Judy, Judy, Judy – Pick Up Sticks’ best sales tip

Pick Up Sticks.  We hope you associate the company name and this blog with our continuing search for ways to help you make your business a screaming success.  That’s why we do this – we want to give you ideas that help you sell, sell, sell.

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And that’s why we now offer our loaded Judy in our catalog.  And why we throw in the mannequin for free.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Null.  Zilch.

We do ask that you pay for the charms and trinkets and necklaces she’s wearing.  But the mannequin and the ribbons that separate price points and the approximately 12 hours of studio labor to load her up?  Free.

“Who’s Judy?” some of you may ask.  Do a search of the term “Judy” in our blog archives and you’ll find several posts dedicated to her.  She’s our “loaded-with-Pick-Up-Sticks,” looking-gorgeous and selling-jewelry-like-crazy Mannequin. We introduced her about six years ago, dragging her to market all dressed up with every photo charm, trinket, and chain we create, as well as the top 12 of our initial charms. We thought she was a fun display.

And then customers started asking if they could take her home with them. Immediately.

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What we found was that Judy was a sparkly-girl, catching the eyes of passersby and creating an entirely new kind of excitement in our market booth. And our retailers who bought her told us that she created a fun forum where customers could see a wide variety of jewelry, touching and turning Pick Up Sticks every which way, laughing with their friends at our designs, choosing two or three charms and trinkets and necklace combinations in the process.

What we found was that our Judy sells. In fact, a number of our current Judy orders are from retailers who ordered Judy in the past. She’s been so busy that she’s worn out and they need a replacement.

And the best news is that now you don’t have to wait until market to get your’s. She’s in our latest catalog, just waiting for your order.

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She comes shipped to your door looking very chic and  wearing one each of every single Pick Up  Sticks two-sided bubble, dot, candy, chicklet and photo charm, the top 12 initials in five styles, one each of all our trinkets, spacers and locket, and an assortment of necklace and bracelet chain.  She also comes ribboned – meaning that we separate the price categories so that you don’t have to. (Here’s a link to the catalog page – take a look at this beauty!  http://www.pickupsticks.net/US/CATALOG/packages/packages.html)

How good is the deal?  If you order a pre-pinned Judy right now, you’ll get the mannequin free (Yes, we’ve already said that, but it bears repeating.  She’d cost you $120 if you ordered her separately).  You’ll also get the expertise of the girls in the studio pinning and ribboning her so that she’s an eye-catching sales genius.  That alone takes 2 girls 6 hours, so in addition to the mannequin form, you’re getting 12 hours of free labor.  And you get our exclusive logo price tags showing the price for each separate category of jewelry.

Don’t want all the chain?  We can leave that off and you’ll be charged less.  Since we can’t really reveal our wholesale prices here, please feel free to contact the studio for prices.

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One thing you don’t get?  All 26 initials, because we know that some of them are hard to sell.  We only send you the 12 top selling initials from each of our initial lines.

We know that getting customers to make a purchase is tougher now than ever.  That’s why we promote our Judy.  She sells, she adds interest to your retail space, and customers love her. What more could you ask of a pretty girl?

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Pick Up Sticks – Just Another Day at the Studio

We know there are some incredibly interesting jobs out there, jobs that we’ve all dreamed of.  Secret shopper for Neiman-Marcus. Rolling Stone reporter assigned to hang with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Taste tester for Ben & Jerry’s. Ski instructor at Aspen. Personal Assistant to Bradley Cooper.  Those are all good, right?

Yeah, we’d like one of those. We’re pretty sure we could be VERY helpful to Bradley Cooper.  But since we don’t get to hang with celebrities, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that working at Pick Up Sticks is pretty crazy amazing.  It’s never boring, it’s creative, it’s relaxed, and, honestly, it’s almost always fun.  Here’s a quick look at what we do all day, some days.  Other days we sit around the studio and brainstorm while eating taquitos from The Foxy.  Just another job hazard – great New Mexico fast food.

