PromoShop Enters Into Strategic Partnership With Icon Blue

Some 25 years ago, Memo Kahan and Walter Hill met while working at the same promo company – Idea Man. It was the beginning of an amicable business relationship that’s bearing fruit in 2018: Kahan’s Top 40 distributorship, PromoShop (asi/300446), announced today it’s entering into a strategic partnership with Icon Blue (asi/229398), a Los Angeles, CA-headquartered distributor that industry leader Walter Hill helms as CEO.

“We are most excited and honored to be working with the professional staff from Icon Blue,” says Kahan, owner of Los Angeles-based PromoShop. “Walter created an amazing organization with people who get it and are winners. Thank you, Walter, for entrusting us with part of your legacy.”

Per terms of the deal, sales for PromoShop and Icon Blue will merge. Icon Blue sales and staff members will move to PromoShop’s LA location. “The partnership will be identified to Icon Blue clients as Icon Blue, a PromoShop Partner,” the companies said in a statement.

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Hill said he and his team are excited about the burgeoning business relationship. “PromoShop holds many of the same values Icon Blue has practiced for 20 years,” said Hill, who won Counselor’s Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. “Together, both award-winning companies will create a stronger value proposition for our customers. We look forward to servicing Icon Blue clients with an increased bandwidth of services in marketing and creative services, as well as global sourcing and logistics.”

Echoing the sentiments, Kahan said the partnership will prove mutually beneficial, with each firm bringing strengths that will bolster the other. “The synergies between the two organizations feel natural,” Kahan said.

Founded 20 years ago, Icon Blue offers branded merchandise solutions to support client goals in the areas of sales promotion, marketing and special events. The company ranked 13th on Counselor’s annual Best Places to Work list this year. Three years ago, Hill won the Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award for his success and contributions to the promo industry. “If you create a point of difference and stick with it, you will be successful,” Hill told Counselor at the time. “You have to know how to use the right products and be an idea resource.”

With reported 2017 North American promotional product revenue of $45.8 million, PromoShop ranked 38th on Counselor’s latest list of the largest distributors in the industry. Founded in 1998, PromoShop has nine offices and five satellite sales teams throughout the U.S. and Canada in addition to its Los Angeles headquarters. PromoShop has also appeared on Counselor’s Best Places to Work list.

Original content copied from the Counselor PromoGram. View article HERE.

Case Studies: Starlight Bears

Starlight Children’s Foundation partners with experts to improve the life and health of seriously ill kids and their families around the world. Starlight came to us more than 10 years ago, looking for an item to help raise money to benefit the foundation. 

Trends We're Seeing: Outer Limits

Trends We're Seeing: Outer Limits

Technological advances are changing the landscape of our daily lives and our daily wardrobe choices. Adaptable, protective and functional, these futuristic styles fuse technology and design while keeping us on the move.


Athleisure has taken a space-age turn as head-to-toe black becomes a popular look for office and leisure looks. Contrasting surface textures combine with sleek styling, creating compelling future-forward styles.

City Ninja

Stealthy dark, armor-like styles with quilted layers and reflective elements speak to our inner ninja. Items that allow for easy movement help us thrive in our active, urban lives

Content compliments of SanMar. To learn more about this trend, check out

Case Study: LIVE PD Mailer

A&E wanted to celebrate the success of their hit show Live PD with a swag bag perfect for customers to have for their next "ride-along." 

Gifts Worth Giving

Gifts Worth Giving

As we head into gift-giving season, there are distinctive trends that can guide your item selection to make a positive impression with recipients. Here are our top trends to make sure you do gift-giving right this season.

High Perceived Value

Items that feel elevated, with high perceived value are universally appealing as gifts. Giving exclusive designs in high-quality materials with innovative features increases impact. Additionally, gift items backed by a retain brand increases perceived value while ensuring product quality and safety. 

Fun and Unique

Taking time to find gifts that are thoughtful and unique can help you brand be memorable. Another way to be unforgettable is to give items related to having fun! Gift-giving season is a time of joy and celebration so gifts that reflect the cheer of the season can carry a brand’s impact into the New Year and beyond.

 Useful Tech

Technology items are always popular, but thinking about how recipients will use the gift can make them even more special. For travelers, a power bank, laptop bag or ear buds can prove useful while on the road. Functional and practical wireless tech is also popular and ensures a brand will be remembered every time the recipient powers up.

