Thursday, October 29, 2015

Custom Knit Headwear, Beanies and Rally Scarves

Cap America introduces new offerings of Knit Caps and Scarves.

Soccer AKA Football around the world has popularized the rally scarf, and now your team can be highlighted the same way.

 How are Scarves used to promote your business?

Details available via links below and at

 New Knit Scarves from Cap America

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Marsala - Pantone Color of the Year for 2015

Each Year, Pantone selects a color of the year for the year and for 2015 "Marsala" was chosen.

Besides the Fashion Runways of Milan, and Housewares Shows, they look to the fashion and accessory markets, as well as Automotive, and housewares to see what manufacturers are looking to bring out.

Look to folks like Keurig, Pottery Barn, the Gap, to have some of the above in stores soon, as well as in the sock aisles and at the Auto Shows soon.

Promotional Buyers have many options to include this color in their pallets for decorations, and Promo Suppliers will also have select products available.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Product Safety – It’s time to “Be at the Table” – Or you may be “On the Menu”

Safety Summit brings over 200 Top Industry members at 4th Annual Safety Summit

Our promotional products industry has made a commitment to have all industry participants become aware of product safety. Last week, in Boston, PPAI staff and along with members of PRAG, PPAI’s Product Safety Awareness Group, produced the 4th annual, Product Safety Summit. 

Event Co-Chairs, Rick Brenner, MAS from Prime Resources, and Gene Geiger, MAS of Distributor, Geiger, led a discussion that outlined not only our Industry’s commitment to product safety, but how we, as an industry, are taking necessary steps to ensurethe delivery of safe products for all of our customers.  Personally, I have made a commitment to attend the last two years, and this year’s event clearly outlined how industry members are gathering together, to make professionals aware and help our industry supply chain become the trusted source our buyers and users expect.

Over 200 participated in sessions, from Product Safety 101, Testing for Electronics and Lithium Batteries, Risk and Crisis Management, Product Recall examples, FDA and CPSC oversight of our Industry and next steps that are being taken to ensure the continued safe manufacturing and delivery of our products.

At a Keynote presented by Marietta Robinson, commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), our Industry’s commitment was highlighted as “Exhibit A,” regarding how we, as an industry are working pro-actively to build awareness and ensure that participants are aware of, and building best practices. 

After her keynote presentation at the Summit, CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson (center) met with (from left) Rick Brenner, MAS, CEO of supplier Prime Resources Corp.; PPAI Public Affairs Director Anne Lardner-Stone; Gene Geiger, MAS, president of distributer Geiger; and PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE.

With the passing of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008, continuing Regulations for Children’s Products, California Proposition 65, and ongoing legislation and other state programs, building awareness and minimum requirements are coming regularly.  Industry Pros will need continuing education to stay aware.

In January of this year, PPAI outlined a new commitment to have all participating companies participate in minimum professional development.  Each member company, will need to have one staff member, complete a minimum, 4 hours of Product Safety Awareness CEU’s, in order to continue to participate in the PPAI Marketplace, in the coming months.

PPAI Staff Presenting Product Safety to Regionals in the Coming Months

Tim Brown, MAS PPAI's Product Responsibility Manager

Supporting of Association members, PPAI has a team of staff bringing Safety Awareness to our Regionals. Anne Lardner-Stone, PPAI’s Director of Public Affairs, and Tim Brown, MAS Product Responsibility Manager, have planned sessions across the country to present basic compliance training designed to help our members both become aware of the importance of product safety in our industry, and obtain the minimum requirements that will be needed for all members to participate in PPAI events and marketing channels in the future.

You can see a list of upcoming sessions here:

For more information on our Industry’s Product Safety Initiatives, please visit the PPAI Website:

Mark Shinn, MAS, Incentives West
Mark is a Multiline Supplier Representative on the West Coast, based in Seattle, and was 2008 President of RAC, the Regional Association Council. He can be reached at 866.601.8958 or email to

Monday, February 24, 2014

Incentives West partners with Next Products in the West

PPAI: 255687 - UPIC: NEXTPRO - SAGE: 67367 - ASI: 73871 – Distributor Central: 135015

February, 2014

NEXT Products of Shelbyville, Indiana announced that Mark Shinn, MAS and Mary Bieker of Incentives West has joined their team as their Western States representatives.

