Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.

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Ways to Promote Work-Life Balance at the Office


Work-Life BalanceWork-life balance has been a hot topic for the last few years, in part, due to the climbing number of millennials entering the workforce, coupled with the advent of tech giants, where on-site arcade games, beer fridges, and free meals are the norm. Word on these buzzy perks has gotten out, and workers want in on them. Offering these kinds of things not only makes your workplace more appealing, but it’s a great way to create an environment ripe for a healthy work-life balance.

Why is work-life balance so important? Studies show that employees not only want it, but need it. Work-life balance helps workers stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and helps avoid burnout—a common occurrence among overworked employees. Also, contrary to some out-of-date thinking, just because employees work around the clock, doesn’t mean they’re actually being efficient or productive.

Keep reading for 15 tips on how to create better work-life balance for your employees.

1. Enact Flexible Scheduling

Some folks are early birds, others night owls—so why expect them all to homogenize to a standard 9-5? If your business can allow for it, consider opening up scheduling, like 7-3, 8-4, 9-5, and 10-6. This doesn’t mean employees should change it up daily, but picking a timeframe and sticking to it should make everyone happy.

2. Offer Telecommuting Options

More and more companies are offering telecommuting—and for good reason—it has been shown to actually increase employee productivity. How is that possible? For starts, there tends to be less distractions when an employee can hunker down in the comfort of their home office, skip traffic-y or long commutes, and *bonus* keep their sniffles to themselves (preventing an onslaught of office sickness making the rounds). Consider supporting one day as a pilot, though many companies offer employees the opportunity to work from home several days each week.

3. Offer Gym Memberships or Gym Equipment

Physical exercise is important not only for the body, but the mind. Encourage employees to get physical by offering a gym membership, or even a discount to one if you can’t cover the whole bill. Many health insurance plans offer discounts, too, that employees can take advantage of. If yours does, make sure they know about it! As a way to promote the program, hand out custom gym bags to get kick start momentum.

On the other hand, if you have the space for it, consider adding a small gym to your office. This may sound extravagant, but even setting aside a single conference room for a treadmill, stationary bike, and a few yoga mats is a great way to help employees exercise as part of their daily work routine. Or, make the entire office a fitness space by providing pedometers that track employee steps and other fitness stats.

4. Hold On-site Fitness Classes

Consider hosting a weekly yoga, Pilates, or other fitness class right in the office. If you really want to encourage fitness, consider holding two or three each week.

5. Encourage Comfortable Workspaces

From ergonomic desk chairs, to standing desks, there’s a ton you can do to help create comfy spaces for employees. Another idea—add plants around the office for a pop of color and improved air quality. You can also encourage employees to personalize their spaces by gifting them picture frames they can use to hold pics of their kids, pets, loved ones—memories that will make them smile on even the most stressful days.

6. Create a Meditation Space

Offering employees a space to quietly zen-out during a hectic day is a great way to allow them to re-route frustration, anxiety, or the daily chaos of company work. Whether this is something they do at-will, or a morning ritual—say, your team meets at 9:30 every day for a quick 15 meditation circle—promoting this stress-relieving activity is a perfect in-office tactic. Also, consider passing out stress balls for employees to keep on their desks to use as needed throughout the day.

7. Host On-site Chair Massages

Whether this is something you hold monthly or quarterly, trust employees will look forward to it! A luxurious mid-day treat, a chair massage is a great way to work out the tensions that build up over time—especially for employees that sit all day at a computer (AKA those ripe for shoulder and neck knots!).

8. Discourage Late Hours

Full-time employees (generally) sign on for 40 hours/week…but it’s all too common to work many more—which is no bueno for a healthy work-life balance. Encourage employees to leave the office at reasonable hours, and discourage late night and weekend emailing. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary for projects, but it shouldn’t be a long-term, regular occurrence if you want work-life balance.

9. Support Ongoing Learning

Encourage employees to stretch their minds and creativity by partaking in ongoing learning courses and certifications. How to encourage it? For starts, you can help pay for some of the fees associated with it. Or, allow employees time to study (if taking a test, etc.) as part of their work day (perhaps two hours a week).