Content Provided by BIC Graphic.

Case Study: POPtv Mailer

POPtv wanted to introduce their new show, Let’s Get Physical, with their #1 hit show, Schitt’s Creek, by doing a combo mailer. 

Trends Worth Emulating: Be Bright, Be You!

Trends Worth Emulating: Be Bright, Be You!

It’s no secret that we live in turbulent times. But instead of embracing the negativity and chaos, many people are doing the exact opposite: spreading positivity and optimism. Brands are using hope to connect with customers, and utilizing empowering graphics to share important messages. Bright colors and “super” graphics spread cheer while encouraging people to adopt an empowered attitude.


Among the positive messages out there, being yourself is becoming one of the most important trends. In the words of Mr. Rogers, “You are a very special person. There is only one like you in the whole world. There's never been anyone exactly like you before, and there will never be again. Only you. And people can like you exactly as you are.”

It’s our unique identities and styles that have become our individual you-niforms. By thinking about “custom” in a new way, you can make any style your own. In the work place, stereotypes are fading as men look for officewear that reflects personal fashion sense over “tried and true” standards; and personal attitude, rather than age, determines what to wear and how to style it.


In a world where you can be anything, be happy, be kind, and be you!

Content compliments of SanMar. For more on this trend, click HERE.

September is Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month!

September is Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month!

If we truly act as one voice, we can encourage more understanding and compassion for people living with rheumatic diseases — which will improve the lives of millions of Americans!

Trends Worth Falling For

Trends Worth Falling For

Industry trends provide valuable insight into what is up-and-coming in the promo industry. As we head into autumn, these hot trends will light up cooler days and help your brand shine.


Even our ancient ancestors became fascinated with glowing light after the discovery of fire. Bright illumination catches the eye and elevates something from ordinary to exceptional. Reinventing standards with light-up features is a surefire way to create buzz and make a brand shine.



While smooth surfaces may appeal to the minimalist in all of us, adding texture provides an elevated and expensive look. Texture takes ordinary items up a notch; whether it is the classic styling of wood grain on notebooks, plush on cozy blankets, or the soft touch of rubberized pens.



Bold pops of color provide the opportunity to push the envelope and have some fun. Full color is perfect for those looking to stand out and bring maximum impact. A variety of colors mixed in interesting ways have more impact than simpler options, so use full color to make a campaign truly striking.


Case Study: Perrier Modern Art

Perrier decided to do a limited edition run of packaging inspired by “Street Art”. Perrier commissioned three of the world’s most influential street artists to create nine unique designs to adorn the iconic glass bottles, the plastic PET bottles and the new Perrier Slim Can. 

#psCARES: Interfaith Sanctuary Homeless Shelter

#psCARES: Interfaith Sanctuary Homeless Shelter

PromoShop Boise wanted to give back to their local community and, being in close proximity to the downtown metropolitan area, they could see the need of those with less than ideal living situations. As a team they decided one way they could assist these individuals was to provide them with their next meal.

Making it POP: Flex Emblem

Making it POP: Flex Emblem

Flex Emblem elevates your brand with greater detail, an attractive appearance featuring bold or metallic finishes, and deeper, more detailed texturing. It’s more than an emblem, it’s a status symbol and it’s trending at retail right now. Choose Flex Emblem and make a bold brand statement without saying a word.

Flex Emblem_Step by step copy.jpg

The dimensional and intricately detailed nature of Flex Emblem gives any promotional item a higher perceived value and provides the “wow factor” customers are looking for. It stands out and captures attention, providing more brand exposure with each impression.


This new type of embellishment got its start in the garment and hat industry. As this decoration trend grew and became more popular in retail, it made sense that it would translate well in the promotional products space. 

Although there are many more items that can be embellished via the Flex Emblem process, we have recently noticed that it is trending in the following retail environments:






Sports Apparel:







Umbrellas: Your Friends on the Field

Umbrellas: Your Friends on the Field


While at a tradeshow recently, I had a conversation with someone about umbrellas.   She said, “Where we are, we really don’t have a need for umbrellas seeing as though we don’t get much rain.”   Immediately, I replied that umbrellas are not only great for rainy day, but on sunny days too!  She shrugged and said, “Yeah. I suppose.”  That response wasn’t what I was hoping for! So, I took it one step further:

Me:  “Do you have kids?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Do your kids play sports?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “I have a son. He plays football. Practice starts in July when it’s really hot outside. It’s borderline miserable! I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, right? How many times have you sat at practices, scrimages, or games,  in a chair or on the bleachers, wishing you had some shade?”