NEXT Products, celebrating its 10th Year Anniversary, specializes in decorating items with its full digital color N-Dome ™ process, mouse pads and counter mats, and a wide assortment of drink ware including its Shelby Tumbler ™: molded with rings, made in the USA, and constructed of Tritan ™. NEXT is also excited to offer Gerber ® knives for the first time in 2014. Having experienced 30% growth in 2013, NEXT is excited to have Mark and Mary Jo expand their line.

Mark Shinn, MAS, began servicing Suppliers and Distributors in 2000, after more than 15 years in the industry. He's here to help with new products and ideas visiting accounts, exhibiting at key Regional Shows and Rep Showcases. He can be reached at or 866.601.8958.
Mary Jo Bieker also bring over 20 years experience as a distributor while supporting distributor needs. She can be reached at or 206.498.5820

Additional information may be found at: , and

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Earthday 2013 is April 22nd - No Better time to talk about Eco Apparel and the bluesign® standard

Monday April 22nd, is Earth Day.

The Annual Date is set aside for people all over the Planet to pause and take note of how our individual activities affect our Planet. Here is some background.

14 Years ago, I was charged with building a program for promos to help the Earth Day Network, to help build awareness as a part of their first company store.  At the time, there were very limited options besides some bamboo clothing, and hemp bags.

Today there are hundreds of products that have unique components that are eco friendly.

Boardroom Eco Apparel Boardroom has developed safe, environmentally friendly and socially compliant Supply Chain to deliver a standard in Eco Apparel for Promotional Markets beyond compare.

The bluesign® standard guarantees that along the entire production chain products only contain components and pass through processes that are harmless to people and the environment. At the same time, the principle of maximum resource efficiency leads to a reduced environmental footprint. Investing in the most environmentally sustainable products available will in the future represent an increasingly important investment in long-term consumer confidence. Ecological safety is becoming an ever more critical quality factor worldwide, and is a decisive factor for a company’s or a brand’s image and hence its success.

Companies large and small, from McDonalds, Coca Cola to Hi Tech startups are relying on Boardroom Eco Apparel, to help pronounce their company message, that they want to be quality stewards of our planet through their apparel programs.

For More information, visit.

Now make plans to help out in your community for Earth Day 2013.  There are thousands of projects around the world and over 1 Billion people will be participating this year.

One way you can be a part of this is to go out and share the Eco Boardroom Story with you Clients.  When they choose the Eco Friendly Products they will be playing their part along the way too, all year long.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sometimes You Need an Earthquake to Shake your Business Up

They say that sometimes, you need to "Shake Things Up."

On this day, February 28th, 2001, the Greater Puget Sound suffered one of the strongest Earthquakes in recent decades.  A 6.8 in Global Standards is not big, but this one sure shook up many businesses and homes that day.

I myself was starting out on one of my first business Road Trips to our PMANC Regional Showcase in Monterey, CA.  Our Airplane at SeaTac, had just closed the front door, and we thought we were "pushing back."  When we looked out the window, and noticed baggage handlers stumbling and dropping luggage, we then knew we were experiencing "Ground Turbulence."   We were out, luckily, the next day and still had a great event.

Today, is the 4th day of our Industry's weeklong initiative to "Shake things up" and reach out to our Members of Congress and local representatives to inform them on the influence and Power of Promotional Products.  Promotional Products Work Week.

Employing well over 500,000 individuals, in nearly 10,000 companies and contributing nearly $20 Billion to the National Economy through mostly small businesses.  

Washington State alone has over 650 Companies, employing over 6500 people and amounting to over $1.1 Billion to the local economy.  And beyond that, most all of this, is used to promote 10's of thousands of small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies, such as Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft, Nintendo, Amazon and many more.

Whether people notice closely or not, Promotional Products include the Fan Wear you follow your local Pro, College and High-School Teams with.  The tools you many times use at Team Meetings and Conferences, The Safety Awareness items that keep manufacturing teams safe at work, the Toys your kids love to enjoy with their Happy Meal, and the License Frame on your car that support your Honor Student or University.

Now, What your doing to promote your Company,  Brands and Innitiatives?

Promotional Products Work!