Wednesday, May 9, 2018

It's Time To Protect Chocolate Sales

Here's a bit of new information for you from a recent study by a reputable group of companies on the subject of Withdrawing From NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) which the U.S. has with Mexico and Canada.

If the US withdraws from this agreement, 3 areas which will be affected are tariff increases, reduced consumer spending and lost jobs, amounting to the loss of billions of dollars and displaced lives.

As a retail store, we are concerned about the results of this withdrawal.  US retail carries $182 billion worth of products from NAFTA partners.  If there is withdrawal from the agreement, there will be a loss of consumer purchasing power, which will reduce the bottom line of retail sales.

It is projected that 128,000 people will lose their retail jobs.  Not good, huh?

Here's a great example.  The US consumes 20% ($18 billion) of the chocolate eaten in the world annually.  Wow!!  US retailers import $2 billion of this candy from Mexico and Canada.  Without NAFTA, 10% of chocolate consumed in the US would be affected by an additional $261 million in tariffs annually.

Asparagus sales will also be affected.....just saying.

Local retailers already have a great deal to contend with.  The economy, the internet and now possibly the withdrawal from NAFTA and what will result from that.

Let's protect our chocolate sales and the jobs of the people who sell yummy chocolate!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Really BIG DEAL

After 25 years of retail life, we are launching an event which is really a "BIG DEAL" for Sweet Tooth. 

Trollbeads, the international jewelry bead company which is one of the top jewelry companies in the world, has asked us to hold an Artisan Event in our store.  We have been the only Trollbeads retailer in Oklahoma for many years.  This invitation puts us over the top in the world of jewelry artists and we are wanting you to participate in this event.

Here's what will happen.  On October 5 & 6, Trollbeads, which has a U.S. headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey and a home office in Denmark, will send a talented jewelry artist to our store.  She (or he) will sit with our customers and create a truly one of a kind glass bead for that customer.  Our customers can ask for whatever colors and designs the artist can create on the spot and the customer can take home that special bead.

We understand that it takes about 40 minutes for the jewelry artist to create a bead, therefore we will need to make appointments for those who want to participate in this special creative endeavor.  As we work on the details of this event, we will post information on our Facebook page and on our Trollbeads email newsletter.

We are very excited (and flattered) about this opportunity.  We have worked diligently to promote Trollbeads, a beautiful and very unique line of bead jewelry.  Our staff has reached out to many customers and worked closely with them to put together gorgeous bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings.  Each piece is a singular one, reflecting the interests, the special colors, the themes which our customers want to wear.

Trollbeads is no "cookie cutter" line.  Each piece is made by a jewelry artist and the family which began Trollbeads 35+ years ago remains the inspiration and the professional leadership of the Trollbeads line.

Watch this space for more information.  Come see Trollbeads at our new store, 36th and Harvard.  Invest your talent and treasure in a jewelry line which will be authentically your very own.  If you are interested in being a part of this event, let us know.  We are here for you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Shopping for a Cause

The juices are flowing at Sweet Tooth.

We are strengthening and enlarging our commitment to local and Oklahoma artists and companies and it is very exciting for us.  It feels like a new chapter for Sweet Tooth.

For a while now we have been a resource store for Oklahoma products.  We have carried hand made baskets in the shape of the state, made in Duncan, OK.  We have carried Bedre Chocolates, produced by the Chickasaw Nation, the only modern American Indian Tribe which produces wonderful chocolate.  We have joined hands with Hat & Field, a brother/sister duo producing all sorts of items, from mugs to t-shirts to t-towels and more.

We have loved the jams from Prairie Gypsies in OKC and the Snackzel savory pretzels from Edmond.  More recently we have been a retailer for Bobbie Whaling's annual Tulsa ornament, featuring an icon in our city on an ornament.  Bobby has been designing these ornaments for 30 years.
 
Jamie Townsend's book on The Old Lady on Brady provides anecdotes, photos and a history of this wonderful theatre.  And of course, you can usually find a copy of the recent Ree Drummond cookbook on our shelves.

