Souvenir Refrigerator Magnets

We handcraft refrigerator souvenir magnets such as sea-life, wildlife, zoo, and farm animals, plus a wide assortment of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and whimsical fridge magnets. Turn these “Made in USA” collectible magnets into souvenirs with our free name-drop service. 


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Market: Many people collect souvenir refrigerator magnets. Some have so many on their fridge that it risks falling over! Refrigerator magnets began as a simple no-tape method of holding notes and pictures to the steel front of refrigerators. Alphabet magnets became popular after WWII as an educational aid for children. The advertising specialty market soon learned that refrigerator magnets were a good way to put their client’s names and phone numbers where they would be seen everyday, on the refrigerator. It was a short jump to making decorative fridge magnets. A cottage craft industry sprang up overnight making fridge magnets. Soon after that, souvenir and gift shop buyers realized that their customers wanted decorative magnets for their refrigerators, too, as a memento of their travels. A souvenir is simply a gift item that is name-dropped or personalized with the locale, such as “Florida,” “Hawaii,” etc. Many people collect specific types of magnets, for instance only Swarovski magnets.

History: Clay Critters began making souvenir refrigerator magnets in 1978 and began name-dropping them on request. Soon, souvenir magnets were 50% of sales. Fridge magnets are still popular thirty years later. Today, refrigerator magnets are the bulk of our sales, and we are one of the world’s top producers of souvenir and gift refrigerator magnets. Rebecca Bollinger turned a hobby into a business. Working out of her home, she began making each “critter” by hand from baking soda and salt clay. Later she began using polymer-clay and added craft-workers. Now she concentrates on running the business and making the original designs.

Business: Our eighteen craft-workers make our original designs using a proprietary polymer-clay. Each item is Handmade in the U.S.A. A small shop, our workers benefit from flex-time and a profit-based incentive plan.

Designs: Many of our products have a unique “swirled” appearance. Others are made in metallic, fluorescent, or a faux granite finish. Others are multiple colors, handpainted or have jeweled eyes made from SWAROVSKI Austrian crystals. Recently, we began freehand irridescent finishes using airbrushes . See our product gallery for images of all our items.

Name-dropping: We personalize, or name-drop, the souvenir items with a laser engraver for most of our customers. The majority of our sales are for souvenirs. Name-dropping turns a gift into a souvenir. Our free laser marking engraving produces a dark brown mark. Our items have limited space for name-dropping, so brevity is suggested. It is good practice to give us a shorter length, second choice. Name-droping is free provided you order at least six pieces per style. We use, Synrad Fenix marking lasers for name-dropping. Custom laser marking using your typeface and logo is possible provided the mark is simple, and can be reproduced in one color, brown.

Market” Most of our products are sold to souvenir and gift shops around the country and in the Caribbean. You can also find them in many airport gift shops. We are happy to have a few large customers, department stores and franchises, but our mainstay is still the “Mom and Pop” stores.

Swarovski magnets: Most of our critters are made with CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements.  They are extra reflective.  Our experience shows that Swarovski magnets sell through four times faster than non-Swarovski magnets. The Swarovski name brings high brand awareness.

Barcoding: Barcoding and pre-ticketing is becoming more common as retailers add Point-of-Sale (POS) equipment. We can barcode your items using our registered UCC barcodes or yours. Your customers can remove our unique tear-away barcode tag leaving the refrigerator protective circle label. Our Zebra barcode printer is made specifically for barcoding and produces high resolution, high contrast barcodes for good scanning.

Magnets: Our magnets are washed ceramic. Heavier items use the large, multi-pole magnet. All of our magnet items must pass our ‘slam door’ test to make sure our magnets won’t slide down customer’s refrigerators.

About the Business:
Clay Critters is an Indiana corporation. We have 18 employees in 16,000 square feet of energy-efficient, quiet, healthy manufacturing space.
Order Minimums: $100.00 for opening orders, $50.00 for reorders. At least 2 each per magnet style.
Personalizing or Name-Drops are laser-engraved free of charge with no set-up fee provided you order at least 6 pieces per style, otherwise there is a 50¢ setup fee per style. Laser-marking is permanent and smear-free and makes a dark brown mark. We do not accept returns on personalized items.
Wholesale accounts are net30 or prepay with credit card.

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