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Top 10 List (Pens)

I consider myself a pretty passive person. As in, it takes a lot for me to get mad. In certain situations though, there are just some things that really set me off. If you are anything like me (you know, human and such) I think you can agree with me on some of these. So, I am going to share with you what really grinds my gears. In case you don’t know what that means because you have never watched one of the funniest shows on the planet (*hint, it’s called Family Guy) I am talking about things that bug the crap out of me. Like bugs. Like mosquitoes. Did you know that mosquitoes alone killed 700,000 people last year? They are gross little blood suckers and are so annoying! Oh, right. Moving on…

10. Driving on the interstate. I cannot stand those slow drivers who absolutely REFUSE to let me pass them because they will not get out of the left lane. Thank you for making my hour long commute to work even more of a nightmare.

 

9.    Trying on jeans. No explanation needed.

 

8.    Doing Laundry. Wash, rinse, dry, repeat…wait the reds can’t go with the whites? Oh, well I guess it’s a good thing I look good in pink.

 

7.    Waiting on hold. More specifically, waiting on hold for more than two minutes. I have to call your customer service department because something is not right and instead of servicing your customer you ask me to wait and listen to your elevator music? I could be watching Game of Thrones right now. Dang it.

6.     Speaking of waiting, I loathe waiting in line at the store, be it Wal-Mart, the grocery store, or pretty much anywhere else. I’ve never abandoned a cart of frozen food or anything, but if the line is too long and I’m holding just a few items in my hands, I’ve walked away.

 

5.    Buffets. They are so tempting until you realize they are a jack of all trades yet a master of none.

Oh yeah, and then there is the tummy ache you get after you have had five plates to get your “money’s worth” of food.

 

4.    False advertising. If I paid for an “all inclusive” trip to a tropical resort, then you better believe all of my rum and cokes should be included.

 

3.    Loud commercials on T.V. I know DVR has solved most of this problem, but I still jump off my couch alarming my dog who starts barking (loudly) when the characters on my show seem to be whispering and that stinking Verizon commercial seems to be slowly causing hearing loss.

 

2.    Texting and driving. This epidemic has taken the world’s teenagers by storm and at the same time putting drivers everywhere at risk. If your eyes are on the phone, they are not on the road people!! Think about it. At the sake of sounding like a PSA announcement, it can wait.

 

AND, the #1 thing that grinds my gears…

 1. PENS THAT DON’T WORK!!

I know this is a new techie world, where people usually reach for their keyboard instead of their pens, but they are not obsolete. Yet. Nothing bothers me more, then when I want/need to write something down and I have to try at least five different pens before I can get one to work. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the right one. Not to mention, there are like ten trillion that we sell, so how can one choose from the selection? Without any guidance, the task would be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. Yikes. So, I am going to make it rather simple for you. I am going to tell what pen to choose and why.

 

First up, ranking the very highest throughout the Show Your Logo Staff, we have this retractable pen by Ink Joy.

inkjoy

 

This bad boy was the top pick among everyone here. It comes in ten colors! Hey, it’s important. It also has a thin, modern and stylish body with an extended rubberized grip for maximum comfort. This particular pen features smooth gel ink that never smears! Are you a left- handed writer? Fear smudges no longer with this helpful tool! This pen writes so smoothly I have even heard the word “sexy” used to describe its writing power. Hold on, it’s sexy? I’m sold. The best feature that this pen has, other than lasting forever AND being retractable, is that we can get them for an outstandingly good price with your logo on it.

We did have a few that made the “honorable mention” list.

The iBasset II Penmandarin stylus

Apparently, the “hourglass” modern shape and ability to use it on your smart phone makes this pen a popular pick.

The Bic Clic Stic Pen bic clic stic

This pen has the old school feel of the original retractable pen. Its thin ink makes it precise and good for everyday writing. It is light and durable and simply just gets the job done.

 

Lastly, we have the the Ultra Tropical Pen.

tropical

This beauty has no magic writing power.
What makes this pen so special is that it comes in very pretty tropical colors.
It can truly make you feel like you are on a tropical paradise vacation even from your cubical. Okay, maybe not so much, but the pen is nice to look at.

