It's kind of like being a backup singer. Nobody knows who you are, so you get to walk into grocery stores and enjoy the same anonymity and therefore privacy that everyone else does. On the other hand, when it's showtime, you get to work in the limelight and with the very best in the holiday ornaments industry. Frankly, it's been a blast.
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) August 30, 2008
Dallas, Texas based ornaments manufacturer Russell Rhodes announces retiring from designing for name-brand manufacturers, now offering his unique designs direct to all consumers at his e-commerce enabled website: RussellRhodes.com. The technologically advanced, user-friendly website allows consumers to order custom personalization on over 1000 Christmas ornaments. Of particular interest, beyond just a name and a date, Russell Rhodes allows about 3 times the personalization of other ornaments sites, including a hand painted message on the back of the ornament to commemorate any one of 1000 Christmas ornaments and gifts.
At the grand opening, Chief Executive Officer and Designer Russell Rhodes explained, "I've been designing for other companies for nearly 15 years. It's been fun. I've been given free rein to design everything from whimsical collections to deeply traditional to modern, sleek ornament designs. In the competitive Christmas ornaments industry, it's been a blast to help all sorts of companies make their mark and turn their look into a recognizable, well-known brand. At this time, I feel like I've come full circle, being able to design exactly what the consumer wants and asks for directly. Our website has a feedback line where our customers send in design ideas, things they're looking for, ornament designs they'd like to see. Unlike other holiday ornament sites, ours is additionally unique in that we don't just sell somebody else's designs. We make our own ornaments, so it's a wonderful opportunity for people to ask for and then for us to be able to deliver custom ornaments direct to our customers. Roughly 300 ornaments on our site currently have come directly from our customers' requests."
The online Christmas ornaments marketplace has grown particularly homogenous over the last several years. At wholesale markets, there are only 4 major companies that provide a wide variety of personalizable ornaments. Dozens of sites sell these ornaments, but the top-ranked three or four websites all sell the same 1600-or-so ornaments. There simply isn't any vitality except in the small mom and pop websites, most of which are not very user friendly because they lack the capital necessary for the sophisticated technology required to run a top notch personalization site.
Russell Rhodes continued, "We've spent a significant portion of our budget this year on technology. We want to differentiate ourselves not only in terms of offering unique Christmas ornament designs, but also in terms of the personalization allowed. Research shows some sites offering only a single name on their ornaments, while others offer 1 name up to something like 10 characters and 4-digit date. We offer a full legal name if that's what our customers want. We offer a year, and in many cases an exact, written-out date on our ornaments. We offer a custom sentiment option or a commemorative message in honor of the recipient. And lastly, we offer a custom message on the back or bottom of all of our holiday ornaments, where people can write a short note of love or congratulations along with their name if the ornament is a gift. We do all of this at no extra charge, and the size of the database along with the technology to capture all of this custom information was expensive and complicated, and our customers tell us we did a great job at making the interface intuitive and easy to use."
"Presentation is also a key to customer satisfaction. The vast majority of our customers are purchasing Christmas gifts, and in many cases personalized Christmas gifts. A holiday ornament that arrives in a piece of plastic wrap in dirty re-used bubble tissue simply isn't acceptable--it's not in line with our quality standards, and our customers don't want to feel like they just purchased something at a flea market. Our glass ornaments are packaged in clean white tissue, and each arrives in its own custom-made box for long lasting protective storage and easy gift giving. Additionally, all of our smaller, resin ornaments arrive showcased in a gold-embossed, black velvet drawstring bag, making a perfect Christmas gift presentation, thus saving the customer the time and expense of buying a box and gift wrapping it."
About Russell Rhodes:
Russell Rhodes began his career in Christmas decorations design, focusing principally on pre-made wreaths for catalogs whose customers were looking for ready-to-hang decorations. From there, the segue was a natural one to emphasize Christmas ornaments design. Mr. Rhodes worked with big name manufacturers, as well as for many of the overseas factories from whom US Importers purchased their ornaments. He explains, "It's kind of like being a backup singer. Nobody knows who you are, so you get to walk into grocery stores and enjoy the same anonymity and therefore privacy that everyone else does. On the other hand, when it's showtime, you get to work in the limelight and with the very best in the holiday ornaments industry. Frankly, it's been a blast." Today, Russell Rhodes continues to design special collections for a select few design houses, and has turned his considerable attention and staff to the website. "I'm really, really enjoying designing ornaments directly for my customers. I never dreamed I'd have this opportunity, an opportunity only the internet could have fostered for direct availability of our unique ornaments."