Client: “Oh yes! Those days are the worst!”

Me:  “Think about those days. How many people have umbrellas or pop-up tents? Not very many. Maybe one or two? Even though we look at those people wishing we had the same shade, we come back game after game without anything to keep us shaded or a little bit cooler.”

I continued,

“Maybe, if they are anything like me, they think about it but after loading the car and collecting kids, they just forget after they leave the field?  As one of the people that does not have a tent or umbrella does it stand to reason that even though you didn’t think to bring something on your own, that you would probably be grateful to have one if it was provided for you?”

Client: “Well. When you put it that way, yes.”

Me: “OK. So, riddle me this.  If you are a parent sitting in the sun at your child’s game or practice shielding your eyes from the sun, are hot, and most likely sweating,  and company X showed up to the field and starting handing out reusable water bottles and umbrellas to people that didn’t have them, how would you feel about that company and that brand?  That brand has now solved a problem you didn’t realize you really had, and created a positive experience for you, right?  If you were part of this brand’s target market, and their product or service was something you would be inclined to use, what type of influence would this experience have on your decision on whether or not to use this companies products or services?”

Client: “Oh that would be really neat! And yes, I’d definitely consider using their services, and I’d probably leave the umbrella in the car so I’d have it for next time!”

Me: “EXACTLY!  When you take a minute to think a little differently about the situation, you’ve can come up with a solution to help your client stand out from their competition in a huge way.  Plus, people will be seeing your client’s branding for weeks, months, and maybe years to come. If you’re lucky, people will tell their friends about this “really cool thing that happened at the ball field!’ and they might even take a photo and post it to social media.”

The moral of this story is this: sometimes people doing things one way is the very reason you should branch out and do it yourself. Unmarketing says, “Your logo isn’t your brand. What someone thinks and feels when they see your logo, that’s your brand.”  Don’t just sell a product with a logo on it. Create an experience and then use the power of branded products, and the messages on those products, as a means by which people will remember the experience you created for them when they see them today, tomorrow, and beyond.

July is UV Safety Month!

July is UV Safety Month!

PromoShop cares about the eye health of not only our clients, but is involved with providing resources and knowledge to benefit eye health safety in a third world country.

Case Study: Global Launch Kit

Netflix was looking for an upscale gift to give to their employees to launch their global presence. Being the Global Launch, they thought it would be appropriate to give products that tied in with travel. 

Flashlights Are an Every Day Essential!

Flashlights Are an Every Day Essential!


You would bring an umbrella for a 50% chance of rain, so why wouldn't you bring a flashlight for 100% chance of darkness every night? Why should one bother weighing themselves down with something that seems so unnecessary?

The short answer is: power will fail you.

It doesn’t matter how many carrots you eat; you will never have natural night vision. And since you probably aren’t going to wear an infrared rig every time the sun goes down or you enter a dark room, having something to light your way can be indispensable. From getting through power outages, to looking under couches, to navigating a dimly lit path, having a light source in your pocket will come in handy. Some might be content with using their phone’s screen or camera flash for light. Modern lights, with multiple modes and a dedicated battery, perform far better in daily tasks to emergency situations without draining your phone’s battery even more, making them a must-have in many carries.

Flashlights and lanterns are a convenient, practical, fun and lightweight tool that you can keep in your briefcase, carry to the park, put on your keychain and even in your pocket. Flashlights can allow you to be in control of everyday situations. Getting caught in the dark is inevitable. Always be prepared, and even better, be equipped for the unexpected.


SOTY 2018

SOTY 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Memo Kahan
PromoShop Inc.


Excellence Working with The Walt Disney Company Puts Company on Shortlist for Top Southern California Honor

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – JUNE 26, 2018 – The Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC) today announced that PromoShop Inc. has been nominated by The Walt Disney Company as an exemplary partner in the category of Class III Supplier of the Year (SOTY). Winners will be announced at the 34th Annual Supplier of the Year Awards luncheon on July 25, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious honor that can be given to a certified minority business enterprise, the SOTY Awards are determined by a panel of procurement and supplier diversity leaders who represent SCMSDC’s corporate membership. That membership includes, among others, The Walt Disney Company. American Honda, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, NBCUniversal, Amgen, Sony Pictures and AEG.

