Celtic Warriors Announced - The North American Celtic Trade



Celtic Warriors Announced - The North American Celtic Trade
Newsletter of The North American Celtic Trade Association
2 President’s
April 2010
Celtic Warriors Announced
NACTA Honors Outstanding Retailers
3 New Members
4 The Shop Corner
5 Supplier of the
Year Awards
6 Travel Awards
8 Vendor News
10 Social Media
Connecting with
your Customers
in 2010
11 The Truth About
Credit Card
12 Upcoming Events
Members Meeting
8:30am, Sunday April 18th
Embassy Suites Hotel,
The Home to Ireland
winner will be drawn at
this meeting.
Margaret McLemore
Lanora Davidson
NACTA presented the inaugural Celtic Warrior
Awards to four retailer members on January 23rd in
Dublin. The awards were presented in conjunction with
the annual Supplier of the Year Awards and marked the
first time that the association has honored the retail sector
in spite of years of honoring manufacturers, distributors
and reps. “We have talked for many years about
acknowledging our retailer members” said NACTA
President Fran Siefert “and felt that now was the time.”
The 2009/10 Celtic Warriors are Margaret
McLemore, Irish Traditions, Easton, MD, Lanora
Davidson, Things Celtic, Austin TX, Susan Banks, Faith
& Begorra, Denville, NJ, Ilene Moss, All Things Irish,
Coeur d’Alene, ID. The honorees were selected based on
a number of criteria related to participation in the association. These include attending networking events,
meetings and trade shows; using the NACTA website
and Members Forum; participating in NACTA programs, purchasing NACTA products; providing feedback; sending comments and suggestions from time to
time; and communicating ideas and opinions to benefit
the association. From this point on, vendor members
will have the opportunity to nominate retailers for the
Celtic Warrior Awards, adding an important dimension
to the selection process.
Susan Banks
Ilene Moss
“We are delighted to honor these members and
acknowledge not only their professional prowess but their
active participation in NACTA” said Anne Tarrant,
Executive Director. “Participation in our association is a
key to its viability and success and these retailers exemplify our mission. They participate, they communicate, they
are open to growth and education and they share their
knowledge and resources”.
In addition to the Celtic Warrior Award, Susan Banks
also received the inaugural NACTA Mentor Award in
recognition of support, guidance and encouragement to
fellow retailers, and of ongoing commitment to sharing
and communicating ideas and strategies to help fellow
members. In her acceptance speech Susan applauded
NACTA for its support. “I am the envy of retailers in my
downtown district” she said. “They see what NACTA
does for me and wish they had a dedicated trade association for their businesses”.
Honorees received a beautiful color certificate to hang
in their shops. The wording of the certificate is designed
to convey to customers that this retailer is highly regarded
among his/her peers and is actively involved in supporting and promoting Celtic heritage in the local community, in North America and in the Celtic Nations.
President’s Message
The mission of the North American
Celtic Trade Association is to facilitate
communication among businesses
involved in Celtic retailing in the USA and
Canada, and to develop and implement
programs of value to its members.
Fran Siefert
Ballyhugh Irish Imports, Audubon, NJ
Vice President
Neville Gardner
Donegal Square, Bethlehem, PA
Margaret McLemore
Irish Traditions, Easton, MD
Cheryl Parabicoli
The Tinkers Cart, Clinton, MA
Executive Director
Anne Tarrant
Board of Directors
Lanora Davidson, Things Celtic, TX
Anne C. Gleine, Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland, OH
Stephen Hand, Legends of the Celts, WI
Eve Harbourne, JMH Manufacturing Co., Ireland
Clinton Lloyd, Irish Import Shop, Rochester, NY
Patricia Lloyd, Irish & Celtic Imports, NY
going on in our lives. It makes for such a per-
maybe just basic respect for the customer is
sonal connection. I often remind myself that I
what wins the prize. Common sense and good
cannot take this for granted and more and
manners go a long way too!
more I find myself bending over backwards
My daughter and I were recently in
for customers. People have become cautious in
Blockbuster Video and were appalled by the
their purchases and almost need guarantees
rude and obnoxious behavior of the cashier.
with every item! It’s no longer just wrapping
This man insisted on telling his story so loudly
the gift for free. I get into conversations about
that it was difficult to concentrate on our
the jeweler, the knitwear or weaving company.
movie choice. After listening to his pointless
I talk about how we all meet up a trade shows
and irritating tirade and hearing him berate his
and how I have visited several companies’
female colleague, customers were exchanging
workshops and have seen the products made
eye-rolls and making for the exit. This seems
first-hand. It’s all about selling the romance of
like such silly stuff, but as we all know, this
the piece and while it may take longer to sell
kind of neglect can mean the difference
an item, you gain their trust and win another
between a sale or a customer walking out the
repeat customer.
door and probably not returning.
You would think that a major retail chain
In the end, it’s treating the customer with
respect and making that connection that causes
would know to establish simple rules for
them to return. The best selection of products
employees who have face-to-face contact with
at the best prices is no good if you can’t follow
customers. Again and again I am surprised that
through with service, and you will have many
these stores, with all of their advertising efforts
one-time customers but no client base.
and marketing and merchandising, with HR
Our trip to Dublin and Glasgow for the
departments and staff training facilities and
trade shows this past January was tremendously
budgets that an independent retailer would kill
enjoyable. Showcase once again exceeded our
for, can still get it so wrong so often?
expectations with its vibrant atmosphere, new
Experiences like this remind me that this is
layout and a marvelous seminar program. The
one area where we, as small independent
team at Expo Events did a superb job and
retailers can beat the big boys! Our smallness
exhibitors I spoke to seemed well pleased with
Patricia Theobald, The Irish Walk, VA
is a huge advantage when it comes to cus-
business written. I had the honor of serving as
Scott Wilhelmy, Irish Indeed!, MN
tomer service and it’s good to remind each
a judge for the New Products award and was
other of this powerful ‘weapon’ we can access.
very impressed at the high standard. As usual,
We can more easily excel in this area that con-
Showcase made us feel very welcome and the
sultants agree is the tipping point for today’s
arrangements at our ‘hub’ hotel worked out
retail market.
extremely well.
