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.


#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.

The team decided that the place they would like to help is the Interfaith Sanctuary Homeless Shelter, which is located near the Boise office.


The team worked together to get the supplies and assemble sandwiches for the shelter and delivered them around lunchtime that day.


After this experience, the Boise team decided that it would be a great way to bond as a team and to also continually give back to their community. They have concluded that they will be doing this monthly and will be looking for additional ways to serve and lift those around them.



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!


With summer in full swing, spending time outdoors under the sun is where most of us want to be. Whether we are enjoying a day at the beach, lake, river, or waterpark, UV safety should be high on our list of priorities.

Here are a few ways that you can help make your time in the sun a little safer:


Protective clothing


A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection for your head and face.

Umbrella for shade

An umbrella can block a major portion of harmful UV rays while you are out and about.


While a great fashion accessory, the most important job for sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your vision sharp and eyes healthy.

Some of the sun’s effects on the eyes include:

  • Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. An estimated 20% of cases are caused by extended UV exposure.

  • Macular degeneration, resulting from damage to the retina that destroys central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.

  • Pterygium, a tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye that can alter the curve of the eyeball, causing astigmatism.

For more ideas on sun safety, or to check out our UV-safe products, contact your PromoShop representative today!!


In 2016, PromoShop’s very own Pam Smart volunteered for a medical mission group who provided healthcare to several villages in Northern Honduras. Because of the strength of the sun in the Central American country, eye health and cataracts are a significant issue for the Honduran people.

One of our supplier partners, Hit Promotional Products, generously donated over 1000 pairs of sunglasses to the mission group, who were able to pass them out over the course of the week that they were there.

PromoShop was proud to have been able to provide the connection and resources to benefit eye health safety in a third world country.

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.

IMG_1214 2.JPG

With more than 30,000 attendees from throughout the Treasure Valley gathered en masse, PromoShop quickly went through the colorful can insulators.

We were pleased to help spread the cheer that we saw reflected in the crowds; with so many people openly accepting and showing encouragement for the event; we look forward to participating and doing more next year.
— Pam Smart, PromoShop Creative Director

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.

Trends We're Seeing: Spring It On

There’s something about the sunshine peeking through the clouds, pastel-colored flowers lining the sidewalks and finally cleaning out your closet for the first time in a year - it’s springtime! This year aim to create fun and memorable experiences for everyone with products will be on the hot-list all spring long.

What’s worse than lounging at the beach without a Bluetooth speaker? Well, not lounging at the beach at all (but that’s not the point). The Bluetooth Speaker is the perfect solution for your beachside jammin’ needs to the ocean and back.

 Thumpah Speaker

Thumpah Speaker

If you’re not one for hitting the beach, you can’t go wrong with a Portable Surround Sound system. Talk about a cool trend! Take them all around your house or office for seamless surround sound anywhere, any time.

 Hive Speakers

Hive Speakers

As the spring sunshine rolls in, you’ll want to protect your face from nasty sunburn. Why not add a new hat to your collection. They will keep you covered all springtime long—which is definitely cause for celebration.

 The Dad Hat

The Dad Hat

Where are you going to put all this awesome custom swag? In your new roll top backpack of course! The roll top backpack is a huge hit, and it’s the perfect companion for a sunny hike or sunset picnic.

 El Dorado Rolltop Backpack

El Dorado Rolltop Backpack

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

Trends We're Seeing: Sustainability

Trends We're Seeing: Sustainability

In our day, something that has come to the forefront of people’s minds is the environment and keeping it as pristine as possible. You may be asking, “What does sustainability and the environment have to do with promotional marketing?” Well, the answer is simple—they care, and so should you.

When people see that a company cares about something that they hold dear, they are usually more likely to support the business efforts of that company and become loyal to them as a brand. Enter PromoShop™ and, the first ‘green’ promotional marketing company in the industry, ecopromos™!

So, what are we seeing in the realm of sustainability? One word: cork. This sustainable resource lends a sense of trendy modernism with its natural look, earthy tone and texture, and that special something it adds to products.

Mention cork and the first thing most people think of is a wine stopper. Lately, however, cork is being used for every purpose we can imagine like flooring, walls, furniture, tableware, clothing, and more. Cork is impermeable, buoyant, elastic and fire resistant waterproof and of course eco-friendly since its extraction doesn’t harm trees—all of which take cork to another level of importance for every kind of application.


Trends We're Seeing:  React + Adapt

Trends We're Seeing: React + Adapt

Circumstances change – sometimes by chance, sometimes by choice. These products are designed to adapt to any conditions, whether it’s a surprise rainstorm, delay at the airport or travel adventure on the other side of the world.


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

Trends We're Seeing: Revival

Trends We're Seeing: Revival

Old school styles inspire fond memories. But it’s not enough to recycle those classic looks from the ’70s and ’80s – they’ve got to be reinvented with function and performance for the modern world.



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

Trends We're Seeing:  Imagination

Trends We're Seeing: Imagination

Creativity can be expressed in lots of ways – from colorful prints and bold patterns to high-tech innovations. No matter how that creativity comes to life, it all begins with the imagination to envision something different.



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

Trends We're Seeing:  Athleisure

Trends We're Seeing: Athleisure

The word “Athleisure” was officially added to the dictionary in 2016.  Athleisure has become a well known term and fashion trend in the retail market.  It’s a unique hybrid blend of everyday business casual wear with athletic inspiration and functionality.  Combining the durability of sportswear and versatility of business casual, it attracts a wide range of consumers.  Universal use for the office, gym, social engagements, and weekend activities are an important element to the athleisure movement.  There is a larger focus on health and wellness, which means more and more people are looking to “digitally unplug” and create an active lifestyle.  It’s important our product fits within our culture and trends. 