 

 

Show Your Logo Blood Drive

It’s November! Time to think about turkey, pumpkin pie, and gratitude. One thing I’m extremely grateful for? My good health. I’ll be rolling up my sleeve on my blood-letting arm on December 19th to donate a pint to those who are less fortunate this holiday season. I believe all of my cohorts here at Show Your Logo have signed up to do the same on December 19th between 11 AM and 3PM. Heartland Blood Center will be here to take good care of our veins and get our blood donations off to people in need.

Want to join us? We’d love to have you. Check out our flyer.

 

BloodDriveSheet

Tricks AND Treats

Kathie receives some holiday treats from Don at Show Your Logo.

 

One Tough Cookie: The Post in Which I Share a Treasured Family Recipe

HeedFamily57One of my personal heroes is my great-grandmother Anna. I didn’t have a relationship with her due to the fact that she died when I was a little kid and also the fact that she lived hundreds of miles away, but I love her story. I also love her recipe for Swedish oatmeal cookies, which is how I’m going to tie this post to promotional products. Hold on. It’s coming.

I think it’s pretty cool to know the woman behind the cookie, so before I share Anna’s recipe for Swedish oatmeals, here you go.

To begin with, she was a red head, the only one I know of in my entire family. It takes two recessive genes to get red hair, and Anna got hers from her young mother, who was reportedly a maid for a married doctor. The married doctor was her father. She grew up in rural Sweden without him.

She fell in love with a boy named John who decided one day to immigrate to America. Anna followed him here, married him, and gave birth to ten children, one of whom was my grandmother. She also endured life as a farmer’s wife in North Dakota and tragic events like the death of her two-year-old son one winter. As the story goes, the brutal North Dakota winter left the ground too frozen to bury little Arthur. He was wrapped in a blanket and stored in the barn–which she had to face everyday until spring.

Anna learned English by reading the newspaper and listening to the radio. She set her mind to learn, and she did.

She worked hard, she loved her family, and she took care of strangers. Her faith, as the story goes, was never shaken. She was gentle and she was kind, but she was clearly tough as nails. She lived to be 101.

I don’t know where she got this recipe, but Anna’s daughter, my great aunt, has made these cookies all my life. It took me a while to master them, but I’ll share my tips.

 

Swedish Oatmeal Cookies

Blend 2 sticks of softened butter with one cup of sugar. Add one cup of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, and 2 cups of oatmeal (quick oats or old fashioned oats–either kind works).

Now the recipe calls for 10-12 minutes of baking in a 350 degree oven. My Swedish oatmeal cookies never come out right if I follow these directions.

Here’s what I do:

1) I use those silicone baking mats on top of my cookie sheets.

2) I bake the cookies for 8 1/2 minutes at 350 degrees.

3) I let the cookies sit on the still-hot cookie sheet for about 5 minutes after removing them from the oven. Then I place them on a cooling rack. This keeps them soft, chewy, and delicious.

Here’s the tie-in to promotional products. Are you ready?

Being a mom to all those kids, Anna would have appreciated some giveaway promotional products to use in the kitchen. Heck, I only have four kids, and would appreciate some freebies to use in the kitchen. Even three sets of measuring spoons and measuring cups are often not enough at my house. We cook. A lot.

Here are some promotional product baking tools ever baker needs to make Swedish Oatmeal Cookies.

custom pot holderCustom Printed Pot Holders

 

 

 

 

 

promotional measuring spoonsPrint on Measuring Spoons

 

 

 

 

custom print measuring cupsPrint on Measuring Cups

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Infographic for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Print

It’s October 1st, the official kickoff  of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Click on the infographic to enlarge it.

Check out this post as well as this post and finally this one to read more about the power of pink.

Get the Right Promotional T-Shirts for Women

women's v-neck t-shirtsI once read that the average American woman is a size fourteen. Unlike the Hollywood ideal of size zero, the truth of the matter is that most American women aren’t elfin and super tiny.

Ladies, if you’ve ever tried on some of these promotional t-shirts designed for women, you may be well aware that they run a bit small.

I don’t know about you, but on the occasions I’ve been handed a free, promotional t-shirt, it’s been a t-shirt designed for men. They’re big. And boxy. They make me feel like I’m wearing a tent. So where do I wear them?

1) To paint the house. (I have a problem with repainting the house the way some women have a problem buying shoes.)

2) To work out. (I don’t invest in pretty work out clothes to drench myself in sweat. If you look good while working out, you’re not working hard enough is what I say.)

3) To sleep.

