Hope compact puzzle machines make it possible to volume-produce up to 12x18-inch puzzles on demand in a limited space—whether in a retail environment, a conservative-space photo imaging operation, or an event making puzzles on-site.
"With digital printing technologies improved and affordable, combining a digital output device to create images for puzzles marries these two ideas in a new, fresh, and value-added product with potential for a healthy profit margin and short ROI period," says the company's founding consultant, Cindy Brooke.
Brooke also announced it is partnering with Heritage Makers, an online Storybook Publishing company to help consumers create lasting legacy hardbound books by putting the story together with photos. "Specialty retailers and scrapbook stores can incorporate Heritage Makers into a new opportunity to bring clients back into the stores for 'digital know-how' training, Storybook writing and digital scrapbooking workshops, Shoebox print scanning to archive those valuable snapshot photos in a digital format—for online publishing, sharing, and photo gift ordering," says Brooke. "Most importantly, Brooke encourages 'Storybooking' to preserve precious memories in writing, put together with photos."
Weaving Profits With Photo Gifts
PortraitWeavers (www.portraitweavers.com) is a product of Pure Country Weavers, located in the mountains of North Carolina. Pure Country Weavers manufacturers the highest-quality jacquard-woven afghans, wall hangings, and pillows. PortraitWeavers' throws, pillows, tote bags, and wall hangings are individually woven on a loom utilizing more than eight miles of richly colored cotton yarn. A finished throw is 54-inches wide by 70-inches.
PortraitWeavers products are a unique complement to photography—and a great option for retailers. The large sizes and vibrant colors are said to make their jacquard-woven heirlooms perfect for any décor.
A Blanket Solution
BlanketWorx (www.blanketworx.com) offers a range of photo gift items that are woven and knitted, including photo blankets, photo throws, photo pillows, photo towels, and more. The company's photo blankets are 100% cotton—and made in the USA. The company also offers a Web affiliate program.
Heading to Hollywood
for Novel Gifts
How would your customer's favorite snapshot look on a Christmas ornament, or how about a Rubik's Cube? Hollywood Fotogifts (www.hollywoodfotogifts.com) full lineup of photo gifts includes an exciting variety of products to show off your customers' favorite photo. Photo gifts are also a great opportunity for photofinishers to earn extra revenue without having to make a large investment in equipment or marketing materials.
The company is a resource for providing the advantages of economies of scale to individual and small-chain photo retailers. Popular photo gifts include photo mugs, photo mousepads, photo T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, Christmas ornaments, puzzles—even photo playing cards.
BabyFaces.com (www.BabyFaces.com) provides wearable gifts that will last a lifetime with classic CAD-created photo charms, and their most recent arrival—BabyFaces Juniors. The new charms are made with the same quality as their larger counterparts, but the "junior" charm boasts a swivel clasp that makes it a more versatile jewelry option; both versions are amazingly accurate in their 3-D representations.
"The juniors are a smaller, more affordable version of our regular-size charm," says Joel Ragan, owner and founder of BabyFaces.com. "These offer our customers a wide variety of options."
The junior charms make great cell-phone accessories, necklace enhancers, zipper pulls, key chains, and bracelets—with the new swivel clasp they can be worn on just about anything.
"With the free preview, customers will be able to see what the finished charm will look like prior to placing the order," Ragan says. "We're anticipating a lot of previews from Mother's Day shoppers."
The Meaning of "Thick-Skinned"
SkinIt Inc. (www.SkinIt.com), a provider of on-demand and custom physical personalization of mobile electronic devices, announced at PMA the availability of vinyl skins for Kodak EasyShare digital cameras. Kodak customers can now personalize their digital cameras with vinyl skins reflecting popular brands and designs. The skins are available for a large selection of Kodak's popular EasyShare digital cameras—28 models in all. Customers can choose from a variety of vinyl skins featuring officially licensed entertainment brands, including pro sports teams like the NFL, NBA, and MLB; collegiate logos; bands; comics; and fashion designs, to name a few.
Customers can also use SkinIt's photo uploader to skin their digital cameras with recent photos and memories. The skin itself is made from a professional-grade vinyl, which is printed via a proprietary process that ensures detailed and premium images. The skin is then coated with a glossy finish and custom cut, which creates a perfect fit for each Kodak EasyShare digital camera model.