Retail "Dogs"

Posted on December 14, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

Jack and Mary Designs first retail "Dog"

My retail career started at Jordan Marsh Department Store. My first job was in the men's department. All year long we would get new merchandise  and sell it. Every so often we would get somethingin that just would not sell. And when these non sellers came in we would receive huge quanties. In the retail trade they were referred to as "Dogs". No matter what we did they would not sell until they were marked down to a magically low price that got the customers attention. I expereinced my Jack and Mary Designs first retail "Dog" this year. Someone told me after my wholesale catalog was printed that a certain product was hot, hot, hot and I needed to make them. I quickly came up with a design, tested them, had a die made and put them into production. I decided I needed to go big or go home so I had 400 pairs made. I sent samples to all of my reps and received zero orders. Each time I shipped out a wholesale order I would include a pair, with a flyer boasting the features of the product. Still no sales. With no sales under my belt I knew I needed to mark them down to that magica price. I did and they sold.  

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New Product Ideas

Posted on December 12, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_645" align="alignleft" width="277"]leopard Jack and Mary goes animal coming soon.[/caption] One of the challenges of owning your own accessories business is coming up with new products each year. A lot of my design comes out of frustration. It ususally starts with an exisiting product that I have and how to make it better. Or taking one of my exisitng products that I really like and making it out of new material. So, this year I am introducing a few of my products in a new material. I have always been partial to animal print. I will be incorporating a little bit of animal print into my new products. I am waiting for my photographer to send me photos and as soon as I get them I will post them here.

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American Made Matters

Posted on April 01, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

AMM_logo_websiteJack and Mary Designs recently joined American Made Matters - www.AmericanMadeMatters.com

The American Made Matters mission is to educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American dream. The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. (Source: Wikipedia) Jack and Mary Designs supports and believes in the American dream by creating and manufacturing their line of Women's Accessories in Maine, USA. The materials to create our mittens, hats headbands and scarves are recycled wool and cashmere sweaters which are purchased at local USA thrift stores. Our products are die cut by a Mill in Maine, USA, then sewn together by local Maine seamstresses. Even our product tags and hang tags are made by a Florida, USA company. American Made Matters® seeks to translate the knowledge of the importance of a strong U.S. manufacturing base into action through their members’ use of the American Made Matters® logo on the member company’s products, packaging and marketing materials. The American Made Matters® logo, a common branding identity, has come to symbolize American made craftsmanship, durability, quality, product safety and ingenuity. As it continues to gain awareness and recognition, it increasingly will be sought by Americans who understand that buying American made matters. (Source: American Made Matters) There is power in numbers and the American Made Matters® organization is growing. The voices of their members are being heard and more and more consumers are looking for American made products. For more information about American Made Matters®, please visit:www.AmericanMadeMatters.com.

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A New New Hang Tag for Jack and Mary

Posted on March 18, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

Jack & Mary Final HT FileI decided to redesign my hang tag. My current tag worked, but needed a face lift. I created a new hang tag that ties into my branding strategy. A tags purpose is to display product information, be visually appealing and compliment a product. In addition to conveying brand information - a hang tag can add value to your product by identifying your brand in a professional way. I am a visual person and the first thing I had to decide was the size, shape, material and color of the tag. I looked at  a lot of samples and became a collector of hang tags. I decided on a 1.75" x 2.50" tag with rounded corners, medium stock, heather gray,  center hole, and strung with black cord. My next challenge was to figure out what information to include -  A tag tells allows you to tell a short story about your company in a small space while simultaneously incorporating creativity and style. I also had to decided which logo to use, tag line, font size, company/product information, necessary details, critical information, price, care details, etc. My ultimate goal is to have my hang tag compliment the Jack and Mary Designs line of accessories created from repurposed wool and cashmeres sweaters. One of the things I learned from my Dad is to do what you do well and let others do what they do well. I found and hired a graphic designer to help me design and lay out my hang tag based on my input. I used Drew Robbins of GMAC Graphics. Drew was a pleasure to work with and put together a selection of great hang tags. Drew can be found at www.GMACGraphics.com

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I inherited the Disco Ball

Posted on March 17, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_348" align="alignleft" width="150"]Disco Ball Disco Ball[/caption] I am still not sure why I inherited the Disco Ball when my mom was relocating from London back to the states. I am actually not sure why my mom had a Disco Ball, a spinning one no less at her flat in London. And for some reason I have never asked. So, the disco ball has been floating around my house for a few years, homeless. It is a big decision where to hang a disco ball and so far the right spot has not come to me. I thought about giving it away but felt like there is a deeper message to why my mom gave me the Disco Ball and one day that will come to me too. I mentioned in a previous post that I recently relocated my studio and have this great new organized space. I have a rather nondescript center light fixture over head. I was looking at it the other day and had my ah hah moment. Somehow, I have to incorporate the Disco Ball into my studio and attach it to the overhead light. I utilized the resources of my handy husband and we were able to hang the Disco Ball from the finial of the light fixture. I think the disco ball will help me create some really groovy mittens made from recycled wool sweaters. At night if you dim the light and spin the ball you get full on Disco Fever. The lights sparkle and bounce  off the wall and make everything spin. I love to listen to loud music and often bust out a dance while I am working and maybe the Disco Ball will help me remember to have fun and dance. Thanks Mom!

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Shoofly Creative Web Design

Posted on March 14, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

Shoofly Creative designed and optimized Jack and Mary Designs Website and we love them!   Visit them: shooflycreative.com

Posted in Favorite Resources, SEO, web design, York ME Web design

Manufacturing in the USA

Posted on March 07, 2013 by 1 | 0 comments

America needs to bring Manufacturing back home.

Die Cut recycled mittens I recently read an article in my local paper written by a businessman and inventor. He writes about the eight step process and importance of invention. He continues to write about the volume of invention ideas he receives from readers and concludes that American people's desire to invent and innovate is alive and can lead to manufacturing jobs. He continues to write about how our nation tragically killed manufacturing in the past 50 years. And what remain is a remnant of the glory days of the '60's, when the United States was on top of the World in manufacturing. Back then, the middle class was a large, prosperous and very happy sector of the American Population. Today, since Manufacturing has been largely shipped overseas we have increased our national debt to $16 trillion and continues to increase every day. This averages out to $52,000 of debt for each living man, woman and child. This huge debt will be left to our children if we don't do something. Although Jack and Mary Designs is a small company that manufactures Women's Accessories made from recycled wool sweaters - mittens, hats and scarves right here in the USA - Maine I feel proud to be making a difference. American Made Matters - Manufacture in the USA. www.JackandMaryDesigns.com

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