By Caryn Smith
There are plenty of T-shirts, mugs, and magnets to go around - especially if you're close to a popular tourist attraction. But how can you make your souvenir shop stand out from the dozens of others out there? Custom lapel pins, challenge coins, wristbands, and key chains offer your customers something they won't find elsewhere. Small, inexpensive, and finely crafted, these tiny treasures make for truly lasting memories of favorite family vacations or outings.
Let Your Creativity Show
There are as many creative uses for this kind of souvenir as there are attractions in America. Whether you run a gift shop at the local minor league ball park, operate a state welcome center, or are simply lucky enough to own a store conveniently located near a popular tourist attraction, these pieces are easily customized to meet your individual needs.
Ball parks can make the most of a winning season by offering commemorative coins and pins. Your team logo emblazoned in full color on a quality metal challenge coin, along with the championship year, is sure to become an instant collector's item. Or how about acknowledging a player who realizes his dream of making it to the majors? A photo pin capturing a moment during his last home game will make a fantastic piece of memorabilia fans will love.
For businesses located near popular attractions, souvenirs are among the most sought-after merchandise. Many people collect particular types of souvenirs, such as pins or coins, and look for unique styles wherever they go. They proudly show off their collections at home, often displaying them on shelves or in special frames made just for that purpose.
Medallions and pins with the year and attraction name or logo are always popular, but by creating custom pieces, you can easily add your own spin. Consider humorous slogans, challenging statements, or stunning photos for souvenirs that really catch the eye. Display your selection in an attractive basket near the cash register to capture those impulse shoppers, and remind buyers about friends and family at home who might appreciate small gift as well.
Souvenirs for Every Market
You know your customers best, so be sure to choose the souvenir style that suits them. Colorful silicone bracelets are popular among teens, for example. In fact, consider offering a special purchase price on multiple bracelets, because it's common for kids to wear several at the same time. High-quality cloisonne pins are a hit with men and women of discerning taste, and challenge coins and medallions are often collected by young and old alike. It's a good idea to stock a variety of items to accommodate each group.
When searching for a souvenir vendor, look for value rather than focusing only on price. The best suppliers will offer custom color matching, free design work, and fast shipping at no additional charge. They also take care to package their products individually to ensure your items aren't damaged in transit.
Finally, remember that some souvenirs are meant for display, so look for a manufacturer that carries accessories as well. Being able to purchase everything in one place will make sourcing much easier for you.