We’re number one fans of our fans. (We’re sure you know how much you contribute to our existence.) So we want to thank you all with a column dedicated to you: “Friendly Fridays”! Once a month, we will be featuring a certain friend and their Knock Knock stuff-related stories.
Earlier this month, we had an impromptu blog contest to celebrate the release of our Spring 2012 products. The very first entrant (and an unbeknownst winner) loved our Office Speak Pencil Case since it could help with his crafting, including organizing the supplies he uses to make these magazine envelopes. (It really is a rad idea, and we’re psyched to try it out ourselves!)
The winner, Martin, told us if he won, he would send us “before” and “after” pictures showing how he’d use our pencil case. Lo and behold, a few weeks later, we received his thank-you note that included not only pictures, but paper knickknacks that remind us exactly why we love the friends of Knock Knock.
So we’re dedicating February’s Friendly Friday to him! Check out what he snail mailed us:
Please note:We were going to write the standard “check out these stocking stuffers” post, but then we asked ourselves, “What do people really care about? What do people truly want to see?” This is the result.
Our products make great stocking stuffers for your family, friends, and acquaintances. But don’t take it from us—take it from these cool kitties!
1. Tweets & Status Updates for All Occasions. As the youngster of our Lines for All Occasions books, this one is chock-full of fresh posts for the social media buff who can’t seem to stop hashtagging their life away. A little insider’s info: Meredith, one of our writers and editors who wrote the bulk of the book in three months, said the hardest part of the process was finding tweets related to the weather. (But her favorite part was looking up celebrity tweets!)
2. 100 Hugs Tickets. A booklet filled with 100 tickets (hence the name) is perfect for a quick, hand-off present. (But be sure you’re the receiver of the coveted golden ticket!)
3. High Five Nifty Note. This mighty Nifty Note is great for gifting to your group of buddies. Make sure they tear, share, and spread the compliments.
4. WTF Stamp. Have your loved ones remember this holiday season with three letters that say it all. Keep calm and stamp on.
5. Slang Flashcards. Who can resist up-to-date colloquialisms? Your colleagues will think you’re hella fresh.
For our weekly “In It for the Money” feature, we’ll be introducing you to the kick-ass Knock Knockers who make everything go, from creative to sales to logistics to . . . everything! Note—everybody answers the first five questions. After that, they have about fifteen wild-card questions from which to choose.
Sometimes I overlook beauty because I'm buried by status updates, emails, and the like. Absolutely love the turquoise tile though. (Pic was taken by Chelsea, a few blocks away from the office.)
1. Name and title? Melanie Gasmen, marketing and digital coordinator.
2. Originally from? Born in Florissant, Missouri, an outskirt of St. Louis. When I was seven years old, I moved to Orlando, Florida, where I usually tell people I’m from. And from then on, I kind of hopscotched across the U.S. (I went to college in Austin, Texas—Hook ‘em Horns!—and now live in Studio City.)
3. What the hell do you do all day? I do absolutely nothing. I make the rest of the people in the office believe I upkeep Facebook, Twitter, and the Knock Knock blog, when I actually pay a group of gifted fourth graders to write everything for me. So, I usually just spend the majority of the day banging on my keyboard with my earbuds in, looking legit. But—real talk—I actually do maintain Knock Knock’s social media realm, posting and replying to comments and questions. I also help coordinate PR and marketing efforts, which is all good fun.
My work area in its natural form. 1. My Thing One and Thing Two blanket that drapes my chair.; 2. My fingerless gloves that I've been wearing the last few days alongside my pocket watch that I put in my right pocket everyday; 3. "Homies" banner. Notice that the "o" is a heart.; 4. I love sticky notes and want to create a sticky wall.
4. Favorite thing about working at Knock Knock? Well, my favorite, favorite part is Knock Knock’s direct deposit. I also enjoy the outbursts of laughter coming from this way and that (which, case in point, stems from the hilarious people that run this place). And also all the free snacks (which is apparent from all the food pictures we have on FB).
