Read Across America


Does March 2nd ring a bell to anyone?  It should!  In 1997 the National Education Association, NEA, pushed for a special day to celebrate reading throughout the United States.  This idea became widely popular and went into force on March 2, 1998.  This day is a day in which schools across the United States celebrate books, the art of reading, and of course, none other than Dr. Seuss.

In the year 2014, how prominent is reading?  Personally, when I was a young adult, concerned mainly with my career, all that I tended to read were Business, Economics, or Motivational books.  It was not until I got much older that I found the true glory and satisfaction in reading, just for the sake of relaxing.  You see, books have this magical power where they let you escape reality, while getting lost in the thrill of wanting to know what happens next.

book display


With the technology advances that have happened during my lifetime, there are now many options for me to get my hands on the next thrilling adventure.  I have a Kindle, in which I can just order books and read them right then and there.  I could also go to the local library, as well, if I feel like having the actual joy of flipping the paper pages in anticipation of what happens next.  In the last few years, I have even joined a book club.  There are about 10 of us and we all come from various backgrounds.  This opens up the door to learn so much more and gives you the opportunity to step outside of your “comfort zone”.

Every year Sharn Enterprises attends the National Book expo America convention, BEA.  It is a terrific way to stay in touch with what is going on in the book industry, as well as an opportunity to meet many of our friends in the publishing business.  Sharn Enterprises has worked with several of the nation’s top publishers in creating various types of book displays that have gone on to be placed in many of the nation’s top book store chains.

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“The more that you read. The more things you will know. The more that you learn. The more places you’ll go” –Dr.Seuss
dr seuss

Shopping Habits; Men vs. Women

men and women shoppers

Have you ever been at a shopping center and really examined the habits of a man and woman couple shopping together?  Being the “people watcher” type of person I am, I have examined these habits.  It seems as though the male is more of the “get in, get what you need, and get out” type of shopper.  Whereas, the female, seems to be more of a browser and compares the price value of different items.  But is this the same for all situations? 

women shopper

In a recent article written by Lauren Mitchell titled, “Are Men Shopping Like Women?” in the February 2014 issue of design: retail, she studied different groups of males to solve this question.  Mitchell found that today’s man is more engaged and shopping smarter than retailers may be giving him credit for.  Mitchell surveyed three different age ranges of men, the millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers.  What she found was that the millennials tend to be more tech-savvy shoppers, with a whopping 67% use their phones to shop.  Mitchell also found that, men rely on product reviews, with 58% saying that they are ready to make a purchase after reading reviews.  In conclusion, Mitchell found that, younger men seem to be driving this evolution in shopping behavior.  Considering the fact that the Gen Xers and Millennial men now represent more than half of the male population, retailers and brands need to make sure to pay extra attention to how these men shop.  As I stated before, I tend to be a “people watcher”, what I observe may not necessarily agree or disagree with the facts that Mitchell recorded, one thing is for sure, men do a lot of the shopping as well as women.  In order for a retail business to maintain success, they must focus on both women’s as well as men’s shopping habits.

We here at Sharn Enterprises have been in business for over 38 years now.  We are experts at designing and manufacturing custom displays that will get your products noticed.  So connect with us today!  You can reach us at (815)-464-9715 or email us at

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Presidents’ Day



With Presidents’ Day coming up on Monday, February 17th, we need to all take a step back and think what Presidents’ Day is all about.  Yes, most of us view it as a day off school or off work, but what is the real meaning behind Presidents’ Day?

Presidents’ Day was established back in 1885.  Surprisingly enough, it was not always known as “Presidents’ Day”.  This day was originally created to honor George Washington’s birthday and was celebrated on his exact birthday, February 22nd.  This became the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual American that is classified as a national federal bank holiday.  The date did not become known as “Presidents’ Day until after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was an attempt to create more three-day weekend’s for the nation’s workers.  Although the third Monday in February is still listed as “Washington’s birthday” on official calendars, Presidents’ Day is now known as a day to celebrate all United States Presidents, past and present.  Presidents’ Day is used by many patriotic and historical groups as a date for staging celebrations, reenactments, and other such events.


Many states require that their public schools spend the days leading up to Presidents’ Day teaching their students about the accomplishments of the presidents, often with the focus on the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who happen to be the most recognized leaders.  Abraham Lincoln is often named the number one most influential president due to his actions leading to the abolition of slavery.  Lincoln is then followed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his recognition in leadership throughout World War II and his hard work to end the Great Depression.  The third most influential president known is, George Washington for becoming the first president of the United States, setting the precedents that would be later followed by other presidents.