The North American
Celtic Trade Association
27 Addison Avenue
Rutherford, N.J. 07070
We are fortunate to be in such a niche mar-
The Welcome Reception on Saturday night
Tel: 201-842-9922
ket that we can treat our customers like
was also the forum for our Supplier of the Year
Fax: 201-804-9143
friends and welcome them into our shops
Awards and the inaugural Celtic Warrior
time and time again. Customers love to see
Awards which honor outstanding retailer mem-
the pictures of my kids and talk about what’s
bers. These retailer awards represent a signifi-
Email: [email protected]
In business these days, customer service or
cant milestone for the association and with the
already and it’s looking good. Our first and
input of vendors we will build on these awards
foremost task each year is selecting the educa-
for future years.
tional seminars to be offered. We are asking
The Supplier of the Year Awards were highly
members for their suggestions so please let us
anticipated as usual. These awards were
know what you would like to see. Some sugges-
designed to acknowledge and reward companies
tions we are looking at include a seminar on
who provide retailers with outstanding customer
social networking (see page 10 to whet your
service. NACTA sees the relationship between
appetite!) and possibly a workshop on the food
buyers and vendors as an important partnership.
aspect of our businesses: how to enhance and
When retailers do well, vendors do well and vice
build food sales. Some members have asked us
versa. It is a marvelous synergy.
to repeat the Email Marketing and Constant
This year we added a new award category
Contact seminar. Others want to see Kizer and
for Best eCommerce Support. It is vital for
Bender return. What do you want? Please let us
retailers with an online presence to be able to
know with an email or a phonecall. We want to
access images, digital graphics and other
keep the topics relevant to the market and to
resources, so we felt it was important to
your needs and concerns so your feedback is
acknowledge those companies who have been
critical and appreciated.
making an effort to provide us with
eCommerce support.
Solvar, Shanore and Reed & Barton were
Of course, before we get to Lombard we
have Secaucus to look forward to. NACTA will
be in Suite 812, so do stop in to say hello. We
the big winners again and we applaud them for
will have our products available for cash and
their consistency in providing us with out-
carry of course so be sure to take stock of your
standing products and service year after year.
shopping bags, Celtic wedding and Celtic sym-
Mucros Weavers were worthy winners of the
bols booklets etc. We will also have a supply of
Textiles, Apparel and Accessories category. They
CIE Tours brochures for the taking. It’s so nice
have been listed in the top 5 for years and their
to save money on shipping and take the prod-
hard work and outstanding customer service
ucts with us.
bumped them to the top spot this year.
Our members meeting will take place on
Congratulations to Paul and John and all the
Sunday April 18th at 8:30am at the Ireland
staff at Mucros Weavers.
Show and during the meeting we will draw the
Be sure to check out the Hottest Products of
winner of the Home to Ireland giveaway. We
2009. This list of ‘referrals’ from fellow retailers
will also address some of the new initiatives we
should be on your ‘must-see’ list at the next
are working on - like Member Contact Lists.
trade show. For a full list of Supplier of the Year
These lists, one for retailers and one for ven-
winners, see page 5.
dors, will feature basic contact information for
Scotland’s Trade Fair in Glasgow which overlapped with Showcase was a pleasure to attend.
easy reference. This is free of charge and is
another terrific member benefit!
I hadn’t been for a few years and was delighted
to find such a welcoming atmosphere and plen-
See you in Secaucus.
Welcome New
NACTA Members
Calzeat of Scotland
Tel: 011-44-1899 309 222
Designs & manufactures quality textiles,
accessories, apparel & upholstery
Harrisons & Crosfield Teas Inc.
Chatham, NJ
Manufacturer of full range high quality
traditional English teas: Individually wrapped
tagged tea bags, organic tea bags & leaf,
pyramid sachets, fresh brew iced teas,
leaf teas.
Toll Impressions
Ontario, Canada
Tel: 613-834-9485
Custom & Celtic designs on marble
& glassware
Celtic Card Company
Hunt Valley, MD
Featuring the illuminated manuscripts of
Canadian artist Kevin Dillon. Available in
matted or framed prints, greeting cards,
candles and Christmas cards.
Celtic Images Photography
Hunt Valley, MD
Original photography of Ireland by Rick
Henderson, greeting cards and eco-friendly
frameable note cards. Serving the Irish &
Celtic marketplace for over 26 years.
The Irish & Celtic Gift Collection
Timonium, MD
Unique giftware with an Irish or Celtic
motif, specializing in carved wood products,
signs, wall plaques and Christmas ornaments.
Handmade in the U.S.A.
ty of new products for my shop too! We met
Touchstone Distributing
DeWitt, MI
several vendor members there - Bill Wheelan of
The House of Edgar, and Richard Parker of
Eurostick and Tom Renton of Calzeat of
Scotland who are already looking forward to
Celtic Marketplace Trade Show in September.
Our plans for that show are in full swing
Fran Siefert
Maker and distributor of porcelain jewelry
featuring Celtic art designs. Distributor of
Toucan of Scotland sterling silver jewelry.
The Shop Corner
The Scottish & Irish Store
Born in Montreal of Scottish immigrants,
Michael loves that he is actively involved in pro-
rentals usually expand their purchases to jewelry,
giftware and other tartan products”.
moting Scottish and Irish heritage
“Our wide variety of food
every day. “I love that customers
products attract consumers that
immediately feel at home when
probably would never have visited
they walk into our stores. Music is
our stores otherwise. Our British
Cox was laying the groundwork for a career in retail-
playing and the environment makes
foods have expanded at such a
ing long before he opened his first store in 2003. “I
them feel at ease right away. Almost
rapid rate, that the volume is more
started out in banking which gave me a broad sense
every customer is easily coaxed into
than 35% of our total annual rev-
of utilizing financial credit” said Michael. “Then I
conversation and this is one of my
enues. This volume has allowed us
worked as a manager in several automotive dealer-
favorite parts of the business. What
ships which developed my sales instincts and market-
other retail business has customers chatting to staff
suppliers, and utilize full containers to keep prices
ing awareness, and finally as a business analyst for a
about their family and relations, or personal bits of
low and sales volumes high.”
large consulting firm. As a business analyst I worked
information they would only tell friends?”
