Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Featured Exhibtor: CityTins




What are Citytins?
Inside every tin are 20+ coaster gift cards, each worth $5 - $10 off your $25 tab at the featured locally-owned venue. That's up to a $200 value in every clever little tin for only $30.



How did you get started in your business?
We were two moms on the playground 13 years ago when our children were in kindergarten. We each had our own respective jobs but collaborated to create a fundraising product to benefit our kids’ school. What resulted was beyond our wildest imaginations. The school received a portion of the proceeds; the parents got a product they actually wanted and would use; the small businesses and restaurants received tremendous community support; the “Live Local” message meant more money stayed in our local economies; the assembly of our product was done by legally blind individuals who receive wages for their employment; and to date, we have grown to nine markets and donated more than $500,000 back into the communities we serve with this arty, kitschy product called CityTins.




What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Christin and Tara (AKA CityTins) were both in the corporate world before becoming moms and eventually creating this brand. We lean into several key principles: Surround yourself with people you can learn from. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel, if there is something that makes sense and works—use it. Do what you do best and let others do the same, working in concert with one another; know your strengths and delegate things that are your weaknesses.



What are some inspirations for your work?
Ramping up to an annual release is always full of ideas and design challenges. We strive to create cover art that is fresh and trend right each year so that each limited edition CityTin becomes a collective time capsule of sorts for the year in which it is released. Our take on 2023 includes an ode to editorial neon signs on brick or botanical backdrops that are popping up in public art and restaurants on a global scale.




What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
$200 value for just $30. CityTins also lend themselves well to fundraisers, corporate gifting, hostess gifts and the hardest to shop for. We make a finite number of tins each year and the artwork changes annually for a very limited edition, collectible feel.



What is the latest thing you have been working on?
CityTins was asked to create a North Shore Staycation-style tin featuring small businesses along the coast of Lake Superior. This edition was curated by a local philanthropist seeking a fundraising initiative for local radio station, WTIP in Cook County, while incentivizing Twin Cities residents to experience the North Shore. We are proud to feature this North Shore MN Edition in our 2023 lineup!

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