Although, these three Presidents are often noted as the most influential, we must not forget some of the most underrated presidents that really do deserve more credit than given.  Such as John Tyler for using his veto power the way Washington intended as a check on unconstitutional legislation.  We must not either forget Grover Cleveland for being the last traditional American conservative in the executive office.  Cleveland favored low taxes, light spending, low debt, and low tariffs.  Last but certainly not least, Martin Van Buren, who pushed for the sound money policy.  Van Buren’s “independent treasury” rescued the American economy from inflation and a deep depression.

So, from here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc, we encourage everyone to remember and celebrate the past and present presidents of the United States this Presidents’ Day!

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Roger A. Wandersee

“A Proud American Manufacturer” american flag

Valentine’s Day

valentines day puppu

It is that time of year again!  February 14th or as many people call it, Valentine’s Day.  The one day of year were people obsess over their significant other, exchange funny cards with classmates, and even give presents to those beloved furry creatures in our lives.  Whether you personally celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, it occurs once every year on the 14th of February.

Valentine’s Day dates all the way back to the 5th century, but have had origins in the Roman holiday, Lupercalia.  The Catholic Church recognizes three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyr.  One legend says that Valentine was a priest in Rome during a time when it was outlawed for young men to marry.  Valentine found this to be outrageous and continued to perform marriages, when his actions were later discovered, he was put to death.  Another legend suggests that Valentine was put to death due to helping prisoners escape Rome’s harsh prison conditions.

Regardless of what really happened, Valentine’s Day has become a holiday celebrated once a year in the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan.  Verona, Italy, the city where Romeo and Juliet met, receives approximately 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.


Here in the United States, Valentine’s Day is commonly known as the man’s day to spoil his sweetheart.  On average, men end up spending roughly $130 each on items such as candy, cards, jewelry, flowers and dates.  Each year, 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day.  Also, approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually.  And even though it is the man’s day to spoil his sweetheart, women purchase approximately 85% of all valentines.

No reservations for Valentine’s Day yet?  Don’t be alarmed, White Castle has become an increasingly popular place to dine on Valentine’s Day.  You can even call ahead to ensure that you get the perfect booth.  Ever wonder what was going on with Ken and Barbie?   Do not worry!  They got back together last Valentine’s Day and are still going strong this year.

So, whether you are an anti-Valentine’s Day person or are celebrating this year with a special someone in your life, we here at Sharn Enterprises would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Valentine’s Day!

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moving heart

The REAL Value of your Employees

top employees

Have you stopped recently and really considered the actual cost/benefit of your employees?  We all tend to be really busy these days. I’ll bet you know within a couple of dollars how much profit you made last year.  I’ll bet you know how much inventory you have on hand right now; but do you actually know the true worth of your employees?


In Steve Job’s autobiography he explained that he only wanted “A” type employees, he wouldn’t tolerate any “B” players.  Apparently he was a pretty tough guy to work for.  As a practical matter, not all of us adhere to those same standards.  Often we grow comfortable with each of our employees, both the “A” as well as the “C” employees!


In most small companies the cost of employee’s salary and benefits is the second or third highest cost for the company. So what happens to your bottom line when you tolerate that “One bad apple”?  Well, speaking from experience, it can be a lot.  About a year ago, we lost one of those “Bad Apples”. This fellow had been with us for a few years, hired by my predecessor.  His production was standard in nature, but his attitude and attendance was not good.  It wasn’t until he left the company that we truly understood the effects of his negative influence on other people here.  After he was gone, productivity in his group improved, people in his work group had a better attitude towards their own job and the Company.  Quality remained high, and this was all because his negative influence and the peer pressure he had used is finally gone.

Now on the other hand, we are blessed to have a number of very skilled, long-term and dedicated people on our staff.  These people don’t waste their time, or you’re money.  They are the folks who quietly and efficiently go about doing their own job and contributing to the company’s bottom line. These are the folks that make you profitable!

young worker


We are also fortunate to be a growing and expanding company which has recently been attracting younger and better educated people to our work force.  These people bring excitement, energy, and enthusiasm to our company.  Something that the older folks, like me, appreciates very much.