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The above photo is Candace and Leigh dressing Judy up for her wholesale show debut.  This is just one example of how we load her with Pick Up Sticks. . .we’ve seen lots of different pictures of our customers’ own Judy and we’d love to see more.  If you’ve perfected the Judy-loading method, let us know your secret.  As far as we can tell, you’re all doing a great job of creating your own beautiful versions.

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“Which wholesale gift shows to attend? Who is going where? Where should we stay? How should we get there? And most important of all-what great restaurant do we get to try while we’re there?” These are just a few of the questions that get asked and answered daily at Glena’s desk.  Other tasks like talking to Sabrina on the phone about the creative process, paying the bills, payroll, inventory control, design decisions, and bookkeeping are just a  few of the jobs she tackles. If there’s a number to be crunched, Glena is the girl to do it.  Just hand her a pile of data and she’s a happy camper (there’s that finance degree showing itself. . .).  Of course getting to come to work every day with her dogs, her Mom, with Candace and Leigh and with Treyla, the newest Pick Up Sticks girl, is the biggest treat of all. (Hmmmmm. . .would you like to see a post on the “Dogs of Pick Up Sticks”?  I’m thinking YES.)

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Ever wondered how the “pulling and checking” process works when you order? This is Leigh checking an order she’s just pulled from the stacks of bins of inventory behind her.  Those bins hold every single charm in our line.  Leigh picks up the order from our fancy printer, walks to our “Walls of Bins” and removes all your charms from their assigned bins. From there, the charms and trinkets go through a two-pronged cross checking process. Leigh and at least one other Pick Up Sticks girl look over your order to insure that it’s shipped to you as quickly and accurately as possible.

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Check out that great orange wall. We are all about color and whimsy at Pick Up Sticks.

Here’s a glimpse of Candace at the heart of the studio, on the phone, typing an order. Behind her is our handy-dandy fancy printer that basically does everything except pick up lunch from Twin Cronies Drive-In (more of that New Mexican fast food). It not only prints your typed, emailed, or faxed orders, it prints our catalogs, the post cards, bio cards, images for studio use, AND your order forms (whew)! It is possibly the hardest worker in the studio!

By the way, Candace is wearing the 30” Small Link Chain with a AN058 Grow Strong Charm.

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Judy isn’t the only display that gets a face lift before a new show season begins.  The display boards have to updated with all the new season’s designs.  Glena is somewhat of a p-touch (label maker) guru, so she get the boards measured, p-touched and ready for Candace and Leigh to pin all the new charms and trinkets on the boards.

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Here’s Candace attempting to organize the board that holds the potential/proposed new trinkets.  This highly systemized process (most days) is studied intently and rearranged daily to make sure we’re creating the perfect trinkets to go with all our photo charms.  How are we doing with that?

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And finally, here we share with you the highlight of our day. Leigh (lucky Leigh) is handing your orders over to our favorite FedEx driver(eat your hearts out ladies)!!!

We didn’t get a chance to include a picture of Treyla in this post, but plan to do an entire blog post introducing you all to her soon. Hopefully she’ll agree that working at Pick Up Sticks is almost always entertaining and interesting!

We love what we do. Now if we could just get Bradley Cooper to drop by with a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry, life would be perfect.

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Pick Up Sticks – Glena’s Favorites


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When we started talking about favorite necklaces a few weeks ago, Glena, like Candace, was unable to narrow her choice to just one.  Like some of you out there, she wears Pick Up Sticks every day, mixing and matching various charms and trinkets.  But we did get photos of her favorite combinations – here’s what she had to say about them:

“My newest favorite charms is DT011. The saying on the front and back, “My child”, and “Born to Fly” is perfect for me since my son is a pilot. I wear the charm both front and back, with the Bali Spacers, PT167, and my son Cameron’s, initial, CWIOC.  This charm is ideal for all mothers to wear, because we all know that our children are born to fly and succeed – mine just choose to do it in a helicopter.  And of course I couldn’t be any prouder of him.”

