Sara Lavenduski

  • Senior Editor of Advantages

I write for Advantages magazine on behalf of our awesome distributor members in the U.S. and Canada!

Deciphering the Complex Puzzle of Fulfillment

Thanks to the pandemic, services like kitting are popular but intricate. Learn the best...

ASI Recognizes Jewish American Heritage Month

We’re encouraged to reflect on the many achievements of this community, and never to fo...

Sales Reps Eager to Resume In-Person Selling

Even as salespeople grow more comfortable with virtual selling, many reps long to escap...

Barely Standing

The ongoing pandemic has left small distributors frazzled and fearful for their survival.

Why You Need to Embrace the CEO Mindset

To truly succeed, small-business owners should get out of the habit of working in their...

Active Promo Apparel Trends By Age -schedule

With retail styles now widely available, the promotional products industry can offer st...

Promo Apparel Trends By Age -schedule (1)

With retail styles now widely available, the promotional products industry can offer st...

Promo Apparel Trends By Age -schedule

With retail styles now widely available, the promotional products industry can offer st...

Promo Apparel Trends By Age (1)

With retail styles now widely available, the promotional products industry can offer st...

Promo Apparel Trends By Age

With retail styles now widely available, the promotional products industry can offer st...

Facebook to Curtail ‘Engagement Bait’

Facebook continues to crack down on what it deems non-authentic interaction on its...

Prime Line’s Shulman Stepping Down

Top 40 supplier Prime Line (asi/79530) has announced that Paula Shulman will step...

Promo Apparel Trends By Age

With retail styles now widely available, the promotional products industry can offer st...

S&S Activewear Opens Fort Worth Location

Top 40 supplier S&S Activewear's (asi/84358) new distribution center in Fort...

Legal Cannabis Bill Passes Canadian House, Heads to Senate

Full-scale legalization of marijuana is one step closer to becoming a reality in...

CPSC Recalls Carabiners, Children’s PJs

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an official recall for...

Economy Watch: October Housing Numbers Exceed Expectations

Homebuilding rates in the U.S. increased in October, halting several months of...

*NSYNC to Release ’90s-Inspired Branded Merch

Millennials, rejoice! Iconic '90s boy band *NSYNC will be teaming up with global...

Stormtech Welcomes New Canadian Sales Manager

Stormtech Performance Apparel (asi/89869) announces that industry veteran Mike Oliver...

Case Study: Leveraging LinkedIn

Harnessing the power of this social media platform has taken one distributor’s sales sk...

CPSC Recalls Children’s Outerwear

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued official recalls for...

Legal Cannabis Producers in Canada Propose Advertising Standards

The debate continues in Canada over how marijuana will be promoted and advertised to...

CPSC Recalls Children’s Sleepwear

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued official recalls for...

Cimpress Reports Sales; Plans to Cut Vistaprint Jobs

Top 40 distributor Cimpress (asi/162149), owner of Vistaprint and National Pen,...

Canadian Promo Market News – September/October 2017

Starline Industries (asi/89213) welcomes Alex Jovetic as the company's new vice...

TNT Makes an Appearance on Dragons’ Den

The Next Trend Designs (TNT, asi/283375) announces that president and chief inventor...

Report: Amazon to Offer Its Own Private-Label Athletic Apparel

Amazon's massive growth is showing no sign of slowing down, and now the e-commerce...

Redwood Classics Apparel’s Kathy Cheng Named WBE Canada Ambassador 2017

Redwood Classics Apparel (asi/81627) announces that President Kathy Cheng was...

Taco Bell, Forever 21 Launch Joint Fashion Line

Promotional clothing lines are a serious marketing opportunity for brands. Need...

Report: Russian Group Used Promo Apparel to Stoke Discord in U.S.

In a curious turn of events, the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016...

Case Study: The Fun Factor

This California company sells and lives by a simple motto.

‘Merchandise on a Mission’: Promo Products Making a Difference

Will Valentine is a merchant adventurer at Ethix Merch (asi/189731), a distributor...

