Welcome to our new wonderful site!
It's a Wrap Ideas has grown leaps and bounds since we began in 2008, and we can't wait for you to browse through our site and check out our new stuff. The gifts we manufacture are made thoughtfully- many from repurposed materials- and we've made a commitment to keep them made right here, in the USA.
Nothing says "thank you" or "you are special" quite like our darling tea towels, hand-stitched with beautiful appliqués and embroidery. And our baby onesies with matching hats are truly unique. So make yourself at home, and revisit the art of handmade gifts.
I’ve always considered myself current and “in-the-know” when it comes to fashion, but as I grow older, it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain my “hip” status. I think this is true for all of us. Think about it… our tastes in music, entertainment, and more changes with age, so we do not forever remain in the pop-culture arena that dictates trends. I think this is good, because I don’t carry around a Hello Kitty purse. But I also think this can be bad, because there’s always that danger that I may wear shiny spandex to the gym or stirrup pants to my next book club.
I’m jealous of my accountant, because she has three daughters (part of quadruplets, mind you). And daughters tell you when you venture into the fashion black hole. Sons don’t. They wait until you’ve worn your denim jacket paired with high-waisted blue jeans around all day, then casually greet you at the dinner table with a nonchalant “well hey there Denim Dan.” That’s why I question my accountant daily on her daughters’ style preferences. And that’s also why I know that aztec and tribal prints are hot!
Darling aztec prints are being seen on everything – from shoes…
to even nails!…
So watch out, folks, for our trendy new 2014 line. You’ll see tribal touches in some unexpected and adorable ways!
We’re suckers for easy DIY projects, and this is one that we’re sure you will love as well! A retro inspired outdoor entertaining cart, convenient for housing grilling tools, drinks and whatever else comes to mind.
Of course, I can’t take the credit for this clever little cart, but I do happen to have just the right tea towels for accessorizing it…
These tea towels are available for purchase on our website. If you want them for your store, come visit us at the upcoming Atlanta gift market! Happy grilling everyone!
If you don’t yet know that all things burlap is a hot trend, then you must be living on a deserted island in the tropics talking to a soccer ball. But don’t worry, the trend is sure to be here when you return, because there are SO MANY uses for this versatile and durable textile! We’ve been making burlap table runners and fun little clutches made from salvaged coffee sacks, but now we’ve added even more products! Take a look…
We are exhibiting in Dallas in the J. Brandes showroom and at the upcoming Atlanta market with Darrah & Company. In August we will be in Denver with Montage. Hope to see you there!
We absolutely love to use unorthodox items for merchandising displays. Check out this idea in the May/June 2013 issue of Smart Retailer. Designer Nancy Borsodi crafted a clever vignette using our items with old wooden cable spools. Awesome idea, Nancy! You made us proud.
I won’t give away my age, but I’ll just say that my high school years came a bit before this recent trend of “creative prom date proposals.” In case you haven’t heard, simply asking someone to accompany you to prom is no longer acceptable. It’s bourgeois, to say the least. To be really hip, you have to inject a little creativity into recruiting a prom date. And of course, we creative souls here at It’s a Wrap LOVE that!
Here are a few of the cutest approaches we came across…
and for you more daring souls out there, try this!… our favorite!
Enjoy prom season everyone! And dance, dance, dance.
We all know that trends come and go. Some are fleeting while others stick around long after they’ve worn out their welcome. Some we get, and some… well, some just entertain us. One thing is for sure. Trendy notions and ideas keep our wardrobe interesting, keep our home decor fresh, and keep us on our toes.
We love the current trend called ombre! Its origin is French meaning “to shade.” This gradual fading of light tones into darker ones can be beautiful, and we are now seeing this technique on everything from fabric to home decor to even hair and nails!
Celebrities like Ashlee Simspon, Jessica Biel and Drew Barrymore are making ombre hair popular. L’oreal even jumped on the bandwagon with an at-home ombre hair painting kit.
Of course, our favorite items are the adorable laundry bags we make ourselves out of ombre polka dot fabric paired with mondern vintage prints.
This sneak peek at some of our new items just makes me feel happy. Guess that’s why owls are so trendy… they just make us smile. There’s enough things to fret over in life, enough trials to keep us humble, and enough mistakes to ensure we keep learning. What’s wrong with a few minutes out of our hectic days just to SMILE.
You’ll find these items on our website very soon, so stay tuned. And remember, love HOO you are!
Not familiar with our Friends in Fifty challenge? From now until election day, we are tracking our own US map with new friends. Let us know why you are a worthy fan of our made-in-the-USA items, and you just may receive one of our burlap coffee slings, a coffee clutch, key chain, tea towel, or more! You can always respond to us on our Facebook page or email us at email@example.com. Then spread the message… we are looking for more friends!