Ottawa, Ontario
Although he didn’t know it at the time, Michael
with 168 corporations to find the problems that were
to purchase directly from overseas
The connection between the staff and the cus-
Michael is a big fan of Celtic Marketplace
Trade Show in Lombard. “I try to attend two or
restricting each operation from maximizing their
tomer is very special, and one of the greatest chal-
three trade shows annually to keep a personal
profit. I knew I was ready to begin my own enter-
lenges I had was finding, training and keeping the
contact with our suppliers, and see new products
prise after that experience.”
After leaving the consulting
right staff. I am fortunate to
first hand. In 2009 I attended the Lombard
have key people like Shannon
Celtic Marketplace show for the first time and
firm, his love of history and
Manson, who manages the
was completely impressed with the show. The
his Scottish heritage led him
West End store, and Tracy
informative retail seminars provided me with
to Highland Games where he
McLean who ensures tens of
some new concepts that we put into effect as
sold a variety of Scottish-
thousands of products are
soon as I returned to Ottawa. We saw an imme-
themed items. “Once I saw
received and stocked. Shannon
diate increase in our sales as a result of the
the response, I started to real-
won a Customer Service award
changes. I also found some new suppliers that
ize there was an opportunity
from the local Chamber of
provided us new products that improved retail
to develop this further” said
Commerce recognizing her excellent work at our
Michael. From there to a small stall at a weekly flea
shop. We have other staff that are equally commit-
Michael encourages retailers to join NACTA -
market to a cart in a shopping mall, word of mouth
ted and can be relied upon to keep the stores oper-
particularly fellow Canadians. “I joined NACTA
gradually brought more and more customers his
ating when I’m not on the premises. I am released
in 2004 because I saw an opportunity to gain
way, leading eventually to his first store.
from the day-to-day duties of running the business,
access to a larger scope of information for my
to actually overseeing the operation which I believe
new business. Not only have I met some great
is critical to growth.
people who are shop owners like me, but I have
The Scottish and Irish Store opened on April 23,
2003 - St. George’s Day, the patron saint of England.
Initially 1100 sq. ft., the store soon outgrew the
sales for us.”
Products and services that do particularly well
gained access to information on processes that
space and two years later expanded to 3,500 sq ft
for The Irish & Scottish Store are kilt rentals and
have worked at other shops, and methods that
when the unit next door became available. A Scottish
food. “Our kilt rentals have grown as more people
don’t. The fact that I can call another shop
Tea Room and British food products were included
have Celtic theme weddings. Both stores have kilt
owner, or the NACTA office and receive advice
in the expansion and sales doubled year on year. The
packages and they have proven to help sales of
on an event we are planning or the best method
British foods had now increased customer traffic by
other products too - people coming in for the kilt
to expand a part of the business is invaluable.”
attracting English ex-pats as well as Scots and Irish
customers. The tea room didn’t fare as well, so
Michael closed it and used the space to expand the
groceries section to 1,000 sq feet serving the growing
demand for imported foods.
In August of 2008 the expansion bug hit again and
Michael opened a second location. “This 3,000 sq ft
store quickly established itself and with the addition of
a 3000 sq. ft. warehouse that allows us to import containers from the UK and Ireland, our shipping and
purchasing costs have been reduced considerably
which is of course good for the bottom line.”
Michael Cox pictured with his store manager Shannon Manson
and Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators. The Irish & Scottish
Store partnered with the NHL Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and
their charitable foundation to launch the ‘Sens Tartan’. The tartan
was designed by the House of Edgar and registered with the
Scottish Tartans Authority, making the Ottawa Senators team the
only NHL team to have its own tartan. 14% of the sales of Sens
Tartan products goes to Rogers House, which helps families of
critically-ill children staying at the Children’s Hospital of Ontario.
On St. Patrick’s Day last year, The Irish & Scottish Store presented
a check for $5000 to Rogers House during a home game
between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres.
NACTA / Enterprise
Ireland Supplier of
the Year Awards
Presented in Dublin on January
23rd. Congratulations to all
nominees and winners.
Supplier of the Year - Jewelry
NACTA President Fran Siefert and Ann Marie
Maxwell of Enterprise Ireland pictured with
Nicky Obernik, Regina Kubiak and David
Duggan of Solvar.
David Cox and Barbara Campbell of
Fragrances of Ireland with their award for
Best Promotional Support.
Fran Siefert pictured with Supplier of the Year
award winners John Cahill and Paul Morgan of
Mucros Weavers.
Shane Maher of ShanOre accepts one of his
many awards from Fran Siefert of NACTA and
Ann Marie Maxwell of Enterprise Ireland.
Solvar (Overall Winner)
Boru Jewelry
Supplier of the Year - Gift
Reed & Barton for Belleek (Overall Winner)
Bridget's of Erin
Wild Goose Studio
Latchfords of Ireland
Supplier of the Year - Textiles,
Apparel and Accessories
Mucros Weavers (Overall Winner)
Latchfords of Ireland
Jimmy Hourihan
Branigan Weavers
Malham USA
Best eCommerce Support
Solvar (Overall winner)
The James Trading Group
Best Company Representative
Alan Clancy of Shanore (Overall Winner)
Roy Troughton of Reed & Barton
Paul Mackey of P Mackey Ireland
Emily Davis of Galway Crystal
David Duggan of Solvar
Best Packaging and Presentation
Shanore (Overall Winner)
JMH Manufacturing
Keith Jack
Boru Jewelry
Best Promotional Support
Shanore (Overall Winner)
Boru Jewelry
Fragrances of Ireland
Reed & Barton for Belleek
Hottest Products of the Year
Scotts Highland Services
Ribbon of Life Trinity Knot
Full Zip Chenille Sweater
The Sexton Company
Wool Trinity Hats
Mucros Weavers
Belleek Event Piece
Hats, purses & accessories
The Archive Collection
Family Names Key Chains
Heraldry Names
Budget Kilts
Gold Brothers
Calendars & Cards
Thomas Joseph
Chakra Necklace & Bracelet
Black Dragon Gifts
Cradle of Life
Keith Jack
Grasslands Road
Synergy Necklace
Keith Jack
Ireland Breathable Jersey
Malham USA
Inis & the Inis Gift set
Fragrances of Ireland
Luckenbooth Pendant
Touchstone Distributing
Celtic Wall Crosses
Mo Anam Cara Rings
Boru Jewelry
Tara’s Diary
Shanore (Overall Winner)
Mundo Cards Pictures
Mundo Images
Our thanks to Mike O’Donoghue of
Killarney Printing for printing and
framing the award certificates.