So, my conclusion is that, a well-trained, dedicated and experienced work force requires us to treat them fairly, with respect, and to value them every bit as much as we do  all of our other major business assets.  They are worth their weight in gold, but don’t ever be afraid to throw out that one “bad penny” your work life will be much easier and more profitable without him.

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Materials and Finishes

SharnLogo-email header


Sharn Enterprises manufactures “Point of purchase” displays that are used in the retail industry.  We have a lot of competitors out there, but most of them are “Johnny one notes”, meaning that they specialize in let’s say acrylic displays only, or maybe their niche is metal displays, fewer yet make wood displays.  What Makes Sharn Enterprises different from the rest is that we routinely use all three of these materials in any display that you may want.  The choice or combination of materials is strictly up to you.

We realize that different customers have different brands and preferences.  Our goal is to give you the best value, product and service for your next retail sale.

Maybe you are in doubt about what materials would work best for your next project.  Our Professional Designers are here to help you!  First I wanted to show you some of the benefits of each of the materials that we use.


There is an inherent beauty to wood; it comes in all different varieties and finishes.  Nothing matches wood in terms of its versatility and beauty.  People have a fascination with natural wood, because in addition to its beauty, it’s also very practical in terms of its durability and strength.  Different types of wood are also known to change the appearance and even color depending on the different angles of viewing and the way the light hits the surface of the wood.

Wood can be “finished” in many different ways.  Everything from just sanding and clear coating it to the hundreds of different stains that are currently available.  Using some of these finishing methods can even allow you to take an inexpensive piece of pine wood, and transform it into a rich oak wood finish.

One cautionary note about imported wood from other countries such as China.  Most of that imported wood is governed by the U. S. Department of agriculture and must undergo certain tests to assure its compliance to United States standards.

For those of you (like me) who are very price conscious, it’s certainly worth mentioning that most of the laminate and melamine manufacturers are also able to produce extremely close matches to almost all of the popular types of natural wood.  Consider substituting those in certain applications especially when your budget is tight.




Acrylic has excellent optical properties and is more resistant to impact than glass.  Many acrylics are fairly resistant to abrasion as well.   Most acrylic comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors, shapes and thickness.  These can range from clear acrylic to tinted, bronzed, fluorescent, frosted or colored acrylic.  If you can’t find the exact color you want in stock, acrylic can be easily painted to your exact color match.   Acrylic is strong, (some even bullet proof) smooth, light weight, bends easily, and excellent to work with.  Products made from acrylic have a long life, very good light transmission, and are easy to clean.

Acrylic tends to fluctuate in price more than wood or metal, but is often a good alternative when price is the deciding factor of your finished product.

A foreign import of acrylic is sometimes a consideration, however imports are not a good resource if you need to work closely with your vendor, or require a prototype.  Understanding and priority of your project combined with language issues can sometimes also be a problem.  Consideration of your order size and lead time frame should also be taken into account if you are considering imports.




We all know that metal is strong, lasts for a very long time, and can be as light or heavy as you need it to be.  Often we make displays for fine jewelry out of metal.  They need to be delicate and attractive and our designers know just the right look.  At the same time, we make industrial bins used in the automotive industry that are heavy and long-lasting even though they take a lot of abuse in an automotive factory.  It all depends on the type of metal you require for your specific job.  Metal lasts longer than the same product made of wood, however it is subject to rusting after several years of exposure to various elements.

It’s really important to select the right metal finish for your product.  In addition to providing the decorative appeal that you’re looking for, a proper finish prevents tarnishing and rust, while at the same time increases the durability of your product.  You have a lot of options when it comes to “finishing” metal.  Here in our plant, the two most common finishes are a decorative powder coat or chrome finish.  Powder coats come in a wide variety of colors, and there are several different chrome applications available to give you the exact finish you require.  Among some other less common finishes Sharn did last year were “Patina, Ornamental Rust, and Brushed Metal” They all turned out great!

As I indicated in my comments about wood and acrylic, here again there can be legitimate concerns about the quality and make up of imported steel.  You need to take particular care that UN proven, untested inferior steel is not imported for your particular product.  You don’t have that same concern when you work with Sharn Enterprises, because all of our steel is brought in from plants within the United States.  “Good old American quality”.


For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at

or our latest video at:

Roger A. Wandersee

“A Proud American Manufacturer” american flag