it to do. We want them to feel that this was money well spent and know that we will guide them true each time. This is a tough group to market to, so this tells us we need to get: a) mailing lists, b) text lists, and c) be diligent in asking them where they found us for advertising. We donate to their causes, listen to their stories and invite them to bring their friends via incentives. This buying group, although big, is not the whole of our business, nor is your primary customer the whole of your business. Use this same process on your secondary market — the one you see as the next biggest potential for growth. This will make clear the next marketing campaign that is needed. For my store, the secondary market is what we call “Yoga Moms” these women in their late 30s to 50s with children. These women have always loved the spiritual, but have no time for it. These women sneak personal time for themselves by coming into our store and have made us a part of their self-care. For most shops their primary and secondary market are closer in relationship, making your buyers journey easier. I love my store’s diversity because it keeps us on our toes, keeps us interesting, and is the perfect example of why you use different social media platforms and strategies for different groups. When you know the buying groups you are targeting, you can match them with the social media they are actually engaged in.
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Who is paying attention to Social Media?5 Once you have your target buying groups, you can start matching them up with the content and social media platforms they are most likely to engage in. The three largest platforms are vastly different and require different content and engagement. Changing your message per platform is the key to success. FACEBOOK – the place where we connect with the world. Facebook is the giant in the room and owns a disproportionally large part of the social media sphere with 1.15 billion daily users. You can’t ignore the Facebook world, but it can ignore you. It’s so big you have to be narrow in your target you are trying to reach. Facebook has the widest demographic, but it is growing older with 69% of the users are over 25. It has a larger percentage of women than men, yet is spread out almost equally in the urban, suburban and rural areas. Facebook can help you create community, start conversations and show your customer engagement in one stream. Viral posts are easily re-shared on Facebook. Facebook has been leveraging paid advertising and that seems to be the way to actually get traction there. INSTAGRAM – the place to engage in your lifestyle and live your ideals. Instagram is the next largest social media platform and got there quickly. With 600 million active users, it is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds. This image- and video-driven platform is a way to showcase your world to other followers and is unsurprisingly dominated by women. The 16-24 years old category has the largest percentage of users (59%). This is a great place to connect to specific lifestyles as # hashtag campaigns are successful here. With the right settings, every post on Instagram can automatically post to your Facebook feed as well. Instagram visually tells a story and can hook your customers with images and inspire purchases. Comments are harder to see, but there is a greater likelihood that your followers will see your posts. T W ITTER – Press, PR and moment to moment happenings. Customer service engagement and brand messages are a growing trend with Twitter. 330 million users find power in 280 characters or less. Press, PR, live events and making connections are the power that Twitter holds. With Twitter, your followers can reach you directly with messages, reviews and requests. The younger
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demographics of Twitter, 36% of 18-25 years old, they can quickly connect with their favorite celebrities or causes and affect swift change. Twitter takes away the layers of separation from you and your customers. The posts are fast and furious and easily buried depending on how many people you follow. Re-tweets are easy and viral posts can go wild if they are picked up by the right influencer. These three are only the tip of the iceberg and YouTube is another force, and worthy of its own article. Once you get the hang of these three, you can attack and master the next most popular one by one. Pinterest, Linked In, Reddit, Scribd, SlideShare, iTunes… the list grows.
Buyer's Journey – Curate it with your content Small sustainable increments are the key to a successful strategy and execution. Spending time connecting to your customers and building your brand awareness will pay off with loyalty and brand recognition. Treating your brand as more than a logo, but as the culture of your business will keep people engaged. Yet how do you get them looking in your direction in the first place? This is where the buyer’s journey comes in. Customers go through this process when looking for companies to engage with and your social media campaign can pull the buyers that are looking for what you have right to your front door. When you look at blogs and content shared in social media, it is often stuck in the awareness step or the consideration step. Lovely pictures of what you have in your store and inspiring memes to get you through the stress of the day. If you look at the buyer's journey as a reminder to level up your posts to bring your customers through the steps and onto your doorstep, your engagement becomes that much more effective. There are three basic steps in the buyer's journey: Awareness. Experiencing the symptoms of a problem and are searching for an answer. This is where you create content that addresses problems and answers questions. Where your tweets and memes are targeted on specific problems and pains you know your customer has and offers quick solutions. This is where you become the subject matter expert. Blogging on your own site and then sharing out the images, subject lines and hook lines will bring customers to your content to read more about
your solutions. Sometimes you are re-writing the problems in a new light or perspective to open up your products or services as the solution. Consideration. This is where the problem has been clearly defined and they are exploring the options available. This is where you offer the benefits of your services and products. You are positioning your company as the best option to resolve the issues at hand. This is where you give some how-to’s and demos that instill confidence in your company. This is also your FAQ page on your site – you can post Q&As from your Frequently Asked Questions to set you up as the authority. Customer testimonials are king in this step of the buyer's journey. Leveraging Yelp and other review sites are a way to get customer testimonials. Decision. They have decided on the path to their solution and are evaluating who to purchase that solution from. This is where your call to action is the most powerful. Offer a consultation, a trial, a sniff test or a coupon to reel in that customer who is choosing between you and another option. When you help the customer understand the consequence of not resolving their issue, they become closer to deciding on your product. Your job here is to gently help them make the decision.
Putting it all in play When you marry the buyer's journey with your social media strategy you can see how each step can fit into the style of the different platforms. Make a grid of the process and choose a goal and you can quickly target what you want to post where.
Imagine what engagement you would get if you applied this strategy for targeted campaigns. If you have an event or new product in your store you can create this grid with a timeline and targeted groups and can start to measure this success. Look beyond the “like” and see how many people visit your site, call for an appointment or buy a specific product.
Engagement is a two-way street Network is the magic formula here, that’s why it’s called social networking. Give content that is of value and don’t always make it about you or your business. Share relevant things from other places, comment on your customers' wins and losses. Comment, share and market for others while you are there. Balanced posts between your business and engaging others will increase your followers and you come across as the influencer and in the power seat. Play around, try new things, enjoy yourself and follow these three social media commandments for the win:
Create value – quality over quantity Know your market and have a strategy Make it easy for people to buy.
Strategy for Your Next Campaign: AWARENESS Share an article on the problem and have a review on the solution. Write a blog on the issue with solutions and share. Share an image of your products that tell a tale of resolving an issue. Share the image on your blog with comments in the picture. Share an image of your products that tell a tale of resolving an issue. Share the image on your blog with comments in the picture.
Building a social media campaign is as complicated as you decide to make it. Hit the easy button and start simple, small and sustainable; building as you go. 1 https://www.slideshare.net/wearesocialsg/global-digital-statshot-q3-2017 2 https://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/internet-users-have-average-of-7-socialaccounts 3 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/27/facebook-ad-sales-growth-quarterlyresults#img-1 4 https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/one-day-by-the-numbers.htm 5 https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics
CONSIDERATION Share a Q&A from your frequently Asked Questions Page. Write a how-to blog that you can refer people to. Share an image of product in action that resolve the issue. Create a visual how-to to share and link to on your site.
Jacki Smith is the co-owner of Coventry Creations (coventrycreations.com) and they are celebrating their 25th year in business. Her passion of personal empowerment and small business has been the driving force in her success and her journey of lifelong learning. Jacki is a regular contributor to Retailing Insight and loves sharing her experience, successes and cautionary tales.
Share a positive review or customer comment. Share a quick question and link the answer to your site.
DECISION Post a call to action to come in for a consultation or products that resolve the problem. Post a coupon or an invitation to come in for products or services that will resolve an issue. Offer a live Q&A – invite customer service questions on Twitter Post calls to action.