Pin Badge
Heraldry Names
Travel Awards
Thinking About a
Website for Your Store?
Get Your Shop Online with Site Caddy
• No technical skills required - create your
own website with confidence and ease or
migrate your existing site.
• No website design costs - choose from one
of the available Celtic designs.
• Customize your website - with your logo,
product and store photos.
• Update and maintain your website from
your shop, your home or anywhere with an
Internet connection.
• Increase sales - make it easy for customers to
find you online and drive traffic to your store.
• Communicate with customers - manage
customer contact details, organize into
groups by interest and communicate by
email, text messages and surveys.
• Affordable running costs include setup,
hosting, domain name, email addresses,
technical support by phone and online and
regular upgrades to the system.
Jim Kelly of CIE Tours International presents Ken & Maureen Siegert with a certificate of
accomplishment for travel sales. In addition to being top sellers of scheduled tours
(from the CIE brochure), Ken and Maureen have a custom tour to Ireland this June with
82 of their customers!
The NACTA CIE Travel Program is a huge success for many of our member stores.
Some enjoy occasional bookings which yield generous commission for little or no
• Shared resources and experience - take
advantage of Site Caddy's unique offering,
shared NACTA member resource, Celtic
inspired designs, CIE Tours, Vendor Library
and more…
work and no inventory. Others put a little more work into it and reap greater rewards.
• Created for Celtic retailers in partnership
with NACTA
Neville Gardner, Donegal Square, Bethlehem, PA and Steve & Cindy Washburn,
Vendors - ask about the NACTA
Vendor Library Program.
Congratulations to Ann & Len Bauersachs of The Cross & Shamrock,
Connecting you to Celtic Retailers
CIE Tours International recently acknowledged the top four producers and presented
certificates to them to hang in their stores. They are: Ken & Maureen Siegert,
Shamrock Imports, Dubuque, IA, Betty Rohman, Harp & Thistle, Peoria Heights, IL,
Oxford Hall Celtic Shop, New Cumberland, PA. Continued success to all!
Hamilton Square, NJ who are celebrating 25 years in business!
• New Channel to Market for your products
• Products added to retail sites with ease 100's of products added in a minute!
• Accurate representation - you have more
control over how your products are
represented on retailers’ websites.
• Products updated in a central & secure location
• Increased brand & product awareness
• And it keeps getting better - new features
added regularly at no extra cost.
Contact Green Island Interactive for details.
Bonnie Ehre
It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of
NACTA member Bonnie Ehre. This beautiful lady
passed away unexpectedly last December after a short
illness at age 69. The news was met with shock and
sorrow. She was one of those people who exuded kindness and genuine warmth and was simply nice to be
around. Bonnie owned and managed Accents of Ireland
Tel U.S.: 914-461-4327
Gift Shoppe in New Hartford, NY for the past 17 years with the help of her hus-
Tel Irl: + 353 (0)1 657 1964
band Don and family. She will be sadly missed by everyone in the Irish market.
Email: [email protected]:
We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Don and to her daughters Melanie, Kimberly
and Valerie and her son Brett.
Congratulations to NACTA secretary Cheryl
Parabicoli who has won a prestigious business award.
Cheryl’s store, The Tinker’s Cart in Clinton MA has been
selected as the Small Business of the Year by the Wachusett
Chamber of Commerce, a business advocacy organization
with a membership of approximately 500 businesses in the
Central and North Central Massachusetts area.
“The Tinker’s Cart is a long-standing business in the town of Clinton” said Maegen
McCaffrey, Executive Director of the Chamber. “Cheryl Parabicoli, store owner and
talented artist is always eager to support local community, is a dynamic member of
the business community and is actively involved in the Chamber's tourism commit-
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday
September 19, 20, 21, 2010
Embassy Suites Hotel, Lombard, IL.
to start a "Shop Local Campaign" and even created a colorful and eye-catching logo
Where the Celtic Market meets to Network,
Re-energize, Learn & Prosper!
to support the initiative”.
The Small Business of the Year Award is presented annually to a company with less
• Expert Seminars of REAL value and specific
tee to bring traffic and business to the region. She participated in a grass roots effort
than 25 employees that has demonstrated leadership, innovation and a strong image
within the business community as well as showing involvement in the community
through civic, business, social, educational, humanitarian, or philanthropic
endeavors. Congratulations Cheryl!
relevance to your business.
• All your favorite exhibitors (and terrific new ones!)
• Rock-bottom hotel rates from $50.00 a night!
• Perfect timing for Christmas & St. Patrick’s
Day purchases.
• The Discovery Room - a time-saving showcase
of new products.
• The Shop Forum - a dynamic and highly
effective member-to-member exchange.
• Networking - no other show like it for building
business friendships.
• Valuable prizes & giveaways.
• Great entertainment & complimentary
food & drink!
Tracing Ancestors in Ireland
NACTA Elections
Chances are you get questions from your customers on a regular basis about
The recent NACTA elections to the Board
how they can trace their Irish ancestry, but do you have the right answers for
of Directors resulted in all incumbents being
them? Failte Ireland (Ireland's Tourism Board) has published an attractive
re-elected. A number of members, both
brochure with some very useful information on the subject. Topics include Irish
retailers and vendors expressed interest in
genealogical sources, a checklist of the basic information needed to begin a
search, and a list of genealogy centers in each county. It also features a list of
useful websites and addresses for further research. NACTA members can pick up
one of these brochures (free of charge) at the Ireland Show. It is a very handy reference piece for you to keep in your shop so that you and your staff have
detailed and accurate information at hand for your customers.
running for election in the future but this
year's election was uncontested. We are
delighted that Anne Gleine, Steve Hand and
Eve Harbourne will remain as Board
Members and we thank them for their
willingness to serve our association.
