After 15 years in business, Whimsical Watches is only now offering its hand customized art watches to retailer customers, with programs tailored to suit sales in kiosks. According to company owner, Robert Winenger, who bought the firm three years ago, “Until this year, we were entirely Internet based. We have just started marketing to small independent retailers and kiosks in 2010.” But this new business has a wide geographic reach. “Being primarily an Internet company until the past few months,” says Winenger, “we sell our products in all 50 states and over 20 countries throughout the world.”
The watches are handcrafted and customized. “We have a small team of artists and graphic designers that design and make all the products here in Atlanta,” says Winenger. “The business was started by an artist in Atlanta over 15 years ago. She was inspired to make the watches because she was into miniatures and making doll houses. It was primarily a hobby that grew to be more work than originally expected.” He purchased the company three years ago and changed the name, but the idea is the same: watches with miniature customized art objects on the watch face. A teacher’s watch might have a tiny apple and a tiny pencil. A graduation watch might feature a teensy mortar board and diploma. Figures can have customized hair and skin color. An arts and craft watch might be specialized for crochet or knitting, or cross-stitch.
Over the three years that he has owned the company, Winenger reports that business has been brisk. “Despite the poor economic environment, we’ve tripled the sales in our business the past three years. Our price point is good, our product is assembled here in the United States, and we donate to charity,” he says, pointing to the company’s contributions to breast cancer research and cures. And he is offering several options that make his watches an excellent fit for kiosk sales. The first is speedy turnaround time. “We do offer expedited delivery, and we also ship small orders out within 48 hours most of the time,” Winenger says, “so our excellent service would be very beneficial to the kiosk channel.” And he offers several display options. “We have eleven thematic displays that hold 24, 48, or 72 units. They all include top selling items and come in quantities that are good for the very small kiosks, up to larger kiosks. We have something for everyone.”
Whimsical Watches has no store or showroom, and although individual watches can be bought online, the company offers volume discounts to retailers. Those range from five percent up to 20 percent, depending on order size. There is no minimum. The watch mechanisms are Seiko timepieces, have a quartz movement, and come with a limited one year warranty in a gift box. The bands, available in 20 colors, are Italian leather. Winenger and his staff of ten to 15 people have several bold expansions in the works. “We have about 25 new items coming out soon, and we’re working on a souvenir and gift line of City, State, and Country watches that we plan to introduce to the market in 2011.”
For more information, contact:
Whimsical Watches Inc.
3091 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Suite A-1
Norcross, GA 30071