Here’s our first week update and a big shout out to our new friends: Cheryl Johnston in Washington, Kelly Iles in California, our awesome friend Jodi in Pennsylvania, Gabrielle Enzweiler in Illinois, Krystle Smith in Alabama, Samantha Collum in Alaska (yes, ALASKA!), Hannah Braun from University of Louisville in Kentucky (cheers to the Kappa Delta sorority gals!), Lee Williams in Tampa, Florida, and Robin Petroze in Virginia. Thanks folks!
In the midst of a depressing economic recession, I discovered a delightful escape – if only for a day. Take your puppy on a family outing. Okay, so it wasn’t really a family outing, just my husband and me, and Boxcar isn’t really a puppy – she’s a 15 year old pug (in dog years, that’s 105). But yesterday we took the Jet Express across Lake Erie to Put-in-Bay. For those of you who haven’t been, Put-in-Bay has been coined the “Key West of the Midwest.” It was cool weather for a lazy summer day, and we weren’t about to spend it indoors. So we grabbed our sunglasses, our wallets, and a little cart made for hauling boating supplies… only we transformed it into Boxcar’s chariot for the day.
Boxy can no longer walk or hear, and she has more cataracts than teeth, but nonetheless she was excited to be included in the excursion. Here’s the real kicker. People could not stay away from her! At one point, my husband said he felt we were in a zoo because of all the pointing, stares and smiles. But hey, it was all good.
From collegiate boys in Budweiser hats and no shirts to small children wanting just to pet her, Boxy’s following grew. And as the day went on, the intoxication level of the Put-in-Bay crowd grew as well. One girl wanted to share with us how her little dog just passed away last week. She needed a sympathetic ear. A young man talked to us endlessly how he was planning to adopt a dog because he and his wife could not have children. He wanted confirmation. And one dude with a red, white and blue bandana tied around his forehead and dressed in Daisy Duke cut-offs came to pet her, too. He, apparently, just wanted to live in the eighties again.
My friend Carolyn joined us once on a similar excursion with Boxcar and commented that she wished she had a device to “click” the number of times people smiled when they saw our dog. She believed it was a therapeutic service we were performing.
So yesterday, having a few drinks in a few bars and toting around a paraplegic pug was our contribution to people looking for a reason to smile.
I just returned from my annual family vacation. Fun, as always. Too much food. Too much chaos. But fun. And except for losing the annual family talent show (my first loss ever), I can’t complain about anything. In case you are wondering, I have ALWAYS won the talent show. But there was dissension in the ranks this year, as family members demanded a more democratic judging process. What was wrong with my being judge, I’ll never know. Nonetheless, it was quite a humbling experience to lose to an elementary school trio posing as Sonny, Cher, and Chaz.
Family vacations are always bittersweet, and this one was no exception. My brother’s fiancee joined us, as she greatly yearned a respite from her daily routine. Her father passed away 2 weeks ago. He was elderly and ill. But losing a loved one is always difficult, so she welcomed a chance to relax in the sun, cookout in the evenings, and watch Sonny, Cher and Chaz take down a legend.
Where am I going with this? My week with my family reminded me how important these connections are, and even more so if we don’t always have our loved ones by our side. Recently, our company debuted a novel little cuff bracelet lined with men’s vintage ties. What makes this item even more endearing is the fact that you can send in your own ties to be made into bracelets. What a unique way to keep the memory of someone special alive. Convert Grandpa’s ties into sentimental gifts for all his granddaughters… use up Dad’s old ties for his daughters to wear on their wrists, an ever-present reminder of their father’s adoration.
If I owned a tie, I would definitely have it made into bracelets for Sonny, Cher and Chaz as reminders that next summer… they’re going down.
still waiting on the video of the winning performance, but here’s a look at “Cher” out of costume…
and don’t be fooled by innocent looking “Chaz” …
Hey store owners…
We are currently at the Atlanta show and having so much fun. If you are at market too, be sure to come by the Darrah and Co. Showroom for our Mad Men party Friday at 4. And if you “like” us on Facebook, come by and let us know… We’ll reward your good deed with a free gift!
Market season is here. Store owners prepare to scout out all the latest trends so they can bring them back to their customers. What’s new this season? What colors are hot? What’s the latest craze?
For us, the answer is simple. We are in love with modern vintage textiles. Prints and colors reminiscent of our grandmother’s era, but with a fresh perspective. Amy Butler’s florals with an Asian inspiration, Joel Dewberry’s sweet bird motifs mixed with geometrics in true mid-century colors, and the list goes on. There are too many American textile designers to mention. We love so many of them and try to use their eclectic modern mix of style and color to create handcrafted items for you, for baby, and for the home.