So what I’m suggesting is that if you’re going to invest in printed t-shirts to promote your company name and logo, you may just want to invest in a shirt women will actually wear in public.

I actually own several printed Bella tees. I’ve purchased every one of them…in size extra large. Keep in mind that in most retail stores, I can get away with a medium or large. In spite of the fact that Bella places me in extra large t-shirts, I love the brand. They’re cut with women in mind. We have curves; we’d rather not look like we’re wearing a muumuu. Of course, I also love them because they’re mementos from the white water rafting trip I took with my BFF. I have a Bella t-shirt that reminds me of a trip to the zoo with my kids. And still another of an amazing white water rafting trip I took with my husband through some of the most dangerous white water in North America. Good times.

If you’re in the market for women’s promotional t-shirts manufactured to fit average American women, check out the Bella Missy Collection. Same concept as the Bella line of t-shirts, only they run less…tiny.

Hope to see my favorite places stocked up on these t-shirts next time I’m shopping for logo apparel!

Take a look.

print women's t-shirtsBella Missy Collection Short-Sleeved Jersey T-Shirt: available in this crew neck design, a v-neck, or a scoop neck.

 

 

 

 

 

custom print women's tank topsBella Missy Collection Wide Strap Tank Tops: Not only will these tank tops fit, the wide straps conceal bra straps. Bella’s really been thinking!

 

 

 

 

 

custom print 3/4 sleeve shirtsBella Missy Collection 3/4 Length Sleeve Shirts

 

 

 

 

 

 

bella long sleeve t-shirtsBella Missy Collection Long Sleeve T-Shirts

 

 

 

 

 

Another bonus? T-shirts in the Bella Missy Collection also run a bit longer than the t-shirts from the standard Bella women’s collection. When you reach a certain age, it’s no longer cool to show off your midriff.

 

Printing Prices on Custom Sail Banners

custom sail bannersBack in my days of filling sippy cups for triplet boys, I became keenly aware of milk prices. One gallon of milk does not go far when you’re filling three sippy cups all day.

Picture this…or maybe, if you live in the area, you remember me and my triplet stroller. When all three boys were screaming, we were quite the spectacle.

Grocery shopping used to look like this: With one hand, I’d push the triplet stroller laden with triplets and a diaper bag the size of a small suitcase. With the other hand I dragged a grocery cart containing seven gallons of milk and various other sundries. All kinds of people used to offer to help, to which I assured them I did this all the time. Yep, we used to go through at least one gallon a day. And I didn’t have to work out. Chasing down triplets and their milk was enough.

We still go through a lot of milk, but less now that the boys have given up sippy cups. They are nine after all. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep track of milk prices though. I certainly do.

When I spotted this custom sail banner fluttering in the breeze the other day, I was quite pleased. Other stores? Well over two bucks for a gallon of milk. Even Aldi has been all over the board on milk prices lately.

What do these sail banners say to me?  That ALdi is now committed to their low price on milk of $1.89. Brilliant! I stop at the store 2-3 times a week to replenish the milk, bread, and fruit supply. And with that kind of commitment on milk prices, you can bet on where I’ll be shopping.

 

The Elephant in the Parking Lot

We found this in the parking lot.

ElephantA brief discussion ensued. Does a large sculpture of an elephant atop a trailer promoting the Republican Party and our local representative Tom Cross qualify as a promotional product?

Discuss.

 

Social Media Commerce: The Next Big Thing for Small Business?

social media commerceAlways on the hunt for blog fodder these days, I saved an article from the Chicago Tribune a few weeks ago (March 13, 2013) titled, “Small startups give thumbs-up to social media commerce.” Since we’re always interested in selling more promotional products here at Show Your Logo, I gave the article a gander. I know that many of our customers are selling something, too. Whether it’s a service, a new product, or a whole line of clothing, most people who buy promotional products are out to sell something. If this means you, sit up and pay attention. It’s time to take a closer look at social media if you haven’t already.

It seems that there are several small start-up businesses making the most of their Facebook Fan Pages, meaning they’re selling directly through Facebook. Lolly Wolly Doodle reportedly sells 30,000 children’s garments a month, mostly through Facebook. Facebook sales are managed through Facebook comments. Impressive. Perhaps a bit low-tech in this day and age of e-commerce sites, but impressive.

