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Instead of listening to motivational speakers or reading self-help books, women who wanted to infuse spirit, harmony, balance and energy into their lives last spring could simply turn the pages of "Elements exclusively Spiegel" catalog.

The niche publication from the Downers Grove, Ill., catalog retailer markets its home furnishings and casual clothing to 500,000 recipients by trying to connect with working women on a personal level.

Rhonda Cohen, chief creative officer at AGA Catalog Marketing & Design, New York -- which worked with Spiegel on "Elements" -- said the visual approach in the March 1999 catalog was very different from "Elements' " initial launch in fall 1998.

While the spring catalog used clear copy and highlighted products the retailer considered essential for a home or wardrobe, Ms. Cohen said the layout also sought to exude spontaneity.

"You always want to have the consumer have an experience moving through the catalog," she said. "Headlines and subheds take on the more aspirational and emotional context [of the catalog], and that's what will really drive the purchase."

The move to weave color, fabric and textures with emotions seems to have paid off.

Purchases from the spring catalog averaged $134, generating 300% more revenue than the earlier catalog. The customer response rate to the catalog, which focused primarily on home furnishings and accent pieces, increased 100%.

Like Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren, Elements is seeking to offer women a total solution for interior design and fashion, said Andy Russell, AGA's chief operating officer.

"The customers are more affluent, busy, career-minded women who want one-stop

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