With the beautiful and sunny summer season comes tourists from all over checking out new places or visiting family and friends. Summer is the staple souvenir season because of so many people going on vacation and buying little trinkets and gifts to remember the places they’ve visited. These kinds of products can include anything from key chains and coin purses to fashion accessories and apparel.
According to gift shop and souvenir industry statistics, the market has kept a steady growth since 2014. Market forecast for the industry also shows promising growth from 2019 to 2022, with a small dip in 2023 and back to an all-time high in profits for 2024. There’s no doubt that the desire for unique souvenir products has increased throughout the years and flea markets are some of the best places to find them.
Popular Summer Products
When selling summer products, it’s important to think about what customers may need to go on vacation, a camping trip, BBQ, and other family and friend gatherings, and other outdoor accessories for the pool and lawn. Summer is the time most families take their vacations since children are out of school and the weather is beautiful to spend time at the beach.
Destination products also come in handy as souvenirs for customers visiting the area. These products can include t-shirts, shot glasses, keychains, pens, bags, cups, and any other products you can throw the name of the area on.
Mid-South Products have a wide variety of unique licensed merchandise such as Elvis Presley, Betty Boop, John Wayne and many other nostalgia-based artists that make for perfect little niche buys for tourists. They offer everything from coffee mugs and shot glasses to metal signs and key chains, all with beloved artists imprinted on them. Having been in the business for over 40 years, Mid-South has a number of flea market accounts that do very well with their products. More products can be found on their website at www.midsouthproducts.com.
Handmade novelty products also give customers that one-of-a-kind feeling. The Stinky Candle Company, which is just as fun as it sounds, offers a wide range of “stinky” candles that give off a nostalgic smell while bringing you back to your childhood. Jeff Bennett, owner of the company, said he wanted to make candles that represent life.
“I decided to make candles for jokes and novelty reasons,” Bennett said. “I was making candles in my garage until my wife got tired of the smell, but they’re the perfect novelty gift for anyone in the family. We have a Gasoline scent for the uncle who works on cars, or a Bubblegum scent for a sister, they smell exactly like certain things.”
The Stinky Candle Company also has plenty of good smells such as Lilac and Apple Pie, but each scent is meant to remind someone of a good moment in their life. They’re the perfect novelty item, or gag gift for certain scents that can’t be found anywhere else.
Artisan Product Popularity on the Rise
What’s gaining more attraction in recent years are artisan and handmade products, which make for perfect souvenirs for small businesses with only one location or who only sell at local flea markets. That feeling of buying a unique item that can’t be found anywhere else is what drives consumers to buy souvenirs.
Amazon also now has a Handmade section on their website which is specifically for small businesses who make less than a certain amount each year. It’s very similar to Etsy, which is also a website featuring handcrafted products. The more retailers see how popular artisan products are becoming, the more they try to accommodate them into their inventory.
What’s Trending Now
If you’re a vendor who makes all of your products by hand, The Merchandiser magazine has some market trends for popular artisan merchandise for 2019. Each year, Etsy publishes the top craft trends to watch for featuring popular colors, prints and objects, among others. Some of the trends are pretty obvious and you might’ve even seen them being sold at flea markets, and others might just have you sitting there scratching your head.
When thinking of new colors and designs for handcrafting unique souvenirs for your customers, keep these trends in mind. Southwestern styles and burnt orange will be pretty popular this year, according to Etsy’s trend report. This includes styles for jewelry, clothing, housewares, decorative items, and anything else you feel like designing. Sloths will also be the new replacement for unicorns, which is a perfect eye-catcher for both boys and girls wandering the vendor isles with their parents.
According to another article from Etsy Journal, bold and maximalist styles will be super trendy this year. Don’t be afraid to mix colors, patterns and textures with what you design and really let your personality shine. Get bold and creative with accessories for the hair, large bracelets and rings, textile jewelry and bags, among others. These trendy styles are sure to have your booth stand out from the rest.
Keepin’ it Local
The great thing about artisanal products is they’re made local and represent certain areas, which result in perfect beauty souvenirs for tourists. A bottle of lotion made from a small-town business is just as rewarding as getting a keychain in remembrance of a vacation, plus it smells better. Even if you don’t make your own beauty products by hand, there are plenty of suppliers all over the place whose products you can sell at their local market.
Located in Oxford, Massachusetts, Hebert Honey (www.heberthoney.com/wp/) makes 100% natural honey products year-round. They offer regular honey as well as bee pollen, soap, creams, lip balms and beeswax blocks that help with different household projects. With no minimum order requirement, Hebert Honey makes it easy to sell artisanal products at your booth.
Craft Fairs Are All the Rage
Besides beach weather, driving with the top down and vacations, craft fairs and festivals are another great part about the summer. It seems like almost every weekend towns gather together at a local park or green and host a craft fair for citizens to meander around. Craft fairs have that homestyle flea market feel you just can’t beat.
Hebert Honey even sells their products at craft shows all along the East Coast. “In the fall I begin my shows and take my products out to different fairs and craft shows,” David Hebert, owner of the company, said. “All of our products are aimed at our customers and are available all year-round, so we’re pretty successful at the shows.”