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Fashion & Jewelry Nowadays more groups and communities are gathering to work together for great causes. They are aware of the environment we live in and they understand that everyone can contribute somehow using green solutions. Each action we take counts towards more sustainable-minded ideas. The Eco-friendly section is about presenting you some earth-friendly collections made by beautiful souls with sustainable materials that are not only meaningful, but are helping many communities around the globe.
by Roberta Gazzarolle Sea Grass Dunia Necklace Kazi www.kazigoods.com
A Boho inspired necklace, made of recycled paper. Great for any event or season. Made by artisans in Uganda. Price $36
Tissue Knit Jamie Dress â€“ Washed Denim Synergy Clothing www.synergyclothing.com
100% organic cotton made in India. The Jamie Dress is a versatile style for the Spring. It features a skirt that crosses over in front, a drawstring waistband, and a tank sleeves. Price $29.50 Kantha Sunflower Earrings â€“ Assorted Patterns and Colors WorldFinds www.worldfinds.com
Colorful beads made of repurposed kantha textiles surround a circle of matte gold seed beads in a playful flower shape. Colors and patterns may vary. Handmade by women artisans in India. Wholesale Price $6
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Natural Color Oval Basket with Leather Handles African Market Baskets www.africanmarketbaskets.com
The basket is handmade from river grass by local weavers in Ghana. A great call for Summer time vacation, or even for a trip to the farmer’s market. Measures 16”- 20” long x 8”-10” wide x 10”-12” tall. Price $32
Dukor Cluth – Oyster Amani ya Juu www.amaniafrica.org
OM Mani Padme Hum Mala Necklace
This bag was handcrafted using West African fabrics and natural dyes. It represents and supports Africa’s pursuit of peace. Fabric features neutral colors, magenta, purple, red and gold in a zig-zag design shape. Brass embellishment. Size: Approx. 9.5”x6.5”. Price $22
Pure Art www.pure-art-3.myshopify.com
Called Om Mani Padme Hum, it is made with 108 beads, a guru bead and tassel. A beautiful reminder of connecting with our inner self and releasing our kindness, love and compassion. Made by women artisans in Uganda. Price $45
MBILI double Pendant Necklace Acacia Creations www.acaciacreations.market
Make a serious statement with twin pendants made from ethically sourced cow bone and hand-cast recycled brass. They hang from 2 strands of recycled brass. Price $30
Jet Coin Bangle Ways of Change www.bywaysofchange.com
The Jet Coin Bangle is a polished goldtone brass bangle-bracelet embellished with three hammered brass coins and wrapped wire detailing. Hinged for an easy fit, it has a hook and eye style closure. Jet is the Burmese currency, which is where the name for this piece comes from. Designed by artisan La Tuang. Price $15
Care’s Bangle Ways of Change www.bywaysofchange.com
A minimalist aesthetic piece created from recycled brass rings that Kayan women wear on their necks. A tradition that symbolizes femininity, strength and power. Price $12
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RETAIL DESIGN How to Design Spaces for Small Brick-and-Mortar Stores by Roberta Gazzarolle
he Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as its members reach their prime working and spending year, there will be a huge impact on the economy. They are the f irst digital natives and their affinity for technology reflects how they shop. They have shown different attitudes towards ownership – from cars to living spaces - that have helped drive the “sharing economy.” In other words, they are causing a transformation of urban mobility supported by population growth, behavior change, wellness awareness, and greener decisions. So how can retailers keep up with the sharing economy effect? Retailers need to gain a unique understanding of the new generation’s mindset and how to leverage it! As a result, this new generation’s eagerness for experience, engaged communities, and new design concepts can help your physical
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stores provide a “different perspective” for customers. To share more ideas about designing a space and give you some tips and insights about retail design, we spoke with Retail Design Collaborative (RDC), an architectural firm dedicated to making everyday places extraordinary. It believes that celebrating the retail realm is one of focal point of human interaction. RDC is an award-winning leader in the retail design and retail architecture industry. With over 37 years of experience designing in the retail realm, the firm’s depth and excellence in all aspects of retail allow it to take a holistic approach when designing the retail experience. Throughout RDC’s history, it has developed key client relationships and a deep understanding of adapting to the constantlyevolving sea changes in the retail industry. Responses by Sean Slater, principal at Retail Design Collaborative.
Retailing Insight – How do you as an architect see the changes being reflected in your projects when designing a space for a small retail shop? Sean Slater – We are seeing an unprecedented effort to create value-added experiences in retail spaces. You go into a Shinola and you are offered a branded cola or craft beer. So many new retail stores are selling lifestyle and experience with products as a seemingly secondary aspect to their operations. RI – Which are the holistic elements that you use as an inspiration to create retail design? Do you look more for a retail experience or a consumer experience? SL – I characterize holistic as the comprehension of the parts of something that is intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole. Related, retail design has become a
value-based proposition. However, retail cannot only be defined by its monetary value; the ethical values of the purveyor are also incredibly important. In today’s market, the retailer's entire package, from its store design to its web-presence, packaging, charitable giving and countless other things besides the products is what sells its brand. RI – We know that millennials are one of the largest generations in history. Their shopping habits and eagerness for unique experiences are reshaping the economy, and also the way we buy and sell products. What is the biggest challenge you face when creating a space due to this new generation of consumers? SL – Strangely enough, statistics from the latest Black Friday sales show that Millennials were among the biggest participants around this annual drive to spend. They didn’t actually buy very much, but they loved the experience and hype that surrounded it. This is very good news for retailers. The onus is on the retail brands to associate themselves with something unique and exciting, and then translate that into brick-and-mortar or web-based sales. RI – Do you think that from time to time it’s important for a small retailer to rethink their store layout and design? Why? SL – I think that constant reinvention is the name of the game for most brands. One
example of a successful retailer is Anthropologie, who is one of the best at this. Their modular displays and hand-crafted windowtreatments make the shopping occasion feel unique and hyper-seasonal. RI – What else should readers know about when designing a small space? What do they need to consider when changing their layout, adding new design elements, etc.? SL – As baby-boomers and millennials eschew “stuff,” a store design should feel highly curated and selective. It’s better to leave a good bit of the merchandise unseen and have it presented to the customer rather than overwhelm them with an array of choice in a small space. RI – From a designer’s perspective do you think the way products are displayed and how the stores layout is designed can prevent potential customers from walking in? SL – I think that some retailers intentionally prevent a certain demographic of customers from entering the store comfortably. Hollister was famous for creating an “uncomfortable” experience for parents with the music, light-level and general non-chalant vibe with regards to its customer service. It worked very well for their target demographic at the time, however. Times change, and stores’ layouts needs to be able to adapt to
the changing times as well. RI – What are the greatest challenges for any architect or designer these days when working with small retail stores? And in your opinion what has changed in the retail industry over the past 30 years? SL – The greatest challenge is the balance between creating something that’s timeless and ever-changing. Modular fixtures, open layouts and clutter-free displays are key opportunities retailers can use to consistently communicate their brand with their customers. Retail is more bifurcated now than ever in history. The same customer who is willing to sift through piles of clothes at Ross may also now have a craft cocktail and drop large amounts of money at a specialty boutique. The Internet has been a great leveler in terms of the expectation of quality. Twenty years ago, Ferragamo, for example, was known only to a tiny class of shoppers. Today, anyone shopping the Las Vegas Strip can walk into a Gucci, Pucci, Fendi, Prada, etc. This has raised the expectation for all retailers. Successful store design is based on great materials and well-designed stores with a clean, elegant presentation, even if the retailer sells lower price-point goods. Roberta Gazzarolle editor at Retailing Insight Magazine.
Sean Slater principal at Retail Design Collaborative www.rdcollaborative.com/en
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A peek at topselling merchandise in independent book and gift stores around the U.S. compiled by Retailing Insight Editorial Team
retailing insight invited readers to share what products are selling well in their stores. Readers from across the U.S. weighed in, representing general book and gift stores, body-mind-spirit specialty stores, centers (wellness, spiritual, yoga), fine art and craft galleries, clothing boutiques, hospital gift shops, toy stores, crystal shops, kitchen and home décor stores, Fair Trade stores, and more. Read on for the product categories that rose to the top and a sampling of inventory all-stars mentioned by name.
Glory Lotus Necklace, Destination Oils, www.destinationoils.com Tree of Life Aromatherapy Locket, Sun’s Eye, www.sunseyestore.com Kantha Connection Bracelets, World Finds, www.worldfinds.com Geometric Gemstone Ring, Zoe and Piper, www.zoeandpiper.com The Cat in the Moon Pendant, Goddes Design Studio, email@example.com Tagua Nut Half-Moon with Star Pendant, Tidepool, www.tidepoolonline.com
Inspirational Gifts & Greetings
Sisterhood of Women Charms & Blessing Charms, Deva Designs, www.devadesignsjoy.com All the Wei Dark Chocolate Assortment, Wei of Chocolate, www.weiofchocolate.com Herbal Teas and Seasonings, Akasha’s Treasures, www.akashastreasures.com Tropical Paradise Packaging Collection, Nashville Wraps, www.nashvillewraps.com
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Apparel & Accessories
ViA GemWater Bottle, Vita Juwel, www.vitajuwel.com Organic Cotton Full-Length Leggings, Soul Flower, www.soul-flower.com Cut out Cork Handbag, Cork Nature, www.cork-nature.com
Waking Up in 5D: A Practical Guide to Multidimensional Transformation, Inner Traditions, www.innertraditions.com Start Where You Are, TarcherPerigee, www.penguin.com Practice You, Sounds True, www.soundstrue.com
Meditation & Intuition Tools
Liquid Sage Spray Mixed with Essential Oils, Benjamin International, www.benjamininternational.com CB01 Chakra Banner, Mandala Arts www.mandalaarts.com Abundance Little Grid Kit, Spirit Whisperings, www.spiritwhisperings.com Tumble Stones, Raiders of the Lost Art, www.raiderocks.com
Fragrance for Home & Health
Sage Spray, Shaman’s Dawn, www.shamansdawn.com White Sage Clearing Spray, Sun’s Eye, www.sunseyestore.com Bedtime Sleep Blend, Destination Oils, www.destinationoils.com Kate’s Magik Purification & Protection Aura Mist, Kate’s Magik, www.katesmagik.com Triloka Original Herbal Incense Lavender Fields, Windrose Trading, www.windrosetrading.com
Home & Garden Décor/ Lighting for Home & Health
Felt Cactus Collection Line, DZI Handmade, www.dzi.com Lena Mermaid Queen Ceramic Statue, World Buyers, www.worldbuyers.com AAOTE Aromatherapy Diffuser, Aspiring Artists of the Earth, www.aaote.com Blessed Herbal Spiritual Cleansing Candle, Coventry Creations, www.coventrycreations.com
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Friendly to Engage by Megy Karydes
Hannah Alhalel greets every customer who enters Fire & Ice, her Glenview, Illinois, apparel and accessories boutique, with a smile. It’s just one of many steps the co-owner takes to develop a relationship built on trust and honesty, she says.