Gaming Company Allows Fans to Print 3-D Merch

Valve, the parent company of gaming franchises such as "Dota 2," "Counter-Strike:...

Case Study: High Expectations

This Florida distributor nurtures a culture of team selling and giving back to the comm...

Sports Bottle Market to Grow by 6.15% Through 2021

A new report by Technavio has found that the global sports bottle market is poised to...

Ennis Reports Q2 Revenue Increase

Top 40 supplier Ennis (asi/52493) has reported total sales of $94.9 million for its...

Tips for Amazing Distributor Customer Service

The best customer service that distributors can offer needs to be personalized and cons...

Case Study: Personal Touch

This promo product expert needed a new website for her small company – and fast.

Canadian Law Enforcement Requests Pot Legalization Delay

Canadian distributors eager to provide company apparel and other branded merchandise...

Case Study: Under Evaluation

This successful distributor looks for the qualities that can’t be taught.

Should Distributors Give In To Cheap Instincts?

Retail’s discounting boom is in full swing – right as the promotional product industry ...

In Memoriam: Phil Carollo, Lion Circle

Phil Carollo, president of Lion Circle Corp. (asi/67620), died on September 8. He was...

Obituary: Hyman “Hy” Russman, Interconcept Inc.

Hyman "Hy" Russman, co-founder of Interconcept Inc. (asi/231553) in Saint-Laurent,...

Lancer Sportswear Merges with Thinkwerx

Lancer Sportswear (asi/248426) in Bonnyville, AB, has merged with Thinkwerx...

CPSC Recalls Baby Stacking Toys

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an official recall for...

Perry Ellis Reports Q2 Revenue

Miami-based Perry Ellis International (asi/77715) reported revenue of $207 million...

Obituary: James Mitchell, BIC Graphic

James Mitchell, Alberta regional account manager at BIC Graphic (asi/40480), passed...

Cap America Appoints New President and COO

Cap America (asi/43792) has promoted Mark Gammon to the role of President and Chief...

How to Boost Email Open Rates

1. Clean Up Your List Remove addresses that are no longer valid, contain typos or...

Politics Watch: Sales of Elizabeth Warren Merch Soar

President Donald Trump's Make America Great Again rope hats were the undisputed...

Health Canada, CPSC Recall iPhone Cases

Health Canada, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission...

Minor League Baseball: A Night of Superheroes and Swag

It's an idyllic late spring evening in Reading, PA, about 60 miles northwest of...

PGA Championship Pop-Up Shop Opens This Weekend

The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) will be hosting its 99 th PGA...

Plastic Bag Restrictions Tighten in Honolulu

Plastic bags will be completely banned in Honolulu by 2020. Mayor Kirk Caldwell...

Health Canada Recalls Jump Ropes for Elevated Phthalates

Health Canada has recalled children's jump ropes suspected of containing levels of...

Canadian Promo Market News – July 2017

iPROMOTEu (asi/232119) has hired Gary Goodhart and Guy Dupuis as directors...

Hot Frog Print Media Acquires Integra Print & Image

Hot Frog Print Media (asi/227749) has acquired Integra Print & Image. Financial...

Case Study: Have Ideas, Will Travel

Persistence and creativity landed a new IT client for this distributor.

Study: Small Businesses Want Congress to Work on Economy

A majority of small-business owners believe Congress is not currently doing enough to...

Case Study: Customer First

During sales presentations with end-buyers, distributors should position themselves as ...

Case Study: Turn Up the Heat

This promo veteran used his barbecue skills to score clients.

Economy Adds 222K Jobs in June

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that the U.S. economy...

ASI Education Q&A: Cheryl Hokanson

Cheryl Hokanson is the promotional products director at Ironmark (asi/169127) in...

Ennis Reports Q1 Revenue Increase

Top 40 supplier Ennis (asi/52493) announced total sales of $94.6 million for the...

Survey: Workplaces Present Obstacles to Productivity

More than half of American employees at companies with five or more workers believe...

Understand & Cope With Rejection

Experts explain why “no” can be so hard to hear and offer up advice for bouncing back.

