Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Holidays... Happy Happy.

Happy Holidays from Dunitz & Company, Nancy and company mascot, Byron. ND

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Greener America

Have you checked out Green America's (formerly Coop America) website? It is an excellent resource for information. Read about global warming or how to make your home more efficient. Perhaps you'll find the holiday shopping guide helpful. Dunitz & Company is a member of Green America and supports its causes. We recently paid for an ad in/on their Wholesale Connection section. Check out our .gif ad in the jewelry section. It was my first attempt at an animated gif. (I tried to post it here, but it doesn't seem to work on the blog.) We're hoping that has retailers become more interested in fair trade and green issues, they will use Green America as a source for finding new and wonderful products. Get the word out. Become a member yourself. And...did you turn the lights out before you left home this morning? ND

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Is In!

I'm always thinking about how we can make some beautiful designs in Guatemala that use recycled materials. I think I finally stumbled upon an idea that will be fabulous for Spring. Whenever I have visited the various town markets, I always see women selling old huipils (traditional blouses) and other hand woven and embroidered fabrics. In many cases what you find are either scraps or garments that are no longer being worn. Ding Ding. Why not repurpose this fabric to make lots of colorful and wonderful necklaces and bracelets? For January 2010, Dunitz & Company will introduce a variety of designs that incorporate these textiles. Stay tuned! For your eyes now, a preview. ND

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back from Guatemala

It's been a hectic few days since returning from Guatemala on Sunday. I've hardly had a moment to reflect on my trip. We've been busy getting orders out.... & there was the fire scare noted in my last blog.
Wow. We really focused on a whole bunch of designs for the Spring 2010 season. At first, it seemed like the energy wasn't flowing. And then, the waterfall. I think I'll be showing almost 40 new designs in the Dunitz booth this January! Don't miss that. 40 new designs along with all of our old favorites in 12 new color combinations. It's almost impossible to decide which is my favorite. Previewing in this blog is a new pendant design -- featured here in the color combination I let leak last month. This is one I know I'll wear often. ND

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Fire was Over Before it Started

I'd say there was a bit more excitement at the office today then any of us would like. We were experiencing strange power surges over a couple of minutes. My thought was to go power down the computers. Bang Bang, ring, ring. A neighbor was shouting there was a fire on the roof of the building. I was at the front of the office where I could easily grab my dog and purse and run out the building. I could see some sparks, smoke and a small flame. With the Santa Ana winds today, we're quite lucky the flame didn't jump. An ambulance that just happened to be across the street called 911. I also called 911. I also banged on my landlords door downstairs to get him out of his residence. It seemed that the engines took forever to arrive. The winds were blowing the low limbs of an over grown tree over the power lines where they connect to the house. The firemen cut the lines. Other than that, there doesn't appear to be any damage. I'm so thankful. The only casualty are my reading glasses that fell off in the excitement and were smashed by the fire truck. Who knows when DWP will show up to run new wires. So, for now Dunitz & Company has no power. We're slaves to electricity. Forced vacation. I'm now home --- and what I am doing? -- not vacationing LOL. I'm writing this blog. This has NOT been my day. I also received a jury summons for December..... ND

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wholesale Shopping in the Windy City

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Chicago Gift Show. (Note: Dunitz will be in the Beckman Handcrafted section in booth #8-8088.) Word has it that the number of temporary exhibits will be growing significantly this season. It is no secret that all of the major wholesale gift shows have been shrinking…..shrinking lots and lots. In the past few years all the shows have been creating more aisles, wider aisles and buyer lounges to make the shows appear as if this was not the case. Buyers are complaining because they have less merchandise to choose from. Obviously with higher booth fees and a slumping economy, exhibitors haven’t been able to make ends meet.

Kudos to the Merchandise Mart team. They slashed their booth fees for 2010 to encourage show growth. They’ve been successful. Instead of exhibitors departing, they’re signing up. I’ve been told that as of today, about 15% more exhibitors have committed to the show. The sales staff expects this to jump to 25% - 30% before the doors open. Get the word out there. What a great opportunity for buyers. They’ll have more choices to choose from. Tell all – come to the Midwest and check out what the Chicago Market has to offer. No more fake corners.