10. Offer Family-friendly Ticketed Events

Many ticketed events provide discounts for group rates. Considering purchasing a chunk of tickets to a local sports game, ballet, or play that employees can then purchase from you at the discounted rate. This is win-win—employees get the discount and some family time, while employers make them happy, without compromising the work day (as these types of events occur at night or on the weekends).

11. Host Regular Happy Hours

Getting employees to socialize with one another outside of a project or typical workday task is a great way to improve relations around the office and have some fun. Gathering up your team to head to a local happy hour is a great way to break loose, laugh, and get to know one another in a non-work space.

12. Offer Paid Holidays

Holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends, relaxing and celebrating—not working! Offering paid holidays is a generous perk. Of course, most companies already do this, but to varying degrees. While the average is about nine, consider adding in a few more days—like July 4thand 5th, or December 25th and 26th. Lots of employees end up using their PTO to take these days off, but making it an official company holiday is a generous move employees will appreciate.

13. Encourage the Use of Time Off

Many companies offer paid time off, but that doesn’t mean employees will use it. That said, taking vacation time is an important part of creating a healthy work-life balance. Consider half-year check-ins with employees to ensure they’re using this important benefit, and consider setting a limit on roll-over days from year to year.

14. Provide Healthy Snacks

The water cooler and coffee pot may be workplace pantry staples, but consider going a step further by offering healthy snacks to go along with these beverages. Fresh fruit, granola bars, yogurt cups, and dark chocolate are a few ideas folks will not only love, but will keep them nourished through their work day.

15. Host Monthly Lunches

Lunching together is a great way to bond with colleagues in an informal setting, where you can talk about things other than projects and work tasks. Whether you take your team out to a restaurant for this meal, or simply have a few pizzas delivered to the office, employees will appreciate the gesture—and are likely to partake, because, uh, who doesn’t love free food?

We hope these ideas have got your creative juices flowing about the ways you can usher in better work-life balance with employees. Of course, you’ll need to lead by example and actually partake in whichever items you enact—but hey, from entry-level through executive leadership, work-life balance is important for everyone (yes, even you).


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6 Hot Tech Products You and Your Customers “Have to Have”


Who doesn’t want to run faster, jump higher and push just a little bit harder? Exactly. And in the business arena, the equivalent is getting all geared up with the latest and greatest technology – technology that enables you to drive your business forward.

The good news? The hottest tech products are also some of the most affordable and most intuitive – in other words, the perfect gift and perfect corporate premium to give your customers, employees and vendors anytime.New Year, New Tech Promos

#1. Nuckees™ Custom Phone Grip and Stand

Unless you’ve been living under a technology rock, chances are you’ve seen Nuckees (literally) popping up everywhere. The small circular grips attach to the back of your smartphone, then pop out to create a better grip or, even, a stand.

Once you’ve got your Nuckees in place you’ll be able to go from meeting to meeting without missing a beat – or dropping your phone. And when you’re ready to take a breath? That stand makes your phone the perfect private home theater, ideal for a PM or on-the-road binge session.

Our Wood Grain Custom Power Bank in Blue#2. Wood Grain Custom Power Bank

And to ensure you’re Nuckees-boosted phone doesn’t give out? This Wood Grain Custom Power Bank is the way to go. You’ll get an instant jolt from its 3000 mAh, and get your phone back up and running fast. Another perk: this one’s designed for on-the-move professionals, with a wrist strap to keep it close without ever letting it hit the ground.

#3. Budget Security Slide-Action Promotional Webcam Cover

With privacy and security top-of-mind, it’s good to give something that acknowledges your commitment to keeping things on the up-and-up. This slide-action webcam cover adheres to your computer, laptop, tablet or phone, protecting – and covering – the camera lens. Then, when it’s time to hop on a conference call, simply slide to show your face. It’s secure, it’s simple and it ensures only the right people are peeking in.

Our True Wireless Earbuds with Custom Metal Carry Case#4. True Wireless Earbuds with a Custom Metal Charging Case

Tune into those Nuckees-inspired binge sessions or listen to your favorite playlist without ever missing a beat – that’s what we love about these Bluetooth earbuds. Listen for three hours on a full charge, or use the built-in microphone to chat with colleagues or check in with the office. Then, store everything in this sleek, portable metal charging case and do it all over again.

