Sky Gift is a company that focuses on both retailing and wholesaling, and has experienced smashing success with two very different product lines: jewelry and toys. When it comes to jewelry, it’s the Murano glass jewelry, handcrafted in Venice, Italy, that has been a major hit. In toys, an interesting and affordable product from China called, smash balls, has become huge for Sky Gift. There are lots of other items offered by the company, including the Wormie the Worm toy, radio controlled toy vehicles, and the brand new Wander Fly toy. But Murano jewelry and smash balls are the hottest items by far, according to owner, Fernando Heurta.
Sky Gift has been in business for 17 years, starting in shopping malls selling retail. About five years after first starting up, Sky Gift got into the wholesale business. Heurta imports toys from overseas, and Sky Gift is one of the few companies selling authentic Murano product. As for the smash toys, these are little balls that can be thrown, and they will stick to glass or tile. They can change form, “smashing” against any hard surface they hit, and then regain their original shape. They’re tremendously popular with kids, and also extremely affordable. Smash balls retail for $3.99 to $4.99, and wholesale for roughly 75 cents apiece. Heurta reports that this is a really successful product right now, especially for summer. “Right now, it is the most popular of all the toys,” he says. “It’s very affordable, and hard to say no to your kids when it’s only $3.99. In this economy, you can make money all day long selling a toy for $3.99.”
Jewelry is also very big in summer. From a retail standpoint, Heurta opened his first jewelry cart about three and a half years ago in Las Vegas. The Murano jewelry was a hit from the beginning, and is still doing very well. There’s an affordability factor working here, as well. Heurta charges $3.99 to $4.99 retail when he sells to the public himself, with some retailers he supplies selling Murano jewelry for no more than $5.99 to $6.99 per piece. As a testament to the popularity of this type of jewelry, on the company’s jewelry website, www.muranomall.com, images can be perused of celebrities such as Anne Hathaway and Paris Hilton, wearing necklace charms and bracelets of the type that Heurta sells. Sky Gift sells these items to hundreds of locations, mostly to shopping mall carts and kiosks. After all, every mall has these types of jewelry outlets, and Heurta points out that mall managers actually seek them out, since they feel they will attract many customers. As far as cart based products, jewelry is without a doubt the best non-demo product out there, according to Heurta. Start-up costs are very low as well, which might explain why more and more retailers express interest in doing business with Sky Gift.
In addition to charms and bracelets, pendants, earrings and rings are also available directly through the website. By registering on the website, buyers also qualify for wholesale pricing. You can also register via phone at 702-813-8623. Managing to succeed in both wholesale and retail avenues, Sky Gift mainly retails through carts, from which either jewelry or toys can be sold. Most of these carts are either in Las Vegas or California. In addition, Heurta supplies many other retailers as well. In particular, Sky Gift sells a lot to fairs and the shopping malls, although there are some conventional stores that buy from Sky Gift as well.
The fairs absolutely love the smash toys, according to Heurta. “We sell some RC helicopters, but a lot of people are selling those,” he says. “It’s very competitive right now. But the smash toys, only a couple of companies here have them. And nobody has them in packages. What I did is put them in nice packages, so you have the presentation. Other people sell them without packages, so it can’t be a gift. If you want to buy it as a gift, this is the advantage of packaging. We originally were selling them without the package, but adding the package has made a big difference. They sell even better now.”
The discovery of the smash toy product came via Sky Gift’s connection to the Chinese market. The company has an office in China for the specific purpose of researching new products. If a product is deemed to have potential, samples are sent to Heurta back home for testing. The items are first tested in the office, then sent out to “the field” for a second test, in one of Sky Gift’s actual retail locations. In the case of the smash toys, once they were tested on location, the reaction was positive and immediate. Once Heurta saw this reaction and the feedback accompanying it, he moved forward with importing smash toys on a wholesale basis.
“They have millions of products in China, so it’s hard to say if it was a hit over there first,” he explains. “But they sent me pictures and information, and then I decided I wanted to carry them. Sometimes I may not like something, but if my people think it’s going to be good, we might test it anyway. You never know what’s going to happen. But in this case, I knew pretty early that this was going to sell very well. We received samples and just tried them here first. Everybody had their opinion, but we all agreed it was going to be a big seller. We did the second test at the mall. That was the final test, and once it did well there, that was it.”
Sky Gift boasts two separate websites, one for the Murano jewelry, www.muranomall.com, and one for the toys, www.toysforcarts.com. There are many buyers who will order from the websites themselves, but Heurta reports that in a lot of other cases, people are more comfortable buying directly. These types of buyers will typically go to the website to look and make a decision, and then call and inquire about purchasing. This is especially true of first time buyers.