Customer Service Alhalel’s customers appreciate her ability to be honest with them, and that honesty, along with a strong selection of curated products, keeps them returning and singing her praises. “We pride ourselves on being all about the customer and [are] very honest with them,” Alhalel admits. Many shop owners, she says, don’t bother to give honest feedback on what people are buying so customers go home and become upset when they look in the mirror and they don’t look good in whatever they bought. “We want them to be comfortable about what they’re buying from the start,” she adds. Still, she’s thoughtful with her approach. Rather than telling a customer something doesn’t look good on her, which she says some customers prefer, she often opts for a softer approach. “If it doesn’t look good and they’ve tried something else on earlier, I’ll say ‘I’ve liked other stuff much better than this one,’ or ‘this one doesn’t do it for me’,” she says. Or she’ll encourage them to think about it and come back if they can’t get it out of their mind. Her friendly engagement has garnered legions of supporters who appreciate her candor. It’s also paid off handsomely by attracting new customers who hear about her shop from happy customers or see them wearing pieces from Fire & Ice. While social media has become an important way to engage with customers, she credits those one-on-one interactions and developing a trusting relationship with each person as the reason word-of-mouth drives new business. “If I develop a good relationship with one person, it’s more likely she’ll tell one, two, four people,” she adds. “It’s a chain and it’ll keep growing and growing.”
Product Selection Alhalel’s approach to detail and being selective of what merchandise she offers is another reason her customers return regularly. By getting to know them and what they like, she can better shop for merchandise. Although she doesn’t necessarily shop at trade shows with specific customers in mind, she can quickly pinpoint a customer who might like something she sees at a show.
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One tip she offers buyers shopping at trade shows, and plans to blow out when she attends the next one, is to “take Polaroids of everything you buy at the trade show and put those Polaroids in a photo album.” When a customer indicates an interest in something while shopping, or comments something she’d like to see, Alhalel references her photo album and shows her customer immediately what she’s expecting in the coming months.
Staying in Touch Alhalel doesn’t have walk-by traffic since her shop isn’t situated in a mall-like or Main Street setting so she has to rely on other ways to remind customers to pop in. Her approach happens to be the best way for her to make sales or get them into the shop: she sends them texts about products that arrive, and she thinks they’ll love. “Once you get them in the store, you then have a chance to sell them more things,” she adds. She might send an image of a top via text, for example, and the customer comes in and adds a necklace. Or they’ll add another item they had considered in the past. Developing that trust and nurturing relationships has been pivotal for Alhalel. She strives to be their personal shopper resource and often gives customers her personal cell phone number so any time they need anything, day or night, they can call or text her. “The more I get to know them, the more I get to know what they like,” she adds. It’s not unusual for customers to call her to let her know they’re coming in and to ask if they can pull some stuff for them to try on. And although she doesn’t have the benefit of walk-by traffic, she doesn’t sit on her laurels waiting for loyal customers to keep her busy. She engages with customers on Facebook, often posting new items in the shop, and a new e-commerce site will make it easier for customers to shop when they can’t get to the store. She also partners with her neighbors, a gym and lash boutique, on events to encourage clients to stop in the shop either before or after a service or workout. Partnerships with local non-profit groups help introduce the shop to new customers, too. A recent event brought in more than two dozen new customers to the shop and several have already returned. Who says honesty doesn’t pay? Megy Karydes is a marketing and communications consultant. She’s also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Megy is currently working on a book about how businesses can better market themselves. Sign up to get her monthly marketing tips at MegyKarydes.com.
The books you need for the life you want...
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tarcherperigee.com • An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Learn. Create. Grow.
Home Décor & Garden Accessory Ideas When it comes to selecting décor items for indoor or outdoor spaces, the first selection usually starts out with a theme. The theme is usually inspired by the changing of seasons, or maybe a favorable design style could influence the decision-making process. The chosen topic for this section is Nature as our shining star, because we believe that simple elements from nature can give us a great source of inspiration and creativity from material selection to color patterns, and textures that could be used. From home décor ideas to garden accessories check out some of the selections that we’ve picked.
by Roberta Gazzarolle
Orange Slice Basket – Large Kazi www.kazigoods.com
A beautiful piece that could easily be used as a fruit bowl, a table centerpiece or it could simply be hung on the wall. The basket is intricately woven and the colors and designs used for every basket are incredible. It symbolizes an abundance of wealth, friends, family, and good living. This product is made from natural fibers of sisal and sweetgrass. Organic dyes are used to dye the sisal and the baskets are all made in Rwanda. Different sizes and colors are available. Price $68
Metallic Gold + Mirage Gray Amagara Vase Kazi www.kazigoods.com
This colorful vessel is a clever home décor piece. It can be used as a vase, a wine bottle holder, or it can simply be used to store kitchen utensils. These vases are made of natural sisal fibers, sweetgrass, and organic dyes. Approximately 4”x 8.5”. More colors and sizes available. Made in Rwanda. Price $36 Medium Zanzibar Recycled Glass Canister – Clear Teak Natural Shaped Salad Set Be Home www.be-home.com
If you are looking to throw a Mediterranean dinner party, or to invite some friends over for lunch one weekend, this funky natural shape teak salad set is a great choice Size: 14.75”x4”. Price $13.95
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Acacia Creations www.acaciacreations.com
If rustic and recycled is your type of design, check out this canister (approx. 6.5”x 3”) from Acacia Creations. It has the combination of ethical craftsmanship and an eco-friendly design. These pieces are handmade in Tanzania from recycled wine bottles and each lid is carved out of local Mninga wood, using traditional Swahili techniques and designs by local artisans. Price $19
House Planter CTW Home Collection www.ctwhomecollection.com
The simple elements and elegance used to design this beautiful house planter is what makes this piece so lovely. For indoor or outdoor use this house planter can tie in perfectly with a rustic and clean design. Size: 8 ½” x 14 ½” pot is included and measures 8”x 3 ¼”. Consult CTW Home for price details.
Knoll Gardens Melamine Dinner Plate Q Squared www.shopqsquared.com
For nature enthusiasts. The Knoll Gardens dinner plate features a stunning hand-drawn floral graphic. Made of 100% melamine. With gorgeous and colorful floral patterns this piece has a perfect combination of nature to set your table during spring. Price $9.10
Door Chime – Blue Jay DZI www.dzi.com
The hand-cast chimes are made of solid brass by Tibetan and Indian artisans in northern India. Each bell and element is individually sand-casted in solid brass and carefully tuned by hand to ensure clarity of sound and tone. In comparison to more traditional chimes, these create a melodic and very unique sound. Price $16.
Song Bird Serving Tray CTW Home Collection www.ctwhomecollection.com
For bird lovers this enamelwarelook finish piece is such a beautiful complement that brightens up any table. Size: 21”x13”. Consult CTW Home for price details.
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FRESH! A WHIMSICAL KIT A WHIMSICAL KIT
to make wishes to make wishes come true. come true.
WR I TE I T
L IG HT IT
L IGHT IT
WATCH I T F LY
WATCH I T FLY
Unicorn Wishing Kit Believe in the power of wishes! Write your wish on the special paper, light it and watch it fly into the heavens. IT FLIES! Unicorn is just one of 60 precious package designs available – choose your favorites, bring people joy.
