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Tips and Tricks of the Trade

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November's Promotional Product of the Month: Metallic Luggage Tag

The holiday season is in full effect now so you know what that means...HOLIDAY TRAVEL!  Make sure your employees or best clients have something functional and something that they can use over and over on their travels.  You could give them some cheap and disposable item but why do that when you can deck out their luggage out with these AWESOME metallic luggage tags!  They come in three pow-wow, yeah that's definitely my bag colors to make finding their luggage that much easier.  And don't forget, you can print your business name on it as well so that they'll always remember who gave them that pimped out gift.

45722 Metallic Luggage Tag

This bright, metallic tag makes your logo pop!
  • Metallic colors make your company's logo (and luggage) stand out in the crowd
  • Cardboard I.D. insert included

Materials: Metal and ABS

Product Size: 3-5/8"w x 1-3/4"h x 1/8"d
Product Colors: Blue, Green, Silver
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Pad Print: Front, 2"w x 3/4"h, 3 color(s) max
  • Setup charge: $50 per color 
  • Min. order 50 pieces
    $5.41 each
    *shipping cost not included
Production Time: 5 Business Days  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Up your Facebook Page's App-titude...

Virtually every business or brand has a Facebook (FB) page by now and I'm sure many of you have at least set up a page as well or maybe even using it as your main website.  If you're anything like me, you've probably checked out some of your favorite pages and have wondered, 'How come I don't have all those cool tabs?' and 'How do I get them?'  Unless you're a wiz at coding/programming which I definitely am not, it can be difficult to add those cool tabs to your page.  So what are small businesses like us without a huge marketing budget to do to play with the big boys and girls?  Well, here are a couple of sites that can help you add a little oomph to your FB page without you having to know even one line of code.  I've added these features to our "Threads" FB page so please check them out when you have time.

The first app I linked to is from NetworkedBlogs by Ninua.  This site allows you to automatically post the blogs that you've written to your FB page's wall.  So if it all goes well, this post that I'm writing right now should post to our wall as soon as I'm finished.  If not, then I will quickly delete this post and you won't see it anyway : ).  This is a great time-saver in that you can quickly share your blog posts with all of your FB followers without having to put an additional status update on your FB page.  Time is money so every little bit counts.  Not only that, but you can also stream blogs to your page that you didn't write but may pertain to your business or industry.  For example, if you own a spa or salon, you could have blogs from skincare experts automatically posts to your wall so that your Clients or potential Clients will know how important it is to come see you for your services.

The second app/tab that I've added to our FB page is Youtube for Pages.  I got this from Involver.com which has a bunch of free apps as well as paid apps.  Youtube for Pages allows us to share the videos that we have on our youtube channel, Threads TV directly on our FB page through a tab.  Currently, we are featuring videos of our Clients who have done interviews or TV appearances with the 'threads' that we've provided for them.  Depending on your business, you could feature how-to-videos, video testimonials or maybe even offer a virtual tour of your facilities.  Pretty cool huh?  As my favorite late night host, Craig Ferguson likes to say, "What?  I know!"  So what are you waiting for?  Go add some spice to your FB page with these neat and mostly FREE apps.  Finally, an F-word that we don't mind hearing so often.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October's Promotional Product of the Month: Deluxe Stadium Seat

Luckily for us the NFL labor strike ended with no games lost and we can going back to watching our most beloved fall sport.  Why was it so hard for them to decide how to share $9 billion?  I wish we had that problem ;).  Anyhow, moving on to bigger and better things.  Not only is NFL football back in full swing but so is college football which means you and your clients will be attending games, chowing down on concession food and rooting on your favorite teams!  Why not let your best clients do it in comfort with these Deluxe Stadium Seats?  It's like a swiss army knife with its handy compartments and portability.  And remember, each one can be printed with YOUR company's name.

45095 Deluxe Stadium Seat

Sporting events are guaranteed to be more enjoyable and comfortable with this stadium seat!
  • Fiberglass poles in seat and back
  • Front flap with phone case, bottle holder and 2-section pocket
  • Adjustable support straps on side
Materials: 210D polyester
Product Size: Folded: 17"w x 17-1/2"h, Handle: 1"w x 10"l
Product Colors: Black, Navy, Royal
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Setup Fee: $50.00  per color
  • Production Time: 5 Business Days
  • Min. order 48 pieces
    $21.67 each 

    *shipping cost not included
Production Time: 5 Business Days

Friday, September 30, 2011

What makes these ears "magical"?

