Advantages

AdvantagesMag.com

E-News Insider

Missed a trend report, industry news, hot deal or other informative tidbits from our wide array of e-newsletters? You can access all our archives by going to asicentral.com and clicking on “Newsletters.” In the meantime, here are some highlights from recent editions.

From “Advantages Hot Deals”

Hearts Aflutter

The Pitch: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Aminco International (asi/35850) offers a host of related products, including item FJ-1059PK. It’s a 3-D Heart Keyring with pink crystals and a breast-cancer ribbon dangler charm. Suggest it for awareness events and women’s health centers. For pricing and other information, click here: http://www.amincoasi.com/.

The Bottom Line: Key to my heart.

Tail Wagger

The Pitch: You can take this product to the bank – literally. This unique plastic piggy bank from Evans Mfg. (asi/52840) is action-packed. Well, at least its tail is. Drop a coin in and its tail will wiggle. It comes in a variety of colors and would be perfect for banks encouraging kids to start saving. Pricing starts at: 150; $2.49-R. Check it out: http://www.evans-mfg.com/.

The Bottom Line: Piggly wiggly.

Triple Header

The Pitch: Here’s an idea for students, teachers, office employees, health-care workers … anyone really. Hub Pen (asi/61966) brings you a triple-function writing instrument that is a pen, push-to-activate LED flashlight and stylus all in one. It comes in black, blue, gunmetal or red and pricing starts at: 75; $4.26-P. See it here: http://www.hubpen.com/.

The Bottom Line: Write light.

From “Wearables Style”

Trend Alert: Backpacks

A popular accessory in the ‘90s, the backpack has made a powerful comeback, with labels like Louis Vuitton, Nike and Ed Hardy updating the style and comfort of the schoolyard staple. “The backpack is not gender- or age-oriented; it is stylish and fits into so many niches,” says Eileen Flanagan, sales manager at Rothco (asi/83708).

A backpack serves as a functional piece, while still adding a fashionable and edgy look to an outfit. “The trend is so popular because Gen Xers are entering the workforce and challenging the notion that you can’t mix fashion and function with professionalism,” says Alex Morin, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Debco (asi/48885).

With so many styles out there, the backpack can be used to stow much more than just schoolbooks, camping gear or gym clothes. Aside from your typical schoolbag, other styles include slingback, day-hiker and messenger bag. The backpack has been recreated and redesigned with a more modern look. “The latest styles have padded compartments for laptops, pockets for charging devices and grommet holes for earbuds or speaker wire,” says Morin. It’s a practical and efficient way to organize your belongings. These added features make a backpack ideal because it’s fashion with a purpose.

Q&A With Phil Stitch

Phil Stitch is our sister publication Stitches’ go-to guy for all your hard-to-find apparel, accessories and embroidery supplies needs. Here are some highlights from a recent online Q&A session. You can access all Phil’s blogs at stitches.com.

Q: Dear Phil, It might seem a little early, but my customer wants pink Santa hats to decorate. Do you have any sources? – Lara

A: Ho, ho, ho! You can find Christmas cheer throughout the year with Brighter Promotions (asi/42016); (800) 446-3200; www.brighterpromotions.com; the Mrs. Claus Pink Plush Santa Hat (product HAT072) fits the bill. Or, get your spirit on with the Felt Santa Hat (product 6735) or the Plush Santa Hat from Illini (asi/62190); (800) 935-5472; www.illiniline.com; both available in pink.

You might also spoil your client with the Pink Velvet Santa Hat with Plush Trim (product 20731-P) from Beistle (asi/39540); (717) 532-2131; www.beistle.com.

Selling Tip: Planning ahead never hurt anyone. Encourage your clients to think about products they’ll need in the upcoming months to save time, money and headaches.

Q: Hi Phil, I’m looking for gardening gloves with floral patterns. Can you help? – Cassie

A: I’ve done some digging and found a few options for you. First, check out Atteff International (asi/37455); (888) 828-8333; www.atteff.com; the Cotton Gardening Gloves (product GL9121) come in three floral designs with matching-color knit wrists.

Or, try the Floral Print Cotton Canvas Glove (product AD1032) from Fairfield Line Inc. (asi/53510); (800) 560-0728; www.goodluckline.com; on for size. It features a white gauntlet cuff and PVC palm. Roll up your sleeves with Rivers Garment Inc. (asi/82571); (562) 968-0917; www.riversgarment.com; the Cotton Polyester Work Garden Glove (product GlovesRPSZ0003) comes in blue, green and red, sure to please any planter.

Selling Tip: Don’t forget gloves for those who work outside, such as gardeners, laborers, beekeepers and more.