We added Eva Unterman's one of a kind knitted scarves and Julie Buchheim's silver and bead jewelry.

Last week we put together a partnership with the Tulsa Glassblower's Studio to sell their glass art.

Many of these items have in common a CAUSE.  That means that some of our artists donate the proceeds from their work to worthy causes.  As a retailer of their products we are proud to be a location where "cause" means making the world a better place for all of us.

Very soon we hope to join with The Tulsa Garden Club to present their T-Town Rose Tea...black loose-leaf tea blended with rose in a tin illustrated with the "Oklahoma Rose".

Won't you join Sweet Tooth by SHOPPING FOR A CAUSE?  When you need a gift or want to treat yourself to something very special and very local, come by our store to browse local and see what might get your juices flowing too!!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

What is trending this year?  Let's talk.

Returning from the Gift Market, I can report that INSPIRATION is definitely on the rise.   Everything from jewelry to t-shirts to signage, there are words of wisdom, inspirational thoughts, clever quips and more which are meant to raise us up and put hope and a smile on our faces.

This is really nothing new.  Every few years we see INSPIRATION return as a theme for the year.  And this year, with all the politics, division, etc. etc. going on around us, there is no doubt that we need some positive thoughts and a means for making our journey through life a bit happier.

We also saw once again HOME as the center for where we spend our most important hours, with our most important people.  Along with HOME is everything associated with FOOD..accesories for the kitchen, new cookbooks and ways of cooking food, new super foods, new recipes and even a subscription for a box to be left on your front door with all the ingredients for a yummy dinner.

Apparel is popping up in every gift store.  We are done with collectibles (who has the space for more figurines??).  But there is always space in the closet or dresser for new clothing.  Hey, I have even heard of subscription services for "renting" outfits which you can either buy or return after wearing them.

In the gourmet food section, we are seeing a great deal more experimentation with ingredients never to be found in chocolate.  I have saved an article about rose chocolate...more about that in another post.  And to quiet our guilty consciences, more and more goodies are being packaged in 100 calorie packages so that we believe we aren't over eating those delicious snack foods.  Americans are known to be "snackers" and why not make us all feel better about that!!

The Pantone color this year is a variety of purples and that is right down Sweet Tooth's alley.  We have always associated ourselves with that color and even the walls in our new store are a purplish color, our take out bags are purple and some of our favorite jewelry is purple.  This month's birthstone is amethyst and we are showing all the wonderful jewelpops from Kameleon jewelry in that wonderful purple color.

Hey, Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  And Valentine's Day is always a high point of February.  We've got INSPIRATION, FOOD, PURPLE JEWELRY, NEW SCARF VESTS, NEW EVA'S SCARVES , PURPLE ICING ON OUR VALENTINE COOKIES...what more can our sweethearts ask for?  See you soon. Watch this space.







Saturday, January 13, 2018

Happy New Year! Starting Over Again.

Here I am on January 13, 2018 and it has been a good little while since my last post in November.

Happy New Year!!  By now you may have caught up with us in our new location, 36th and Harvard, in between Toni's Flowers and Ed Beshara's.  It really feels like after 25 years we have come to rest in a very Happy Place.

September 1, 1992...that was the day we signed the papers to own Sweet Tooth, which was in The Farm Shopping Center.  With us that day was my sister and her husband (our partners at the time), my Mom and Dad and our friend and attorney Richard.  We owned a Gift Shop, a Candy Shop, a retail store and we knew absolutely nothing about retail.

What an adventure.  Mom and Dad are gone and we no longer have partners.  However we are once again starting over in a new space, with some new customers and new merchandise and it feels just right.

At this time of the year, we normally attend the Dallas Market.  Yes, we are going there again in a few days.  And it always feels just right at the Market, since we have wandered those halls for over 25 years.  We know where all the bathrooms are, where our special showrooms are from which we have ordered over the years, even some of the sales reps whose faces are so familiar and welcoming.