We just returned from a short vacation and one of the places we visited was Disneyland.  It's been a LONG time since I've been to Disneyland so a lot has changed, mostly for the better.  In fact, it's been so long that there's a whole other park (Disney's California Adventure Park) and Downtown Disney adjacent to the original park now.  I highly recommend watching the World of Color Show at the California Adventure Park if you have the chance.  It's the most amazing water and lighting spectacular you'll ever see.  It puts the water fountain show at the Bellagio to shame!

Another thing I noticed was the huge variety of Mickey Ears that is available now.  There are a ton of different versions: R2D2, Tron, Halloween themed, wedding themed, a Nightmare before Christmas one, etc.  When we were kids, we had a choice of Black, Red or Blue.  My sister got the red one and I got the blue one and that was that.  So with virtually every child in the park with some sort of Mickey Ears on, what makes each and every one different and magical?  That's right.  Each one can be personalized with the child's name or whatever else you want it to say...Leon 2011, Grace's 1st visit, First Haircut, you get the idea.  Embroidering the name, date and/or event helps to capture the memories for your child and makes the whole experience truly... magical.

Speaking of which, where are my Mickey Ears from 1983?

Leon's smile says it all...he knows his ears are dope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September's Promotional Product of the Month: The Tropical Pen

Eeeek...a little late with the PPOM (Promotional Product of the Month)...we had such a blast during Labor Day weekend that we're playing catch up!  It was well worth it though,  we got to see the season opener of our beloved University of Hawaii Football team and checked out the new Disney resort, Aulani in Ko Olina.  It was a wonderful break but now it's back to the grind for a little while until our vacation in a little over a week : D.  And what better way to do that than feature a product that keeps us in a happy mood, The Tropical Pen.  These pens write extremely well, are lightweight and come in a bunch of vibrant colors that remind you of being in a tropical paradise!

The Tropical Pen #6202

Available Colors:
Green, Orange, Pink, Yellow, and Blue barrel with Silver accents.

Ink Refill:

Imprint Area:
1 3/4 X 1/2

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location

  • Setup Fee: $25.00  per color
  • Production Time: 5 Business Days
  • Min. order 300 pieces
    $0.39 each 

    *shipping cost not included

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mad about raising money for MADD Hawaii!

I mean mad in a good kind of way.  Sure, the ultimate goal of most businesses is to make a profit; however some times it feels nice to give back in the process.  As a small business or any business for that matter, it's easy to get caught up in thinking about budgets, sales, quotas and marketing campaigns that will help increase the company's bottom line.   While it's a necessary evil, it can also be very mentally draining at times.  So we decided that we wanted to find a fun way to increase our fan/customer base but at the same time give to a great cause.  I read somewhere that McDonald's ran a promotion on their fan page where they donated $1.00 for every new "like" they received to the Ronald McDonald House.  With this in mind, we decided to create a new "Welcome" landing tab on our Facebook page to encourage people to "LIKE" us by donating $1.00 for every new "LIKE" we receive for the rest of 2011 to MADD Hawaii.  We currently have 105 fans/likes at the time of this posting.  Don't worry, if you're reading this, you're probably already a fan so we'll be sure to donate on your behalf as well because we truly appreciate you for liking us.  :)

Thank you for your continued support!

We chose MADD Hawaii because we wanted to help a local charity first and foremost.  We really believe in their mission of trying to eliminate drunk driving as well as assisting victims of drunk driving accidents.  While other causes of death like cancer and other diseases are often unpreventable, driving drunk IS definitely one that is preventable!  To learn more about MADD Hawaii and the great work they're doing, please click on the link.  Please feel free to spread the word about our promotion and help us help MADD Hawaii eliminate drunk driving!  Thanks for reading.

As an added bonus, we are giving away limited edition "Threads" koozies w/ any purchase when you check-in with Facebook places. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What is a QR code?

HOORAY!  You've either managed to scan the QR code from our facebook page or you just clicked on the link.  Or maybe you just got here directly from our main website.  Either way, were glad that you're here!  By now, you've probably seen these black and white UPC looking things all over the place: in magazines, newspapers, realtor signs, business cards, etc. and probably have wondered what they were.  Here's a definition from Wikipedia:

"A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is machine readable and designed to be read by smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, a URL, or other data.  Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. The QR code was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.  The technology has seen frequent use in Japan and South Korea; the United Kingdom is the seventh-largest national consumer of QR codes."

So that's cool and all but how does that help us as a small businesses?  Interaction, that's how.  QR codes can help your customers interact with your company and your brand with their smartphones.  QR codes aren't only great for leading customers to your website but can also create a lot a buzz around your marketing campaign as it can link to many different calls to action including browsing to a website, bookmarking a website, making a call and sending a text.  A company could post their QR code on facebook saying "Scan the code for special discount" and have it sent via SMS to the customer's phone.  Besides it's cool to scan things just for the heck of it.  We've just added our QR code to all of our marketing material including our business cards, brochures, direct mailers and at random places throughout our shop.  Our QR code sends our current and potential customers to our website to learn more about the products and services that we offer.

