In The News

Ruth E. Carter Makes History as First Black Woman to Win Best Costume Design at Oscars 2019

Posted: February 27, 2019

By Jen Juneau

"Ruth E. Carter just made history at the 2019 Oscars.

While attending the ceremony on Sunday evening in Los Angeles wearing a stunning blue-and-gold gown, Carter took home her first-ever Academy Award for Best Costume Design — making her the first black woman to ever do so, for her efforts in Black Panther.

“Wow. I got it. This has been a long time coming. Spike Lee, thank you for my start. I hope this makes you proud,” she said as she accepted the honor, referring to her work on her first feature film, School Daze, over 30 years ago.

“Marvel may have created the first black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king,” continued Carter, 58. “It’s been my life’s honor to create costumes. Thank you to the Academy, thank you for honoring African royalty and the empowered way women can look and lead on screen.”

Read the full story online at


Path To Success: Analytical, Creative In-Store Layout Will Lead To Maximum Profits

Posted: February 20, 2019 

By Abby Heugel, Contributing Writer for

"Designing your store's interior is both an art and a science that requires creativity, psychological insights and a littler bit of testing. How you organize things can tell your bran's story, create an immersive shopping experience and set you apart from the competition. Here are some of the basics when it comes to creating effective retail interiors that attract more customers to your store, get them browsing for more products and encourage them to head toward the check out."

Read the full story here


Thank You To This Month's New/Renewed Members!

Posted: February 20, 2019 

Thank you to everyone who joined or renewed in February! 

  • Halloween Havoc
  • Les Folleries Fleuries
  • Miss Claudia's Vintage Clothing & Costumes
  • My Party Shop (Underdog Endeavors Inc dba)
  • Spookers Halloween Super Warehouse; Pyro Source LLC dba
  • Sunnywood, Inc.
  • SupplyTiger (Prime Printer Solution Inc. dba)
  • The Diamond Collection, LLC

Not a member? Please join us!


Back To Basics

Posted: February 13, 2019

By Jasmine Glasheen

Why young customers love physical stores

"In the coming years, the combined population of the millennial and Generation Z demographics — essentially people 40 and under — will make up more than half of the United States. In 2019, Gift Shop will present a series of articles looking at the shopping traits of those generations and how brick-and-mortar retailers can market to them and, more importantly, create an in-store shopping experience that will keep them coming back. Here is part I:

Brick-and-mortar is back in vogue and young consumers are leading the charge in the resurrection of physical retail. A hefty 98 percent of Gen Z customers make most of their purchases in physical stores and there is an obvious appeal to shopping for special event products in person. While a lack of access to credit cards may be a contributing factor to Gen Z’s preference for brick-and-mortar, their millennial predecessors can use all the plastic they want when making purchases and 72 percent of them still prefer to do their shopping in physical stores.

So, what’s the big pull of brick-and-mortar retail, and why are physical stores so alluring for millennial and Gen Z customers? Let’s take a look.

The added appeal of ‘try before you buy’

 There are certain things intelligent smartphone apps still can’t do. Customers have to visit a physical store to see how cosmetics will react on their skin, what a costume will look like with their boots and hat from home, how the fabric of a garment fits their body, or just to have an in-person sensory experience with a brand. Maybe this is why in today’s era of tech and disruption, 77 percent of Gen Z customers would rather make a purchase in-store. In addition, Gen Z is more likely to engage with store associates that any other generation. Forbes reported, “Despite being perpetually on their smartphone, Gen Z shoppers are more likely to ask for help in a store. Twenty-eight percent of them would ask for help, versus just 21 percent across all other generations.”

Judging by Gen Z’s proclivity for engaging with actual human beings, it could look like some chatbots are going to be out of a job. It’s important to note, however, that young consumers value an omnichannel shopping experience — meaning in-store, on smart phones, with chatbots, etc. — and they expect to have a consistent experience with a retailer regardless of what channel they use to interact." 

Read the full article online here


Sandy Powell on Designing Costumes for Two Films at Once: "It Was a Miracle"

Posted: February 13, 2019

The veteran worked on 'Mary Poppins Returns' and 'The Favourite' simultaneously — and now she's received Oscar nominations for both: "I wouldn't do it again in a hurry, because it's unlikely it could work so smoothly again."

"Sandy Powell is no stranger to the Academy Awards, with three wins already under her belt for costume design (Shakespeare in LoveThe Aviator and The Young Victoria). But with her two nominations this year — for The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns — she has become the most Oscar-nominated costume designer alive, with 14 nominations. (And it's not even her first year as a double nominee: In 2016, she received nods for both Carol and Cinderella.) This time, her workrooms for both films were created only a few yards apart at Shepperton Studios in London, where Mary Poppins Returns was filmed. She created 400 of the costumes for Mary Poppins and all 150 costumes in The Favourite from scratch. "The adrenaline kept me going," says Powell — who reveals here the first costume idea she had after reading Mary Poppins Returns (it was for the big animated sequence), the most time-consuming look in the film and why she was "determined" to do The Favourite."

Read the full article online here

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