New products - same message of love

By Rebecca Haines

Internationally known for sweet keepsake figurines with Christian-based scenes, Precious Moments is revitalizing its brand.

In a time of launching new products, particularly garden accessories, the company has been branching out into new products with the same original mission.

“The brand has always stood for loving, caring and sharing with the mission of making the world a better place by spreading love,” said Steve Kosmalski, president and CEO of Precious Moments Family of Companies. “We are looking for opportunities to create and utilize the brand to capture the precious moments in people’s lives. We all have them. Some are sad, some are happy, but the mission is to capture those moments and share them. The children of the family that owns Precious Moments very much believe in the mission of the brand. They are firm supporters of the heart and soul of the brand.”

Kosmalski joined the Precious Moments team two years ago with the task of freshening the business’s presence, creating products and initiatives that will carry the message of love into the future. Kosmalski said his career has taken him to many metropolitan areas to help many companies accomplish this, but Precious Moments in Carthage is unique.

“So far we’ve had great reactions,” he said. “The response has been absolutely encouraging. People want keepsakes, portraying love and innocence, but not just collectibles. They want something they can use and enjoy. To prepare for this move, I have listened to customers placing orders and they love it. People just hear ‘Precious Moments,’ and their reaction is priceless in the marketing world. I knew we had lightning in a bottle, as the phrase goes. It’s been a lot of work but a lot of fun. I expected this to be a lot of work – I didn’t expect it to be so rewarding.”

Precious Moments started in the early 1970s with founder Sam Butcher creating greeting cards and posters. The 1980-1990s were the heyday of collectors for the large-eyed figurines and now the company is moving forward with stuffed animals, home and garden décor and much more.

In the garden section, for example, flowerpots, stakes and holders are embellished with a Precious Moments message or Biblical scripture. Children’s Bibles are distributed at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs; baby décor and items like picture frames and piggy banks are distributed at Babies R Us; and other retailers like Hobby Lobby and Bed Bath & Beyond are carrying Precious Moments products as well.

Kosmalski said there’s jewelry for both kids and adults and Christmas tableware is on schedule to be shipped this August, noting the products vary but the emotion and sentiments are timeless.

“There’s a new product I call ‘Nativity in a Box,’” he said. “The wooden box opens and there’s back lighting to the manger scene. Kids can move the character pieces around the manger, and I thought, ‘Alright – they can touch it now.’ … I have found a home in the kind of products I would go the extra mile for.”

Appealing to online shoppers, Kosmalski said the company has exploded its presence on the Internet and another huge move is the potential for animated entertainment. Precious Moments has seen a jump in overseas sales, especially with new shops in Singapore mall settings. Kosmalski said there is appeal in Latin America and Asia, and the next overseas target will be Western Europe. 

“Our goal is not to change the personality or message of Precious Moments – just the where and how it’s communicated,” Kosmalski said. “The soul of our company can be seen and felt in the Chapel, where the founder, at the age of 77, was up in the scaffolding touching up the sky last year. We are thrilled with the changes, proud of our team and excited for the future of Precious Moments. The messages that are in the products are things we need to be saying to each other more often.”

To find the selection of products and to learn more about the company, please visit www.preciousmoments.com.

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