For Small Brands, Oprah's 'Favorite Things' Can Mean Big Business

Oprah Winfrey's annual "favorite things" list, which was announced today, often turns the products featured into national bestsellers overnight.

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Playing favorites: As part of her final season, Oprah Winfrey has unveiled her list of During the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, media mogul Oprah Winfrey has decided to up the ante with her wildly popular annual "favorite things" list -- announcing today a list of her "ultimate favorite things." And for the first time, two audiences from the Emmy-winning talk show will receive the goodies destined for holiday bestseller status.

Previous "favorite things" endorsed by Oprah include Spanx shapewear (2000) and Ugg shearling boots (2003), which went on to become bestsellers and pop-culture phenomena. Oprah has even "saved" a few companies -- Lori Karmel's We Take The Cake mail-order cake company was on the verge of bankruptcy before it was selected as an Oprah favorite. By 2009, the company was doing more than $1 million in sales each year.

While businesses are thrilled to receive the seal of approval from Oprah herself, small businesses can have trouble managing the high-volume sales -- for example, Karmel's Web server shut down in the wake of Oprah's plug.

This year's list of ultimate favorite things range from cookwear to cruises, sneakers to SLR cameras. Here is the complete list:
  • Phillip Stein limited edition Oprah 25th anniversary watch with 58 handset diamonds ($2,475)
  • Tory Burch Flannel Tory Tote ($250) and Reva Ballerina Flat ($195)
  • Nikon D3100 Digital SLR camera ($700)
  • Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater and throw ($498)
  • Judith Ripka eclipse earrings ($525)
  • Oprah hair stylist Andre Walker's shampoo and hair kit ($65)
  • Lafco House candle set ($55 each)
  • Breville panini press ($100)
  • Kyocera ceramic knife ($75)
  • Beecher's handmade mac and cheese
  • Baker's Edge brownie and lasagna pans and Ghiradelli brownie mix
  • Marianne Williamsons' "A Course in Weight Loss"
  • Jay-Z's "Decoded"
  • 5-year Netflix membership
  • 52-inch 3D Sony Bravia television ($3,600)
  • Sony Blu-Ray player and movie collection
  • Kiva gift card courtesy of Groupon
  • elfa custom-built Container Store closet ($1,000)
  • "O" Store long-sleeve v-neck T-shirt ($38)
  • Lululemon drawstring pant ($98)
  • Nike Free Run + shoes ($85)
  • 7-day United/Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas cruise

Tags: favorite things, Lululemon, News, Nike, Nikon, Oprah small business, Oprah Winfrey, Oprahs favorite things, Oprahs favorite things list, Oprahs ultimate favorite things, Tory Burch

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