5. Favorite hobbies outside work? I usually wind down with my keyboard and guitar. I love covering songs and writing my own when I’m feeling into it. Also, I’m not quite a foodie, but l love cooking and baking (I have a weird obsession with kitchenware). I’m also always down for playing tennis, killing zombies in House of the Dead 2 on the Wii, and any board game. And of course, I love reading and writing, and try to update my own blog and my Tumblr when I have the time. However, my new favorite hobby is finding a route to work that doesn’t take an hour and a half (curse you, 405)!
6. Did your professional life exist before Knock Knock? In a way, it did. I had the chance to intern at a few national publications (like Texas Monthlyand Glo) during my college career. Otherwise, my paid professional life did not exist prior to. Unless, you count working as a retail person in Seuss Landing at Universal Studio Orlando’s Islands of Adventures, cashiering and making sandwiches at Quiznos (for Texas in-state residency), and blacking out social security numbers on admission applications for the University of Texas at Austin. Then yes, my professional life has existed for about six years now.
8. Pet peeves? The phrase “same difference,” doors that are slightly ajar, and when people call me Melissa (which is actually the name of one of my sisters, but usually people don’t know that). My newest pet peeve is when I’m driving on the road and the car in front of me is going about fifteen miles under the speed limit, but I’m stuck in that lane because cars are zooming on both sides of me. I just end up pumping up my music, and screaming in the car by myself.
9. Favorite TV show? I’m a huge Arrested Development fan (I tend to quote it on a daily basis) and a “frakking” Battlestar Galactica fanatic (just wrapped up the series a few days ago). My other all-time favorite shows are It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Friends, Daria, Full House, Veronica Mars, and sadly enough, Degrassi. (It’s pretty embarrassing to admit, but I don’t care.) I also love Parks and Recreation, Summer Heights High, and anything on the Food Network.
This isn't my guitar (mine's actually acoustic/electric). But I do still strum every now and then.
10. What’s in your music rotation right now? Everything. I pretty much love all music, except for German scream-o. I usually go through random spurts throughout the week, where I’ll be hooked on a certain artist, song, or genre. Although I mainly use Spotify now when I listen to music, you can check out some of the old playlists I had on Grooveshark. But I’ve been listening to a lot of Johnny Cash, Fleet Foxes, old Busta Rhymes, Nat King Cole, and The Lonely Island (huge TLI fan!). And you can usually find me in my car jamming to Ben Folds, Meiko, Kate Nash, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, and sometimes really terrible gangsta rap (no joke).
11. Most embarrassing moment? Since it’s the holiday season, I’ll give you a Christmas-themed one. I was in sixth or seventh grade and had to play the piano for this big, Filipino, holiday event back in Orlando (I’m Filipino, if you haven’t caught on). There were probably around a hundred or so plus people at said event. I was supposed to play just a simple Christmas carol to accompany the choir (and I practiced days and days in advance, as to not completely crap out). Anyways, it started out okay, but when the carolers started to sing, my nerves got the best of me. All of a sudden my fingers started to shake, I was playing the wrong keys, and was I totally thrown offbeat. We ended up having to start all over again. Yes, my cheeks were flushed.
12. What advice would you give your past self? Don’t let your emotions overpower your intelligence. (I did steal that from at T.I. song. Don’t judge.) There have been so many times when I’ve let myself slip away from level-headedness over things that are just plain frivolous. Also, I’d tell my second-grade self that on the first day of school, correct people when they call you Melody instead of Melanie, because they will continue to call you Melody for the next two weeks. Plus, it’ll help you overcome your shyness much faster.
Finding the perfect gift for your flame can be a trying time. Questions like, “Will they really like it?” “Will they even use it?” or “Will I get in trouble for giving this?” flutter around your brain.
But calm those nerves—we have ideas for you*, no matter what kind of relationship you’re in right now:
1. The Too-Shy-to-Tell-Them Crush. Even if it’s your longtime best friend or that person you’ve never uttered a word to (but have admired from afar), why not drop him or her a little clue? To embarrassingly quote Love Actually, “If you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you?” (Really now, you could say it on February 14, or just any day in general.) Nevertheless, present your crush with our Slang Flashcards to break the monotony (or the ice)—they’ll appreciate the hearty laughs. And if you want to be more “forward,” give them our Sweet Nothing Sticky Notes (be sure to fill out your own note for them). And once you’re at ease, your heart will speak for itself.
