Deep impact (continued...)

Toister adds that guided journals with short prompts, thoughtful exercises and questions are a trend that is still gaining momentum and popularity.

“These journals allow for the creation of deeper personal connections, stronger resilience to stress, and a healthier, more satisfied life. For 2019 we expect to see a continued focus on mindfulness and the deepening of connections to ourselves, to others, and to the environment. Guided journals provide a place to observe your life—all that it is, all that it has been, and all that you want it to be.”

This fits in perfectly with Compendium’s portfolio, which includes products that promote meaningful moments of connection between people―products that speak to the heart, that reinforce friendships and relationships, and that uplift and inspire.

“We believe that our products provide double happiness―that they’re as much a pleasure to give as they are to receive. Our gift books make the perfect gifts and are consistently our bestsellers. All of our books are designed to speak to the heart, inspire, and celebrate the joy of special moments and occasions.

“Our books ‘What Do You Do With An Idea? What Do You Do With A Problem? What Do You Do With A Chance?’ have been worldwide bestsellers, each spending time at the top of the New York Times best-sellers lists. These books cross the divide between adults and children, proving suitable for absolutely everyone from kids to corporates,” she adds.

So how did it all start for the company that is known for its inspiring pop-open cards?

“We launched in 2004. I was looking to purchase some pop-open window cards locally and discovered they weren’t available at all in Australia. Fast forward almost 15 years and not only are our window cards widely sought after, hugely popular and still gaining in popularity, but we’re truly living our mission of providing beautiful gifts that create meaningful human connections.

“Our pop-open window cards (ThoughtFulls) have stood the test of time. The element of surprise in each card is almost fortune-cookie like. You don’t know what you’re going to get until you pop open the window, and then the inspirational message becomes your guiding thought for the day. With 30 different cards per box (and many varieties to choose from), that’s a whole month’s worth of inspiration.”

These little cards also have the ability to brighten friends, colleagues or even strangers’ days. Randomly leave them where they can be found and opened, and know without a doubt that the little message hidden behind the window will be exactly what the recipient will need to hear. “This is my absolute favourite product that has the ability to change lives―I wouldn’t be here writing this if it wasn’t for them.”

Having been so successful with her own business, what are Toister’s top tips for other companies starting out?

1. In order to be successful, you need to build trust, which we’ve achieved through superb customer service, reliability and consistency. We consider all our customers an extension of our family, and are always available to them.

2. Having a versatile product that can be sold through various outlets will provide greater opportunities, but persistence and patience are important. Customers tend to gravitate towards existing suppliers because of established relationships and trust, so for those starting out, it’s about working hard to be seen and heard.

3. Being ‘seen’ is important, which is why we exhibit at the major gift fairs. Having agents out on the road representing and promoting our products is essential, but the fairs allow our customers to see the full length and breadth of our range all together in one place.

Any tips for retailers?

1. Work IN your business as well as ON your business. Your business needs YOU.

2. Go back to the drawing board and change things up. Spend time creating an environment and experience like no other for your visitors. What can you offer that will really give you a point of difference?

3. I’m tired of reading that retail is ‘dead’. Retail is not dead. Retail will never be dead. There is nothing nicer than walking into a beautiful store where you can feel the love of the owner and staff and enjoy a wonderful buying experience.

And what can we expect from Compendium in 2019? “We’re excited to announce that next year Compendium will officially launch into New Zealand,” Toister enthuses.

“In early 2019 we’re introducing ThoughtFulls for kids. These will be the same pop-open window card concept that’s so hugely popular for adults, but written for children’s understanding.

“We had great success with the launch of our collections and accessory products in 2018. 2019 will see further diversification of some of our proven and best-selling products into coordinating products that merchandise seamlessly and tell a complete story. We’re also excited that some of our ‘old’ favourites have had a makeover and will be back early 2019.”

Meet Compendium Australia at stand 2X17 at the upcoming AGHA Sydney Gift Fair at Sydney Olympic Park (23-26 February 2019). Entry is free for industry professionals. Visit for more information and to find out how you can attend this trade event.