For those of you that believe in buying “Fair Trade”, the Beckman Handcrafted section will have at least 16 exhibitor that belong to the Fair Trade Federation. Yes, Dunitz is among them. Last season there were only 4 or 5 of us. This is just another reason to shop this market. See you there. ND

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thinking Out Loud about a Taboo Topic

I’ve been putting it out there. On Facebook. Linkedin. Twitter. Trade group networks. Discussing wholesalers that also retail seems to be a taboo topic for wholesalers that do it. And it appears that a good majority do. This seems to be a taboo topic that wholesalers that also retail do not want to discuss. They won’t pipe into the conversation. I seem to only get responses from retailers that don’t want their suppliers retailing --- and other wholesalers that have chosen NOT to retail.

Dunitz & Company doesn’t currently sell retail. We exclusively wholesale. However, we have considered and are considering having an on-line retail presence. Up until now, we haven’t done it because we thought it annoyed many retailers. We are regularly asked by retailers (at wholesale trade shows) if we retail. These stores have made it clear that they do not want to purchase from wholesalers that also retail. It seems almost impossible to get feedback from other wholesalers that retail. Why is this? They must know something I don’t – because so many are doing it.

I understand that most wholesalers that retail sell to the public at prices comparable to what retailers charge – so as not to compete with the stores that carry their line. I have heard the argument that most people like to touch and feel (in our case jewelry) the accessories they buy and prefer to shop at brick & mortar outlets. However, if a wholesaler doesn’t sell to stores in NE or SC, customers from these states would have options for buying.

I’m wondering how wholesalers that retail balance this without alienating the retail stores that carry their line. How many retail under their ‘wholesale company’ name with one website? How many have a retail site that goes by a different name? I’ve notice that many wholesalers known to me have websites that are clearly “retail” with their wholesale sections playing second fiddle. Hmmmmmmm.

I look forward to comments, suggestions and observations. ND

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thinking About Colors

I never know where I’ll get my ideas for color combinations. Ideas can come from fashion and home d├ęcor magazines. I watch the reviews of the New York and Milan runway shows. Inspiration might come from graffiti painted on a Los Angeles highway overpass. I’m always observing and I seem to notice every detail. (I thrive on the details - almost in every case - except for the magnifiers in hotel bathrooms! You ladies know what I mean.)

One of my oldest jewelry designs is a twelve stranded bracelet with a toggle clasp. This bracelet has become a Dunitz & Company classic. At times I must admit that I’m bored with it – but I’m sure thankful I have it in the line. We’ve been selling this design for nearly twenty years and it is the “one” design that grounds me every season when I take on the new collection. I use this bracelet as the base for evaluating every color combination. If my colors work on this bracelet, I’ll translate the colors to all styles in my collection.

I’m well on my way to finishing Dunitz & Company’s Spring 2010 collection. Any and all of you readers will have to wait until January for this group to debut. For now I’ll give you a glimpse of the workings of my brain. In this case, I saw an outfit by designer Derek Lam. His colors are bit different than mine. But they did inspire me to combine green-turquoise with a camel-bronze. So here it is – a preview of 1 of 12 color combinations Dunitz will release in January 2010. Enjoy. ND

Saturday, September 5, 2009

2010 Fair Trade Calendar

Thanks to friends, family, clients, vendors, colleagues and photo enthusiasts, two of our photos were voted in for inclusion in the debut Fair Trade Calendar for 2010. The contest (hosted by was sponsored by the Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade Resource Network and will raise money for education and operations of these fine organizations. (Note: Dunitz & Company is a member of Fair Trade Federation.) If you’d like to order one or more calendars you can do so by visiting Printed on recycled & environmentally friendly paper, this calendar features a host of wonderful images of fair trade producers from around the world. I know I’ll love to seeing our beaders up on our wall. ND