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“I love wearing a 36” stainless steel necklace with a collection of charms and trinkets added, because the long necklace goes perfectly with my winter sweaters.  My latest choice is ANO62, ANO64, PG147, PT185, and PT183.  I’m loving the bling of the new trinkets and the messages, “fly baby fly” and “it takes courage to become who you really are” remind me to do the best I can every day, and most of all—don’t sweat the small stuff. When I change my sweater and my mood, I use the “magical clip” and simply add different charms that match both.”

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Like Glena, the rest of us find it tricky to narrow our Pick Up Sticks choices to just one or two necklaces, and given the versatility of our two-sided charms and the ease of using the magic clips, you don’t have to!

Pick Up Sticks Employee Favorites – Candace’s Choices

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If you’re one of our retailers, we hope you’ve been fortunate enough to meet Candace, the Pick Up Sticks girl who enthusiastically greets you in the booth at market and takes your order when you phone or e-mail the office.  She’s indispensable as well as being our biggest fan.  We couldn’t do our job without her.

When we asked her to tell us about her favorite necklace, charm and trinket combination, she couldn’t limit her choice to just one.  So here are a couple. .

In Candace’s words:

“I love to wear the My Family charm (DT010) with the  You & Me 4 Ever (BB012). I wear the BB012 on the 4ever side because the wording on both of those charms side-by-side sums up the lifetime dream I have, which is that my family will be forever. Another great perk of wearing these two charms together is the fact that the colors match perfectly, and are sure to bring attention to them (just another excuse to brag about my family). I wear the Bee Necklace (NK004) with these two charms because it reminds me to always ‘Bee’ thankful for my family.”

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And for her second choice, Candace says:

“Here is another favorite family-related combo. I am wearing the  Two In Love (LV050) with the Bubble “J” (BBIOJ) and a Magnifier trinket (PT182)  on a 36” Stainless chain (SS036). I really like the 36″ chain because of its simplicity and perfect length, which allows me to layer it with my other favorite necklaces. The LV050 means so much to me because I have the best little girl I could have ever prayed for due to my husband and me falling in love. The BBI0J is my new favorite initial because of its bright eye-grabbing colors, and because it describes my life perfectly with my little Jemma in it -Jubilant! Lastly, I chose the magnifying glass because it symbolizes my love for my family. It magnifies with every new day. . .”

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Do you have a favorite necklace combo?  We’d love to hear about and see it. . .just e-mail a description and images to us at marketing@pickupsticks.net and we may feature it on Facebook or right here.

Pick Up Sticks and Winter Markets 2013

Pick Up Sticks Atlanta Booth

Pick Up Sticks Atlanta Booth

As I write this blog post, Sabrina and Bruce are in the midst of packing their bags for the Atlanta show, which starts on January 11 and continues through the 15th.  (Atlanta International Gift Market – Americas Mart, Merchandise Mart, Booth #802, Atrium, Handmade, Building 3, 2nd floor).

Sabrina in Atlanta Booth

Sabrina in Atlanta Booth

They’ll be traveling next week, carting two weeks worth of warm outfits, fur-lined boots (Sabrina will be, anyway. . .) and all the pre-market excitement that accompanies Pick Up Sticks when someone from the company heads to Market.  From Atlanta, the two of them will head to Chicago to the Beckman’s Handcrafted Show at the Chicago Market ( Booth #8-6030, Jan 19 – 22, 2013).

Bruce with the Pick Up Sticks crate, pre-setup

Bruce with the Pick Up Sticks crate, pre-setup

And just a few days after Sabrina and Bruce return to New Mexico, Glena and Candace head to the New York International Gift Show at the Javits Convention Center, which will run from January 27 – 30, 2013 (Booth 8531, Personal Accessories).  Later in February, Glena and Candace will be in Las Vegas, NV, at the Pool Trade Show at Mandalay Bay from February 19 – 21.