#5. Bluetooth Speaker Custom Water Bottle

Stay hydrated and keep to the beat with this water-meets-music must-have. Perfect for the gym, AM jobs or, simply, kicking back at the park or beach, these water bottles hold either cold or hot drinks – and come complete with a built-in speaker to stream pump-it-up playlists, audio books or, really, anything else that gets you going.

Out Two Tone Wireless Promotional Charging Pad#6. Two-Tone Wireless Promotional Charging Pad

Because, really, you can’t have enough chargers around. These two-tone wireless charging pads utilize Qi technology to ensure a powerful charge fast. With a sleek finish and prominent logo, this charger is perfect for any home, office or waiting area, delivering up to three hours of charge time to virtually any handheld Qi-compatible device.

Get your hands on these must-have tech gifts now, and ensure you’re supercharged into 2019 and beyond. Contact ePromos to learn more and to place your tech order now.


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How to Find Sponsors for Your Sports Team


Sponsorship is a great way for local sports teams to get the funds they need for the many costs associated with being part of a league, including travel costs, equipment, and fees. This is true of any sport, from baseball to soccer, hockey, gymnastics, and basketball. This can require a serious time investment, from seeking out potential sponsors, to creating and managing contracts once a deal is struck.Helpful Tips for Finding Sponsors for Sports Teams

It may sound a bit overwhelming, especially for a community team running on the power of volunteers, but once you’re able to make a few sponsorship relationships the payoff will be worth it. Stable funding for a sports team can be a huge relief for the adults involved as well as lessen the burden on the team members, who otherwise would need to seek other avenues for raising money.

Sound like something your local team could benefit from? Keep reading for information on where to find potential sponsors and the steps you’ll need to take secure a legitimate sponsorship.

 

Where to Find Sponsors

While most folks think that sponsors can only be found in the local community they can also be found online. Here, we offer a mix of both to ensure you’re maximizing the possibilities available to your team.

1. Local Businesses

This can include restaurants, cafes, shops, insurance companies, or any other small business that operates in your town. There are tons of benefits to this option—including the possibility that a team mate (or the parents of one) owns or works at the local business, creating an extra incentive and sponsorship a natural fit.

2. Corporate Businesses

Many corporate businesses will donate to a local sports team, even if they aren’t located in the town (or even state). Dicks Sporting Goods is a great example of a big-name company with interest in youth leagues and local teams. If a corporation donates to local teams, you can typically access their application information right on their website.

3. Sponsorship Websites

Googling potential sponsors can be a time-consuming task. Check out websites that have already pooled sponsorship info to narrow down your search. Open Sponsorship is an example of this type of site—a fantastic tool that consolidates sponsorship information in an easy to use platform.

 

Necessary Steps to Procure a Sponsorship

Have a list of potential sponsors you’re ready to reach out to? Be sure to follow these five steps to snag a deal for your team:

Step 1: Name a Person of Contact

Local teams are often run on the hard work of volunteers, who are already likely very busy people. That said, rather than have a handful of volunteers working all at the same time to find sponsorship, create a leader to man the helm. Of course, this person shouldn’t necessarily go it alone, but s/he can designate other folks with specific jobs related to sponsorship. From the perspective of the potential sponsor, it is more convenient to only reach out to a single person in terms of communication. Keep things smooth with a single point of contact!

Step 2: Determine the Mutual Benefits of Sponsorship

A sponsorship is a symbiotic relationship. As such, don’t be shy to call out the ways you can mutually benefit one another by striking a deal. This should occur in two steps. First, clearly outline the purpose for seeking sponsorship. How much money does the team need? What will it be used for? Traveling to a regional competition? Buying much needed new equipment (which could aid team safety)? Letting the sponsor know exactly how and what their dollars will benefit will entice them to pitch in—and give them something very tangible to feel good about.

On the other hand, sponsors reap benefits themselves—make sure to acknowledge this in your pitch (politely, of course). Your team will provide marketing for them, whether they brand your custom team uniform, pieces of equipment, sporting event supplies, concession stand cups, or even custom koozies for the players to use when they’re on the sidelines. An added bonus? That marketing will be received very well. After all, it’s a gift of charity. One that will endear the business to the community, and potentially result in new customers. Also, there may even be tax breaks for donating to a local team, particularly if it falls under the non-profit category.