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

As I'm getting ready to take off for Las Vegas via 210 and 215 -- I know my treat will be waiting for me when I check into the Doubletree Hotel. Yup - a big juicy chocolate chip cookie. These treats have been on my brain for days. And I've done nothing to squelch my desire. I haven't baked nor been to a bakery. You may be wondering why I would write about these sweets on a business oriented blog. Me too. Perhaps it is important to see other sides of the woman behind the business. LOL. Chocolate chip cookies go way back....way way back. I baked all the time as a youngster. My brother always begged me to make chocolate chip cookies. If I wanted to be in his good gracious, I always knew what to do. Throughout high school and college, my reputation continued. (Proof: my dorm ID card from University of Michigan.) I'd hear"I'll give you a back massage if you bake cookies." Loser bakes over a racquetball game. I still bake from time to time....but not like I used to. My brother would have me think my talents are getting rusty. (Don't think so.) I might add though, I'd like to pass the torch. My nephew also makes GREAT cookies. Dreaming away. I'll be in Vegas later today. ND

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thinking about Holiday Cards...

It's August, and I'm thinking about December 2009 holiday cards. Is that crazy or what? For the last two years our mascot and my best friend, Byron has graced the card. Perhaps this year I should be sending out a birthday announcement. Instead of antlers, maybe he should be wearing a party hat. Byron officially turns 14 on 12/20/2009. I've been Byron's guardian since he was 7 weeks old. Keep in mind that has completely changed the colors of the pics when I uploaded -- and the sizes/proportions have changed while I'm learning how to move things on this blog. Just use your imagination, please. I'm posting here the cards from 2007 (with snowman) and 2008 (in the field.) If anyone out there has some ideas for me for 2009 designs, please let me know. I'm determined to learn any and all Photoshop techniques required. ND

Trade Show Marathon

August is one of the craziest months for trade shows. Earlier this month we traveled to New York twice. First we exhibited at Accessories, The Show and after that the New York Gift Show. With everyone more than tentative about the economy, I was nervous. Both show turned out well. In spite of shows shrinking a bit and traffic seemingly softer, we opened many new accounts including a few museums and hip clothing stores. And even better, a host of our existing clients reordered. I’m always happiest knowing our jewelry is selling through. I attribute some of the lighter traffic to a diminished number of tire kickers. Another observation: Many buyers are being more careful and actually taking notes and returning (yes “be backs”) later to order. In the past (good ‘ole days), this didn’t happen as often.

This was the third year Dunitz & Company had been chosen for participation in the New York Gift Show's "Sustainability - design for a better world" display. We've been tagged in the past because we are members of the Fair Trade Federation. This year the jury committee recognized us for using old buttons in our designs. We use loads of Czech glass buttons from the 40's and 50's. These creations have been some our most popular. It seems there are button collectors lurking in every corner – every town.

The marathon continues. We're off to WWIN. Show dates are August 31 - September 3rd. Find us in booth # A2323 at the Rio Hotel. ND

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Ready for WWIN

It's almost Las Vegas time! I'm heading out this weekend to the town that never sleeps. Our jewelry line will be on display at WWIN Women's Wear In Nevada in booth #A2323 (Amazon Room.) at the Rio Hotel. If you're there, come on over. You'll get fed all day (breakfast & lunch) and you'll be able to see (and order) my line. When preparing to take off, there are always loose ends. I've confirmed my freight carrier, Service By Air has my booth display ready to deliver. I've gathered all my receipts for electricity, table rentals and room reservations so they are in tow. Now the only thing left to do is fill the gas tank and sell sell sell! Fingers crossed that buyer traffic is good and they're in the mood to purchase accessories :) ND

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Premier Blog

There's always a first...and this is it. This is my very first blog on behalf of my company - yes, Dunitz & Company.
I'm sure many of you who will read this blog will be familiar with our line. For those of you who aren't, let me introduce you. Ours is a wonderful glass seed bead jewelry line ranging from Victorian to ethnic. Sophisticated to junior. Sassy to understated. Sometimes simply colored and other times vibrant.
Dunitz & Company is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and Green America. Our line is lovingly handcrafted in the highlands of Guatemala.
Our beautiful line retails in a host of museum shops, clothing boutiques, gift shops & other specialty venues. If you're looking to purchase at wholesale, track us down at trade shows around the country -- we'll actually be heading out to WWIN Las Vegas this weekend. Want even more information.... Our website address is! Visit us on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned - more pearls to come. ND