If you don't have a scanner on your phone, there are a bunch of free apps at the App Store or Market on Android...just search for QR scanner.

Yes, we are a custom apparel and accessories company; however we are a small business first and foremost like many of you and try to share any useful information we have to help your company thrive as well.  If you've enjoyed this post and want to keep up to date with all our posts on Threads Talk...simply subscribe by entering your email in the box to the right or just check back periodically when you  have a chance.  Now if you've just downloaded a scanner app to your phone, go ahead and scan the QR code above and see where it goes ;). 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Need a full-color banner? Aiea Copy Center is the place...

As a small business, we are always looking for fellow small businesses that provide excellent products and customer service to support.  Fortunately for us, we've found such a place in Aiea Copy Center.  We needed a 2' x 6' full-colored banner for an ESPN 1420am event that we are sponsoring this Friday, August 12 at the St. Louis Clubhouse next to Da Kitchen.  It's the 2011 Ultimate Sports Trivia Challenge which is open to the public from 5-7pm so come down and have a great time if you can!  Okay, enough with the shameless plug.

I called around to a couple of places to see who could print my banner in time for the event.  I already had the file ready to go but I did realize that it was full-color as we wanted something eye-catching for the event so I was prepared to pay a decent amount.  I called Aiea Copy Center and spoke to Anna who was super helpful and provided me with the information that I needed and told me exactly what I needed to do to have our banner created.

For a 2' x 6' full-color banner with 4 double-sided reinforced grommets, we only ended up paying $48+ tax on a beautiful 13 oz. gloss vinyl.  And the best part was that it was ready in less than 24 hours!  Now that's AWESOME customer service!  So if you are ever in need of full-colored banners, check out Aiea Copy Center, you won't be disappointed.  We'll post up pics of our banner for you to see from the event shortly.

As promised, here's a couple of pics of the finished banner at the event.
the full-color really helped our banner stand out

Sharp and crisp printing...thanks again Aiea Copy Center!

Aiea Copy Center
99-115 Aiea Heights Dr. #208
Aiea, Hawaii 96782
Phone: (808) 486-3819, Fax: (808) 488-8203
Mon - Fri 8 am to 8 pm, Sat 8 am to 4 pm, Sun ClosedWeb: www.aieacopycenter.com email@aieacopycenter.com

Monday, August 1, 2011

August's Promotional Product of the Month: 2GB USB Bracelet

Thumb drives have been around for awhile now but as convenient as it is to have buckets of information in such a small device, it's also very easy to misplace.  Well, fear no more!  This stylish, ultra cool 2GB USB bracelet will make sure that you know exactly where your important information is at all times.  Not only that...it's fashionable too.  Lance Armstrong has his LIVE STRONG yellows wristbands, everyone's wearing those Phiten-improve your circulation bands and Wonder Woman has her awesome bulletproof wrist thingies so you and your clients will fit right in with your data-packed bracelets!

31215 2 GB Bracelet USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Materials: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic
Product Size: 9-7/8"w x 15/16"h x 3/8"d
Product Colors: Black, Green, Orange, Pink, Yellow
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Top, 1"w x 7/16"h, 4 color(s) max
  • Setup fee: $50.00
  • Minimum order: 25 pieces
  • $12.60 each *shipping cost not included
Production Time: 10 Business Days      

Monday, July 25, 2011

Deals, Deals, Deals! But is everyone a winner?

Inquiring minds want to know.  Wow, I dated myself just a bit there!  By now I'm sure many of you are subscribers or at least have heard of group buying sites such as Groupon, Living Social and Play Hawaii.  Basically, these are sites that utilize social media in order to help you advertise and gain new customers to your business, at a cost of course.  Most of the deals offered are 50% off and as a business, you  only see about half of that.  There's no shortage of sites offering deals including national companies Groupon, Living Social and Tippr.  Then there are local sites such as Play Hawaii and Vote on Deals.com.  Even traditional advertising players in TV, radio and print are adding "deals" as an advertising option.  KHON has Daily Deals,  Hawaii News Now has Akamai Buys and The Star-Advertiser has Hot Deals.  Yelp has even joined the fray and allows businesses to post Yelp Deals.

As a consumer, I'm registered with at least 10 of these sites and absolutely love it.  It's a great way to try that restaurant that I've always wanted to try or do that activity that is on my bucket list.  It's also awesome to get a deal at a place that I usually frequent anyway.

