Winter 2016
Editor’s Letter: Inform, Connect, Comment and Share By Julie McCallum

unnamedWelcome to the new and improved Gift Shop community — I mean magazine. But really it’s the same thing. This may look like a printed magazine, but today it is so much more. Across all of the platforms, we are here to inform and connect this community of gift shop retailers by sharing ideas and inspiration and helping to solve problems.

Beginning with a new logo and an updated mission, this issue of Gift Shop has been completely revamped. This redesign was a great way for us to re-examine our purpose. We surveyed our readers to find out what we can do to remain relevant and improve. Because, let’s be honest, everyone needs a makeover once in a while, and in this fast-paced world it seems like if you don’t change it up you get left behind.

Our multimedia designer, Emily Milligan, has done a fantastic job creating a new, clean, easy-to-read design for Gift Shop that will showcase the products, trends, feature articles and news you’ve come to expect from the magazine while adding some new features to help readers connect.

Leading off this issue is our feature on Kids and Babies. With Toy Fair right around the corner, assistant editor Sam Ujvary gives us a preview of what toys are trending and who is nominated for Toy of the Year. And while we are talking about kids and babies, check out our Featured Gift Shop, The Children’s Hour in Salt Lake City. Owner Diane Etherington has been in business for 31 years and has created a vibrant store that has grown from a children’s bookstore to a unique boutique for women and children.

In this issue, you’ll also find features on plants in the home and garden, wedding trends, kitchen goods and products that celebrate hometown pride. We’re also proud to announce the winner of our first Emerging Leader Award, honoring a young gift industry professional on the rise. Turn to page xxx for the big reveal. In our #ShopNashville feature on page xxx, we get a taste of southern charm as we sit a spell with four unique shops to find out what makes the Music City a shopper’s dream.

Giving back has always been a priority for manufacturers in the gift industry. We are honored to showcase a selection of these philanthropic businesses in our inaugural Products With Purpose special section beginning on page xxx. I promise the pictures of their mission work will leave you inspired.

Connecting with retailers in the gift industry is so important to us. We love to hear from our readers and invite you all to join in on the discussions taking place on social media. We are highlighting what’s happening on our Social Media roundup on page xxx.

As we welcome another new year, we’re so proud to present our new look and focus to all of you. Just like we’ve done with Gift Shop, a makeover or redesign is a great way to update and re-examine your business. Even if you aren’t in a position to make a major overhaul, simply taking a survey of your customers can shed a new light on your practices. Sometimes an outside perspective is all you need to reinvigorate your operation.


Julie McCallum

Julie McCallum is publisher of Gift Shop Magazine. She is formerly the editor-in-chief of the publication, as well as editor of Museums & More, and she has more than 25 years experience in publishing.

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