Vendor News
“The wraps are very light for shipping” says
‘Celtic’ ‘Wolfhound’ and up pops some of the
Anne Marie “and up to 14 wraps and brooches
loveliest designs. It will give you the item num-
costs about 22 Euro to post. Orders placed at
ber and code as well as the suggested color of
Anne Marie Griffin Knitwear
Showcase were shipped on the first week of
the shirt to match the design. Prices start from
Anne Marie Griffin started knitting at the age of 4
February. Two of the stores sold out within a
$6.00 each. For those of you interested in the
years and she has con-
couple of weeks and their second order has
coat of arms and histories software program we
tinued to knit and cro-
already shipped. I make and stock a continuous
have some great incentives. See our website
chet all her life. From
supply of these wraps so orders can be dis-
www.namesandheraldry.com Also for the first
her home in the Moate,
patched within a couple of days of being placed
time we will be showing our home and garden
County Westmeath, she
and reach the U.S. in approximately 6 working
welcome stones, laser cut wood family photo
designs and creates
days. I also supply photographs for point of sale
mattes, our fingerless gloves, and our many Irish
unique hand-made
material and a ‘Meet the Maker’ profile which
Blessings and framed sentiments. For more
knitwear using natural
helps to drive sales.”
information contact Peter on 219-663-1756 or
Ann Marie Griffin Knitwear also has a full
email [email protected] or just pop
range of knitwear from very fine yarns to heav-
in to Suite 913 in Secaucus.
yarns, finished with traditional Irish crochet. Her
designs include wraps,
cardigans, dresses,
sweaters, skirts and
ier cotton/linen yarns and 100% pure Irish
Wool garments.
accessories for every day
wear to special occasion
and bridal wear. Inspired
by the wonderful beauty
uct lines include the everyday and sports cloth-
ing lines from Traditional Craft and Lansdowne,
Tel: 011-353-86-805-3467
The Whimsical World of Thomas Joseph sheep
novelties, Teddies in Tartans stuffed animals,
Wild Goose is launching a new collection of
Midlands, her work
ready to frame gifts at the Ireland Show. New
upholds the traditional
Celtic Gallery offers an excellent selection of
value of craftsmanship,
our best-loved pieces coupled with inspirational
high quality natural
text in an innovative gifting format, handmade
yarns and her own unique style and design. Anne
in Ireland at a good price point. Local represen-
Marie’s designs have a soft feminine look and are
tative Suzanne Dahm will be on hand to show
produced in the heart of Ireland.
you this and our other ranges.
of colors and works as casual wear or for elegant
evening wear. It is lightweight and can fold up
small enough to put in a ladies purse and comes
with a crochet rose brooch. “These wraps are selling very well for me” says Patty Theobald of the
Irish Walk in Alexandria, VA. “I saw them at
Showcase and knew they were just the new and
unique item I was looking for. I had it in mind
for the busy, well dressed, corporate woman that
rushes in during her lunch hour to shop for gifts,
but I have been pleasantly surprised that Soccer
Moms have been buying them too! I chose the
All That Glisters
Sue Bowden from “All That Glisters” will be
presenting new designs in Secaucus. They are
bold and beautiful yet have traditional elements.
Large Connemara and Kilkenny marble beads
added in addition to the manufacturers just listed. Show special: Free shipping and 10% off
for orders over $500. FREE bottle of Bailey’s
for the first thirty orders over $300!
C.A.P.S. Freight & Distribution is expanding
goods. We will be showing them at the Ireland
Show in Secaucus. These goods will include
Scottish Wear, Hurleys and Sliothars, Irish Wear
and some other items. Stop by our booth and
let us know what you think.
dramatic necklaces. All made in Ireland and all
Latchfords of Ireland is very excited to
beautifully packaged and presented. We are
announce that we will be adding the Patrick
offering 10% discount on these new designs at
Francis line to our current group of suppliers.
the show. See us at suite 930 on the top floor.
The range includes ties, scarves and baby items.
We are looking forward as usual to meeting all
Also, we will be expanding our line of Wicklow
our customers and hopefully to meet a few
Fine Foods, Cara Craft/Fashion Flo, Irish Celtic
new faces as well. Look at our website
Art Studio products and a range of Liffey
Artifacts items. Please stop by our rooms while
you are in Secaucus. John and Eleanor Hanna,
Peter Townsend’s Irish Collection
but will definitely be placing an order for the
www.irishcollection.com launches two
Fall/Winter colors. It’s a nice alternative to a scarf
new websites www.art4myshirt.com and
or shawl. I have been selling it as the perfect
www.namesandheraldry.com. At Art4myshirt
accessory to change up your little black dress that
stores can type in a key word such as ‘Irish’
Over 150 new gift and novelty items have been
feature with lovely purple amethyst to make
pastel and vibrant colors for Spring and Summer,
every woman should have in her closet”.
Irish Turf Fire DVD and much, much more.
its distribution service with some wholesale
Her designer wraps are becoming a best-seller for
wrap in viscose and polyamide comes in a variety
from Ireland in Suites 628 and 630. New prod-
Anne Marie Griffin Knitwear
and heritage of the Irish
her and her customers. This unique one-size
Dublin Gift Company presents everyday gifts
Turlough Sheehan and Mike and Lisa Fantone
will be at the show to meet with you and we
will be in Rooms 608 and 609. We are looking
forward to seeing you at the show!
For more details, contact TJH in Dublin at
with your questions. We will have the new
011-353-417-4070 or Jean Clancy at 917-402-
packages available in Secaucus and we hope to
3616 Email [email protected]
see you there!
TJH Keys of Ireland. Unlock your Celtic
New Tara’s Diary Beads from ShanOre. Just one
Celtic Images continues its introduction of
Spirit… Help TJH launch their wonderful new
year on from the 2009 launch of Tara’s Diary,
“Green Shamrocks” their highly successful line
collection - Keys of Ireland - at the Ireland
ShanOre is delighted to add to our already compre-
of eco-friendly note cards and framed prints.
Show Secaucus 2010. Inspired by the most
hensive bead collection. We were anticipating a
Also available will be new prints in the
treasured of Celtic symbols and art, Keys of
strong launch with the Tara’s Diary Collection but
“Irish Reflections” line.
