smurfsThe new collection will feature classic Smurfs characters and introduce new ones. By Bianca Herron

Rubie’s Costume Company Inc. will roll out a new costume collection based on Sony Pictures Animation’s movie Smurfs™: The Lost Village this Halloween season.

Rubie’s, the largest manufacturer of Halloween costumes and accessories, teamed up with Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Lafig Belgium/IMPS to produce officially licensed costumes, make-up, masks and accessories inspired by the new fully-animated film, which hits theaters this Friday, April 7.

The Smurfs Collection will feature classic characters like Smurf™, Papa Smurf™ and Smurfette™, and new characters, such as Smurf Storm™ and Smurf Blossom™. Costumes are available in toddler, children and adult sizes.

“For decades Smurfs have been beloved by children and adults alike,” Rubie’s Executive Vice President Howard Beige said in a statement. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Lafig Belgium/IMPS again to expand our Smurfs repertoire of products by creating a collection of costumes for each and every true blue fan.”

surtex1In its 31st year, SURTEX is the largest brand event of the year, showcasing the latest design trends from nearly 1,000 artists. By Bianca Herron

SURTEX is the premier annual surface design trade show where designers license and sell their work to companies.

Produced by Emerald Expositions, and in partnership with The National Stationery Show®, SURTEX is a three-day event being held May 21- 23 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City – the fashion and design capital of the world.

More than 4,500 manufacturers, top retailers and design licensees rely on the reputation of SURTEX, in its 31st year, as their go-to market to source the latest design trends for their next hit products.

Attendees will be able to meet with more than 200 artists, designers, agencies and brands featuring creative works available for license. These will include contract textiles materials, wall coverings, floor coverings, apparel textiles, stationery items, greeting cards, gift wrapping papers and other paper products in the gems and jewelry, gifts and handicrafts, textile, fabrics and yarns, home furnishings and home textiles and household services industries.

Highlights of the show include Trend Theatre, which gives 30-minute flash talks on the market floor so attendees can get updated on the latest happenings while making the most of their time.

In addition, the show will feature the designext® international student competition, where young artists and designers will have the opportunity to showcase their work on a global stage. This year’s theme is GEO – a combination of natural geode stones and modern geometric shapes. With more than 95 entries from more than 20 colleges and universities, each student will submit six original designs inspired by the theme. The designs are to be applied to the surface of products and presented as a collection from one of the four following categories in the competition: wear, work, live or play.

“Merriam-Webster defines ‘geometric’ as using simple geometric forms such as circles and squares in repeated bold and sometimes intricate patterns for design and decoration,” according to Emerald Expositions. “This popular design style became a significant trend this year and will continue to be seen throughout the fall of 2018. Also, making a fashionable breakthrough on clothes, bags, sheets, wall coverings and more have been geo-inspired designs, which consist of showcasing the intricate details of natural stone and geodes.”

DebraValenciaDuke Imports is taking the lead. By Bianca Herron

Duke Imports Inc.’s Debra Valencia bedding ensembles and quilts are taking the lead and selling well on the market.

Founded in 2003, Duke Imports is a leader in high-end quilts, bedding sets and home textiles for the independent retail and e-tailer segments. The Angola, Ind.-based company launched its initial Debra Valencia design collection in 2016, which featured eight quilt sets with matching pillow shams.

This year, Duke Imports will introduce 20 new designs for bedding ensembles, as well as bed sheets, accent pillows, tufted duvets, blankets and window curtains.

"Contemporary designs by Debra Valencia are selling very well for us, adding diversity to our existing line,” Duke Imports Vice President of Business Relations Simardeep Sethi said in a statement. “The new 'on-trend' looks have put us in the lead over our competitors in less than a year, and buyers are responding with excitement to Debra's tasteful designs and colors.”

NHSThe National Hardware Show uses innovative technology to connect independent retailers with exhibitors at the Las Vegas event. By Amanda Gochee

Each year, more than 21,000 industry professionals from 32 countries gather for face-to-face sourcing, trading and learning for the home improvement and DIY markets at the National Hardware Show®.

Produced by Reed Exhibitions and supported by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA), the National Hardware Show® will be held May 9 - 11, 2017, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada.

With more than 2,800 exhibitors across 15 major product categories - there is something for everyone at the National Hardware Show. To assist attendees in discovering the next big product to fly off their shelves, the show has a number of featured areas and tools for them.

Inventors Spotlight - The place to find the newest products and inventions showcasing products not yet on the market. Get an inside look at what may be the next big product or service to revolutionize the home improvement industry. In this area, exhibiting inventors also have the opportunity to meet with buyers and potential investors to get feedback on their products;

New Product World – Sponsored by the DIY Network, New Product World will showcase more than 800 goods and products that are new to the market, having been created and launched within the past 12 months; 

New Product Launch – Sponsored by Amazon, New Product Launch will showcase more than 50 never-before-seen products being launched at the show;

NHS Mobile App – Offering a convenient way to discover what’s new, attendees may log in to access their personalized recommendations, learn more about featured areas and get a list of exhibitors exhibiting for the first time at the show;  

The Reimagine Retail Program - Focused on the independent retailer, the show will award $100,000 to one independent retailer to fund a business improvement project for the future of their retail store(s). We’re asking retailers to submit a 500-word essay highlighting what you would do to improve their business with the award money.

We’ll be looking for projects that focus on four key business improvement areas: store design, technology, employees (training, retaining and/or recruiting, etc.) and products. Together with North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and a panel of industry professionals, we will review the entries and determine which project is most worthy of winning the $100,000.     

Finalists will be flown to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas and the winner will be announced during the show, Wednesday, May 10. We’re now accepting submissions through Friday, March 28. For more information, visit     

This year’s theme is Reimagine Retail. For retailers to keep their store(s) competitive, it all comes down to buying right. The best businesses thrive when products fly off the shelves, but finding the time to research and understand all of the options can be a challenge.

The National Hardware Show is the key for retailers to reimagine the possibilities for business growth, presenting everything they need to position their store(s) for success.    

From the Reimagine Retail program to the NRHA Stage Sessions and networking with fellow hardware industry professionals, this is their opportunity to take a step back and rethink the way they do retail and set their store(s) apart.

Though the National Hardware Show is large, we make it small just for you. From the planning stages prior to arriving to the onsite show experience and post-show follow-up, the show is customized specifically for you.

Our tag line is “‘What’s in Store for YOU’” and we make sure that throughout your show experience you get value specific to your needs. We tailor your show experience with personalized recommendations through the NHS mobile app, which serves as your personal appointment book and guide to the exhibitors, products and content you want, to the show staff who are very visible and the endless networking functions tied into the awards programs, tailgate party, stage content and more.

Most noticeably, however, is how we transform over 1 million square feet, more than 2,800 exhibitors and more than 100,000 products so you can find “What’s in Store for You.” With the excitement and access the show offers, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on with every product, in every price point and can compare products with information directly from those who know best - the manufacturers and designers - and find the resources you need to make better buying decisions.

Amanda Goochee is the director of marketing for the National Hardware Show.

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