Holiday Tableware Now Dictated by Style, Not Tradition

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Tableware decorated with Christmas trees, snowmen and menorahs used to be the starting point of a holiday-themed meal, but changes in consumer attitudes toward entertaining have turned the tables toward more unique dinnerware.

Tableware decorated with Christmas trees, snowmen and menorahs used to be the starting point of a holiday-themed meal, but changes in consumer attitudes toward entertaining have turned the tables toward more unique dinnerware.

Today's host or hostess is more likely to drop the formalities and choose tableware that reflects more of their personal style, regardless of the holiday theme. This trend expresses the style defined as transitional, a tableware category between casual and formal.

Several major companies still dominate the tableware industry such as Oneida, Noritake and Lenox, but they are scrambling to address increasing competition from small and medium-sized companies specializing in handmade tableware. Since many consumers now consider tableware a replaceable fashion product, manufacturers and retailers are aggressively designing new patterns to keep with this trend.

"We've seen sales turn toward less formal, more general-use tableware that is reasonably priced and can be accessorized in a variety of ways," remarks Stacey Chernoff, co-owner of the upscale home catalog Spirit Elements (http://www.spiritelements.com). "Handmade tableware is not only uniquely beautiful and affordable, but many patterns are now dishwasher-safe, microwaveable and easily go from oven to table."

Though technology has been developed to achieve a hand-crafted look for certain designs, some tabletop makers claim there will always be a customer who wants the truly handmade product, and over half of the exhibitors at a recent tabletop trade show offered such styles. To some consumers, tableware has become more of a decorative statement than a lifelong china pattern to be used year in and year out. As such, smaller companies have a distinct advantage.

"Together with our pottery makers, we quickly pick up on consumer trends in eating, interior design and fashion and bring fresh ideas to the marketplace long before the big tableware companies can respond," says Chernoff. "We offer tableware and flatware that can be mixed and matched, giving each host or hostess a broad opportunity to create their own statement of style. It also means that the enjoyment of a beautiful table doesn't have to be limited to a few holidays. Because it can be used everyday, the purchase of this tableware has a much greater value."

About Spirit Elements:

Spirit Elements is one of the largest catalog and Internet retailers of high-end home and garden products in the United States. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, each extraordinary piece in their collection is carefully selected using the highest standards for craftsmanship, quality and aesthetics. Their exclusive collection includes home accents, tableware, garden sheds, cedar gazebos, arbors & pergolas, kids playhouses, artisan waterfalls, indoor & outdoor fountains, custom doors and much more. Spirit Elements is committed to providing its customers with the highest level of customer service, the lowest price, and free shipping nationwide. For more information about Spirit Elements, please call 1.800.511.1440 or visit http://www.SpiritElements.com.

Note to editors: Chernoff available for interview. High resolution photography available.

For Further Information:

Natasha Danko

Spirit Elements

Phone: 303.998.1440 x110

Email: [email protected]

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