A Galleria of NEW Products >> special advertising section
Organic Yoga Collection Eco-friendly, comfort-focused fashions that reflect your spirit and respect mother earth. Made with organic cotton, hemp, and recycled plastic beverage bottles. Featuring unique, hand-created artwork inspired by yoga, nature, and mindful living. Screenprinted by hand in Minnesota. New baby and kids styles, too! Soul Flower 866.294.8074 I firstname.lastname@example.org www.soulflower.com/wholesale
Flying Wish Paper 503-914-3978 I email@example.com www.flyingwishpaper.com
Kantha Rainbow Spiral Bracelet Sustainability at it’s most colorful! The Kantha Rainbow Spiral Bracelet is created using traditional Kantha textiles that are repurposed into vibrant beads. And it’s handmade by women artisans in India who are improving their lives through Fair Trade. See the complete collection of ethical designs online! WorldFinds Fair Trade 800-609-9303 I firstname.lastname@example.org www.worldfinds.com
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Kate’s Magik Body Perfume Oils These regal body oils nourish the skin and delight the senses with deep blends of exotic essential oils. Each Reiki-charged body perfume is named to evoke the qualities of a curious insect. Hand-blended in small batches and packaged in Biophotonic Violet Glass with elegant boxes. Kate’s Magik 520.743.1486 I email@example.com www.katesmagik.com
A Galleria of NEW Products
www.raiderocks.com >> special
Raiders of the Lost Art 4651 NW 6th Street Suite C Gainesville, FL. 32609 advertising section
GREEN WISDOM Nature’s Roadmap for Sustainable Success by James Wanless
n a time of great change, competition, and uncertainty, especially for retailers and creative producers, what to do? What’s the solution? Often, we don’t see the forest for the trees. Indeed, our coach, teacher and living model for surviving and thriving in our topsy-turvy world is right in front of us… nature. Remember that the core essence of business is the exchange and distribution of creations and services. This is what nature does and has done well for two and half billion years. Nature, “Earth, Inc.,” has undergone numerous changes, devastations and five mass extinctions, and yet always comes back. As
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I say, “nature knows how” – how to renew, evolve, sustain. Some might say that nature is nature and has little to do with us humans and our human world. This is one of the major challenges of human civilization as it moves further and further away from our nature as nature. One of the most amazing symbols of our life is this micro-photo of our human DNA, which, to our eye, is the exact same in every living organism on earth. We are one with all of nature. Understand it, accept it and we thrive as one. Deny this and we have no hope as a human species nor will we be sustainably successful in our endeavors.
DNA Chromosome by UCSF, 1980.
We are born of nature and live as its behest… Nature rules! Follow its rules and you, your business, your relationships and our world will survive just fine.
Every life form in nature adheres to these rules, except for us humans. With our thinking brain, we create choices, doubts, uncertainties, complexities that cloud the very truth of our natural being. Here are the ever-greening rules of nature to live abundantly, creatively, and sustainably. This is the eco-path for professional proficiency, productivity, profitability, and prosperity. 1. It’s All About You 2. Know Yourself 3. Know Your Purpose 4. Be Whole Within 5. Live in Unity with the World 6. Renew 7. Adapt 8. Grow 9. Sustain
You Are it! I love the adage that “success is an inside job!” True and always true, the core source for your achievement in any endeavor is you. Nothing in nature looks outside of itself. All of nature takes complete responsibility for its fortunes. Success programs emphasize doing this or that, but really, it’s all about you being you. We look at the market, the competition, the required skills, the future, all of which are necessary, but who is doing the looking? We see, and we act according to who we are and how we are. Life is a projection of how we view ourselves and the world. A doubtful person creates a doubtful future. An unmotivated person doesn’t manifest much. A confident person makes a mark. Success depends upon the person – the agent of creation. That be you.
Know Yourself Everything organic and alive in nature, from simple cells to plant life to our beloved pets know who they are. A robin does not think it’s an eagle. A redwood tree knows it’s a redwood tree. A rose is a rose. If you don’t know who you are, there is no way you can perform and produce to your optimum capability. In
today’s competitive and demanding world, it’s imperative to be all that you are and can be. In my case, I could have been a professor of political science for life, but teaching that subject in universities was not me. By an extended “vision quest” for years, I found myself. Once authentic, then you can truly author your life your way. In today’s DIY world of individuality and independence, self-knowing is essential. Now, we are each our own boss, our own business, our own brand, our own bounty. Who are you? Answer this ongoing question and you have the solution for everything. Again, nature has succeeded because every aspect, every twig, every creature lives to fulfill itself, to be itself.
Know Your Purpose Every single living entity, except again for us humans, know exactly why they are alive and what they are supposed to do. A butterfly knows it’s supposed to extract and share pollen as its business. A mushroom knows its purpose is as a recycler in the soil to ultimately bear new life. Purposeful of their life-work, each and every life form is pulled by the life force to attain its destined goal. We call this “future pull,” meaning that we have the creative source of life as the primary power and ally to empower the fulfillment and attainment of the inherent intention for being. What is your purpose? This is an ultimate question that may not be answered easily or quickly in life. Continuous inquiry through life experience will eventually give you the great aha! Once known, you are an absolute powerhouse, relentless and resilient until you pass on. In my case, I have had success, but I am not done. I have not fulfilled my contract with the source of my creation. Because I know this and despite prostate cancer, I am more energized, more creative and more productive than ever at 75 years young. The latest spate of studies declares that people with life purpose tend to engage in healthy physical behaviors and are mentally and emotionally healthier. Thus, purposeful people who engage life with joy, interest, and service live longer! It is even said in the journal, Review of General Psychology that a meaningful life is the “central organizing principle of life.” In addition, because professional success
in today’s world has become increasingly varied and unique, there is no way to succeed unless you find and create your own niche, which is entirely connected to what you find meaningful. Only then will you stand out, be seen, and be valued. Knowing your own distinctive product and service is a result of knowing yourself and your reason for being. Not only will you be visible, but also competent and proficient as “the expert.”
Be Whole Within Though life forms in nature are simpler than us, they optimize their faculties, and which are completely unified. A superactive squirrel, like “Q” that I had once had as “pet,” is so pesky, powerful and proficient because he puts into motion all of his cognitive and physical skills. And his little brain does not think differently from what it’s body tells it and it’s elementary emotional nature is compatible with what it’s instinct informs it. Like Q, do the best you can to be “all” of yourself. Basically, we are composed of thoughts, emotions, sensations, and intuitions (mind, heart, body, spirit) and they must all be activated at their highest level and in agreement. You are guaranteed to be a success in life when mentally you are curious, imaginative, and fascinated by the idea of you and what you are doing. Most of all, be positive! A positive mind manifests positive results. Emotionally, be turned on by what you do. Motivation keeps you in motion with the power and fuel of your pulsing heart! No passion means no great purpose, proficiency, performance, and production. Physically, stay healthy and have energy! The very bottom line for success in any endeavor is knowing how to continuously energize yourself so that you have the body capable of doing and re-doing. Are you fit enough for a life fulfilled? Spiritually, trust the mystery of your intuitive impulse. Herein lies the miraculous life force from which we are created. Nature is so extraordinarily sustainable because it’s active in the present and does not doze off daydreaming about yesterday or tomorrow. And we tend to think and think about a decision, which often leads to “paralysis through analysis.” Like nature which follows its spontaneous, quick and energetic instinct, we have the same gift in our intuition. This
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human form of instinct is the “superpower” for sustainable life. It physically exists in the emotional part of the forebrain. Trust and follow it. My mantra is, “feel it and do it!” In today’s speeding world, the survival of the fittest is often the “survival of the quickest.” Not only is the intuitive impulse pure energy that empowers and moves you, it’s also the best governor of your decisions and direction. Intuition is your truest guide and most authentic you. No decision is always correct but by following this little feeling, you are in your power and always have the best chance of success. By activating these inner centers of consciousness in unison and in agreement, you are whole within. Even more so, you are a synergistic powerhouse where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. However, we humans are complex and complexed, conflicted and confused. We often think one way, feel something else, have a body with its own imperatives, and an intuition with a mysterious, a-logical voice. Just because we humans have more dimensions, powers, and choices than other living entities, this
does not excuse us from seeking integrative wholeness and synergy. If you are not wholly involved and on the same page mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, you are limited, compromised, disempowered. I call it “unergy” instead of synergy. Good luck. So, professionally, love your work, find it mentally stimulating, spiritually inspiring and purposeful, intuitively right, and physically doable. Then you are following the wholistic “Fortune Formula.” This is how good luck is “made”– by the proactive expression of your whole self as a true team, and you win!