As a small business owner though, I am not sure that it is a rewarding alternative for advertising.  I'm always open to different forms of advertising as I truly believe that it's a necessary part of doing business, however; unlike spa services or restaurants which have larger profit margins, we can't afford to offer our services at heavily discounted rates in hopes that we'll retain loyal customers going forward.  I'm not saying that I don't think it's not a viable option for all businesses just not for ours.  I'm interested in hearing if you've used group buying sites either as a consumer or business owner and how it has or has not benefited you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July's Promotional Product of the Month: Method Zippered Padfolio

Give your sales force a professional and consistent look with these sleek Method Zippered Portfolios.  Your team will have everything it needs to keep critical information and close the deals all in one place!

Method Zippered Padfolio 15057 

Method Zippered Padfolio's turned edges add to the contemporary look of the curved corners and padded cover. Larger pocket holds loose notes; smaller pocket holds cards or a calculator. Your writing instrument is held in a loop in the spine.
  • Multiple interior pockets for storage of cards and small business accessories
  • Clear I.D. pocket, pen loops and zip closure
  • Includes 8-1/2”w x 11”h writing pad
Materials: Poly-twill with imitation leather trim
Product Size: 10"w x 13-1/2"h x 3/4"d
Product Colors: Black
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Front, 5"w x 8"h, 2 color(s) max.
  • Setup Fee: $50.00 
  • Production Time: 5 Business Days
  • Min. order 25 pieces
    $17.17 each 

    *shipping cost not included

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

S#%&t Happens!

S-H-E-E-T Happens that is...as in toilet paper sheets!  We are introducing our latest additions to our "SHEET HAPPENS" product line.  These make the greatest gag gifts ever and there's something for everyone!  A sheet of toilet paper is directly embroidered with a saying that will put a smile on your closest friends and family every time they see it.  We've embroidered TP before but these are our top shelf sayings.  *This is all in good humor so please don't be offended by the content...if you find yourself offended, please wipe the images from your mind and forget all the crap that you've just read. ; )

Available now at our shop...only $10 per roll.

For the gambler in your life...Vegas is the 9th island isn't it?

For the hardcore gamer

GO GREEN...sort of.

you gotta do what you gotta do...do.

Don't you feel better now?

Monday, May 30, 2011

June's Promotional Product of the Month: Auto Adapter

With all the new tech gadgets these days, being able to charge and power up on the go is a must.  Give your best Clients the gift of power and they'll love you for it.  Slap your company name on it and remind them of who gave them the power in a pinch and hopefully they'll do something nice in return!

Auto Adapter SM-3283

   Power adapter plugs into cigarette lighter socket.

Great for charging ipod, MP3 players, Blackberry or other USB charged devices.

Normal Production Time:
10 Business Days

Product Size:
3 5/8"L x 1 3/16"W

Product Weight:
18lbs. per 200 pcs.

Additional Information:
Imprint area: 7/8"W x 5/8"H per side.
Absolute Minimum: 100.

Setup Fee: $45.00

Min. order 100 pieces
$4.25 each 

*shipping cost not included

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May's Product of of the Month: Gilligan Tote

Don't get stranded on a three hour tour, yes a three hour tour without this month's PPOM...the Gilligan Tote!  Okay, so I chose this month's product of the month solely because I thought the name was cool.  And you can't use the name Gilligan and not reference the renowned theme song.  But imagine giving this functional tote to your best clients and having them promote your brand on those three hour tours!  Functional and fun.

Gilligan Tote AP8060

The unique design and style of this tote will have you wearing this bag everywhere you go!
  • Wide gussets with snap closures
  • Shoulder length handles

Materials: 600 Denier Polyester
Product Size: 11-1/2"w x 11"h x 5-1/4"d
Product Colors: Brown, Fuchsia, Khaki, Royal
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Front, 2-1/2"w x 5"h, 4 color(s) max
Production Time: 7 Business Days

Setup Fee: $50.00

Min. order 50 pieces
$6.09 each 

*shipping cost not included

Friday, April 1, 2011

April's Promotional Product of the Month: Hanging Toiletry Bag

This is no April Fool's joke...this is a great gift for all your Clients.  People travel for both business and pleasure and this is certainly something that they will keep and use over and over.  Put your logo on these toiletry bags and remind your top Clients how your business or organization is a necessity for their success while providing them a handy gift for their necessities!

