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At the start of each new year we hear the same questions:

What are the new trends ?

What are the new colors ?

What are the hot sellers expected to be ?

Fads and trends should be a big consideration, but not the primary focus when planning new lines for the upcoming year. Of course, this varies depending on what you manufacture. Perhaps your business relies heavily on the latest "hot" trends.

But many homes are decorated in a traditional fashion, utilizing sturdy fabrics and darker colors that do not reveal repeated use as much as the lighter tones.

Colder climates with a cooler light tend to favor darker colors, while warmer areas tend to go lighter. Even so, when a home is occupied by young children and pets, practicality becomes a priority .

Many homeowners don't change their colors and decor on a seasonal or yearly basis. The classics are constant, and this makes it easier when planning those new lines.

Certain flowers are perennial favorites, sunflowers for instance. They have an extended lifespan - They work well for Spring, Summer, and Fall crafting and decor. Roses remain stylish no matter what time of year.

Off-white, yellow-to-gold, burgundy or wine, the mid-to-deep blues, beige-to-browns, hunter green : These are some of the standards that can be found in many homes.

Fabrics that can safely go in the washer and dryer are another consideration.

Easter bunnies, santas, snowmen, reindeer, witches, jack o'lanterns, and scarecrows - are some of the seasonal classics that will return every year.

Some shoppers may favor a certain enduring style - Country for example. Cows and roosters may come and go as trends, but for the traditional country home, they will always be "in".

Learn all you can about the latest fads and trends, become a "trend detective". But don't create your entire line around the latest animal print, or the newest shades of lime green and hot turquoise. You wouldn't want to have your inventory tied up in things that may not sell.

Test marketing: See if the latest trends will sell in your sales areas. Give it a chance ... Adjust the prices, re-arrange your displays. Add sparingly, if it sells, add more.

Think about your own home, and those of your friends and family -

Are they trend conscious ?

Which items tend to change ?

When new items are purchased, do they stay with the same styles and colors, or go for something trendy ?

Stay alert to what shoppers are drawn to look at, and what they actually purchase. Many times what sparks an interest, and what will sell, are two very different things. Remember that old saying ..."The customer is always right" ? Pay attention to your customers, they will tell you what you need to know.


"Carol Gunkel / Professional The Craft Business Information Network all rights reserved.This article may not be reprinted, all or in part, without the author's express permission.


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