Blazers for Your 2016 Show/Expo Season


While you are working on your promotional ideas for your upcoming events have you given thought to what your crew is going to be wearing? I know, I know, one more thing you have to worry about.

Most folks usually have something they can pull together for the event in the form of a dress shirt or polo but what about after the event walking from the location back to your hotel room….what about going out to dinner after a hard day of promoting your brand? What if the convention/expo center is freezing cold during the summer months?

Fleece jackets and vests are perfect for 95% of our customers that come to us for their apparel needs at show time. What if your industry is in that other 5%?

Port Authority and Devon and Jones have both come out with blazer options for just those special occasions.

Port Authority says about their blazers “Designed for layering comfort, this easy-to-wear, deconstructed style can go from refined to casual and resist wrinkles all day long.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!




Giveaway Ideas Part 1: Glasses, Mugs, and Water Bottles

Drinkware is very versatile at expos and events. There are tons of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from. Some even come as a gift sets if you want to up your giveaway level. If your company has multiple logos or tag lines drinkware can be very cost effective. Instead of charging logo set ups for multiple locations most vendors offer a wrap service. This means you are given an area that wraps around the glass, mug, or water bottle. Whatever you can fit in that area is considered one logo, one location. Pretty niffty huh?

Scroll through the ideas below and see if anything floats your boat. For a full image click on the item you are interested in.



Water Bottles


It’s Show Time!


The first quarter of every New Year is marked by a lot of promoting. Home shows, boat shows, bridal expos, fitness expos, small business events, city and town events all abound in the winter. My theory: Cold weather, captive audience.

The amount of promotional items available is staggering. Don’t believe me? Check out our Promotional tab on the website. Where do you start? So many goodies so little time. Overwhelming!

Some clients know exactly what they are looking for. Most don’t. And that’s okay. Here are some questions we try to ask to help get the brainstorming started.

When is the event? This is BIGGEST and most important question of all. When dealing with promo items try to allow at least six weeks for the idea search, sourcing, sampling if needed, production, and shipping. Who wants to pay rush charges when you don’t have to? We try to work with local companies first. That way shipping time and costs are reduced. When it’s not possible we cast our nets further.

How big is your space? With everything else you are dealing would at a trade show the last thing you want to be doing is juggling more stuff. Remember you have to have a spot to store the items during the event.

Do you have a theme or have very specific branding? If so do you want to stick to the theme or the branding? Do you like to think outside the box and try something that, right off the bat, may not scream your theme/brand but ultimately will remind your clients of you? These are  the hardest questions to answer. Just remember your first instincts are usually right. If you find an item you like but don’t think it will fit with the theme/brand don’t discount the idea. There may be something else along that same line that would. Or there could be a way to tailor that item with a clever tag line that will relate to your theme/brand.

Do you want levels of giveaways or just one item for everyone? Would it be to your benefit, for example, to give pens to folks who are just walking by but give a car charger to a client who is a real prospect you will be following up with after the show is over? This is probably the second hardest questions to answer and one that has no right or wrong answer. You may find different level of giveaways work at some events and not at others.

How big is your budget? Having some idea of what you can or want to spend is always helpful but don’t let it get in the way of brainstorming ideas .You may have a tremendous budget but know that what works well in your industry is to give away note pads. On the other hand you may have a smaller budget and feel you only afford note pads when a more expensive item that nails your theme/branding will produce bigger results by the time the show is over.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be highlighting some new productions that have come to our attention for 2016. You may like them, you may not, or you may be hit with an “AH HA” moment and discover that perfect item for your event.

photo courtesy of Illini


The Four Top Sweatshirts of The Week

We all know this awesome weather won’t last and therefore the heavy weight sweatshirts are flying out the door.

The most asked question this week was “What do you have for sweatshirts.” So I thought I would pull together the top four that we have seen the most orders for in the past two weeks.

First up is the Champion 12oz Reverse Weave Hoodie.



This is by far our most popular hoodie for all our customers from landscapers to construction workers to those in the restaurant business that offer delivery service.

Second is this gem by Camber.



As you can see by the picture above it is a true thermal hoodie This is made here in the USA and while it is a bit more pricey if you work outside during the coldest months it will be well worth the extra spent. This comes in Safety Orange and Safety Green as well.

Third is the Gildan 9oz Ringspun Hoodie.



Not as heavy weight as the first two but if you are doing more work indoors this would be the choice for you.