“The Supplier of the Year Awards celebrate the unique relationships that develop between our MBEs and corporate members,” said Virginia Gomez, president and CEO of SCMSDC. “It reinforces the value these relationships bring and the positive impact they have on both of their businesses.”

We are honored to be nominated by our client Disney, and to be members of the SCMSDC.
— Memo Kahan, President, PromoShop Inc.

As a nominee, PromoShop Inc. is eligible to win either a Winner’s Circle Award (runner-up) or the Supplier of the Year Award (1st place). Both awards will be presented for each category of MBEs: Class 1 (up to $1 million in gross annual sales), Class II (between $1 million and $10 million), Class III (between $10 million and $50 million) and Class IV ($50 million or greater).

About PromoShop Inc.

PromoShop is a promotional merchandise company with the marketing talent and creative culture of an advertising agency. Leveraging the combined talents of a culturally diverse team, our privately-held, 100% minority-owned company has earned the trust of some of the world’s best-loved brands.

The rare combination of strategy, ideas, and products that PromoShop brings to the table has been helping those brands carry out bold, smart, effective promotional campaigns and design-driven customer experiences since 1998. And we are not about to stop.

We’re headquartered in Los Angeles, California with nine additional offices and five satellite sales teams spread throughout the U.S. and Canada.

About the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council (SCMSDC)

SCMSDC is Southern California’s preeminent corporate membership organization committed to supplier diversity and the success of minority businesses. As one of 23 affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, SCMSDC is a critically important part of the network, providing a vital connection and local touch point that bring together the mutually beneficial interests of both certified minority businesses and the corporations who collaborate with them.

Trends We’re Seeing: All Tech-ed Out!

Trends We’re Seeing: All Tech-ed Out!

Tech is everywhere lately, and it is no surprise that people are digging it! From Bluetooth speakers and portable power banks, to headphones and custom USB’s, tech is taking over. So, do yourself a favor, and catch the tech wave!


#psCARES: Boise Pride!

PromoShop was pleased to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community this past weekend at Pridefest in downtown Boise, Idaho. Members of our Boise office attended both the parade and festival to spread positive vibes with attendees and hand out over 500 rainbow koozies touting a message of support and inclusion: Unity, Diversity, Equality and Pride.

Back to School

Back to School

Look beyond the usual and check out these fresh new ideas for schools and universities. 

Technology and competition have had a profound impact on the ways that schools and universities approach marketing. Business-as-usual is no longer a viable approach to reach and attract students. As a result, the promotional product needs in education are rapidly changing. Here are the latest trends you need to know as the back to school season heats up.

1. Tech-Equipped Backpacks

Here's the latest evolution in backpacks. These next-generation bags have built-in device charging capabilities—ideal for students who spend all day running around campus. With a built-in USB port and cable you are able to simply hook up a power bank and charge your devices inside your bag while sitting in class. Similarly, another backpack tech upgrade lets you enjoy the outdoors while charging your phone. These backpacks are equipped with a 5W solar panel so you can simply plug your device into the USB port and charge it—no outlet or power bank needed.


2. Custom Labels

This is a big opportunity to add a special touch to your branded apparel. You can add your logo to create a custom collection for a school to recognize special occasions and commemorate milestones such as graduations and awards.

3. Drinkware

Walk across any campus and you'll see nearly every student carrying some type of reusable drinkware. Tumblers and sports bottles are the hottest accessories in education right now. Students (and staff) are looking for new and unique styles that let them express their personality.

In retail, high-performance copper vacuum insulated drinkware is king. From campus to the boardroom—it’s everywhere. What makes them so universally loved? First, they perform—keeping beverages hot for up to 12 hours and cold up to 48 hours. Second, they're practical and can be used every day.

Another campus drinkware trend is the incorporation of mixed materials. By adding cork, bamboo and silicone elements to tumblers and sports bottles, you will be creating pieces that demand attention and create excitement. It's the little unexpected details that create something special.


The Bottom Line

Everyone wants the latest and greatest—the education market is no exception.


Content compliments of PCNA. Check out their products for your next promotion by clicking here.