Teja Engel is the founder and managing director of Nostalgic-Art. Since 1995, the company has been making tin-plate signs "Made in Germany", using the licences of globally renowned brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Coca-Cola or Volkswagen. The Berlin-based company offers a diverse range of gift items with top-class designs in the popular retro style.
In our 3-question interview, Mr Engel talks about the retro and vintage trends in general, and gives us some helpful tips on how to use gift items for different occasions.
1. Old advertising images and collectibles inspire not only the generations who grew up with them, but also many younger target groups. How do you explain this fondness for nostalgia and retro design?
The retro designs of bygone years don't just stir the memories of all those people who lived through that time. They also reflect the lifestyle of certain epochs and can bring them closer to the customers of today, even though they didn't actually experience them first time round. The penchant for vintage and retro items is now well established among the younger generations.
This is certainly also got something to do with the trends in the fashion industry. Right now, you can see a lot people going round flaunting the names and logos of brands that were the in-thing in, for example, the 90s. "Retro" has become part of a lifestyle that is now central to our culture.
2. You offer a variety of gift items with nostalgic designs. What kind of gift items would you recommend to retailers for different gift-giving occasions?
Nostalgic-Art's strength is its broad customer approach thanks to its versatile brands and products. Emotional designs and diverse product groups are just perfect as gifts. The fascinating thing about this is that there is something for every taste.
Among other things, we offer a large selection of gifts for men. Everyone knows how hard it can be to find something suitable for a man. A "BMW Parking Only" tin-plate sign measuring 30 cm by 40 cm for a man's garage makes a really good birthday present.
The peppermint-filled pill boxes with a funny saying like "placebo pills" also make good little presents. The "Best Mum" design makes a very good thank-you gift, too.
Useful gifts such as a cereal tin or a colourful VW Transporter cup give their users pleasure and are useful, too.
3. Why did you decide to exhibit at Insights-X?
The products of Nostalgic-Art bring fresh and colourful wind into school and stationery assortments. They are ideal for people who are on the lookout for something special. What's more, our tin-plate postcards and notepad signs are highly suitable for the stationery and office supply segment and guaranteed eye-catchers. We are thus looking forward to getting to know potential new customers and developing a new area for ourselves.