What Did You Bring Me Back? 

Long gone are the ‘wish you were here’ postcards and the ‘my Aunt went to Paris and all she brought me back is this lousy t-shirt’ souvenirs.  

The key chains, spoons, umbrellas, figurines, beach bags, hats, deck of cards, bottles of whatever you bring back your loved ones from a holiday are getting quickly replaced by an item few would have ever considered buying even a year ago.  

What is keeping souvenir shops afloat during this crazy Covid year?  

This summer while travelling (in my own country of course), in each and every place I visited, what did I stock up on during a Covid summer 

You guessed it, masks, masks, and more masks. In every colour and style.  

Everywhere I looked, from little old ladies on the side of the Camino Santiago with handmade treasures to every souvenir shop I visited, I bought more and better ones.  

Dragged my poor friends along, made them buy… this one is great, it’s really breathable, the filter is sewn in, it’s so cute, look at the flag of…”. Reminders of my stops and great little keepsakes for this unprecedented 2020 summer  

I came home with a collection of masks to give as presents and others to wear that not only allow me to coordinate almost every outfit, but make me smile (although no one can see it) every time I put them on remembering where I was and who I was with.  

The souvenir shops I bought them in all said, “If it weren’t for people buying masks this year, we wouldn’t be selling a thing! T-shirts gathered dust, but masks flew off the shelves. 

What resonates with me is that this is a testament to human adaptability. Not only in what we wearbuy and accept, but how the retail sector can adapt to market trends at lightning speed.  

The accessory of the year is clear…  

Innovation at its best! Everywhere we turn these days from retail stores, souvenir shops, museums, sports teams to promo swag… getting on the mask bandwagon is not only saving ourselves from spreading the virus, it is potentially saving a sector 

Jump on, what are you going to bring back from your next trip? 

By: Christine Ruchay

Education and Presales Manager