Step #3: Write and Send Sponsorship Letters

Once you have identified your list of potential sponsors, detailed the needs of your team and the mutual benefits you both stand to gain, it’s time to draft that all into a letter (or email). Keep it to a single page, or, if an email, about three paragraphs. Businesses are busy, and the sooner you jump to the point, the better chance of them reading your letter in its entirety. That said, don’t be afraid to get personal. You want the sponsor to connect with your offer and telling a quick personal story or antidote can be a great way to do that. Make sure your contact information is clear, as well as easy to reach— include a direct phone number and email address.

Don’t be afraid to follow-up if you don’t hear back after a week or two. While there is a possibility your note was dismissed, there’s also a good chance they’ve just got a full plate in front of them and haven’t gotten to it yet. When following-up, try to reach out via email or phone. If going the email route, send it as a forward of your original request, and keep it short and sweet (and to the point!).

Step 4: Create a Contract

This is an exciting step! If you’ve reached #4 that means you’ve identified a sponsor willing to move forward with your request—congratulations! A contract is important, as it outlines the expectations of both the sponsor and the team. Since money is involved, you’ll want to ensure everything remains transparent on both ends, which the contract will outline and clarify.

When dealing with a contract, it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer look it over. You can also go an extra step for protection and have it notarized.

Once signed by both parties, be sure to make plenty of copies, which should be given to both parties for safe record-keeping.

Step 5: Keep Good on the Agreement

This step is perhaps more important than any other—be sure to hold up your end of the sponsorship! If you agreed to have the company name printed on your uniforms, be sure to have it done in time for your first game (or whatever the agreed upon contract terms). Nothing will rub a sponsor the wrong way as seeing that you’ve taken their money but haven’t done what you promised, namely being a marketing avenue for their brand.

Maintaining a good relationship with your sponsor has a two-fold purpose. One, hopefully they will continue to sponsor your team for years to come. Two, they can serve as a reference when looking for additional sponsors. Getting a kind word from them is a great boast to legitimize your request from other potential sponsors.

Getting sponsors for your community team is an exciting and lucrative venture. While it takes work, by following our steps you’ll have a roadmap to keep you on track and things running smoothly. A last word of advice—don’t be deterred by a ‘no’. Keep pushing your request out and you’ll eventually snag a sponsor, with all the wonderful benefits that come along with it.


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Celebrate Kwanzaa By Recording Your Journey


Many Americans are unaware of the meaning behind Kwanzaa, the African-American celebration of culture and heritage. Kwanzaa is a rather new holiday, first being celebrated in 1966. The week-long celebration runs from December 26th -January 1st every year, with each day focusing on a different moral to live by. Matunda ya kwanza, which translates to first fruits in Swahili, is where the holidays name is derived from.

Celebrating Kwanzaa by Recording Your JourneyThere are a few decorations specific to Kwanzaa. Most common is the Mishumaa Saba, or seven candles. Each night one of the candles is lit on the candle holder, also known as the Kinara. Then the principle which falls on that day is discussed amongst the people you spend Kwanzaa with; whether that be friends, family, or neighbors. To decorate you may also place mazao in a bowl. Mazao means crops, so people will put different fruits or vegetables in a bowl to show the productivity of the community. Another traditional Kwanzaa decoration is muhindi, which are ears of corn laid out for each child present for the celebration. In the event that no children are attending, two ears of corn are put out to represent all the children in the community. Lastly, some Kwanzaa celebrators hang Bendera around the home. These are the Kwanzaa flags which represent the morals that are honored throughout the week.

The First Day

The first day of Kwanzaa is focused on Umoja (oo–MO–jah), or unity. This includes unity at a small scale, family or community; and, unity at a large scale, within the nation and the African-American race.

The Second Day

The second day is focused on Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah), or self-determination. This means doing things for yourself and defining your life on your own. Determining who you are is an important thing to do. To define yourself you must set goals!