Ireland offers elegant and contemporary designs
we have been really blown away with its success. Our
that pay homage to our Celtic Heritage. Keys of
customers have had enormous success with the
Ireland offers a selection of sterling silver pen-
beads and this in turn has greatly helped with their
dants and charms.
bottom line. A key reason for the success of the Tara’s
Spot The Key.... Each day during the Ireland
Diary Collection, apart from their unique Celtic &
Show a well known member of NACTA or the
Claddagh designs is that all the beads fit the already
Ireland Show will be wearing a TJH "Keys of
established mainstream brands - Pandora, Chamilia,
Ireland" pendant. Fill in a coupon to say who
Trollbeads. Visit ShanOre at Secaucus and see for
you spotted wearing the key and submit the
yourself what all the buzz is about!
answer to TJH Suite 613. A winner will be
drawn at the end of the show and the winning
store will take home a complete collection of
TJH’s new Keys of Ireland range along with
shop display and point of sale.
Upcoming Improvements to Bewley’s Teas.
Bewley’s is changing the graphics on their 2
most popular 80 count tea boxes: Dublin
Morning tea and Irish Breakfast tea. Also, a new
Irish Afternoon tea 80-count box will be added.
Celtic Card Company is pleased to announce
the addition of five new pieces from artist Kevin
Dillon. We are also delighted to say that Kevin
has kindly consented to make the originals of
these pieces available for sale. For those of you
that have always admired this unique form of
artwork this will be a very rare opportunity to
own one of his originals.
The Irish & Celtic Gift Collection will debut
new designs for their hand carved wall plaques
at The Ireland Show in Secaucus. In addition,
we will be offering a pre-season sale on our
“Bags & Bows” line.
Product Launch... Join TJH for a Cheese and
Other product changes will be made, so please
Wine evening in the Embassy Suites, Suite 613,
P Mackey Ireland: New for 2010, over 30
click on the link on our website’s home page for
on April 17th from 6-8pm for the official
new sweaters and a complete range of woolen
more information and call us at 1-888-239-5397
blankets. See you at the Ireland Show.
launch of Keys of Ireland.
The FJMI stands for Federation of Jewellery Manufacturers of
There is a trade show fable that circulates about the story of the Irish duo who came up with a
Ireland, and with Ireland's history of emigration, the business of
grand plan altogether… Why lug all the trade show props over and back to America for every
most FJMI members includes a significant North American market.
show? All that back breaking carrying and hauling - not to mention those airlines and their pesky
And so, sometimes we all need to pack up our bags and our sam-
baggage restrictions. Hmmmm…a cunning plan involving a screwdriver and a sprinkle of inge-
ples and our display props and get on a plane and go to America
nuity evolved. Same hotel room year in year out…hmmm.This clever pair unscrewed the front
to sell. Easy peasy? Not so!
panel of the sink unit and discovered a handy little storage space! Genius! Much back-slapping
Occasionally even getting there can be incredibly tricky! Wondering,
as you share a few last cherished moments with your suitcase at
check-in, where all your samples will end up, or indeed which other
ensued and they secreted away their props for the following year.And so year in year out they
sauntered into this fine hotel with only the clothes on their backs and a few new samples - and
of course their trusty screwdriver - and set up their show in five minutes flat.
FJMI member will spirit your bags away! This has happened…an “honest mistake” seemingly!
Until one fine day the hotel decided a refurbishment was in order and lo and behold when these
(Hmmm. Corporate sabotage anyone?)
two arrived for the next show, screwdriver at the ready, they discovered that their secret stash
Sometimes it's the connecting flights that pose the problems. One FJMI member lays claim to be
had disappeared and they had a catastrophe on their hands!
the first Irishman to run 100 metres in under 15 seconds in CDG airport, Paris, whilst carrying a
But it's not all horror stories! Trade shows are great fun - for seeing friends and colleagues and
laptop & trouser belt in one hand and a computer bag in the other only to find the connecting
for meeting new friends; for doing business within a fantastic group of people. So on those won-
flight had been delayed for 3 hours!! After eventually arriving and speeding through customs in 2
derful occasions, when you have the perfect combination for business, great product, an interest-
hours and 20 minutes flat, he found himself without his precious bags and the trade show only
ed customer and the legend that was Jim O'Connor selling, the customer is greeted with the
hours away. Is there anything worse than that sinking feeling when the last bag is going round
immortal words “There's no doubt about it” (Jim's plan B on the very rare occasion that his
and round on the baggage carousel and it's not yours! Especially when your success at a trade
memorized encyclopaedic customer database was not working!). So when you visit a FJMI mem-
show depends on it.
ber this year remember that there is no doubt about it but a happy customer placing a good
So when we finally make it to the intended destination, slightly frazzled, but raring to go, all that
is left is to set-up, exhibit, entertain (anyone for a spot of karaoke!) and of course fill the order
book. Sometimes this is easier said than done!
order can make the journey home a very happy one indeed! Oh and by the way… FJMI is considering a name change… Frequent Journeys Made Interesting seems to fit the bill.
Submitted by Paul O'Rourke, FJMI
Social Media Connecting with Your
Customers in 2010
3. Social media can dramatically influence buying decisions. In the past,
customers looked for product feedback from trusted friends and influencers.
Today, consumers take to the internet seeking online opinions, and many
times from people they have actually never come face to face with. But don’t
be fooled, the recommendations of “strangers” can have as dramatic affect
on purchasing decisions as a referral from their own brother or neighbor.
4. The More the Merrier. Through social media, businesses can reach a sig-
Today’s consumers are savvier than ever. They consume news, information
nificantly larger pool of potential customers. And while many companies
and facts differently than all prior generations. And here’s a newsflash to
might not be able to increase their physical space, they can afford to
all retailers: they make purchasing decisions based on this new way of
increase their online “space” to reach new markets and thus new customers
collecting information!
all the time.