Live in Unity with the World Looking at nature, every organism from cells to sea crabs to the cedars of Lebanon are all perfectly adapted, comfortable, and engaged with where they reside and with whom they live. But, we humans often don’t like our family, our mates, our work partners, our “frenemies.” We don’t know or like our neighbors. We don’t especially care for the
town or terrain that we live in. There is no way you can be an effective person in any aspect of life if you are not one with your social and natural environment. As the great psychologist, Carl Jung, once said, “The power of place is the base essential for having a fulfilling and productive life.” Your home must be your “home,” a sanctuary of heart and hearth. I live, for example, in a garage living space with a loft, which may not be right for you, but is absolutely perfect for me. It’s true that “you are your home.” If you are not at home at home, you cannot restore, relax, renew, heal and ultimately sustain yourself. And pay attention to the kind of community you live in. If you like culture and creativity, live in or close to a city. If you love nature, live in the mountains or by the beach. If you love space, live in the plains or the desert. According to “psycho-geography” or “eco-psychology, “you are where you live!” Every longevity study I have ever read says the same thing: The single most important factor for a well and long life is having friends! We are social animals and are thus meant to be with our mates, our tribe, our people. In America, one quarter of our population has nobody to talk to. This is an unsustainable society at risk. We now know that loneliness is not only a psychological pathology but a physical disease comparable to diabetes. It’s a must to befriend, extrovert, empathize, and look people in the eye and hello them.
Renew! All in nature knows how to recycle and renew itself so that it is healthy and productive until the day it dies. This is not so easy for the human species because the greatest life-changer today is the length of our lives. One hundred years ago, the average life span was only 50 years. To provide for ourselves financially and sustain good health for our new long life is a major challenge. Just the repetition of doing the same thing again and again is killing. Say no to “repeat and deplete.” But how to keep on keeping on? Look to nature for guidance about how to stay renew-able for life. Retirement is not really an option for most of us. Life is all about “refiring,” not retiring. Renewability is an ability that can be learned. The teacher for this imperative life skill is the “seasonal way of life.” This means mastering the first and
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most important season, which like “winter,” is sleeping. We don’t sleep enough and well enough. Like a bear hibernating, make your bedroom a cool, darkened, cozy space for sleep, just sleeping. And don’t forget the winter-like, inwardturning meditation. All 5,000 studies of the benefits of meditation agree that the conscious closing of eyes to feel within is renewing and enlivening! The great source of life is tapped. It’s easy, just say “no” to the world for a while. Then, like spring, wake up and open up! As the awesome, sustainable rooster, get up when it’s natural to awaken. After a good sleep, like the robin, get busy and productive. The early bird does get the worm! As the summer, make sure that you enjoy your day, your work, your friends, your evenings, your weekends. Fun is “fundamental” to life. And if your work is “play for pay,” you can go and go like nature to healthfully be productive for a long, long life. Because I love and truly enjoy my work, like writing, teaching, and counseling, I figure I will still be giving consultations on my deathbed, by phone or skype, of course. Finally, like the autumn, complete your work, harvest yourself, reap the rewards of living. This process of completing is a psychological necessity. We are meant to fulfill our goals, our work, our life and if not, with all sorts of things undone as we get distracted by the next shiny object or feel insecure about our efforts not being perfect enough, we are in denial of our nature. And we are not complete human beings. The most immediate renewer is a wonderful little secret called “walking in nature.” Getting out in natural sunlight, breathing in the oxygen-giving trees and plants, feeling the magnetic power of the land, and drinking in the natural precipitation of the air while you sweat out used up inner waters, you are reborn. The ever-greening way of life is to go forth into the green and be re-energized by the power of green color, green light, green plants. And into the nature, restore by solitude, or as I prefer, “soulitude.” There is nothing quite so refreshing as being alone, still, and quiet with the trees and the stones. Life is so noisy and rambunctious that to rebalance by the “noise of silence” is medicine, the “sonic tonic.”
Adapt Nature has sustained for billions of years because it adapts, changes, evolves. Sustainability is actually a natural, instinctive ability that we all have as the skill to be in synch with what’s going on in the world. Today, being a topsy-turvy world of change and more change, if you are not “change-able,” you are an irrelevant relic. As the world passes you by, you cannot keep up. In a speeding world, get up to speed. Natural living is an evolutionary lifestyle that is mobile, curious, expansive, risk-taking, and adventurous. The greatest battle in life is to fight off our sedentary lifestyle of becoming fixed, comfortable, stuck and stagnant in old patterns, habits and sofas. Sitting here, there and everywhere is now called “sedentary behavior dysfunction,” a pathology which leads to physical disease and mental illness. Get up, get going, go different. Other wise, it’s what I say, “death by comfort.” Make change a priority, even a habit. To do this, rise up and change up small, doable things with the purpose of changing for change sake. Be happy when
your routine is upset. Your adaptive powers are awakened. Continuous adaptation of going along with change eventually leads to a “breakpoint.” It’s a universal principle in nature that for any life form, there must come a time to make a radical breakthrough. Waves for example build, then maintain, and finally break. A tree stays as only a seed with some underground roots until it must break out to sprout as a tree it’s meant to be. To potentiate yourself to the fullest, this kind of growth change is essential to be who you are and do your life purpose.
Growth As I look at nature, I see everything growing, which is the most basic, fundamental and elementary way for sustaining. I like “Plan O,” which is an “organic way of growing.” Building your business or your body is mechanical, linear, artificial and thus not so adaptable and change-able. Grow yourself, your business, your relationships the way a mother grows her child or a gardener grows roses. In this natural way, tend it. Don’t force
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feed it. Be patient. Prune back to go ahead. Mulch and recycle things that don’t work or become old because that is great material and fertilizer for new growth. Remember, in nature, there is no waste. Nature’s way of growing is “elemental,” a great metaphor for our lives. This means give your growth projects, including yourself of course, constant doses of water, which equates to our love for it. Make sure that there’s plenty of oxygen, new and healthy air, which corresponds to new ideas and visions. Of course, there must be sunlight, so make sure you are fired up! Be inspired (“in-spirited”) and you have the sun, light, and life force on your side. Yes, we need fire, air, water and here on earth, we need earth. This is the physical where with all our resources we make stuff happen. In this organic and elemental growth plan, start with small, doable, baby steps that you can keep doing without overstretching, overpromising, overdoing, overextending. Many businesses want to expand too quickly
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and soon find themselves over their heads and drowning. Be practical and patient. Trees do not grow overnight. Think long-term for a long, abundant life. As you garden and grow, weed out. Be the guardian who protects against invasive poisons, which can be toxic people, ill-suited ideas, wrong timing, delusional dreams. The oldest living organisms on the planet, the Bristlecone Pine trees that can be 5,000 years old, succeed by virtue of having a defensive system of bark and resin that would-be invaders cannot penetrate. Know how to say, “no,” which is saying “yes” to you. Keep your boundaries by the positive use of No.
Sustain Every living entity in nature, except for us humans, are completely opportunistic. I do not ever see the adorable sandpiper birds slacking off because of a stormy day or even an occasional oil slick on the beach. Since we are such mental creatures, to keep on going for a healthy and prosperous life-span like sand-
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pipers requires an “opportunistic attitude.” This positive thinking means that everything, everyone, every moment, “every every” is an opportunity. Everything in life is energy, and as we know, energy rules! Everything being energy, embrace whatever it might be and ride it with gusto. Even disappointments and disasters are energizers and energizing. As for setback, it’s one step back to go two steps ahead. I know from my own life experience that the very best things that have happened to me in life are as a result of a setback, whether its rejection, hepatitis, prostate cancer, bankruptcy. Knowing that “it’s all opportunity,” look forward to the day, to the annoying email, to the new found wrinkle, to the loss of a client because it’s gold, an “ORE” of Opportunity, Resource, Energy. Life is golden, and you are golden. Knowing this, all of life is full of energy and the greatest force of nature, love. Then miracles happen, and anything is possible and for a long, long time. Even ageing is good. As they say, “no wine before its time.” It is by keeping on, trying this and that, mistaking and learning, that you find the gold that you are. One of my success mantras is “explore, discover, become.” Aging is sageing. A redwood tree for example is more productive of its many services in nature as it ages. Indeed, life belongs to those who persevere. Finally, here is the secret of secrets for an ever-renewable life. This is called “the magic manifestation meditation and habit-practice.” Daily, see your goal of a life potentiated and fulfilled with your visualizing inner eye of imagination; feel the motivation and passion of your heartbeat for desiring this lifestyle; believe in you and affirm your capability to achieve this; take doable action to create your vision, motivation and affirmation by doing, again and again; repeat this; expect success; Magic Happens! James Wanless, Ph.D. is a visionary and oracle who has pioneered bringing ancient wisdom into 21st century tools of transformation. Creator of the iconic Voyager Tarot, this master reader, speaker, educator, and prolific author has originated a series of nature-based works for a renewable and sustainable, successful life. This includes Sustain Yourself Cards, Sustainable Life: The New Success, Renew!, and Adventures with Greening Man (www.james-wanless.com).
