As we approach the biggest gift-giving season of the year, all kinds of gadgets — pricey and inexpensive — hit the marketplace. While some fall into the I-can’t-believe-anyone-would-actually-spend-money-on-that category, others are trendy and fall into the I-wish-I had-thought-of-that category.
What might fad-loving business executives and professionals be wishing for this year?
Stanley Wooten, manager of Rex T.V. & Appliance in Jackson, has a few ideas. “Portable DVD players are really hot this year,” he said, “and even though they’ve been around for several years, camcorders are still very hot as gift items. We now have digital camcorders that play DVDs. I think we’ll sell a lot of those this year.”
A self-professed gadget guru, Ferrell Alman, owner of S.F. Alman, Ltd. in Gulfport, always makes sure his clothing shop is loaded with the latest gadgets for holiday giving.
Several of the latest items are from Timbuk2 of San Francisco. “These guys were bicycle couriers and invented the bike bag,” he said. “Bags are all they make and they know how to put detail into them.”
Alman points out the fun color combinations of Timbuk2’s bike bags, purses, iPod and cell phone cases and laptop computer bags. The purses have a bike bag look and other accessories can attach to the strap. He said college girls bought them like crazy before school started, but he thinks they’ll be hot for holiday giving too. The laptop carrier has a feature that’s important to busy executives on the go. The bottom is made to keep the computer from sitting directly on the floor.
Then there are the Ono sunglasses that are just right for active Boomers. They’re made with bifocals built in to aid reading cell phone numbers, GPS numbers, filling out golf score cards and anything else while out in the sun.
“This manufacturer is out of Mobile and all of their products are named for islands in the Gulf area,” Alman said. “They’re like the Costa Del Mar sunglasses, another popular brand, but Ono’s are made for the older crowd who are active and don’t want to wear sunglasses over their reading glasses or contact lenses.”
The Col. Littleton gift items are just right for that person who deserves a combination of class and tradition. “Col. Littleton was born 100 years too late,” Alman said. “He wants his things to be handed down. That’s why his items are made of the finest materials and can be personalized with engraving. Engraving adds something to a gift that lets someone know you put thought into it.”
Those items include beautiful bone-handled pocket knives, money clips, key rings and traveling cork screws complete with cases. “We can also have company logos engraved for corporate gifts,” Alman said. “The cork screw is a big seller.”
Leather goods with engrave-able silver plates include computer mouse pads, glass (or can) huggies, journals, brief cases and two sizes of portfolios. For the executive who has everything, there are leather fly swatters (the 32-hole model) and leather/wood back scratchers and shoe horns that have small brass plates suitable for engraving, and a classic wooden strong box.
For outdoor living, Hides makes sunglass straps in a soft fabric that not only keep your sunglasses from straying but unfold to cover them and prevent scratching. There are regular and floatable versions. Additionally, there are waterproof iPod cases and colorful belts with attached bottle openers.
Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at email@example.com.