Thanks for 2015

be-thankfulSo,  a year has passed.    We’re sitting here in the last day of 2015 and everyone is writing best of lists or top whatever lists and trying to sum up the year that’s almost gone before we start the year that’s almost here.  I’ve written best of or top whatever lists in the past so this year I wanted to try something a little different.

Basically,  I wanted to say thanks.

Thank you for supporting EnMart in 2015.   Whether you ordered product,  recommended us to someone who was looking for a service or item we offer,  or left us a review,  we appreciate your support.  Anyone who runs a business knows  the hardest thing to do is to build a customer base that likes what you do and keeps coming back.   We’ve been extraordinarily lucky in that regard and I’m grateful for that.

Thanks also for making this such a great year in social media.   EnMart started the year with roughly 1500 fans of our Facebook page and we’ll be ending it with just over 8000 fans.    Something similar has happened with our Twitter feed and the constant stream of repins tells me our Pinterest boards are alive and well.  We’re so pleased that so many of you have taken an interest in what we have to say.    We will,  hopefully,  keep entertaining,  enlightening and educating through social media in 2016.

A big thank you to those who challenged us this year.   We pride ourselves on being a resource for those just starting out and those who have been in the game for a while.    We appreciate your questions and your suggestions for what we could do next and what we could do better.    Just like any other business,  we learn and grow partly because that’s what we have to do to meet the needs of our customers.   Thank you for expressing those needs to us and sticking with us while we worked to learn what we needed to know to meet them.

Finally,  thank you for making us excited about 2016.   We’re expanding into new markets,  trying new trade shows (and some old favorites) and looking forward to seeing where 2016 takes us.   We will be off on January 1 to celebrate the New Year,  but we’ll be back on January 4,  ready for a new year and the surprises and successes it will bring.   Happy New Year to all of you and may 2016 be your best year ever!

EnMart East is On the Move

Cardboard box package on wheels

EnMart East,  our location in New Jersey,  is moving to a new facility.  As of 1/4/16,  they will now be located at the following address:

8555 Tonnelle Avenue
Unit 306
North Bergen, New Jersey  07047

The phone number has also changed.  The new phone number is (201) 662-1816.

Orders may still be placed by calling the toll free number – 866-516-1300.

Local pick-up will be available at the new location.

EnMart Extras: What’s Ahead in 2016

time-flies-400x298It’s hard to believe that 2015 is almost over.   In some ways it seems like yesterday was the DAX Show in Kansas City or Quilt Market in Houston.   Still,  we have less than a week until it’s 2016,  so I thought today might be a good day to preview some of what we have in store for the upcoming year.

First,  did you know we’ve added some new Dumbles to our product offerings?   We now have yellow and gray and will shortly have mint green as well.  The new Dumbles are as adorable as the old ones,  just in gender neutral colors that would work for almost any nursery.

Second,  in 2016, screen print supplies will be added to the list of products EnMart offers.  We’ll start with test sheets and sprays most likely,  and then move on to other products as we find suppliers.  EnMart’s parent company, Ensign Emblem,  has been creating screen printed emblems for industrial laundries for years,  so expanding EnMart into screen print only makes sense.

Third,  we’ll be updating our notions.   Scissors have always been a weakness for us,  since we’re picky about the quality that we offer.   Luckily we’ve found some that we like,  along with some needles and supplies for hand embroidery and crafting and crochet that we think are top notch.   So all that will be added to the website and available for purchase.

Finally,  we’ll be at some new shows this year,  and some old favorites.   EnMart will be in booth 751 at the TNNA Show in San Diego in January,  and at the VDTA Show that same month.   We’ll also be exhibiting at all the DAX Shows this year,  and I’m sure our show schedule will get more crowded as the year goes on.

We look forward to seeing and talking with as many of you as we can in 2016.  It’s going to be a great year!

Merry Christmas

christmasEnMart will be closed Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25 in honor of the Christmas holidays.    We will re-open on Monday,  December 28.   We wish everyone the happiest of holidays and the merriest Christmas.  