The Third Day

The third day is focused on Ujima (oo–GEE–mah), or collective work and responsibility. This principle could be seen in contrast to Kujichagulia. Ujima encourages individuals to come together and take on the burden of one another’s problems. Building a sense of community is an important value of Kwanzaa.

The Fourth Day

The fourth day is focused on Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah), or collective economics. This lesson reminds those who celebrate Kwanzaa to support their local African-American community. Doing so includes shopping from their stores and bringing your business to their companies. One place people visit in their homes every day is their refrigerator. In fact, the average person opens their fridge 15-20 times a day! To help promote local businesses and companies, give out customized business magnets to remind people often how great your business is!

The Fifth Day

The fifth day is focused on Nia (nee–YAH), or purpose. This can go hand-in-hand with Ujamaa. To create purpose within the community, individuals must be on the same path. Kwanzaa highlights the further development of the African-American people as the unified purpose.

The Sixth DayA Beautiful Handmade Kikombe Cha Umoja

The sixth day is focused on Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah), or creativity. To be creative, you must use whatever resource you have available to you to fulfill your goal or mission. In turn, the community will be wonderful and plentiful for everyone. This is also the day of the Karamu Feast. During the feast the tribute is paid to the ancestors by the tambiko, or, libation ritual. A libation is offered in four directions, north, south, east and west. The group that gathers for the feast also drinks from the kikombe cha umoja, also known as the unity cup. To end the honoring of ancestors an elder pours the libation on the ground.

The Seventh Day

The seventh day is focused on Imani (ee–MAH–nee), or faith. The final principle on the final day of Kwanzaa prompts the celebrators to have faith in both their successes and struggles. They are also to have faith in the individuals who make up their community and the leaders who guide them. Faith may be last in the line of principles, but it is definitely not least.

Some Ways to Celebrate Kwanzaa

Celebrating Kwanzaa doesn’t mean you have to give up Christmas. Record your journey (and encourage others to do the same) in one of our Notebooks, Journals & Jotters. This way they can look back to help remind them of all the reasons to grow their faith in the African-American community. Another creative way to commemorate Kwanzaa is by making clay jewelry. You can make beads for a necklace or bracelet that can be worn all year long. Share your stories, experiences, and celebration ideas with loved ones on social media. Above all else, make sure you don’t forget the main reason for the season; enjoying time spent with family and friends!

There are many fun and creative ways ePromos can help you celebrate Kwanzaa. Contact us today so we can help you start planning your next celebration!


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Ideas For Using Pantone’s Color of the Year


After the year we’ve all had, it’s nice to take a break, take a breath and indulge in something a little more mellow. And that’s exactly why we’re loving this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, 16-1546 Living Coral, which the Pantone team describes as “humanizing” with “heartening qualities” that speak to our need for “human interaction and social connection.”

Ideas for Using Pantone's 2019 Color of the YearWe couldn’t agree more. Already we’ve been digging into this calm, cool, playful color – and, we admit, it’s definitely lightened the mood and helped curb some of the holiday chaos.

If you’re looking for that added optimism or, simply, a little respite from the craziness of the year and the season, look no further than Living Coral…

AT HOME

We’re all about a pop of color at home. Whether it’s a coral throw pillow, blanket or, even, an on-trend wall hanging (coral juju hats, anyone?), there are countless options for integrating this warm, friendly color into your space.

And if you want to take things even further? Check out the seven paint matches, all readily available at your local home, DIY or big box store. Add an accent wall, makeover a small space or bathroom or, simply, refinish a piece of furniture and you’ll instantly have a cool new addition to your space that’s fresh, upbeat and totally on trend.

IN YOUR GIFTING

Given how versatile and universal coral is, it’s no surprise some of our favorite gifts come in this dynamic color. Customize a set of Full-Color Ray-Ban Style Sunglasses and opt for any one (or more…) of the 15 colors available, including coral. Looking for something that will be used around the office? Our Full-Color Vibrant Retractable Gel Pens are perfect, available in 12 coral plus 11 other shades.

IN YOUR CLOSET

Teen Vogue: Celebrities Embracing The Color of the YearCoral has long been a popular go-to for fashionistas – and with good cause. Not only is it a rich, beautiful color, but it’s easy to wear, regardless of your style or skin tone. In fact, the Spring 2019 runways were packed with coral hues, including everything from gowns to camisoles to vacation-approved maxi dresses.