7 Tips To Close Deals Faster

Start clinching orders in record time by using these proven strategies.

How To Overcome Order Errors

Act fast to correct mistakes and you may actually strengthen a client relationship.

Canadian Government Suspends CASL’s Lawsuit Provision

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has announced that the Canadian...

Study Finds Cautious Optimism Among Small-Business Owners

A new survey has found that while small-business owners in the U.S. are optimistic...

CPSC Recalls Children’s Bathrobes

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an official recall for...

Promotional Product Sales Compensation Survey

Distributors are increasingly choosing salary over commission to compensate sales reps....

Winning Swag at MLB Retail Summit

Major League Baseball recently hosted its annual Retail Summit, a two-day event for...

ASI Education Case Study: Lisa Gapen

Lisa Gapen is the owner of Generate Sales and Marketing (asi/444517) in Crown Point,...

CPSC Recalls Light-Up Toys

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an official recall for...

CPSC Recalls Drinkware From Pier 1 Imports, Michaels

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued official recalls for...

Study: Workers Job-Hopping as Unemployment Reaches New Low

The number of American workers switching jobs in one year has reached an all-time...

Distributor Prints Thousands of Shirts for NBA Playoffs

When it comes to NBA Playoff giveaway T-shirts, one Nashville distributor’s got game.

A Wealth of Swag at Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

Last week marked the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting in Omaha, NE,...

How To Accept Rejection

The human brain is hardwired to avoid rejection, and reps who succumb to the fear...

Case Study: International Reach

A Midwest university appeals to students from all walks of life.

Exciting New Reality for Promo Industry

Virtual reality is no longer some fanciful dream. The technology is real and growing – ...

How To Sell To Startups

Solve the marketing challenges of new companies by pitching the right ideas and products.

5 Tips to Boost Your Positivity

Five tips for embracing a healthy attitude. 1. Focus on Perceptions Your...

Declutter Your Inbox

Here's how to win back control over your email. 1. Make a System Create...

Case Study: Good Hair Day

Products with broad and niche appeal work for a direct-sales hair-care line.

5 Tips to Conquering Your Day

1. Downsize the To-Dos Oftentimes, to-do lists are simply too long. We try to cram...

How To Handle An Order Error

The number-one objective should be fixing the problem. 1. Address the Error...

Case Study: Morning Joe

Popular giveaways work well for this TV news station.

Distributor Feeds Local Needy Families

Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just to the north of Philadelphia, is an area of rolling...

Case Study: A Helping Hand

This small-town distributor helped create the entire brand identity for a senior care c...

Case Study: Spirited Swag

A Kentucky moonshine distillery gets a fresh apparel makeover.

Case Study: Brand Launch

A biopharma startup gets the word out before its drug hits the market.

Distributor Tip: Bring Suppliers on Sales Calls

Still guarding client info from even your most trusted vendors? Here's a trick to...

Overcome Common Sales Objections

1. Do Your Research Before calling your prospect, research their company and any...

Power to the Girls

This Top 40 distributor showed support for its majority-female workforce with an in-hou...

I Earned My BASI: Rachel Leone

Rachel Leone, president of Leone Marketing Solutions (asi/251966), talks about how...

Distributor Salesperson of the Year Finalist - Michael Levitt

Check out the Advantages Distributor Salesperson of the Year finalists. ...

Vatican-Approved Backpacks and Branded Items

In the months leading up to the Catholic Church's World Youth Day 2016, preparations...

Artist Suspends Thread Art From Ceilings

Canadian artist Amanda McCavour's stitched creations showcase just what thread can...

From Bullet to Bottle Opener - The Evolution of a Promotional Product

When Eli Crane's brother in the Marines had a chance to return stateside to see his...

How to Attract More Twitter Followers

Using Twitter for your business can help boost visibility. Use these 6 tips to get...

I Earned My BASI: Kathryn Morelli

Kathryn Morelli, owner of Pro-Mo's Ad Specialties (asi/299738), shares how earning...