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fineprint SPRING BRINGS THE RETURN OF HOPE AND RENEWED ACTIVITY BECAUSE OF IT. Consumers will be looking to take action toward reclaiming their lives and taking back their power. Display how-to’s of all kinds within easy reach. Shift comfort reads to the higher shelves until summer. Let your customers know that a sense of self-confidence lies between the covers of the tomes you have selected to showcase. Steer clear of anything that reeks of “me-first”, however. “For the good of all” is the cry now. Turbo Metabolism: 8 Weeks to a New You: Preventing and Reversing Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease, and Other Metabolic Diseases by Treating the Causes Pankaj Vij, MD $15.95 P, ISBN 978-1-60868-498-4 New World Library I www.newworldlibrary.com
Any one who has watched PBS during fundraising times knows that nutrient-based diets and healthy lifestyle changes are trending seriously now. We’ve been overwhelmed with information, on TV, on the Internet, and even in newspapers. It takes a lot for a book to break through all of it and become a standout but that’s exactly what Turbo Metabolism is positioned to do. Pankaj Vij is a doctor, board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine. He has a history of helping his patients to lose weight and manage chronic health conditions. He is a true believer who practices what he is preaching. He is a holistic practitioner, subscribing to the necessity to balance mind, body, and spirit in any health care regimen. He is also a realist. He gives readers permission to adapt the information in his book to suit their personal routines. He does, however, make it clear that continuing on with addictive, processed-food diets and unhealthy lifestyles will lessen both the quality and length of one’s life. It’s not negotiable. Joel Furman, current PBS healthy-food superstar wrote the foreword, encouraging readers to “stop the insanity”. The book includes menus and recipes and extensive notes documenting the sources for the information Dr. Vij is so competently presenting. Let your customers know that this is a manual for making major diet and lifestyle changes in the least disruptive manner possible.
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New and notable books for body, mind, and spirit by Anna Jedrziewski
The One Percent Edge: Small Changes That Guarantee Relevance and Build Sustainable Success Susan Solovic with Ray Manley $24.95 H, ISBN 978-0-8144-3881-7 AMACON I www.amacombooks.org
Innovators ask better questions. That’s just one of the wisdom nuggets that Susan Solovic offers to readers. She begins the book by explaining why 29% of the original Fortune 500 companies have disappeared. As the pace of change continues to speed up, failures by previously stalwart businesses is increasing as well. The old strategies for maintaining success no longer work. Solovic tells us to forget business plans and building on past successes. Instead, company leaders not only need to predict the future, they need to be ready to change on a dime. Impossible? Solovic says the secret is making constant, incremental changes. In a highly energetic writing style, she shows readers how to apply the concept to every aspect of their business. She makes it sound almost fun. Think Steve Jobs as you read it. How Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids Mark Bertin, MD $16.95 P, ISBN 978-1-68364-020-2 Sounds True I www.soundstrue.com
“Years ago, a New Yorker cartoon showed two young children in a thoroughly trashed kitchen. There’s a rake, a saw and a gardenhose ... The caption reads, and that’s how you make a peanut butter sandwich.” This paragraph, on page 12, tells you everything you need to know about Mark Bertin — he’s been there. His agenda is not to add yet another hoop for parents to jump through. Instead he wants to help parents to see the big picture of developmental growth that will put all the day-to-day decisions in context, removing much of the stress, and offering solutions that can be adapted to your customers’ personal situation and
experience. He’s telling readers about executive function and letting them know that it isn’t fully developed until somewhere about age thirty. Until then, parents need to continue “mentoring” their children, adapting positive reinforcement and limits to suit their children’s individual progress and path to developmental maturity. This is must-read for every parent who cares. Micro Mastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Unlock Your Potential to Achieve Anything Robert Twigger $16.00 P, ISBN 978-0-14-313232-5 TarcherPerigee I www.penguinrandomhouse.com
Combining neuroscience and the emerging field of positive psychology, Robert Twigger has put into practice (and into words) what most of your customers will discover they knew all along. Learning is not best accomplished in a linear, boring, step-by-step
manner. Learning is meant to be dynamic, exciting, and easy to engage with. If you want to learn to cook, don’t start at the beginning of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and work your way through the book one page at a time. (Although that has been a successful strategy for a handful of people.) Pick a food you love to eat and learn to cook just that one food by researching, asking chefs, and cooking just that one food until you get it right. You will probably expend much more effort in experimenting than you would have following step-by-step instructions, but the end result will be that you learned how to cook, you proved to yourself that could do it, and now you can extend that model to anything else you want to learn. Social media has changed the world. We are all processing information must faster than we ever believed was possible. A new model of communicating is emerging before our e-Eyes. Twigger is at the forefront of the movement to apply the resulting skills to the art and science of learning. Lots of scientists are talking about it. Twigger has put it into words that the general public can understand and apply to their own lives.
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Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 43
Crystal Gridwork: The Power of Crystals and Sacred Geometry to Heal, Protect and Inspire Kiera Fogg $22.95 P, ISBN 978-1-57863-642-6 Weiser Books I www.redwheelweiser.com
New definitions of spirituality are creating markets for personal sacred space. At the high-end, there are crystal-encrusted rooms with melodic waterfalls. For most of us, for most of your customers, it translates into special candles, incense burners, and windowsill plants with crystals in them. Many of you sell small figurines and other specialty items for home altars. If Instagram is any measure, the latest outgrowth of this trend is the increased popularity of crystal grids. Healing practitioner Fogg specializes in combining crystals with other elements in energetic patterns that heal, commemorate, and energize goals. Now, beautiful, powerful photography puts her spiritual artistry front and center in a book that shares her secrets with readers. From the Restful Sleep Circle to the Forgiveness Cross, these 30 highly-charged grids offer your customers a beautiful way to anchor energy in their lives.
Milk Street: The New Home Cooking Christopher Kimball $40.00 H, ISBN 978-0-316-43728-8 Little, Brown and Company I www.littlebrown.com
Chris Kimball is the epitome of a business leader applying The One Percent Edge (reviewed above). America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country made him one of the most famous TV cooking instructors ever, and Cook’s Illustrated became the bible for high-end home cooking. When he saw a sea change headed towards cooking businesses, he suggested making changes to what appeared to be a fail-proof formula. He hit a wall and walked away from success to found a new business, Milk Street, where he could make the changes he wanted to make. As established TV scrambled to ride the global wave of interest in “ethnic” food, Kimball found the niche he was looking for. It wasn’t “ethnic” food; it was breakfast, lunch, and dinner in other countries. Think about it. It’s the difference between just another cooking show with strange ingredients and a cooking show that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. This, the first cookbook created
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44 March/April 2018 | retailinginsight.com
in this new empire, documents his journey of discovery with both narrative and photos. He sought out simple recipes, easy to make, that were packed with flavor. He was determined to create recipes for the home cook that were new and exciting and manageable. The book is produced with Kimball’s trademark attention to detail: well-organized with complete, understandable instructions, and lots and lots of pretty photos (we are, after all, a social media world now). This will make a perfect housewarming gift, even for people who don’t cook — yet.
came to be today’s common wisdom. It is a powerful discussion of symbolism, creativity, the search for meaning, spiritual values, the breakdown of societies, and transformation. It also pays witness to the role of synchronicity in the life of visionaries like Jung and Toynbee.
QUICK GIFT PICKS FOR SPRING BREAK! Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners
Carl Jung and Arnold Toynbee: The Social Meaning of Inner Work J. Gary Sparks $30.00 P, ISBN 978-1-894574-47-8 Inner City Books I www.innercitybooks.net
A quick visit to any social media venue (the world of quotes attributed to famous people) will verify the continuing celebrity of Carl Jung and his world-changing insights. Historian Arnold Toynbee is quoted less often, but Sparks suggests that he was on a parallel path with Jung, as they both noted and put forward their theories that the human psyche is inextricably tied to external manifestation. The two never met but developed an admiration for each other’s work that brings enlightenment to each of their legacies. It is the basis of much of new consciousness thought. Sparks dissects this foundation intelligently and intelligibly with keen discernment and tremendous knowledge. For customers who subscribe to the idea that we all create our own reality, this is book that will explain to them how that idea
Naomi Shihab Nye $17.99 P, ISBN 978-4-80531-437-1 Greenwillow Books I www.harpercollins.com
With cleared-eyed lyricism, Nye has filled this book with nearly 100 poems that ask us to listen. In a world that is constantly bombarding us with sound, demanding our attention, listening is becoming a lost art. Voices in the Air makes us realize what we are losing. In Time’s Low Note (The wind never says/Call me back.), Cross the Sea (My infinity would be/the never-ending light/you deserve.), Reserved for Poets (We forget to make a reservation. But there’s room.), and I Vote for You (In your dreams no one is a refugee. / Everyone has clean sheets.) we can hear the voices that inspired her and we can ride the winds of time with her. Along the way, she introduces us to some of the people who have spoken to her, but she speaks, in the end, with her own voice as she reminds us of our common humanity.