Just what is it about this return to earlier decades that draws us in, that speaks to our souls? After recently hosting my own personal Mad Men party, I think I can answer that. That era was not cluttered with technology around every corner competing for your attention. Laura and Rob Petrie’s cocktail parties were all about conversation and truly listening to the person in front of you, rather than eyeing a dozen big screens each playing a different station in some sports bar. It was about music, from big band trumpets to the wild and wooly “Let’s do the twist!” It was about drinks too, of course. Not a cooler full of cold beers but a well-stocked bar with shiny silver ice tongs and little frilly umbrellas adorning your glass. (I won’t mention that it is easy to be “overserved” when ordering Pink Pussycats…) And of course, it was about fashion. Those big skirts and surprising prints easily outshine the jeans and tee shirts of today! And they do something else, too. They make a girl feel feminine, pretty. I think that is the draw for us, here at our little design studio. We want our products to be special, to be made from intriguing and artistic prints, not just predictable polka dots that line the shelves of every boutique. We want our products to look pretty.
We invite you to browse through our online store and check out our new products. And store owners, we invite you to visit us at the upcoming Atlanta market and join us for our own Mad Men cocktail hour. There won’t be any Pink Pussycats, but there will be mini Martinis, finger foods, prizes, and a chance to preview our current line of beautifully made items. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to pack a vintage brooch or your prettiest dress for the evening!
And there’s more!… the first 300 customers to visit our showroom in Atlanta will receive a darling ID holder, made from vintage style dish towels with a funky chenille fabric flower – and a different fifties recipe adorns the back of each one! Can’t wait to see you there!
A new type of buyer is emerging…not the neatly scheduled homemaker of our mothers’ generation who “went to town” weekly to have her hair styled and run a few errands… and not the conspicuous consumer from the eighties who lived by the mantra more is better. You won’t see today’s consumer loading mounds of packages into her car. She may not even be driving a car but rather peddling a bicycle or walking! And she’ll likely be carrying her own reusable market bags.
Whether we are all on board or not, the streets are filling with a more purposeful consumer who cares about the story behind the goods she purchases. This doesn’t mean people are only buying necessities, though. Slowly but surely the main streets of America are coming alive once again with boutiques and specialty stores, and the art of gift giving is more popular than ever – especially wares that are unique, well crafted and made in the USA are in demand!
Here’s a sneak peak of some of our newest products, hot off the embroidery machines in our workroom…
A darling tea towel… just one of many new designs!
Another tea towel, especially for our southern gals!
And one of our favorites… cuff bracelets lined with men’s vintage ties!
You can shop for these items in our online store. If you are a storeowner/wholesale buyer, make sure you see us at the upcoming shows:
Dallas Market Center – Ivystone showroom
Atlanta – Darrah & Company
Chicago – Sarm & Nastovski
Minneapolis – E Clectic
Northeast Market Center – Ron Gilefsky
Words matter. Maybe this is why I majored in English in college. Even then, I knew the power of words. How these single and multi syllable tools can help build amazing enterprises. Words can help mold characters, heal wounds, and words can lend significance.
Below is a photo my nephew took of an old sign he recently unearthed from a dusty storage shed. It belonged to my father. Six words, intermingled with a few symbols and digits, that tell quite a story.
My father owned a construction business. Some years he made money; some years he struggled. But the constants I remember are the smells of his office and the purple ink on mimeographed invoices…his recliner in the kitchen corner, his boots placed beneath the little side table, a full ashtray on top…the jingle of the keys in his pocket. But mostly I remember his work ethic. And when I see the words Williams & Co. painted on a placard above his office door, or on a sign at the end of our driveway, I remember the pride he carried around of owning his own enterprise.
You can study economics, earn an MBA, and accrue a lifetime of corporate experience, but the one ingredient which sets a true entrepreneur apart from all other professionals is SOUL. I truly believe the drive to invent, create, and build in the face of disbelief is an innate quality. I inherited my father’s entrepreneurial spirit. I have one published book and drawers full of rejection letters to prove it. And the book deal didn’t come until those drawers were spilling over. When I was 44, I ran my first marathon, despite all the naysayers that didn’t believe I could. And now I’m running a business, like many of you. I’m inventing, I’m creating, I’m building a dream.
Webster’s dictionary offers a synonym for the word entrepreneur. Caveat emptor. “Without a warranty the buyer takes a risk.” Isn’t that what an entrepreneur does when she writes those first words onto a page, paints those first brush strokes onto a canvas, or designs a product she pulls from her imagination? Then she writes a company name on a little placard and hangs it over her door. There is no warranty. Sometimes no cheerleaders. Just a dream…that is big enough to fuel her enthusiasm to do what she really loves to do every day.