Last is  from Charles River. It is brand new so we actually haven’t had any orders for this yet but customers are sampling it to see how they like it.



This is the Charles River Thermal Bonded Sherpa Lined Full Zip sweatshirt. It weighs in at 11oz of coziness. It has a waffle weave exterior and we are finding mix reactions to its look. Kind of like dry fit polo shirts vs. cotton …you either love them or hate them.

So there you have it. The top four sweatshirts of the week. Come on by to check out our samples.

Fruit of the Loom for Fall 2015

Yes I am posting a catalog on line with a beach scene on it and yes I am aware that fall started yesterday. There is a method to my madness however. Fruit of the Loom has some great colors with awesome contrasting details that will be perfect for you crew to carry you into the cooler fall weather.

Fruit of the Loom sweatshirts are soft, wear well, and I love the contrasting detail in the hoods, zipper plackets, and drawstrings. Take a flip through the catalog and find your fall colors and remember June will be here before you know it….


Double click the catalog to view it full screen.

Digital Stripes

While doing some jacket research for a customer I ran across this new offering from Port Authority. This is a  digital striped 12.8 oz fleece jacket that comes in both mens and ladies sizing. As  Port Authority puts it “takes you from workout essential to sleek polished office style.” For me personally, I just like the modern look of it.

F231_grey_form_back F231_L231_brickredgrey_model_GA16_GFA15 L231_navy_flat_back F231_brickred_model_front_042015

Click digital stripe  to go to our Port Authority page where you can see color options, add your logo and zoom in and out to see the jacket in more detail. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Finally Some Rain!

It is raining here in Portsmouth and we really need it. Which means of course that we also really need new rain gear.

Here is some of the new rain gear being previewed this Fall.

We are finding a lot of companies are getting rain gear for their employees as thank you gifts and to be given out at Summer/Fall corporate events. You however may just need coverage on the side lines as you root on your favorite pee wee player.

There are lots more styles in our e-catalog section too so don’t forget to check those out for more ideas.


Alpha Broder Fall Preview 2015

Our sales rep Katherine stopped in to deliver the new Fall 2015 line up from Alpha Broder…you will be familiar with the names, Devon & Jones, Harriton, North End, and Marmot. All items in the new catalog are available now and we will be getting samples in shortly for you to get all touchy feely with.

I am intrigued by the full and half-zip Bristol Sweater Fleece by Devon & Jones. A great early fall piece on it’s own and then great for layering as the winter sets in. Pretty sure I am going to get one so I will let you know how I like it.

For you guys that like your henley shirts with a pocket (this means my husband…..) check out Harriton short sleeve henley Item M400 on page 45 of the catalog.

Someone is finally getting the idea that sometimes some of us girls don’t want to dress just like the boys at the office or at trade shows. Devon and Jones has brought out a new line of fashion knits perfect for the giving the girls a more feminine look while still maintaining a  cohesive company look overall.

Check out the whole line up of new items by clicking any of the images above or by clicking What’s New Fall 2015.

Charles River Fall 2015 Preview

Our Charles River sales rep (hi Chris!)  stopped by to let us know about the new goodies that will be arriving in the next couple of weeks. I snagged these photo’s from the brochure he left. There here are some bright spots in a couple of the shots from trying to photograph under our lovely florescent lighting…but I think you get the general idea.

I am in love with item the City Sweatshirt #9653 and I am really happy to see a new color added for the Women’s Cardigan Wrap #5555.

Click on the photo to see the full item.

Also new the Rev Jacket and Rev Pants which are perfect for up coming fall sport programs.

Samples of the new products will be arriving in the shop in the next couple of weeks. I can’t guarantee the new City Sweatshirt will make it to the racks because I will be absconding with it as soon as it comes in.

2016 Charles River catalogs are being run now and will be in print for you to pick up and up under the E-Catalog tab on our website shortly.


Summer Ideas Part II (really Fall ideas Part I but who is counting…)

Yeah…the summer kind of got away from us again and here we are three weeks from Labor Day. Back to school ideas are what is on everyone’s mind. New uniforms, fall camps and clubs, cheer and football squads – we are ready for you. We have the oxfords, polos, sweatshirts, and sweatpants your crew is going to need to take them through their next level in the academic world.

Take a peek….

We have a lot of resources at our fingers tips so don’t hesitate to contact us. Here is to having a smooth back to school!