Marketing Monday: Know Thy Market (and Thyself)

iStock_000010133336XSmallI’m not really one to believe in the 10 Commandments of Marketing,  or that any such thing even exists.   I think marketing properly depends a lot on who is doing the marketing.   What works wonders for one company may be a complete failure for another.  Some marketing techniques may work for most businesses,  but it’s rare if not impossible to find one that will work for all.

The big secret to marketing well is simply this:  knowledge.  The first bit of knowledge you need to collect is information about your target market.   This, of course,  starts with first nailing down the groups to whom you want to sell.  This also involves understanding that “everyone” is not a group or a realistic goal.  “Everyone” in my town or “Everyone” who likes Doctor Who is a realistic goal,  albeit,  in some cases, an ambitious one.  “Everyone” in general is a pipe dream, and certainly far too large and nebulous a group to be marketed to in any effective fashion.

Once you’ve narrowed your focus and settled on the group or groups to whom you wish to market,  the next task is figuring out how to make effective contact with your selected groups.   The key here is effective contact.  You can have social media profiles all over the place,  you can create a blog,  you can do print ads,  there are any number of marketing venues available,  but none of them are worth anything if they don’t allow contact with your target demographics in a meaningful way.   So, after pinpointing your target markets,  the next thing to do is pinpoint where those markets spend their time and what they do there.

Once you’ve figured out where your target market congregates,  make sure your company appears in those places.  This also requires some research,  because you don’t just want to be in those places,  you want to be there in a way that generates interest and sales.  So,  before you set up your own profiles,  or create your blog,  or make your website live,  spend some time looking at how other successful companies who market to the same markets you wish to penetrate do things.  The goal is not to copy,  it’s simply to pick up techniques and insights that will aid you in making contact and making an impression on your designated market.

Finally,  while you’re pinpointing your market and figuring out where they are and where your company needs to be,  you should also spend some time figuring out where your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to marketing.   Some social media platforms may suit you better than others.   You may find you’re great when speaking in front of a group,  but not so great when required to write an advertisement.  A good marketing plan will not only take into account the needs of your market,  it will also consider your needs as well.

Trendy Thursday:Gifts that Give

morts moose munchies copyWe’ve talked before on this blog about what can be done with an embroiderable stuffed animal but,  given the holiday season is now upon us,  I thought it would be fun to talk about using these animals as gifts.   They do,  of course,  make great personalized gifts all on their own.  Almost any child  or adult  would love a cuddly friend emblazoned with their name or commemorating a special location or event.   What makes these animals really fun, however,  is that their gift potential doesn’t stop with simply embroidering a name or a logo on them.   There’s so much more than that which can be done.

The secret to the embroiderable stuffed animal’s gift potential is in its construction.  In order to be suitable to be embroidered,  a stuffed animal blank has to be filled with a stuffing pod or something that can be removed.   When the pod is removed,  the animal can be hooped and embroidered.   Once the embroidery is finished,  the stuffing is replaced and the animal can be gifted.    The fun part of the whole thing is that the animal is constructed so there is extra room in the body where the stuffing pod fits.   This is the perfect space to turn a gift that people love to get into a gift that gives something extra.

Maybe it’s a bear embroidered with a few lines from a favorite love poem,  with a beautiful piece of jewelry tucked inside.   It could be tickets to a hockey game inside a penguin embroidered with the logo of a favored team.    Perhaps it’s a sonogram picture tucked inside a lamb that commemorates baby’s first Christmas,  a perfect gift for grandparents to be.   Like Mort’s Moose Munchies,  pictured above,  the stomach compartment could be the perfect place to store a favorite treat before it makes its way into your stomach.     The animal becomes the gift and the wrapping for the gift,   creating a unique packaging opportunity that allows the gift giver to say something special about the gift they’re giving.

One of the trends in gift giving in recent years has been the giving of sustainable gifts,  presents that are environmentally friendly and which cause less waste.    Using embroiderable stuffed animals as both gift and wrapping completely supports this trend.   There will be no wrapping paper or bows to throw away,  and no cardboard box to recycle.   Instead the recipient and the giver get two gifts in one.   The recipient gets both an adorable stuffed animal and the gift that’s tucked inside,  and the giver gets to be both environmentally conscious and known as the best gift giver around.  Everybody wins.