Many believe athleisure is here to stay and is more of an evolution rather than a fad. In 2016 the U.S. market reported a 16% growth in the athleisure sector, increasing to $44 billion in sales.  Experts are predicting a 30% growth by 2020 in Asia & the U.S.  Analysts at Morgan Stanley believe global sales will rise over $350 billion by 2020.  While this evolution has had the biggest impact in the apparel market, we are seeing a heavy influence take shape in other product categories.  Here are some of the trends and products we see fitting into this growing need.

Content compliments of Sweda USA. Check out their athleisure products for your next promotion by clicking here:

Unique Decoration Techniques:  HXD Decoration

Unique Decoration Techniques: HXD Decoration

Introducing HXD, a unique branding method that creates a subtle pop from the product surface to give your logo a whole new dimension. If you’re looking for what’s trendy in retail, this is it.

02_080_17_pcna_hxdeducation_model copy.jpg

From Backpacks To Polos

Available on everything from coolers, totes and backpacks to most of our apparel, HXD combines the best attributes of two methods – the surface interest and high perceived value of embroidery, and the exceptional detail, unlimited color and location versatility of transfer.

And HXD is remarkably durable, as well. The adhesives have been tested to withstand everyday wear and tear, washing machines and dry cleaning.

A Lot Of Products. A Lot Of Locations.

HXD is versatile – it can be applied to a lot of products in a lot of locations. Along with high-visibility locations on bags, it’s particularly well-suited for both traditional and accent locations on wovens, baseball caps, softshell jackets, polos and journalbooks.


Unique Finishes

With HXD, you can choose a standard finish, a metallic finish or even a combination of the two.

HXD Technique.jpg

Freestanding And Mounting

Some logos present challenges, like small icons with tight spacing or think lettering. Our HXD designers assess those details, then create a solution. Minimal thickness and sufficient spacing are essential for a freestanding reproduction of small elements.

If a solution can’t be achieved by upsizing or subtle modification, we can mount the logo in one of three ways – contouring it, defining it or cresting it.


The dimensioning process prepares your art for reproduction in HXD. Combining artistic design expertise and high-tech mechanical processes, there are three steps. Dimensioning is done by skilled designers who've been trained in the process, and there is an associated fee.

Content compliments of PCNA. Check out this patented manufacturing process for your next promotion by clicking here:

Trends We're Seeing: #SquadGoals

Trends We're Seeing: #SquadGoals

Consumers today have shifted their priority from purchasing things to creating experiences and developing connections with their “squads.” Equally important to the #squadtime are the bragging rights earned by posting pics on social media of their squads in matching swag.

Bride Squad.jpg

More than half of Millennials now travel for destination pre-wedding parties, making the
fling-before-the-ring trip an important rite of passage. 

• Today’s wedding parties are willing to pay for elevated #squadgear.
• Travel-friendly swag is expected at destination events.


Cause Squad.jpg

Community outreach projects have become important social events for many squads, with animal adoption as a favorite.

• Squads proudly post pics in their personalized gear on their social networks.
• Graphics are key when making memories with your squad.


Camp Squad.jpg

The U.S. outdoor recreation economy is at an all-time high as people seek relief from digital fatigue.

• Kidult camps offer fun for nostalgic adults wanting to unplug.
• Cherished vintage styles and products are trending.


Content compliments of SanMar. Check out the Squad style for your next promotion by clicking here:

Building Your Brand: What Your Social Media Says About You

Building Your Brand: What Your Social Media Says About You

If you're branding and you know it clap your hands. If you're branding and you know it clap your hands. If you're branding and you know it then your words and actions should show it. If you're branding and you know it, clap your hands! 

Ok. So my song was pretty lame, but the topic is not. Personal branding. Whether you know it or not, and most people don't know it, you are always adding layers to your personal brand with the things you do and say both in person and online.  Don't believe me?  Get a piece of paper and pen, or use your phone.  I'm going to give you some words, and I want you to immediately write down the name of the first person to come to your mind. Ready?    

  • Dog lover

  • Loves wine

  • World traveler

  • Sunshine and positivity

  • Foodie

  • Would you just stop with the political posts already

  • Pumpkin Spice

  • Loves cars

  • Negative, whiny, downer

  • Craft beer drinker

  • When I think of anything related to music I think of

If you came up with at least one name for every one of these words or phrases. This is the essence of branding. 

According to Unmarketing, "A brand is not a logo. A brand is what you think and feel when you see a logo."  Therefore, what you think and feel is dictated by the story a brand tells. When it comes to people, everything we do, or sometimes don't do, and say, tells a story about us and plays a part in building our personal brand.  When people see us or our name, they immediately think and feel something about us based off of the interactions they have had with our "brand."

If you think about the exercise above, you realize you had a person for each one of those words.  If you think about it a little more you realize that because of the brand you have built for yourself, there is a group of words that people would also impulsively associate with you as well.  Have you ever given thought to what these words might be? 

As an example, at one point in time, I was a prolific coffee drinker. For my birthday people on Facebook very generously sent/messaged me $5.00 gift cards.  At the end of the day, I had quite a few trips to make to Starbucks. $500 worth in fact!  When people thought of me, they immediately thought coffee.  For the last two years, I've been drinking a specialty tea, and rarely post about coffee anymore, but guess what I still get for my birthday each year from people that know me on social media?  


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

Trends We're Seeing:  Natural Serenity

Trends We're Seeing: Natural Serenity

Escape the noise with materials and silhouettes taken from nature. These products have a timeless quality that extends their utility, disrupting a cycle of disposing and replacing that can’t be sustained.

PCNA-Natural Serenity.png

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