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Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 45
Origami Love Notes: Romantic HandFolded Notes & Envelopes
The Wisdom of the Tao: Ancient Stories that Delight, Inform, and Inspire
Florence Temko $9.95 (boxed), ISBN 978-0-8048-4808-4 Tuttle Publishing I www.tuttlepublishing.com
In a digitally perfect world, the human touch (artisanal) is becoming a highlyprized commodity. For centuries, Japanese people have used origami and letterfolding to show respect and affection by combining craftsmanship, symbolism, and attention to detail. Tuttle has a long history of producing top quality, how-to origami books and kits. Origami Love Notes reaches new heights (and new audiences) by combining the traditional with creative freedom. Readers are encouraged to add their own touches, i.e., bits of lace, stickers, hearts, flowers, stars, etc. Some of the projects, like Seal It with a Heart are easily mastered (and elaborated on) in minutes. Others, like Folded Money Heart require a bit of experience and skill. Once learned, this special technique can be used to enhance gifts, thank you cards, or any special communication. The boxed kit includes 36 origami paper sheets in addition to the full-color instruction book. It’s a perfect antidote for an increasingly detached world.
Deng Ming-Dao, $16.95 P, ISBN 978-01-57174-837-9 Hampton Roads Publishing I www.redwheelweiser.com
In ancient China, storytellers were the CNN, Twitter, and Politico. com of their day. They traveled through the land, spreading their stories far and wide. The stories with the most human appeal stuck. Generations passed on important lessons through these tales. And thus the TAO was born. Deng Ming-Dao continues this sacred tradition with more than 140 carefully-selected, finely-crafted, ancient stories that inform and instruct by delighting readers. ANNA JEDRZIEWSKI is a new consciousness author and consultant, as well as founder and director of Spirit Connection New York, Inc. SpiritConnectionNewYork.org
Many Voices, One Journey
An invitation to experience the joys of gratitude each day through contemplative writing and reflection.
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Songs of Changing Light
Kathryn Kaye Self-released www.kathrynkaye-music.com
Gerhard Daum Tone Work Records www.gerharddaum.com
Michael Brant DeMaria Ontos Music www.michaeldemaria.com
Kathryn Kaye’s piano music always glows with a soft, nostalgic, sepia-toned light. For Songs of Changing Light, a career retrospective of sorts, she isolated the piano track from fourteen previously released songs. These songs “…reflect my love of the forest, of solitude and mystery, of changing light, and the passage of time.” By stripping away the accompanying instruments which appear on these pieces’ original versions, the piano melodies are distilled to their essence, which is pleasurable indeed, like coming upon a sunlit glade in the woods, sitting for a while, and absorbing the serenity and tranquility that exists in that setting.
German composer/performer Gerhard Daum absorbed inspiration from both the American and German countryside, resulting in him composing and recording these twelve pieces which ref lect his affinity and fondness for the rural side of life. Playing guitar (acoustic and electric), piano, keyboard strings and rhythm, Daum eschews typical “nature-inspired” motifs and instead carves out these tunes influenced by jazz, blues, rock, and classical. I described this album elsewhere as a blend of Craig Chaquico, Eric Tingstad and David Arkenstone, which means songs may be uptempo and energizing, laid-back and bluesy, or dramatically orchestral in nature. Rural Renewal presents an unusual and entertaining blend of styles to be sure!
Multi-instrumentalist DeMaria took a five year hiatus from recording to help his mother transition to the next realm and Ama (which means mother in many languages) is dedicated to her memory. It is far and away the best work this artist has ever done and that is saying a lot. Whether he is playing one of several flutes, keeping time with ethnic percussion, or crafting contemporary electronic soundscapes, what permeates Ama is the depth of feeling at its core. DeMaria poured his soul into this album and it is simply stunning in every way possible—a veritable masterpiece of artistry and imagination.
48 March/April 2018 | retailinginsight.com
Add Colours To My Sunset Sky
Moonlight in Empty Rooms
Trine Opsahl Heart to Heart Records www.trineopsahl.com
Heidi Breyer Winterhall Records www.heidibreyer.com
Celtic harpist Trine Opsahl goes solo on her latest recording (her previous album, Unbroken Dreams, was a collaboration with her cellist daughter, Josefine), the hauntingly beautiful Add Colours To My Sunset Sky. Besides her usual exquisitely nuanced harp playing, Trine adds wordless vocals for the first time and also plays monochord on a few tracks (the instrument produces drones similar to a tamboura). These thirteen soundscapes are ideal for journeying inward and healing the mind and body. Opsahl sometimes performs for patients in Denmark’s palliative care system where her music promotes physical and emotional healing as does this album through its entirety.
Pianist Heidi Breyer’s husband, Alexander Vokov, paints in an exquisite neo-realistic style and his many beautiful works influenced/inspired Breyer to record these twelve self-composed pieces. The marriage of these piano and violin duets (violin performed by Charlie Bisharat) with the images present in the liner note booklet, as well as on an included DVD, is something special beyond capturing in words. Easily Breyer’s most ambitious and accomplished release to date, the music deserves the listener’s utmost attention. Most pieces are delicate, somber and reflective in nature and every song is performed with deep feeling and superb musicianship.
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of the label’s immense catalog of artists and releases. All the music selected is gentle and flowingly melodic, meant to instill peace and serenity. Piano, guitar, flute, keyboards, harp—you name it, the instrument will occur somewhere on this magnificent collection, which I frankly consider their best yet.
An Eagle’s Zen Wayne Gratz Wayne Gratz Music www.waynegratz.com
Wayne Gratz has been releasing his wonderful piano music for decades, but I never tire of hearing his new albums as soon as they come out. An Eagle’s Zen is subtitled Ambient Piano Solos, which intrigued me when the CD arrived in the mail. While it is true that this is one of Gratz’s rare solo piano recordings, and it is more minimal than much of his previous work, there is still no disguising his rich, warm melodicism or his carefully nuanced control of tone, volume, and mood. The amount of sparseness/minimalism varies track to track, but everything on this disc underlines Gratz’s immense musical talent.
In the Name of Stillness Áine Minogue Little Miller Music www.aineminogue.com
Many of Irish harpist Áine Minogue’s earlier albums are solo recordings (thirteen to be exact). On In The Name Of Stillness, the talented artist is joined by guest stars on cello, oboe, clarinet, guitar, as well as “soundscapes” (mostly orchestral keyboards). Minogue also contributes on vocals on one track. Having loved her music since I heard Celtic Meditation Music years ago, hearing her harp accompanied by other instruments on these ten Irish traditional songs (arranged by Minogue) is a revelation that cannot be overstated. Some songs wear a more pronounced Irish influence than others but each will transport you to the lush green hills and rugged landscapes of Eire.
Forest Bathing Various Artists Real Music www.realmusic.com
I’ve written it often but it bears repeating: I can’t think of any label that releases better compilations than does Real Music. Their latest, Forest Bathing, (the translation of the Japanese practice of shirin-yoku, meaning spending time in nature), is one of their broadest yet, exploring many musical facets
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We Have Only Come to Dream Terry Lee Nichols & Rebekah Eden Soundscape Productions www.terryleenichols.com
“Ambitious” seems an understatement when examining Terry Lee Nichols and Rebekah Eden’s We Have Only Come to Dream (subtitled A Resonance of Human Migration to the Americas). The album’s theme plays out in its eleven songs, like dramatic cinematic soundtracks to epic periods in history. The CD is a blending of lush orchestrations, piano, and an assortment of ethnic influences (depending on which period of history the track encapsulates) as well as Eden’s wonderful wordless vocals. From the arrival of the Anasazi to this continent through the opening of the West and the evolution of the National Park system, We Have Only Come to Dream is an amazing and unique achievement in recording.
35 Years of Music with Vision
DAVID & STEVE GORDON NOW IN NEW LEAF’S TOP 10 AFTER 20 YEARS!