The news is also clear about one other thing. The shift in how consumers
5. Social Media creates effective WOM (Word of Mouth) strategies- As we
“consume” information about their favorite brands shows no sign of changing
know from traditional marketing approaches, satisfied customers are more
back to the old ways anytime soon. The answer then for retailers is that they
than happy to give referrals for a job well done or products they love.
must change their marketing methods in order to “meet” consumers where
Creating a process which uses social media to spread word of mouth referrals
they are. And in the case of many consumers today, that means connecting
for your business can deliver your referral efforts both farther and faster
via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
(upwards of 1000 fold more people!) than your current traditional WOM
The emergence of social media sites over the last 5-8 years started with a key
change in how relationships among people are initially formed. (Yes. You
campaigns. That alone is worth the time and effort for your business to use
social media!
read correctly! The brand Facebook is 6 years old-even though you may have
Of course with every new opportunity comes new challenges. And social
only heard about it last year or last month!) In today’s world, a face-to-face
media is the same. Here are the top 5 challenges (or should we call them
interaction is no longer required to begin a “relationship.” This change obvi-
opportunities to overcome) as you look to implement usage of social media
ously spills over into consumer goods and service transactions, thus affects
for your business.
retailers everywhere. No longer does a retailer have to wait until a consumer
1. Strategy first. Using Social media is not a case of build it and they will
enters the store to begin to have a relationship. E-commerce retailers have
come. As with any marketing endeavor, you must begin with a strategy that
known this for a while, but many traditional brick and mortar retailers are
defines your company goals and outcomes. Ironically, the social media tools
just beginning to see this unfold.
are not complex. However it’s developing the strategy and finding time to com-
The possibilities this opens up for retailers to connect with a community
mit to it that sinks many companies starting out. Don’t let this happen to you.
beyond just the area of the town they do business in is tremendous. Stores in
2. Abolish the fear of transparency. As you seek to engage your customers in
remote areas can find opportunities to engage, inspire and eventually sell to
your social media activities, you may also receive some critical reviews of
customers across a larger trading area-website or not!
your brand. Do not hide behind your cyber walls. Acknowledge your failings
So, you ask, how can social media help my retail business and what do I
in the public forum and try to right the wrongs as best you can. You may not
need to know to get started with this powerful marketing tool? Here are 5 key
ever completely resolve the disgruntled voice, but those who see the interac-
elements- though in reality there are more like 50,005- the least of which is
tions and how you are trying to correct the situation will be most pleased
the price, which is nominal and in most cases FREE!
with your words.
1. Social Media is great for businesses of all size. Using social media, small
3. Stand out from the crowd. Yes, you must have a strategy, but don’t forget,
and medium-sized businesses can create marketing campaigns that are able
we’re talking about marketing here, so you must create activities with your
to reach large numbers of potential customers but at a fraction of the cost.
social media marketing that create differentiation among your peers and help
However, Social Media is not a silver bullet. It must be integrated into an
your customers see the value in your company and your brand!
overall marketing campaign and deliver a message that supports the brand
4. Givers gain. You must learn that using social media isn’t just about con-
and that is focused on achieving a business goal. Note: The costs in dollars
stantly selling. You must have a shared communication with customers and
for social media may be low, but the cost in time may be a steep one. You
give information that your customers find useful.
(or your employees) must be willing to commit the time to social media to
achieve results.
5. Create Value. It matters to your customers. Make sure you use social
media to help your company showcase the value in your brand. It’s not just
2. Listen and you shall hear. Using social media is a great way to learn what
being there that matters, it’s about delivering value in the eyes of your cus-
your prospects and customers are saying about your business. Listening to the
tomers on a consistent basis that separates you from your competitors on a
online chatter for your brand is critical. Not only can you hear good news
consistent basis.
and nice things being said and share with other prospects or customers, but
you can also deal with potential unsatisfied customers in a timely manner
and that can go a long way putting out a fire before it becomes an inferno.
Lynn Switanowski-Barrett is the founder of Creative Business Consulting
Group, a retail consulting firm based in Boston, MA. For more information,
please contact CBCG at (617) 437-9191 or Email:[email protected]
Twitter:@retailhelper Facebook: www.facebook.com/retailhelper
The Truth about
Credit Card Processing
This article was submitted by Edwin Mann of Celtic Payments
The three important elements of a qualified keyed-in transaction are: 1) That
the account is set up properly; 2) That the AVS- address verification (address &
zip-code) are entered; 3) Batching out on a daily basis.
So what are the real rates?
Discover Card’s charges have fallen in line with Visa and MasterCard, as many
All credit cards are not created equal. Retailers need to be aware of the
processors now set up Discover along with Visa/Mastercard using the same rate
issues which impact on the processing rates for credit and debit cards. This
structure. Discover card will automatically charge an extra $.50 when the required
awareness will help save money, and will have the best possible results and
security code (CVV#) is not entered when prompted for a keyed-in transaction.
least amount of problems.
Credit card processing costs are a function of security (swiped or keyed) and
American Express still remains in its own world with a much higher rate
around 3.25% and their own timing on making the money available to the
the mark-up levied by the processing company, known as Downgrades.
retailer. Good pricing for Visa and MasterCard is available no matter what kind
Think of it this way – Visa or MasterCard is the product and the interchange
of a card you take or how you take it. There are some 150 different kinds of
fees charged by your credit card processor is the shipping cost – based on a
cards and pricing. To use a tiered pricing system is doomed to be more costly
% of the amount of the transaction. The processing rate charged by your
due to the fact that although all the cards are priced differently an attempt is
credit card company is dependent on whether the card is a standard credit
made to force them into preset pricing buckets. It is nearly impossible to fit all
card, a check/debit card, a rewards card, one of the many forms of business
those different interchange categories into the buckets (mid & non-qualified
cards, or interchange V/MC categories …AND whether the card is swiped or
tiers) on a cost effective basis. For example, Visa and MasterCard have many
keyed-in. It is also important that you are set up properly for how you will
different categories for the multiple card types that are issued, e.g. (rewards,
accept credit cards and the pricing plan being proposed. There are 2 & 3 tier
business, etc.)
(bucket) pricing plans, interchange-plus pricing plans, enhanced bill-back
pricing plans as well as others such as blended rate or blanket rate plans.