And if your budget isn’t runway-ready? Coral has increasingly trickled down to boutiques, department stores and mass retailers – we’re loving this pop of color in everything from cords to cardigans to hats, gloves and scarves.

That, though, is just the beginning. Now that Living Color has taken the top spot, it’s only a matter of time before accessories and wardrobe staples will be hitting the shelves in this must-have hue.

Looking for the perfect gift in the perfect color? Get in touch with our expert team to explore coral premiumsand more.


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5 Reasons to Consider Food Gifts With a Keepsake (Any Time of the Year)


Everyone loves food gifts, no matter the time of year. We love them too, but we what makes us love them even more is when they include a gift that’s not perishable (we are in the branding business, after all).

These treats are packed in reusable totes and coolers, for a keepsake gift your clients will love.

From totes to coolers to crates, some of our favorite yummy treats are packaged with a bonus gift – something your recipients can keep long after the last cookie crumb vanishes. Not only will they love sinking their teeth into the contents, but they’ll walk away with an evergreen gift they can use over and over all year long – and that’s not just good for them, it’s good business for YOU. Here’s why…

#1. It’s Endless BrandingOur Cookie Crate

Yes, the cookies are amazing. And, yes, there are nine different flavors packed in a single crate. But, after they finish the last cookie in your Cookie Gift Crate, that wooden crate becomes a catch-all for their desk, upgraded inbox or, simply, a mail-drop by their front door. Regardless, every time they see this versatile crate, you’ll be top-of-mind.

#2. It Ties you to Convenience

Snacks, drinks or even office supplies get loaded into the tote left over from this Sweet & Savory Gourmet Gift Caddy Tote, and your logo, branding and message travels all over your customer’s office and beyond. It’s a quick way to remind your client base that you’re in-it-to-win-it with them 24/7 – and with multiple pockets and compartments, it’s easy to stay organized and on the move.

And before this caddy makes the rounds? This tote houses their favorite treats, including cookies, caramel popcorn, peanut crunch, hummus and crackers, fruit and nut mix, pretzels, caramels and more. Yes, please…

#3. It Shows off Your Creative Side

Our Meeting Gourmet Snack Custom Gift Tote

This Meeting Gourmet Snack Gift Tote is a total head-turner, with a unique shape that customers will want to show off long after they finish the popcorn, shortbread, apple chips, cookies and pretzels packed inside. Don’t be surprised if the tote finds its way onto your customers’ desks or becomes their new meeting carry-all. And when they’re asked where they got that super sleek, super chic tote? You’ll no doubt get kudos for the creativity.

 

#4. It Shows You’re Thinking of Them

Everyone loves snacks, especially during the holidays. And, going a step further, everyone will love the raspberry honey mustard dip, pretzel twists, lemon cookies, apple chips, cookies, popcorn and all of the other amazing picnic faves packed into this Picnic Treats Gift Lunch Cooler.

But the best part about this keepsake gourmet gift? When they’re done sharing and snacking, this tote becomes your clients’ new go-to lunch box. Because it doubles as a lunch or picnic cooler bag, they can pop their favorite lunchtime eats into this bag all year long. Not only will this bag be a constant reminder of your partnership, but your clients will know you’re always thinking of them – as will everyone who spots these bold branded totes in the break room fridge.

#5. It’s Such a Great Bag…

Our Gourmet Treats Custom Gift ToteEveryone loves – and needs – a great carry-all tote. Why not be the business that supplies it? That’s the power of this Gourmet Treats Gift Tote. As with our other holiday food packs, this one is filled to the brim with cookies, fruit and nut mix, caramel popcorn, peanut crunch and caramels.

And when it’s empty? It’s a classic and totally on-trend tote, perfect for carrying anything from gym clothes for a post-work workout, meeting must-haves, travel essentials or, really, anything. It’s a great bag, period. And it’s a great bag you’ll be tied to every day when your customer grabs it and goes.

Looking for the perfect gourmet keepsake? Get in touch to learn more and view our complete collection.