SACRED SPIRIT DRUMS “Each superb track flows seamlessly into the next. Evocative, mysterious, sensual, profoundly healing, you are going to love Sacred Spirit Drums. Yes, as hard as it may be to believe, Sacred Spirit Drums is better than their prior CD, Sacred Earth Drums!” – Retailing Insight
#1 SELLER FOR OVER A YEAR!
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Escapism Lisa Hilton Roby Slippers Production www.lisahiltonmusic.com
Here is the latest release from the First Lady of Jazz Piano (a title I fully believe she deserves). Escapism showcases all the things I love about Hilton’s many albums: her ability to play across as wide a spectrum of jazz styles as anyone in the business (the cheerful freneticism of “Meltdown,” the wistful flow of “Another Everyday Adventure,” the snaky sensuality of “Mojave Moon”), her unselfishness as a band leader (allowing other musicians to share in the spotlight), her imaginative way with cover tunes (only one is present here, “On A Clear Day,” but she puts her usual intriguing spin on it), and, of course, her abundant talent with control of nuance and tone that is almost surreal. Bill Binkelman has been reviewing New Age, ambient, and world music since 1997. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best selling Native Flute album.
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ORDER TODAY! CALL 800.519.9078 ASK ABOUT FREE DEMOS • SequoiaRecords.com newleaf-dist.com 800.326.2665
Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 51
FOR ORGANIC & NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS Time to pamper your skin by using organic and natural products! So many choices are available to choose from these days, but the products we’ve selected are based on the ingredients that are used and their benefits that promote more healthy, rejuvenating, and glowing skin.
Hand Sanitizer Basic Earth Essentials www.basicearthessentials.com
A hand sanitizer triclosan free, with a touch of vitamin E for skin softness. The essentials oils in each blend will leave your hands smelling clean and fresh. Price $4
Honey + Coconut Mask - 2oz Earth tu face www.earthtuface.com
The organic honey and coconut treatment mask moisturizes, purifies, rejuvenates the skin. A combination of antioxidants from raw honey, coconut, rose petals and lavender buds. It helps to heal inflammation, tighten pores, giving you instant glow. Product made in California with organic ingredients. Price $52 Quan Yin Sacred Perfume Roll-On Kate’s Magik www.katesmagik.com
An all-natural perfume to celebrate the Goddess of mercy, compassion and loving kindness. Heavenly Bulgarian Rose Otto evokes the vibration of the Divine Feminine and re-instills faith, while Sandalwood and True Vanilla encourage forgiveness and help you live in the present. 100% pure essential oils in organic jojoba packaged in Biophotonic Violet Glass roller bottle. Price $24.95
The Clean Slate – 1oz La Bella Figura www.labellafigurabeauty.com
This cleansing concentrate dissolves makeup, debris and pollution on dry or wet skin rinsing off residue without stripping. This buttery soft cleanser encourages hydration highlighting moisture retentive cupuacu butter and aids in purging buildup with active lemon kernel oil and coriander CO2. Price $60
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Orange Blossom Honey Serious Hand Repair Cream – 3.25oz The Naked Bee www.nakedbee.com
Made with honey, ceramic 3, shea butter and safflower seed oil, it promotes a healthy skin by using antioxidants ingredients. It’s good for dry and cracked skin. Price $9.99
Body Oil basic earth essentials www.basicearthessentials.com
Purify Amala www.shopamala.com
The purifying gel moisturizer is great for oily skin. The fresh gel instantly imparts weightless hydration and helps to fight blemishes and reduce excess oil. The antioxidants, amino acids and skin-balancing botanical actives help to smooth, clarify and balance skin. Price $68
A combination of sweet almond, argan, avocado and hemp oils with a light aromatic of essential oil bliss. Use anytime to moisturize and nourish skin. Give your body an after- shower spa treatment. Gently massage into skin after bathing for a silky finish. Price $12
Coconut Water Hydro-Mist – 1oz Cocovit www.cocovit.co
Hydrating coconut water mist conditions and tones for a glowing complexion enriched with antioxidants and cytokines to minimize pores and provide instant burst of radiance. Price $16 Peppermint + Pumice Soap – 5.8oz Level Naturals www.levelnaturals.com
Made with natural essential oils this refreshing peppermint with ground pumice and pure plant oils soap helps dissolve impurities and get your skin clean. Price $8
Showcase Edition | retailinginsight.com 53
Hopelessness by Royce Amy Morales
As a shop owner, perhaps more frequently than you care to admit, you may find yourself sitting in hopelessness. When your accountant hands over that upsetting P&L report; when there’s an unexpected slump in sales; when you make an oops buying mistake – that little voice starts whispering: Why on earth did you ever open a shop? No matter how much you rationalize, give yourself pep-talks, or find other retailers to commiserate with, hopelessness has reared its head and a downward spiral has begun. Feelings of hopelessness arrive when we feel desperately stuck, not knowing what direction to take, feeling unable to handle a stressful situation or resolve something futile. It triggers strong notions that we don’t have the power to start, change or stop in life, bringing with it the “solution” to just give up. Pain happens when we allow ourselves to believe we’re powerless. It rips away dreams and the will to keep going when things are difficult. Imagine a chart of emotions with hopelessness one level above rock bottom, below fear and above apathy. Hopelessness is where we go to flee from fear, an ineffective “solution” to escape from sadness, anger and frustration. Hopelessness gets triggered from prior experiences of failure and loss. A bad year (month, week, day) of sales and we suddenly feel like a failure. Hopelessness slinks in shortly after. In a backwards way, hopelessness is trying to keep us safe from anticipated new failures and loss. It exposes a false core belief that life is meaningless, that you are meaningless, that your existence is a waste. In other words, people are prone to hopelessness when they believe they aren’t fulfilling their Soul Purpose, withholding their authentic divinity. This hamster wheel of repeating patterns gets nowhere. Interestingly, hopelessness often arrives right before a positive life change. Why? To keep us “safely” stuck in muck, not having to risk anything, not feeling deservingly empowered. The irony is, not allowing yourself to feel and admit hopelessness, it becomes the one in charge of your life. Since it’s triggered but suppressed, you deaden to joy no matter how successful your shop is.
THE CORE OF HOPELESSNESS: AKA KARMA 101 On a karmic (cause and effect) level, we are prone to hopelessness because of what we’ve done in the past that we still feel (subconsciously) guilty about. How it works: • We do something we believe caused pain or loss. • We decide we are bad and undeserving, especially of whatever we caused hurt to. • Subconsciously, we feel we must push away or destroy whatever we’ve hurt to keep it “safe” from us. • We then feel hopeless about what we did, believing we can never clean it up. • Most importantly, we feel disappointed and hopeless about ourselves since we know we are Higher Consciousness, loving, powerful beings.
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• Life becomes meaningless and a rollercoaster ride of hopelessness, trying all kinds of ways to not feel it. In other words, hopelessness is triggered from the accumulated negative actions we’ve committed and haven’t cleaned up. As more pile up, we feel hopeless about more aspects of life. Since we can’t run from karma, we attract reminders of all the hopelessness we feel about ourselves that we’ve tucked away but subconsciously message out. We’re then surprised to manifest hopelessness, wondering why life isn’t working! And the beat goes on.
FIVE SUGGESTIONS TO CLIMB OUT OF HOPELESSNESS Taking an observer stance, recognize hopelessness when it arises, giving yourself permission to consciously feel it. If you’ve never allowed yourself to feel it, it might be scary, but know that the sooner you do, the sooner it runs its course. Suppressing, ignoring, judging or numbing it, keeps it (and you) stuck. REMEMBER: What you resist persists. And grows. And seeps into everything.
2 3 4 5
Have the intention to discover the deeper fears being triggered that hopelessness covers up.
Look more deeply, asking to remember guilt-filled actions you’ve suppressed and forgotten about. Trust whatever memories come to mind. Mindful meditation can help with this.
Ask what you can do to resolve or clean up those actions, trusting what your Higher Consciousness directs you to do. This can be big or small, a symbolic gesture, an act of support, or paying it forward. Ask and answer honestly: Does the business you’ve chosen feel like your authentic, meaningful, Highest direction? The more you create meaningfulness in your life, the less prone you are to hopelessness! The good news is that you are not powerless, and things are never hopeless. You can always get up and start again, make different choices and create a new future. There are endless ways to clean up old guilt and live from integrity and true hopefulness.
Royce Amy Morales is the director of Perfect Life Awakening coaching. She has also published the book Know: A Spiritual Wake-up Call. Morales is the former owner of Harmony Works, a soul-nurturing shop in Redondo Beach, CA.
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This publication is dedicated to our vendors who helps us bring you the best of the best in the market industry. In this issue we have new p...
Published on Feb 15, 2018
This publication is dedicated to our vendors who helps us bring you the best of the best in the market industry. In this issue we have new p...