Tell him or her how you feel this holiday season with our Sweet Nothing Sticky Note.
2. The Friend with Benefits. Sure, it’s all physical, and nothing more—but you still feel like you have to put in more effort than just picking up a random gift card at the grocery store. Nothing’s more direct or straightforward with expressing your feelings than our Why I Must Have Sex With You Pad and our 100 Quickies. We’re sure both of you won’t even waste any time getting down to the benefits.
Get down to the point with our Why I Must Have Sex With You Pad.
3. The This-is-Serious-but-I’m Still-Not-Sure-if-You’re-Marriage-Material Boyfriend or Girlfriend. You aren’t ready to take the plunge yet, which is totally fine. Instead of a ring, why not get your lover our Vouchers for Lovers? Let your partner pick and choose your signs of affections for you (and you don’t have to think about it—it’s a win-win). You can also throw in a True Love Medal, which would sit nicely next to their framed picture of you both. Adorable.
Get your boyfriend or girlfriend Vouchers for Lovers and not a case of silverware.
4. Your Other Half. You’ve been together for so long that you’ve probably already picked out their present at this point (only 20 days until Christmas Day, peeps). But here’s an idea for those of you still in need of a scapegoat: tie a ribbon around our Things You Must Do To Make Me Happy Pad or Things You Do That Really Piss Me Off Pad (or both). Your lover can happily check away their feelings. Or, if they’re a big dreamer, you can also give them our Idea Log, to show them that you support their plans in the long run (cause you’re in it for the long run—clever, right?).
Make sure you keep your soul mate satisfied with our Things You Must Do to Make Me Happy Pad.
* It’s now free shipping for orders over $35 (which pertains to customers shipping to and within the U.S., excluding Hawaii and Alaska—sorry, dudes).
As most of you know, Flashcards have been one of our stocks in trade since we released the original Slang and Therapy Flashcards in 2003. We refreshed them and made them a bit smaller for Spring 2010 and brought Parenting and Foodie Flashcards into the mix.
For the past year and a half or so, we’ve really enjoyed bringing out more products for kids. Our first children’s product, the Bingos (Roadtrip and Kids’ Night Out), were introduced a while ago, but we weren’t really doing kids’ product on purpose. Now it’s a big part of our strategy as well as what we want to create, starting with the Playtime Pads and continued with the currently bestselling This or That?. There’s some really big stuff shaking in the kids’ arena for 2012, but we can’t tell you about that yet!
As grown-ups, you may know what "lilliputian" means and where it comes from. But do you know what "brobdingnagian" means (let alone how to pronounce it)? The true test of adulthood.
One thing we can tell you is that we’re totally excited about Big Word Flashcards, to be introduced in January 2012 (Spring 2012, in fast-forwarded retailspeak). You may have noticed that we’ve been using more and more illustration in products such as Vs. and My Life in Graphs. This is in large part thanks to our creative director, Craig Hetzer, who’s an illustration lover and maven (with respect to finding great illustrators and determining their roles projects). Now that we’re using illustration, we can’t keep away from it—you’ll see lots in the rest of the Spring 2012 release.
The inspiration behind Big Word Flashcards is the way that kids love to learn new words, especially big, silly-sounding ones. (This, by the way, is a large part of the humor in one of my favorite kid’s books—and books on LA—Max in Hollywood, Baby, by the inimitable Maira Kalman.)
The charming pictures in the Big Word Flashcards were created by an illustrator named Robert Stites, while the words were selected and copy concocted by one of our editors, Meredith Ridings, consistent with our generally doing most editorial in-house. The beautiful evolution from adult to children’s flashcards—staying within the brand and previous flashcards but also injecting fresh newness, a challenging assignment—was accomplished by one of our fabulous designers, Alexis Lowery. The box has a hinged cover, more durable and easy to open for little fingers.
We hope you’ll enjoy Big Word Flashcards as much as we do—kid or adult! Tell us: do you think you’ll be buying them, and if so, for whom? And if you’re in the mood, tell us your favorite big silly-sounding word!