Though there’s still snow on the ground in some parts of the country, others are already beginning to see flowers on the forsythias and crocus blooms pushing up from the warming soil, all of which means that spring is soon to arrive – even for those areas where the seasons don’t really change. And with spring comes the celebration of Easter; April 16th this year, to be exact. It’s a time for new shoes and new hats, colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. For many, it’s a time of faithful reflection. For retailers, the Easter season presents a fresh opportunity for sales as customers awaken from a sort of winter hibernation of their own and begin looking for the gifts, decorations, and other things they’ll want to help commemorate this special time of year. Since the Easter Bunny can’t do it all by himself, you’ll want to get a jump on the holiday by stocking some of the outstanding products available from FGMarket’s extensive listings of vendors.
What would Easter be without a bunny (or some other gentle little creature) to cuddle?! Fortunately you’ll never have to think about the answer to that question with an ample supply of plush animals from Douglas Cuddle Toys, Inc. In business for 50 years now, Douglas is known in the gift and toy industry for their plush dogs, cats and horses with endearing expressions, unique gestures and irresistible softness. More recently, their line has expanded to feature fun and functional plush decor and accessory items. For Easter, there are bunnies named Cotton, Hickory Nut, Dutch Boy and Peach Fuzz (among others), a chick named Butter, a lamb named Dandelion, and ducklings named Sunny and Slicker, each created with the same extraordinary cuddle-ability the company is famous for. A line of colorful pastel bunnies rounds out the Easter selection, as well as a new Lil’ Nugget Sassy Pet Sak rabbit with greenish fur and orange ears named Carrot Patch, tucked into a little handbag decorated with carrots.
For rabbits in a larger scale, check out the ones at Ditz Designs. Their Standing Rabbit, available in brown or gray, is a towering 44 inches tall. He’s available natural or dressed as the Easter Bunny in a top hat and a purple vest and bow tie, carrying a basket with eggs. What a great character for a window display! There’s also a smaller, chubby-cheeked bunny in the line named, appropriately, Hugs. At 20 inches long, Hugs is also available in either gray or brown. It is the fine attention to detail that adds to the realism of these rabbits and makes them so appealing.
Even though Christmas has just passed, there are some folks who just can’t get enough of tree decorating. In fact, it’s become quite popular in many areas to decorate an Easter Tree, which might be a leafless, living shrub or tree in the front yard or a dried or artificial one indoors. In any case, an Easter Tree needs ornaments, and there are some beautiful ones to be had from Arreola Designs. Choose from among several dozen different Easter and spring motifs, hand-painted on real eggs which are suspended by a loop of satin ribbon. Arreola also has a couple of exquisite blown glass, egg-shaped ornaments, hand-decorated in floral motifs. These are undoubtedly better left hung on the indoor tree.
Eggs are such an integral part of Easter, being so symbolic as they are of the renewal of life. Originally Easter eggs were painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring and were used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts. In medieval times, eggs were traditionally given at Easter to the servants. In Germany, eggs were given to children along with other Easter gifts. Different cultures have developed different ways of decorating Easter eggs, some quite elaborately. Poles and Ukrainians, for example, traditionally embellish their eggs in the distinctive manner called pysanki. Melted beeswax is applied to the fresh white egg. It is then dipped in successive baths of dye. After each dip wax is painted over the area where the preceding color is to remain. Eventually a complex pattern of lines and colors emerges into a work of art. Pysanki eggs are a masterpiece of skill and workmanship.
Handmade faux eggs which are extremely realistic in size, weight and texture are available from Clay Concepts. Sold by the dozen, they range from goose egg through hen’s egg to bird egg in size and are lifelike in color. The bird eggs are also available with a natural speckled surface. For Easter, the hen eggs can be had in an assortment of pastel colors. These make great display props, and the naturalistic ones are good year-round sellers as kitchen decor and craft items.
If you’ve got eggs, you’re going to need a basket to put them in, and Baskets, Containers & More lists more than 40 styles of Easter baskets on their website, all of them at excellent prices. The selection includes pot covers, handled baskets, fruit baskets, bun baskets, fireside baskets, trellis baskets and more. Many are available painted in bright Easter pastels. Others are white-painted or natural. If you can’t find a useful Easter basket here, you’re just not looking hard enough!
For more information, watch for our upcoming newsletter, Here Comes Peter Cottontail – Jewelry, Candy, and Other Gift Ideas for Easter, part two of FGMarket’s newsletter series featuring some great gift ideas just in time for Easter and Springtime. Find these and other fine wholesalers and suppliers of Easter gift items in our FGMarket Easter Holiday and Special Occasion vendors’ category.