Over the years, Southern Importers created and marketed a number of unique products. Here are a few that sold extremely well during their time.
THE SOUTHERN IMPORTERS BUBBLE MACHINE
Cellophane Hula Skirts (1940s & 1950s). We sold lots of these to Prince's Drive In for their car hops.
Vinyl Hula Skirts. We made these in the 1950s and 1960s at a time when there were generally no hula skirts on the market. They were made in tan, green and lots of other colors, and in all sizes. We made a number of custom vinyl hula skirts for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants when they were in town one year.
Glitter Cloth. This filled a real need for theaters back in the 1950s. There was nothing like it on the market. It was very tedious to make. Two people pulled 36" wide adhesive cloth the length of a 15 ft. long table, glitter was spread over it and brushed even, and then firmly set using a very large rolling pin. Once completed, more was pulled out and glittered, making longer bolts. It was very hard work, was also quite heavy, but it looked sensational and it sold well!
Sequin Wire. This was another unusual innovation created in the 1950s. To make this, single-row sequin slung was wrapped around a rotating adhesive-coated wire. The finished product was about 1/2" across. It was made in 5 yard lengths and was sold by the yard. It was easily formable into head bands or other costuming or decorative items. We made it in lots of colors; it was a great seller for many years.
Bubble Machines, and yes, we did sell to Lawrence Welk. We had a variety of designs over the years - because of improvements, manufacturing changes or availability of parts. We normally made 100 at a time. They really sold well!
Wood / Lattice Display Items (1960s and 1970s). We created a rather extensive line of custom display wood items which were sold primarily to the large department stores. We made our own lattice, and there was a whole range of designs. Our line was so successful that we opened a showroom in New York City - a major hub for department store buyers.
Raffia Fruit / Vegetable Baskets (1960s and 1970s). The idea of wrapping colored raffia around foam shapes resulted in making custom fruit and vegetable baskets that were so unusual and beautiful, that when our sales representatives showed photos of them to department store buyers, they would very often place orders. Many orders were very large. Customers included Marshall-Fields, Rich's, Burdines plus many others including the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
WOOD / LATTICE DISPLAY ITEMS
RAFFIA FRUIT & VEGETABLE BASKETS
'ROOMMATES" Undecorated muslin dolls in 4 sizes from 30" - 66" tall.
FIBERGLASS MILLINERY HEADS Bright white head forms made with and without facial features.
NATURAL PINE PEDESTALS & CARPENTER STOOLS
"HIGH RISERS" NATURAL PINE MODULAR MERCHANDISERS
CEDAR WISHING WELL. 5 ft. tall. We also made a 3 ft. tall size.
"SHUTTERBUGS" - Cute display animals made from 18" shutters. They shipped flat and could be assembled in just a few minutes.
"FUNNY LITTLE BOXES" - Originally made from wood scraps, these became such a hit that we had to manufacture thousands of them!
In compiling the above information, we have tried to be as accurate as possible. If any errors are found, please let us know so that we can correct them. Thank you.
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