It’s our bread and butter, the market season. We love seeing old customers and meeting new ones, cultivating the community that makes up our very loyal, creative and fun retailers.  Our greatest goal is always to help you build your business and make your retail space a success (well, that, and finding just one more amazing new restaurant in each city we visit. . .)

Glena and Candace at the New York International Gift Fair

Glena and Candace at the New York International Gift Fair

We’ve written about Market many times before, and it bears repeating.  When you show up in our booth, we’re going to treat you with respect and we’re going to help you buy within your budget.  We very clearly mark our best-sellers so that you’ll know what works for our other retail customers.

And as always, your credit card never gets charged until the day we ship, which is a date you choose. If you need a quick ship, we’re all about trying to get your order out within a day or two of your order being placed.

Be sure to take a look at our post from last year, in which Glena and Sabrina list their Top Ten List of Tips for Buyers. A buying plan, comfortable shoes and carrying lots of business cards are just some of the great advice you’ll find in that post.

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Pick Up Sticks is all about fun and whimsy and human stories and great connections. Going to Market reinforces all of those qualities and we’re always excited to get in the booth and show you our new designs while we hear your stories about satisfied customers, display plans and how much you enjoy selling our jewelry.

To check out our official calendar, go to http://www.pickupsticks.net/US/press_show_sched/press_show_sched.html.  If you’re in Canada, Pick Up Sticks will be in Toronto at the CGTA Show, Toronto International Centre and Toronto Congress Centre, North Building, #11359, (Tani Investments), from January 27  – 31, 2013.

For those of you in the UK, find us at Top Drawer Spring, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Olympia, London, England – Stand ZA 31 from Jan 13 – 15, 2013, and at Spring Fair International, Birmingham, England, Listed as Absolutely Devine, Hall 18, Stand 18D66, February 3 – 7, 2013

If for some reason you won’t be on the road this year, feel free to check out our online store at http://www.pickupsticks.net.  Call the studio for ideas or with any questions.

Otherwise, can’t wait to see you in Atlanta, Chicago, New York or Vegas!

New Designs AND a Discount for Exclusive Pick Up Sticks Retailers

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It’s crazy to think about it, but in just a couple of  weeks we’ll be opening our booth at Beckman’s Handcrafted Show in Chicago.  Before we head to Chicago, we’ll be in Atlanta from January 11th to the 15th.  More details to follow on our market schedule in just a couple of days!

So, yeah, we’ve been a bit busy for the past few weeks.  And Sabrina’s been busy all fall, designing some amazingly fun new charms for the Winter 2013 show season. We sent out an e-mail blast in December with news of these designs and a reminder that exclusive retailers would, as always, receive a 10% discount on any orders placed and shipped before January 11, 2013.

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If you missed that e-mail, here’s how it works. If you’re a Pick Up Sticks Jewelry exclusive retailer, we’re going to give you a bonus of a 10% discount on any order placed and shipped by 1/11/13.  It’s just our way of saying how much we appreciate your hard work and your loyalty to Pick Up Sticks.

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Being an exclusive retailer is easy – you just have to order $1,500 within a 12 month period. Once you’re in that category we’ll protect your zip code and place your business name on our website so that Pick Up Sticks fans can find you.

And who knows?  You may be really close to that status.  Just call the studio to find out what it would take to get you to exclusivity.  Once you’re there, you’re entitled to the discount as well.

Don’t you love these new designs? We’ve had an overwhelming response to all of them, and we’re pretty sure your customers will love them too.

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If you’re headed to market, we’ll see you soon.  If you prefer to order from home, just be sure to hurry and get in on this amazing discount – it ends next Friday, January 11, 2013!

