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  The celebration of Mardi Gras gives retailers something to make the cash register ring after Christmas.  January sees many areas buried in snow and shivering with arctic weather, but in areas of Mardi Gras celebration, attitudes get upbeat and spending begins in preparation for Fat Tuesday. 

Last blog covered Mardi Gras beads, feather boas, and masks–the most important items for gift shops and parade riders.  This blog centers on items for souvenir shops and Mardi Gras balls.  The good news is these items also sell beyond the area of Carnival celebration and outside the Carnival season. 


  Mardi Gras is a local celebration that draws tons of tourists.  The Krewes foot the entire bill so it is often referred to as “The Greatest Free Show on Earth”.  Still the economic impact is mind-boggling.  According to MardiGrasNewOrleans.com;  Carnival generates over one billion in annual spending—that’s a whopping billion a year!


Locals start early by donning the Mardi Gras jewelry that spreads the spirit.  The Carnival season begins on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6).  That may prompt the question—what’s the difference between Mardi Gras and Carnival?  Well, Carnival is the season for celebration and the Church set the dates for the season during the Renaissance—beginning on the Epiphany and ending the day before Ash Wednesday.  Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and is actually the day before Ash Wednesday. 

Back to Mardi Gras jewelry.  On January 6th the Mardi Gras music begins on the radio and women dig in their jewelry box or go shopping for pins, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that spread the spirit. 


Pins are the runaway favorites and nothing can be too gaudy.  The closer Fat Tuesday gets, the more extravagant the pins get and many are hand made.  Masks, jesters, and crowns are the favorite themes and Krewe members attending balls often give these same pins as favors. 


 Another popular favor is Mardi Gras ornaments or magnets.  Jester heads with ceramic faces, fabric jester hats and fabric collars make not only attractive ball favors, but also standout souvenirs that are affordable enough for everyone to take home to family and close friends that didn’t get to go to the celebration. 

Miniature jester dolls with ceramic heads are equally as good for souvenirs or favors.  The wonderful thing about the jester head magnets and miniature dolls is they come in Mardi Gras colors as well as fancy brocade outfits.  The brocades and prints let them sell year round to shops even outside the area of Mardi Gras influence.  Shops supplying Sweet Sixteens, Quinceaneras, Mardi Gras weddings, or any event requiring favors use these popular magnets. 

Get a little more dramatic with Mardi Gras dolls.  Jester dolls are the attention-getters here.  Smaller dolls with jester outfits in Mardi Gras colors are wonderful favors and easy to pack as souvenirs to take home.  Some have velvet outfits and others sequin outfits in purple, gold, and green.  Also some small jester dolls use satin outfits in a variety of colors and these have sales appeal anywhere in the world. 

The next step up is poseable 12 inch jester dolls in lame’ purple, gold, and green.  These jesters are also popular with florists for centerpieces and crafters for wreaths.  Bend the poseable dolls to give them personality and customers will find them irresistible.

Larger dolls that also have very affordable pricing include the soft sitting jesters with ceramic head, hands, and feet.  The outfits sparkle with sequins in a variety of colors that allows them to sell beyond Mardi Gras–in any gift shop and any location.  A similar style uses cat faces and animal print outfits. 


Now add a spectacular statement to your Carnival display with 17 inch jesters that have a spray of coque feathers that attach for a large spray behind the doll.  Here is a special gift your customers can take home as a souvenir.  Each doll comes individually boxed with a clear plastic top for easy display.  Identical to this jester is a 12 inch doll that gives shops a smaller version. 


Another stunning choice is the child jester doll with a sweet porcelain face and blue glass eyes.   The doll is in a sitting position and comes in two sizes.  Outfits are Mardi Gras color as well as rich prints and brocades that have a market year round and in any location. 


Another indispensible Mardi Gras item that revelers can’t seem to resist is Mardi Gras crazy hats.  This selection can’t get too wild for the crowd on Fat Tuesday.  Purple, gold, and green are located under Mardi Gras crazy hats on the site and just shopping it is entertaining.  Find everything from jester hats, sequin tiaras, top hats, and feather caps to Cleopatra wigs and jester headbands here.  For more party hats in a variety of crazy themes, see Novelty Hats. 


More items that revelers love include Mardi Gras accessories like polo shirts in purple, gold, and green and even Mardi Gras sequin bags for a ball. Sequin bow ties, Mardi Gras maracas, and wands are all affordable accessories wild enough to sell on Fat Tuesday.  Finally, Mardi Gras plush provides throws as well as cuddly souvenirs for a gift shop. 

Instead of an after Christmas letdown, boost your sales with a statement in Mardi Gras items that keep the cash register ringing until all those spring events kick in.

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