Rosy Deal for Shriver
The latest celebrity to have a rose named after her is none other than California’s first lady, Maria Shriver. The daughter of the Peace Corps’s first director, Sargent Shriver, and the niece of President John F. Kennedy — not to mention a television reporter in her own right — Shriver today is best known as the wife of Austrian bodybuilder/actor/governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Shriver was reportedly looking for a white rose with large blossoms and a lot of fragrance, and Wilsonville, OR-based cataloger Edmunds’ Roses just happened to have such a flower that was in need of a name. Edmunds’ recently added the Maria Shiver rose to its catalog; each rosebush sells for $21.95, with 10% of the proceeds going to a charity of Shriver’s choice. The cataloger vehemently denies reports that a tobacco-colored, cigar-scented Ah-nold rose is in development.
Crate & Barrel Takes a Page from the Personals
Proofing your layouts is onerous enough; now you have to make sure no one is using your catalog to post a personal ad. A photo assistant working on Crate & Barrel’s fall book included his name and number on a message board propping one of the home decor cataloger/retailer’s armoires. The phone number and “dinner with Marc” notation seemed innocuous — until the catalog hit the mail in September, and Marc Horowitz’s phone began ringing off the hook with calls from beguiled bachelorettes. The 28-year-old San Franciscan said he’d expected to receive maybe five calls; he ended up fielding more than 500 in the first month alone. Horowitz subsequently decided to make a three-month, cross-country trip to meet some of his “respondents.” In fact, he had more than 70 dates planned as of early October. We were going to print Horowitz’s phone number here for kicks, but we figure he has enough on his plate for now.
If you insist on sending someone a fruitcake this holiday season, at least have the decency to know the differences among varieties. Don’t know a fruitcake’s darkness from its density? Monastery Greetings spells it out for you in its Christmas 2004 catalog. The Cleveland Heights, OH-based mailer of products from monasteries, hermitages, and other religious communities includes a table that details the differences between its various Trappist fruitcakes, including the type, color, and consistency. For instance, the Guadalupe Abbey fruitcake is made with brandy and has a dark color and very dense consistency, while the Genesee Abbey fruitcake is infused with wine and has a light color with a moderately dense consistency. Monastery Greetings also warns that contrary to popular belief, fruitcakes do not keep forever but only for a few months when stored in a cool, dry place. And that’s only for fruitcakes made with alcohol — those made without spirits must be refridgerated immediately. So if you have designs on regifting a fruitcake, don’t delay.
NOTE: We’d prefer chocolate, but if you must send us a holiday fruitcake, we’ll take the light, moderately dense Genesee Abbey butterscotch brand. Thank you in advance.
Parents of students at a Newark, CA, elementary school got an eyeful when their children brought home Avon fund-raising catalogs in late September. The 144-page books included several pages of revealing lingerie, as well as an ad for bust-enhancing cream — with a diagram to show how the cream works. Needless to say, the catalog raised more ire than funds. Following complaints from several parents about the catalog’s racy content, the principal of Graham Elementary School admitted she should have perused the periodical more carefully and called off the fund-raising effort. Indeed, this one gets the booby prize.
Shed Some Light on This, Please
A Catalog Age staffer on Oct. 4 received an e-mail from candles marketer Illuminations confirming that her order had been shipped, complete with the UPS shipping tracking details. Only one problem: The staffer hadn’t placed an order with Illuminations in months. The e-mail referred to an order that the staffer had placed in June that had arrived on schedule. When contacted, the company said it was indeed having problems, with several customers receiving confirmation e-mails for previous orders and that the staffer should just ignore it. While there’s no harm done, we suggest Illuminations comb its system for glitches. Such errors do not inspire confidence in the online shopping medium.
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