Pick Up Sticks and Charm Bracelets – History on Your Wrist

Pick Up Sticks newest charms on a charm bracelet

We’ve written about charm bracelets before, back in the early days of the blog.  At Pick Up Sticks, we learned quickly that women of all ages love unique jewelry that tells a story, with pieces that commemorate special occasions and milestones in one’s life. For centuries, charm bracelets have been the perfect way to tell one’s story. They are truly the original timeless classic.

Is it the universal appeal of the sound a charm bracelet makes, that feminine jingle jangle as you move your hands in an expressive moment?  Is it the fact that folks have to get up close and personal to check out your charms and hear the tale of how important each is to you?  How many of us have a charm bracelet that belonged to our mothers or grandmothers, and how intriguing are the stories conveyed by those heirlooms?

Dee Long Lansford’s charm bracelet

We love this photo of Sabrina’s Mom’s charm bracelet, started when Dee was a teenager on a European trip with, of all things, Seventeen Magazine.  It’s easy to imagine a group of pretty young girls in shops in Germany (the beer stein), Paris (Eiffel Tower), Switzerland (cuckoo clock) and Venice (gondola pole) going through charms and laughing with delight when they found the perfect trinket to symbolize their travels. The photo in the charm is Sabrina’s Dad (with her Mom on the reverse side) and is, coincidentally, the first photo charm Sabrina ever saw.

Want to know the story of charm bracelets themselves?

The Egyptians wore them in 3000 BC to let the gods in the afterlife know who they were in the social hierarchy. The Babylonians wore charm bracelets in 700 BC because they believed charms had special powers. In medieval times, charm bracelets were worn to identify your family of origin and the fiefdom in which you lived.

Queen Victoria wore them in the late 19th century, first as a fashion statement, and then as a way to mourn her great love, Prince Albert. She had her personal jewelers create charms with locks of Albert’s hair and others with his photo. And at the 1889 Paris Exposition Tiffany & Co introduced the general public to a chain link bracelet with a single heart pendant hanging from a link.

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U.S. World War veterans introduced the women in their lives to charm bracelets when they brought home charms from the various European cities and South Pacific villages they’d visited. Charms were inexpensive gifts, easy to carry, and soldiers were anxious to commemorate the positive aspects of their travels.

In the 40’s, you could get charms out of gumball machines – they were universally available to anyone with a whim for creating their own jewelry. Historians believe that even cavemen in prehistoric times wore charms and amulets to ward off evil spirits and to demonstrate one’s prowess to an enemy, And over time, in all these cultures, adding charms has always been a way to mark milestones in one’s life.

And now we do it. Charm bracelets have experienced a revival in popularity since the turn of the new century, and at Pick Up Sticks, we’re combined double-sided photo charms conveying a message with coordinating trinkets to create very personal wearable art for each charm bracelet customer. Our vintage inspired charm bracelets offer each customer a chance to tell her own story. Which, evidently, is what all women have been doing for centuries. And centuries. And centuries.

That’s why we do what we do and why we create Pick Up Sticks jewelry – so that we can tell our stories and hear your’s.

If you don’t have a charm bracelet yet, or if you want to help a friend/daughter/niece/loved one start that tradition, consider starting with this Pick Up Sticks bracelet and a charm or two. It’s a unique, one-size-fits-all treasure that future generations will cherish.

Pick Up Sticks New Designs and See You in Dallas!

Pick Up Sticks is on the road again this week, heading to the Dallas Market Center for the Dallas Finds Show from June 21 to 24, 2012.  We’ll be on the 13th Floor in Booth 9001, showing off all our new designs, as well as all the old favorites.

The new designs are all about fun and color and whimsy, and if you’re an exclusive customer of Pick Up Sticks, you can get a 10% discount on your Pick Up Sticks order as long as the order is placed no later than July 11, 2012.

Prefer to do your shopping in the booth in Dallas?  We’re offering the same great deal to our exclusives who come in to the booth to say hello and place their order there.  This offer excludes any show specials, but otherwise it’s a great way to stock up on Pick Up Sticks new designs.

