The Christmas Ornament Design Process
Though you most likely believe that elves design, paint and gently sprinkle glitter on our gorgeous, well-themed Christmas ornaments, we have a giant secret: they don’t. We think our ornament design process is unique, and one of the aspects that makes Old World Christmas feel personal and family run. We don’t rely on elf power at all (but we like to pretend we do), but we’re proud of who we do ask for new Christmas ornament ideas. We ask YOU—our customers. There is a link at the top right-hand corner of our website’s main page for anyone—elfin or regular human—to submit an ornament idea.
We introduce about 150 new ornaments every year. Some come from our in-house design team and staff. We track trends and brainstorm on what ornaments will sell and look great on a Christmas tree. We go to trade shows (in non-covid years) and are inspired by Christmas trends. We evaluate every design idea that comes in from our customers. Not all ideas make it into production, but every idea is considered. Getting ideas from our customers about new ornament designs gives our design team a good pulse on what customers are looking for, but can’t find on our website. And with more than 1,500 ornaments to choose from, it’s surprising that there are still more ornaments we can make.
We display our entire ornament collection for the year in our design studio. Each ornament hangs on a 30 foot-long bulletin board. At the end of the year we remove any of the ornaments we are retiring, and they are replaced with the new line for that year. It’s spectacular to see the entire collection at one time. We have a team of illustrators and in-house designers, and they start with the ornament concept and come up with a rough, two-dimensional black and white drawing. That drawing becomes the sculpting guide which becomes a clay moulding. When the clay model is approved, a steel mould is made from the clay one. The Old World Christmas way is then for molten glass to be blown into the steel mould. The clear glass ornament is then coated on the inside with a silver lining which gives it dimension from the inside out. Then it’s ready for a paint job. Every ornament is hand painted by detailed, skilled artisans. Then they are boxed up and shipped out. Hopefully some of them find a way to your Christmas tree each year.
Sooki Carrano is the Creative Director for Old World Christmas. She has the final say for what Christmas ornaments make it and which ones don’t. Her voice is an important one in the design process. She considers about 300-400 customer-suggested designs each year. A handful of these designs makes it into production. She loves imagining them all come to life. Once in a while a customer-suggested ornament becomes a top seller. The bowl of mac & cheese ornament, the passport ornament, the knitting ornament and the guinea pig ornament are all top-selling ornaments that were suggestions by customers. Some new favorites that were recently released and are also customer suggested are the braces and avocado toast ornaments. Coming down the pipe, also suggested by customers will be: the root beer float, the cheerleader, the coral reef and love you to the moon and back ornament.
We take great pride in our Christmas ornaments at Old World Christmas. We put our heart and soul into the design process and production, because we believe that each ornament is special and each connects with our customers for significant reasons. We believe that Christmas trees around the world benefit from the thoughtful designs and dazzling production of our Christmas ornaments.