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Forged Flare is now on Oriental trading

Embracing New Opportunities with Oriental Trading

Introduction

At Forged Flare®, we’ve always taken pride in creating unique, handcrafted Mother’s Angels® ornaments that resonate with individuality and add the personal touch of being handcrafted. When Oriental Trading Company, a giant in the world of value-priced party supplies and crafts, reached out to us, we were initially unsure if our paths aligned. Known for their bulk party goods and budget-friendly items, they seemed worlds apart from the bespoke charm of Forged Flare®. However, life is about embracing opportunities and growth, especially in this economy, and we’re excited to share our journey of partnering with Oriental Trading. We’re thrilled to introduce Oriental Trading as our latest marketplace, alongside our existing presence on platforms like Amazon, Etsy, PublicSq and Michaels. This expansion allows us to reach a broader audience that we wouldn't otherwise be able to reach.

A Leap of Faith

Our connection with Oriental Trading began unexpectedly, rediscovering a year-old outreach that initially went unnoticed. The timing couldn’t have been better, as we were exploring new avenues to share our creations with a broader audience. Despite our initial reservations about the fit between our handcrafted ornaments and their mass-market focus, a conversation with a fellow small business owner changed our perspective. We learned of their strong support for small businesses and their genuine commitment to our success on their platform. This was a game-changer for us.

Our Concerns and Decision

The reputation of Oriental Trading as a provider of mass-produced, cost-effective products made us ponder the fit for Mother’s Angels® ornaments, each meticulously designed to reflect the beauty and spirit of individual craftsmanship. However, understanding their own evolution and support for diverse product lines helped us see the potential for a symbiotic relationship. We decided to start small, introducing some of our best-selling ornaments to their audience, monitoring how our brand could coexist in a new retail environment.

The Positive Impact

Oriental Trading’s history of fostering fun and joy since 1932, coupled with their mission to deliver smiles, resonates surprisingly well with our own mission at Forged Flare® — to bring light and beauty into homes with every Mother’s Angels® ornament. Their extensive reach and dedicated customer base present a fantastic opportunity to introduce Forged Flare® to households across the nation, many of whom may not have discovered us otherwise.

A Rich History That Surprised Us

One aspect that particularly fascinated us about Oriental Trading was their storied history, which was quite enlightening and not what we initially assumed. Founded in 1932 by Japanese American entrepreneur Harry Watanabe in Omaha, Nebraska, Oriental Trading started as one of the nation’s first wholesalers of novelty items and gifts. The name "Oriental Trading" was derived from the geographical focus and trading routes of the early 20th century, not from being based in Asia as we initially thought. By the 1950s, the company had become a major supplier to the carnival trade and continued to expand through catalogs, direct marketing, and eventually the Internet, launching their online store in 1999. This rich history changed our perspective significantly, showcasing a longstanding commitment to delivering joy long before the digital age.

Looking Ahead

As we start this new chapter with Oriental Trading, we’re not just expanding our market — we’re learning and growing alongside a partner who values our craft and supports our growth. This partnership is more than a business venture; it’s a chance to share the joy and beauty of Mother’s Angels® ornaments with a wider audience, spreading smiles and making special moments even more memorable.

Conclusion

Joining hands with Oriental Trading marks a significant milestone for Forged Flare®. We’re stepping into a broader world, ready to learn, adapt, and flourish. We’re excited about the possibilities and eager to see where this journey takes us. Thank you for being part of our story and for your continued support as we explore these new horizons.

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About Jen Street

Jen Street is the Founder & Creative Director of Forged Flare®, a business that specializes in creating unique ornaments that are reminiscent of stained glass. Handcrafted in Texas and perfect for gifting, her Mother’s Angels® ornaments make people feel seen, appreciated, and loved. Sign up for the newsletter and save on your first handmade ornament today.

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