We love our exclusive retailers, and we want you to know it.  Not sure whether you’re an exclusive or not?  Just call the studio to see how close you might be, and then order enough to get you to exclusive status.  We’d love to share this great deal with you!

See you in Dallas.  If we miss you there, we’ll be in Atlanta from July 13 to 17, in Chicago at the Beckman’s Handcrafted Show from July 21 – 24, and in New York at the New York International Gift Fair August 19 – 22.  Get location and booth details here.

Pick Up Sticks and Pinterest – Part I: How We Do It

We don’t know about the rest of you, but if you had asked us a year ago whether we were on Pinterest, our response would have been a puzzled, “Huh?”. And I’m pretty sure we would have said, “Nah, we’re not getting involved in another social media platform.”

Today it’s a different story.   In January 2012, comScore reported that Pinterest had 11.7 million unique visitors, making it the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million user mark.  Crazy numbers like that combined with the fact that Pinterest users actually stay on the site longer than users of other social media sites got us to thinking.  Could Pick Up Sticks benefit from a Pinterest page?  And could our followers provide us with design inspiration?

Of course we weren’t the only ones thinking that way.  There are now hundreds of blog posts and articles and webinars about how small businesses can use Pinterest to drive traffic to their retail websites.

We’re doing this post in two parts:  this week we want to show you what Pick Up Sticks is doing on Pinterest so that you might be inspired to try something like this for your business.  Next week we’ll actually give you some concrete information and links on using Pinterest for small businesses so that you can research it further and decide whether a Pinterest board might work for you.

Here’s the link to our Pinterest page and boards:  http://pinterest.com/pickupsticksj/ .  Once the boards were created, we invited some of our faithful customers to become curators or contributors to our boards.  You can do the same – the instructions for letting other people contribute to your boards is in the Pinterest help menu, which is under the “About” button on your Pinterest page.

Once the potential contributors received the e-mail inviting them to pin to our boards, they were off!  Our contributors exceeded our wildest expectations.  Sabrina asked them for color ideas, “less than 7 words” quotations, vintage photos, and several other board topics.  As you can see from the page, these women found some great ideas.  And in the process they repinned Pick Up Sticks images so that buyers unfamiliar with our product might click through to our websie to get more info.

We’re really proud of our Pinterest page.  Our contributors have been so industrious that we sent them all a Pick Up Sticks surprise recently.  The process has opened up a dialogue with the contributors that allows them to show us what they like and what they want to see in the future. Because this is an ongoing process, having the page keeps both pinners and followers engaged and returning for another look.  All of which adds up to our being better able to keep the customer happy.

That’s what it’s all about when you have a small business, we think. The very best thing about social media is that it has given us a way to interact with our fans and find out what they like best and want most.

Stay tuned for next week’s post when we’ll share ideas other businesses are using on Pinterest.  And if you’re so inclined, feel free to visit our Pinterest boards and repin some of our images.  We’d be happy to do the same for you – just comment below with your Pinterest page URL.

And Happy Pinning!

Make Easter Charming with Pick Up Sticks!

Easter offers us several things, depending on our viewpoints.  For some it’s a holiday devoted to a celebration of spirituality.  For others, it’s a  great excuse for gift-giving (we figure you’re never too old for an Easter basket).  It gives us a reason to dress in our absolute best finery (white shoes included).  For some of us, it’s the only time of year we wear a hat to church.

Whatever your inclination, Pick Up Sticks has charms to help you celebrate the Christian holiday, load up your best friend’s Easter basket AND accessorize that Easter bonnet.

Check out these combinations of Pick Up Sticks charms, trinkets and chains.  There’s still plenty of time to order for your retail customers and help them choose the perfect Easter necklace.  If you’re not a wholesale customer, check the Pick Up Sticks website for a retailer near you.

And Happy Easter from Pick Up Sticks!

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