2 and 3 Tier Pricing takes a large number of these categories and lumps them
together into one of the tier buckets available to the merchant. This is all well
Rewards Cards cost us more money!
and fine if the merchant only accepts standard credit cards. The fact is that the
Rewards cards (for air miles, money back etc) have become a huge part of the
merchant will see debit /check cards and an abundance of rewards cards and
market, but remember that the retailer is essentially paying for the rewards
business/corporate cards. The merchant will notice that when accepting these
through the processing rates. You could be paying as much as 0.50% to 2.0%
cards his processing bill has increased dramatically. This is because these
and more when accepting rewards cards. For example: on $10,000 worth
transactions are falling into the mid-qualified and non-qualified buckets. Many
of transactions the fees would be $50 (.5% x $10,000) to $500 (2% x
of the interchange categories falling into the mid & non-qualified buckets may
$10,000) and… on $100,000 worth of transactions and in cases where a
only have slightly different pricing than the standard credit card but because
retailer is paying as much as a 2% surcharge, these fees become $200 on
they are not standard credit cards they fall into the mid or nonqualified buck-
$10,000 processed and $2000 on $100,000 of cards processed. We have
ets, thereby costing an additional 1% to 2% in many cases and in almost all
found the same surcharge abuse for business cards.
cases at least .50% to .75% more in fees.
Why does swiping a card save us money?
Interchange Plus Pricing passes the true cost of any card right through to the
The processing rate is lowest for a swiped card because when we swipe a
merchant. So the fees for that card will be put through at the lowest possible
credit card all the relevant security data is collected from the card to verify the
cost to the merchant. The business owner then pays a mark-up at the end of
transaction, as long as the card has not been stolen. Swiping the card provides
the month based solely on their number of transactions and the sales dollar
security and protects both the cardholder and the retailer.
volume. Typically .25-.50% plus $0.10 per transaction. This will always prove
What information do we need to collect for a non-swiped card?
to be the better deal than any other pricing method.
Whether the transaction is being done by phone, internet or the customer is
Customer Service
present but their card will not swipe successfully, the credit card company will
In order to stay abreast of the ups and downs of credit card processing it is
treat the transactions in a similar fashion. There is also a qualified rate for
important for a retailer (merchant) to form a long term and trusting relation-
keyed-in transactions. If the card is keyed-in the retailer needs to get a street
ship with a credit card processor.
address (e.g. enter # 10 if card is billed to 10 Main Street), zip code and
CVV number. A phone number is also recommended which should be written on the charge slip. If you do not collect and enter this information when
prompted the transaction will be downgraded (more charges) which again
could be .50 % to 2% more in fees. If your equipment/software is not
prompting you for this information you will be downgraded on almost all of
your keyed–in transactions.
What else can we do to ensure we receive a qualified rate? (Swiped or Keyed-In)
The three things that are essential to make sure we get qualified rates on retail
transactions are: 1) Swiping the Cards; 2) Getting the receipt slips signed; 3)
Batching out on a daily basis.
Processing equipment is another area that merchants can pay amounts far in
excess of the true cost for their processing equipment. Work with a processor
who provides up to date software/hardware that is PCI DSS compliant for card
acceptance at competitive pricing. There are still merchant acquirers who exist
on making large profits on the sale of equipment. Celtic Payments specializes
in merchant services and is always looking for the latest and most cost-effective hardware/software at the lowest market prices and passes this along to
their merchants (customers).
For additional information or questions call Edwin Mann at 877-333-6266.
Proven Winners! All these products will be available
for cash & carry at the Ireland Show, Secaucus or order
now by phone or email for immediate shipment.
• Vendor Contact List - a handy reference
for retailers. The list will feature vendor
contact information in a convenient reference format.
• Retailer Contact List - a handy reference
for both retailers and vendors listing all
NACTA retailers.
These lists will replace the outdated
Resource Ireland book (which will not be
reprinted), and will be a valuable tool for
all members.
Traditional Irish Wedding
by Bridget Haggerty
This best-seller is available
exclusively from NACTA.
Special Members-only offer:
Only $6 per copy! Retails for
$23.95 or more.
Creating a Celtic Wedding
booklet is a terrific sales tool
for all things wedding related.
Comes with vendor flyers
from C&H Jewelry, CIE Tours
International, TJH - The
Jewellery House, Lochcarron
of Scotland, J&Z Blackman &
Tara Jewellery.
Member price $1 per copy.
Non-Members $2 per copy
Understanding Celtic Symbols
features drawings and explanations of the more popular
Celtic symbols such as the
Claddagh, the Trinity knot and
the Shillelagh as well as
explanations of Ogham, Celtic
crosses, the thistle and more.
Fantastic sales tool for your
store. Member price $2 per
copy. Non-members $2.50.
Retails for approx $4.95.
Celtic Heritage Shopping Bag
With a design from the Book of Kells, this attractive re-usable
‘green’ shopping bag is flying off the shelves! $.50 from every
bag goes to the Alzheimer’s Association. Member price $3.50.
Non-members $4.00. POS materials and hang tags included.
Inclusion in these lists is FREE OF CHARGE
to members in good standing. If you
have not yet renewed your membership
please do so now. Contact NACTA at
[email protected] or call
Upcoming Events
NACTA Members Meeting
8:30am, Sunday April 18th
Embassy Suites Hotel, Secaucus
The Home to Ireland winner
will be drawn at this meeting.
The Ireland Show
Secaucus, NJ
April 17th–20th, 2010
Celtic Marketplace Trade Show
Embassy Suites Hotel, Lombard, IL
September 19th, 20th, 21st, 2010
Home To Ireland Map
Thousands already sold to
NACTA members! A perfect
promotional item, a strong
seller and great promotional
tool for your travel business.
$1 each. No minimum order.
Special Member-Only offer box of 350 maps for $50
shipping included!
The FJMI Quality Assurance
pamphlet is free of charge to
NACTA members!
Your fellow members are
earning commission by selling
CIE Tours! Brochures are free
of charge. Pick up your supply
at the Ireland Show in
Secaucus or call us now to
order. Shipping cost will be
deducted from your first commission check, so no commission… no charge!
Showcase Ireland
January 23 - 26, 2011
R.D.S. Dublin
Scotland’s Trade Fair
January 23rd, 24th, 25th 2011
SECC, Glasgow

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