Hanging Toiletry Bag 45734

Your toiletry essentials will always be within reach in this convenient hanging bag.
  • Main compartment unzips to reveal spacious pocket for bottles
  • Large zip pocket under front flap, mesh pocket and interior pockets
  • Hook inside bag allows for easy hanging while traveling
Materials: 600D polyester
Product Size: 11-1/2"w x 7" h x 3-3/4" d
Product Colors: Black
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Front, 4"w x 2-1/2/"h, 4 color(s) max
Production Time: 5 Business Days

Setup Fee: $50.00

Min. order 50 pieces
$14.31 each 

*shipping cost not included

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March's Product of the Month: 1 GB Folding USB 2.0 Drive

It seems like only yesterday that I was popping a 5 1/4" floppy disk into an Apple IIe to play Oregon Trail at school.  The evolution from a 5 1/4" floppy to 3.5" floppy (that was actually hard) to Zip Disks to CDs to DVDs and now USB drives seems to have come at warp speed.  Oh yeah and let's not forget compact flash, SD, xD, MMC and the memory stick.  Wow, it's amazing that consumers can figure out what the heck is going on!  So let's forget all that and talk about this month's Promotional Product.  This handy-dandy 1 GB USB 2.0 is something totally functional that your Clients will love.

1 GB Folding USB 2.0 Flash Drive 30727

This USB drive folds up to protect important information.

  • Folds for easy storage
Materials: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic and iron

Product Size: 2-1/4"w x 3/4"h x 1/3"d
Product Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Red
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Screen Print: Front, 1"w x 7/16"h, 4 color(s) max

Normal Production Time:
  15 Working Days

Setup Fee: $50.00

Min. order 25 pieces
$12.23 each 

*shipping cost not included

Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Alternative for the Not-so-Artsy people...

While embroidery is our primary service (it is in our name after all), we offer many other embellishing methods for all sorts of products for all types of events.  Some methods work better in certain situations and embroidery is not always the best solution for all purposes.  For this post, I'd like to feature our Easyprints system which are screen  printed transfers that are great for those of us who need a small run of shirts and don't want to mess around with coming up with a design from scratch.  With the Easyprints system, Customers can choose from a plethora of templates for any event or sports ranging from work wear to basketball to reunions.  Just choose a template you like and change the text and graphics to suit your needs.  No more killing your brain cells thinking about your design layout.  Choose it, Change it, Wear it!  No setup fees.  The minimum order is only 10 pieces and you can get an awesome one-color printed tee for only $16.00 each!  Turnaround time is 2 weeks.  For more information, click here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February's Product of the Month: Exercise Mat

With the New Year comes those new resolutions which undoubtedly for most people will include getting fit.  What better way to make sure they are reminded of your brand than to place your logo on a fitness bag!  Sure, you could pay $3 million for a Super Bowl ad but I think that's a little more risky.  Besides, I read somewhere that the Super Bowl ads are already sold out.  Let the big boys have their talking babies and frogs, geckos or whatever.  Make sure the next time your top clients are doing push ups, warrior poses or downward dogs that your brand will be front and center.

Exercise Mat #45341

Ready to get in shape? This Exercise Mat is an essential! Great for yoga or pilates, this mat with stylish coordinating bag will proudly display your company's logo.
  • Textured, non-slip surface
  • Includes mat and carry bag
  • Rolls up for easy storage
Materials: Mat: polyurethane, Bag: nylon
Product Size: Carry bag: 24-1/2"w x 8-1/2"h, Mat: 24"w x 68"h (flat)
Product Colors: Black Mat with Silver Bag, Blue, Red, Yellow
Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1 location
Standard Imprint Method(s):
  • Heat Transfer: Carry Bag, 12"w x 4"h, 4 color(s) max

Normal Production Time:
  5 Working Days

Setup Fee: $50.00

Min. order 48 pieces
$18.75 each 

*shipping cost not included

Monday, January 17, 2011

January's Promotional Product of the Month!

Okay, I have to admit that I've been extremely bad at posting a Promotional Product of the Month every month.  In fact, the last product I posted was in December....of 2009 that is!  So I think we're due for one.  With all the downpour in Hawaii we've had in the last couple of weeks, what could be better than a custom imprinted umbrella!  With it huge 60" arch, people will be sure to see your logo as long as you don't poke them in the eye with it.

I.D. Pro Umbrella

  • Manual open
  • Pinch proof runner to protect fingers
  • Fiberglass windproof frame
  • Nylon fabric
  • Plastic ID handle
  • Less than 1% metal

Folded length: 37.5"
Arc: 60"

Max imprint area: 10"W x 8"H

Normal Production Time:
10 Working Days

Setup Fee: $62.50

Min. order 36 pieces
$17.33 each 

*shipping cost not included