Customer Service Rep of the Year Runner-Up - Rich Fatone, Garyline

When he first joined his current company, Bronx, NY-based Garyline, in 1992, Rich...

Customer Service Rep of the Year - Patty Ceranski, Gemline

In this day and age of blink-and-you-miss-it order inquiries and...

I Earned My BASI: Jessica Ibsen

Jessica Ibsen, BASI, promotional consultant at Stackable Sensations (asi/332999),...

I Earned My BASI: Craig Aukamp

Craig Aukamp, president and CEO of Chief Marketing Advisors Inc. (asi/161682),...

Promotional Products Profile - A Force for Change

A distributor’s former vice president of sales & marketing, Mary Ellen Clausen found he...

How To Deal With Difficult Coworkers

Avoid getting tangled in their messy web.

6 Tips for Crafting an Elevator Pitch

Advice for sharpening your job skills.

Most Important Qualities in Distributor-Supplier Relationship

The supplier-distributor relationship makes the promotional world go ‘round. But what m...

Distributor Woman of Distinction 2016 - Vicki Clayman, Partners N Promotion

At just 28 years old, Vicki Clayman was a single mother with five-year-old twin...

Supplier Woman of Distinction 2016 - Kathy Cheng, Redwood Classics Apparel

In the late 1990s, Kathy Cheng was fulfilling every parent's dream for their...

How To Improve Your Sales Presentation

Advice for sharpening your job skills.

How to Work Effectively From Home

Advice for sharpening your job skills. 1. Get Ready While it's enticing to...

Case Study: Notebook Facilitates Nurse-Patient Communication

One of the most important factors in a positive healthcare experience is the clear...

Promo Distributor Competes in Food Championships

Russell Bird loves to barbecue. Ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork, steak…you...

Proforma Owner Donates to Clemson Vehicle Research

By the time distributor Will Quinn had finished touring Clemson University's...

Boot Camp for Screen-Printers Returns in 2016

Scott Fresener of T-Biz Network International and Mike Fresener of Independent...

Promotional Products Veteran Meets Bill Clinton

Sales Dynamics (asi/316955), which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year,...

Hope and Smiles (and Swag) in Costa Rica

I'm fortunate to be relatively well-traveled. By my count, I've visited 11 different...

Case Study: A Perfect Fit

Bruce Weiser, owner of Spire Printing & Packaging, LLC (asi/332401) in New York City, r...

All Together Now

Double the sales and twice the versatility? Just look to the rising demand for layered...

How To Print for Retail

Well-Known retailers up-and-coming clothing lines have a need for screen printing .To s...

Supplier Celebrates 30 Years of Success

This family-owned supplier celebrates an impressive number of industry awards.

Promo Company Uses 3D Printers to Change Lives

This promotional company is using in-house 3-D technology to change lives.

School Supplies

In The Bag The Waterproof Phone Bag from LOKSAK ( asi/67781 ) is a perfect fit...

Case Study: Pet Friendly

While exact numbers are uncertain, the ASPCA estimates there are tens of millions...

Billing Scores With Women in Motorcycle Club

To create fellowship and community, the nonprofit Combat Veterans Motorcycle...

Rodeo Brings Ample Opportunity to Sell

There's nothing quite like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the world's largest...

Case Study: All-Star Apparel

The NBA's All-Star Weekend is a star-studded affair , featuring not only the best...

Editor's Picks: Health Care

Health Care There are almost 5,000 community hospitals in the U.S. With so many...

Editor's Picks: Education

Education According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are...

Sunglasses

Sunglasses Almost 22 million Americans over 40 have cataracts. Many of those cases...

The Next Generation

New wearable devices for infants and kids promise to change the future of child care – ...

Fun Wearables Shine at Charity Event

Fun wearables shine at charity event.

Supplier Firm Dedicated To Worthy Charity

This Utah supplier helps the world’s needy children receive life-changing operations.

7 Hot Markets to Penetrate Now: Break Into the Construction Market

Though the housing crisis last decade stifled construction, the market has been on...

