Monday, December 6, 2010

What a Boy Wants…What a Boy Needs

We’ve been darting all over San Francisco, displaying our collections, tallying up sales and getting some great feedback!

Men were overwhelmingly drawn to the Tokens & Icons 'recycled nostalgia' items on display - in addition to the sterling silver backed Golf Cuff Links and Golf Money Clip featured on the website, they also loved the thin leather Buffalo Nickel Money Clip;  and the MBA Baseball memorabilia. Gently priced, fun yet distinctive gifts that men can wrap their heads around. 

The black and red leather  Backgammon set is proving to be the perfect gift for couples and  families on the go, with the additional bonus of being not only sharp looking but also beautifully made.  Love the smell of leather...

Men of all ages dig the sleek and sexy Mini Cocktail 'bar', while the magnetic Globe Puzzle/Paperweight attracts the  A-type personality  kind of guy who just has to put it all back together (it’s challenging!).  Engraved, this is a fun keepsake desk accessory.

 On the more 'practical' side, guys were also wowed by the distinctive  stainless and walnut 'box' Frame, and the 'croc’ embossed Leather frame. 

As expected,  the burl wood  Humidor and the zebrawood Watch box, both from the  Out of Africa collection, are a hit with those seeking to make a distinguished, elegant  yet useful gift.

And finally, we love the attention the Nick Munro Cafetiere has received, and are thrilled to be able to help launch this uber talented young British designer in the United States.

As always, shipping is free, and every gift comes beautifully wrapped with a personalized note. 

Call us at 800.745.9239 for the best customer service around - bar none!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New York Celebrity Assistants: The Perfect Audience

We are back from our first marketing event, sponsored by the NYCA – New York Celebrity Assistants.  Once a year, this veritable ‘who’s who’ of personal assistants based in and around the Tri-State Area, gathers for a festive, pre-holiday party in Manhattan.  A dozen vendors were on hand to display their products.  Each of the members took a turn at introducing themselves, telling us who they worked for.

Having ‘walked in their shoes’ working for luminaries on both coasts, this was an ideal venue  for me to introduce Chic By Design ‘Smart Gifting’.  Assistants, tasked with finding fabulous gifts for their employers, were visibly excited by the choices and swarmed the display table.  Nick Munro’s Bistro Cafetiere – a French 'press' coffee pot, and the Leather Cocktail Box  sold at once, and are slated to be amoung this season’s hottest gifts  The beautiful Zebra Tray by Annie Modica  was purchased by one of the Assistants’ for her employer to use as a desk accessory.  Commenting on ‘A Country Affair’ Collection, one member noted that it made the perfect wedding shower gift for her and her friends to offer jointly -  we couldn't agree more! 

Back in San Francisco, the inbox hummed...

 'I met you at the NYCA unique gift meeting last week and purchased that beautiful tray - thank you so much - I can't wait to give it to my boss for Christmas.'

'I need a wedding gift idea for a very rich couple who has everything. They like "Texas" but live in NYC. The cost isn't a concern, but the idea has to be great... can you help?'

The niche business envisioned ten months ago - to create a service that was tailor made to assist busy professionals with gift giving - has found it's market.  Next week, we head to LA  to do the same for the ACPA – Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants.  In the meantime we are busy tweaking the website, making it more ‘user’ friendly, adding a gift registry page.  Soon we’ll have a ‘search by price category’.
Stay tuned, this is just the beginning…

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5 Easy Tips For Thank You Note Writing

Call me ‘old school’ but the power of the handwritten note should not be casually dismissed. 
When expressing gratitude, certain age-old standards of etiquette still rule, despite the ease and convenience of our digitally linked world.  The simple, straightforward gesture of penning a note of thanks conveys both respect and thoughtfulness.  As important as this can be in your personal life, it will resonate even further in business – yet it’s astonishing how rarely it’s done.  By committing to making note writing a priority you will set yourself apart from the crowd and make a lasting impression.
Come to think of it - when was the last time you received a thoughtfully written, hand addressed note in the mail?  I recently made a contribution to a friend’s charity drive - I get more and more requests each year and do my best to support my friends in their worthy endeavors - but when I received a generic digital thank you email after the event, I felt my generosity had been marginalized by the ‘convenience’ and remoteness of the mass email thank you. Instead of achieving the goal of thanking me, the gesture felt cold and meaningless. 
At Chic By Design Collections, our ethos is Smart Gifting, and a big part of ‘smart’ includes sending a hand calligraphed note to each gift recipient on our elegant stationary.  We wouldn’t expect anything else, and nor should you. 
Here are our top 5 recommendations for gentrifying your life and that of others' with the 'gift' of a handwritten note:
  • Keep a supply of simple yet elegant note cards and matching envelopes, as well as postage stamps, on hand at all times.
  • Commit to making note writing a weekly habit.
  • Don’t let an opportunity slip by to express appreciation in writing, no matter how insignificant you may think the gesture is, you never know where your next big opportunity is going to come from.
  • Be prompt.  No more than 2-3 days should pass before sending a Thank You note, be it for a gift received, contributions for your favorite charity/fundraiser, a business introduction, or to the host of a party. The exception would be for wedding gifts, but even that deadline should not exceed 3 months.
  • Keep your notes short, focus on the positive, make them light hearted and above all, sincere.
Happy Gifting!