New Catalogs

Aug 01, 1998 9:30 PM  By

Mimi a la Mode If you think shower caps are boring and ugly, you haven’t seen the Mimi a la Mode catalog of decorative shower caps. “Shower caps are our specialty, but pampering is what we focus on,” says Mimi Basseri, president/designer of the San Francisco-based company.

The catalog features five styles of caps with about 50 choices of designs (from pink polka dots to purple pansies), as well as sleep masks and bath wraps. The initial mailing in October went to 25,000 names rented from lists such as Bloomingdale’s By Mail and La Costa Spa. Though the initial target was women between the ages of 40 and 60, Basseri intends to redesign the book this fall to appeal to a younger audience.

The response rate of 1.5%-3% for each of the three editions released so far has met expectations, while the average order of $60 has exceeded them. Instead of purchasing just one cap, to Basseri’s surprise, customers “have been buying a few. One for themselves, and two as gifts.”

Magic and Vanity After being diagnosed with cancer in 1989, Lisa Melnick promised herself that if she lived four or five more years she would “do something that gave back to cancer patients and survivors,” she says. From that promise, Magic and Vanity, a Chicago store of apparel, hats, and accessories for cancer patients and survivors, was born, and in April, a Magic and Vanity catalog hit mailboxes.

The first mailing went to 20,000 names from the store house file, requests, and referrals. A mention in the Chicago Tribune in May also spawned a “tremendous number” of requests, Melnick says.

Prices range from $6 for a pink ribbon pin to $325 for a breast prosthesis. Although the book’s response rate wasn’t available, Melnick says the average or der is $100, which is in line with expectations. The next edition is scheduled to drop in September.

Adobe Studios Calgary, Canada-based design software manufacturer Adobe Systems has added catalogs to its marketing arsenal with the January launch of Adobe Studios. The catalog is “designed to encompass all the applications needed in a graphics studio,” says Brock Bohonos, director of catalog marketing for Adobe Systems. Products include CD-ROMs of royalty-free stock photography, type, and video, in addition to books and upgrades to Adobe applications.

The initial mailing went to more than 500,000 art directors, multimedia designers, and other graphics professionals from the house file of registered users who had bought Adobe software and upgrades, either from a reseller or directly from the company. Most of the catalogs mailed to business addresses, but a significant portion of the house file are home addresses, because of the large number of freelance designers who work from home.

Although Bohonos won’t cite response or sales figures, he does say that the next edition of Adobe Studios is due in September.

A marketer of custom imprinted and embroidered sportswear to businesses and institutions for the past 25 years, Wearhouse wanted to sell to corporate offices as well as to manufacturers and the like. So with the launch of its Friday Casuals apparel catalog last September, Wearhouse has expanded its merchandise focus from T-shirts and sweatshirts to more upscale items such as golf shirts and sweaters.

Friday Casuals mailed to 50,000 businesses gleaned from compiled lists. The target audience includes corporate gift buyers, advertising agencies, hotels and restaurants, and real estate agencies.

Without giving specifics, Sam Waterworth, general manager of the Beltsville, MD-based apparel marketer, says he is pleased with the results of the catalog mailings so far. The next edition of Friday Casuals will mail next month.