7 Hot Markets to Penetrate Now: Break Into the Nonprofit Market

Cause marketing is an oft-bandied buzzword these days, with for-profit companies...

How One Company Creates Buzz For Itself

Ontario-based Triton Sales & Marketing has created buzz for three decades. By Sara Lave...

Good Eats

The who, what and wear of industry experts

Pet items

The American Pet Products Association states that total pet market expenditures...

Luggage

CASE STUDY Tag, You're It The organizers of an annual sales meeting were...

All Together Now

Double the sales and twice the versatility? Just look to the rising demand for layered ...

Hit the Road

Whet your appetite by targeting the lucrative specialty food industry.

Changing Times

Industry veteran Richard Stromberg celebrates 50 years in ad specialties this year. By ...

Inspire, Dream, Create

A Texas marketing agency gave 24 consecutive hours of pro bono service to three nonprof...

Tote Along

Looking for the perfect apparel add-on? Try woven totes, which are increasing in consum...

Striped Dress Shirts

Woven shirts with stripes can be the perfect answer for corporate campaigns and trade s...

Riding Right

When the winter's snow recedes in Washington State and spring finally arrives, avid...

Profile - Holiday Helpers

This family-owned distributorship established a charitable organization to give back to...

Trends - Vested Interest

The versatile vest is popular for corporate campaigns.

Choose The Right Decoration Technique

Embroidery, screen printing, heat transfers, sublimation, direct-to-garment …...

Great Reads

Branded books are an excellent choice for markets that range from health care to hospit...

Keytags

Keytags are an innately mobile way to get your client’s message in front of people. Thi...

You Can Go Home Again

Kathy Cheng joined her family’s garment manufacturing company at her father’s behest. T...

Home Gifts

Home gifts are a great way to say thank you or to congratulate someone for a job well d...

Electronics

It’s a digital world. A recent 2014 study by the Pew Research Center found that 90% of ...

We're With The Band

Music acts have long turned to screen printers to create the iconic band T-shirt. Here’...

Getting Closer

NFC is turning tees and polos into virtual marketing devices.

Scan and Save

In the blink of an eye, he was gone. A young autistic boy was at a crowded...

The Life Artistic

Six designers turn decorated apparel into an art form – and cover the season’s hottest ...

Contest Promotes American-Made

Alliance Rubber Company recently hosted a buy American contest to promote the return of...

PulseID

Pulse Microsystems Ltd., Mississauga, ON; (416) 855-1650; www.pulsemicro.com ...

Sports

Excite fans with branded items promoting their favorite sports teams. But don’t limit y...

Editor’s Picks - Health Care

Personal care items are ideal for health-care promotions. Consider hospitals, physical ...

Editor’s Picks - Finance

Customer service is key to the finance industry, so think about branded appreciation it...

At A Good Clip

Clip art graphics not only save time and money, but can be used as the starting point f...

Over the Rainbow

Fundraising has a reputation for being a necessary evil: It's essential for keeping...

We're With the Band

Screen printers have long created the iconic band T-shirt. You’ll meet some of these su...

Surf Life

The people of ACK Surf live as though "every day is a Saturday," and they proudly...

Facing Nature

Lynka Promotional Solutions (circle 105 on Free Info Card) has established itself as...

Anchors Aweigh

Every year, the sisters of Delta Gamma make a literal splash with their annual Anchor...

“How Can I Jump Start My E-mail Response Rate?”

Check your e-mail inbox. Now, check your trash folder. How many of those messages...

Good Things Come in Creative Packages

How can you burnish your professional image and instantly elevate the value of a promot...

Profile - As Time Goes By

One hundred years after its first product was made, this supplier is still going strong.

Trends - Green Wave

Looking for a color trend to capitalize on? Think green.

Women’s Apparel

Now is the time for warm weather events, such as outdoor picnics, birthday parties and ...

Everything is Illuminated

Tony Maglica created one of the most notable products, and he shows no signs of stoppin...

Appointments & Promotions

This month’s people on the move in the ad specialty industry.