Every January we start again.  We look for new merchandise, something special and unique which we can bring to our customers and the trip is like a cross between Candy Land and Monopoly.  Getting to Dallas is a bit tiring, but once inside the Dallas Market, we sigh and  the fun begins.  Sometimes we hit it big...just the right merchandise which distinguishes us from other online and brick and mortar stores.

So watch this space to hear about the latest and the greatest at Sweet Tooth.  Visit us, if you haven't and let us know what impresses you and what you'd like to see in our store. 

By chance we picked the Pantone color for 2018...a version of purple for our walls, which is one of the compliments we get from folks over and over.  Ah well, purple has been a favorite at Sweet Tooth, vibrant, cheerful and looks good on just about everyone and everything.

Our staff, Doris, Lisa, Brianna, Julie and Virginia (occasionally Alyssa and every Saturday, Sabrina) are the basis for all the good stuff that happens in our store.  We are fortunate to have a team who care and who work well together.  Sometimes from my new, tiny office I hear their laughter and it warms my heart to know they are "taking care of business" and having fun.

See you at our Happy Place.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How NAFTA Affects Local Retail

I know I usually write about candy, gift items, events at the store, etc.

However today I came across an interesting article which I thought I would pass along.

The article was about NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, which we are hearing so much about in the news these days.  I wonder if we are thinking whether changes in that agreement will affect local business right here in Tulsa and in our state?

100 U.S.-based trade associations have just sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, urging him to preserve trucking provisions as related to crossing the U.S. and Mexican border to deliver goods.

The letter explained why the current provisions should stay intact.  If changed, new provisions might have a negative impact on business in the U.S.

Not only do retailers have to be concerned about the impact which recent hurricanes have had on various ports receiving and sending goods.  Now we have to be concerned about potential changes in the NAFTA agreement.

So it's not just me writing about candy and gifts.  It is me writing about RECEIVING candy and gifts in a timely and efficient manner....not to mention increases in costs for all those shipments if the trucking provisions are changed.  Increases in costs for the retailer often turn into increases in costs for the consumer and occasionally loss of jobs in industries which support retail. 

Wow!!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween....You Know It is Fall

Wow, time is rushing by and it is almost Halloween.

As a child, I loved Halloween.  Didn't you?  We didn't buy a costume.  Rather we went to someone's closet in our house, pulled out someone else's clothes and figured out what we could BE...like a farmer, or a ghost or a beauty queen.  It seemed to work and frankly, we didn't know any better.

Then on Halloween we would rush around our neighborhood, collecting candy (of course, our favorite), cookies, apples, rice crispie treats and whatever someone's mom had made to give out at the door.  People decorated their porches with pumpkins and sometimes scary critters.  No blow up characters, no lights, no store bought items.  I am not criticizing what people do today.  In fact, Halloween costumes and decorations are really BIG TIME now and people do have a lot of fun putting ideas together.

When we first bought Sweet Tooth, Halloween candy was more popular purchased at our store.  Now days, Halloween candy of the sort we carry is candy grandparents buy to give to their grandchildren....with the warning from parents not to give the kids "too much sugar".  Sometimes people find a decor item or candy to give to a friend, or bring to the office.  Our candy orders these days for Halloween are a lot smaller than at that earlier time.

When we were at The Farm Shopping Center, some merchants participated in a Treat or Treat evening.  Kids from all over Tulsa would come to The Farm and have a great time running around from store to store, gathering candy.  Our store was somewhat special...we always had the most interesting and unusual candy and we also loved to dress up in costumes just like the kids.

This year, at our new location, we will still be dressing up and at the end of the day, if we have any left over wrapped candy, it will go home with us for the Trick or Treaters who might show up at our front door.  I have to say that those kids are wide-eyed and delighted with the candy we put in their pillow cases, their plastic pumpkins or their decorated bags. 

And we continue to smile and laugh the entire evening, even when the teenagers show up for their treats.

Halloween.....you know it is Fall when it is time to Trick or Treat.