Fun Phone Mints!

Call me silly, but I get just as excited about the swag I order to promote MY OWN business as I do the stuff my clients order.

Case in point – today my new ‘cell phone mint tins’ arrived, and they are COOL! Here’s a photo of what they look like, and the tin’s exactly the same shape and size as a cell phone. I like these because they’re fun, new & different – something not everyone has seen before. They’re full of ‘altoid type’ mints, which is one of the many fill options available.

What’s really fun is that I also ordered something to go with them – the ‘Sir Holdzalot’ desktop cellphone caddy from Quikey Manufacturing. There are many styles of these cellphone holders out there, but most of them are translucent frosted plastic. Mine are shiny, glossy opaque BLACK with a white ‘Got Swag?’ imprint on the front. Here’s a photo of what the holders look like in general (mine were shipped but haven’t arrived yet).

The idea is to present the two items together to showcase my creativity and drive home the idea that I’m the girl to call when you need SWAG. I’ll be handing these out at the East Portland Chamber of Commerce meeting I’m hosting on 5/3 (at Hollywood Wine & Espresso), and also at the OAME Trade Show at the Oregon Convention Center on 5/11.

Being in this business, I think my company’s swag just has to be a ‘cut above’ in terms of creativity. Sort of like a hair stylist ought to have a great hairdo… it just inspires confidence in what they can do for you. So that’s my latest self-promotional brainstorm, for what it’s worth. If you’d like to put my creative promotional brain to work on YOUR company’s projects, just e-mail me:

Company Shirts

Summer’s coming, and for us in the swagbiz that means it’s SHIRT SEASON. We’ve been doing a ton of business in screen-printed and embroidered shirts this past month, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts on that subject and some of my favorite picks.

Unlike some of our competitors here in Portland, we outsource all of our embroidery and screenprinting instead of doing it in-house. As the owner of the company, that’s great for me – I don’t have to spend my time wrapped up in the production end of things, which leaves me free to develop more business and pay more attention to my clients.

I think it’s a good arrangement for our clients, too, because outsourcing the decorating gives us more options and flexibility. For example, we had a client call last week who needed a couple hundred t-shirts printed up in a hurry for a Cinco de Mayo event. Our usual screenprinter is running at about 3 weeks production, but we know of another local screener that charges just a bit more but can do the job in 5 days… so we were able to send the order there and get the shirts done with time to spare, without rush charges. The shirts came out looking great, too!

Another interesting call came in yesterday – a woman was referred to us by a good client of ours and she needed moisture-wicking shirts for a rowing team, with a colorful logo, and had a price limit of $15 per shirt. Did a little searching around and was able to source them from a supplier in Colorado ( and offer her several different styles to choose from that will be within her price range, with no setup charges.

Colorado Timberline has a ‘Kornit’ machine, which sublimates 4-color process artwork directly onto their Poly-Dri moisture-wicking shirts, at a price that is MUCH less than 4 color screen printing ($2 per shirt for imprinting, no setup charge!). And they offer 3-5 day production! Colorado Timberline only works through promotional distributors (such as my company, Advance Promotions), so if you’re reading this and are curious about getting some shirts done, just call me at 866-247-4320 and I can help you out.

Other than that, the big thing has been GOLF SHIRTS! We’re selling TONS of the Port Authority style K420 right now, which is a nice shirt at a great price that comes in a ton of colors. See it on SanMar’s website: Also comes in a ladies’ cut, which pretty much looks like the same shirt, but is cut smaller through the armholes and is not as long in the torso. I’m always glad to see companies get shirts in a ladies’ cut for their female employees – nothing looks worse than a huge, man’s style shirt hanging off some poor woman at a trade show! It doesn’t cost any extra to order shirts for women that actually fit… and it looks SO much more professional!

Well, it’s 3pm on Friday afternoon here in sunny Portland. I’m such a good boss, I’m taking my staff to see Cirque de Soleil this afternoon as a company ‘thank you’ for an absolutely stellar first quarter – our sales were more than double Q1 last year. Signing off for this week, hope everyone has a great weeknd – Swagqueen Di

For Starters…

Welcome to my blog! I’m Diane Nudelman and I’m the owner & president of Advance Promotions/AIA, which is a promotional products distributorship located in Portland, Oregon. I’m affectionately known in local circles as the Swag Queen, and my goal for this blog is to share my knowledge of swag (aka: promotional products or advertising specialties) and pass along good ideas as I find them.

Background: I graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Finance/Law in 1985 and spent 17 years in financial services (securities and mortgages) before buying Advance Promotions from Arlene Thorner in March of 2002. I’ve lived in Portland nearly all of my life and am a resident of NE Portland (my office is in the Hollywood District).

I’m assuming if you’ve found this blog, you already know what Swag is… but you know what they say about assumptions. It’s the STUFF WE ALL GET, in other words, the logo’d freebies that are handed out by companies at conferences, tradeshows, networking events, etc, etc. Not to be confused with ‘Schwag’, which is actually a slang term for low-grade marijuana!

I also like to put my own spin on things, so alternatively we could say that Swag stands for imprinted STUFF, WEARABLES, AWARDS & GIFTS… which pretty much sums up the stuff that my company sells. In a nutshell, we sell pretty much anything you can put a logo on.

I’d love to post all day, but hey, I’ve got a company to run here! Stay tuned, and as I have time I’ll keep adding more to this blog. In the meantime, if you are in need of a good person to work with as far as your imprinted promotional goods & clothing, I’d love to hear from you. I’ve got clients all over the US (New York, Philly, Chicago, Texas, California, and more) so just because I’m in Portland and you’re wherever, don’t hold back if you’d like to call or e-mail.

For more info about me, about Advance Promotions and contact information, check out our website: While you’re there, sign up for my weekly newsletter. Ciao!!