I checked out Lolly Wolly Doodle’s Fan Page to deconstruct how a retailer can sell products on Facebook through a Fan Page.

The tabs portion of the page includes directions on “How to Shop.” It appears that the first person or first few people to comment on each product “win” the opportunity to buy it. “Winners” appear in another tab. Quantities are limited, so Lolly limits the number of sales.

As far as the products go, Lolly posts an image of an adorable child modeling the outfit for sale and includes information about sizes available and price in the caption under each photo. Customers who want to buy reply in the comments section, indicating exactly what they want to buy followed by their e-mail address.

About those e-mail addresses made public, the Tribune writes, “Lolly Wolly Doodle invites users to post their email addresses on Facebook, a tactic that could invite inappropriate use of the information.” Exactly what I was thinking. Why not encourage customers to click on over to the Lolly Wolly Doodle e-commerce site? That’s what the Gap does. That’s what Macy’s does. They have pleasant conversations with their customers on Facebook and encourage them to click through to their e-commerce sites to close the sale.

I found it highly interesting that Lolly Wolly Doodle has its own e-commerce site in addition to the Facebook Fan Page where it conducts “most” of its sales. I decided to do some investigating.

With a Google Page Rank of 3 on the Lolly Wolly Doodle e-commerce home page and with 534,000 Likes on their Facebook Fan Page, I’m starting to see the light. Butter your bread where there’s butter. For Lolly, it’s all about Facebook. Good for Lolly. Those custom-made outfits are snapped up like hot cakes, and I’m guessing all those Fans feel the pressure to be first to comment to “win’ the chance to buy. It’s like a high-stakes Ebay auction without the bidding war.

The Tribune reports that bigger retailers are lagging behind these small, start-up “pioneers” of social media commerce. Is it any wonder? Gap.com has a Google page rank of 6. Not bad. Their butter is right there on their home page. Also, who hasn’t heard of Gap? Who has heard of Lolly Wolly Doodle? Even with four kids in my household, I’d never heard of Lolly Wolly Doodle until I read the Tribune article. (Cute outfits for the younger set, by the way.) Is it worth it to attempt to manage sales of one pair of jeans or a few t-shirts through the comments section on Facebook for a company as enormous as Gap?

I wonder.

By the way, Booz & Co., a global management consulting firm, predicts that $30 billion in goods will be sold through social media by 2015. Are they right? Is Facebook and Pinterest where e-commerce is headed, at least for small businesses?

What are your thoughts? As a consumer, are you interested in shopping directly on a Facebook Fan Page? If so, what is the appeal of doing so?

If you’re selling something, are you going to attempt to use social media to sell your products? Have you seen amazing example of companies pioneering sales through social media?

 

 

New Promotional Products for April 1, 2013

 

imprint-stress-balls

Show Your Logo can print on this custom stress ball pig.

 

Show Your Logo is proud to announce new promotional products for April 1, 2013. We screen print on 750,000 promo items, and the addition of these products will round out the collection nicely.

1)   Puppies. Inspired by the movie Bridesmaids, we’ve decided to offer screen printed puppies in your choice of breed, color, and size. We’ve seen how terrific puppies can be as wedding shower favors. After all, who doesn’t want to walk away with the unanticipated joy of a high maintenance pet? Why not include your personal message or logo as part of the package?

 

2)   Beef Jerky. You know how the promotional products industry uses the word “branding” all the time? We got to thinking…branding…branding…And we came up with cattle. In the olden days, cowboys used to brand their cattle with a hot iron forged at the blacksmith’s shop. We’re thinking we can do the same right into the side of some custom beef jerky. Your customers will take notice of your logo with every salty bite.

 

3)   Kittens. For all those cat lovers. If you can screen print a puppy, you can surely screen print a cat.

 

4)   Custom Stress Pigs. Oh, wait. We actually print those.

 

5)   This is harder than we thought. When you print on 750,000 unique items, it’s pretty challenging to come up with a list of ten items we don’t print on for an April Fool’s Day blog post.

 

6)   Here’s an April 1st European tradition:  Pranksters tape drawings of fish to people’s backs and shout, “April fish!” (Weird.)

 

7)   Have we mentioned it’s April Fool’s Day? Don’t be gullible.

 

8)   We actually love puppies and kittens and would never screen print upon them.

 

9)   Beef jerky actually isn’t bad, either.

 

10)  The end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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