How Pink Phoenix Identifies With Swag

Today we are sharing our blog with one of our non-profit clients who does great things in the Portland/Vancouver area- not only for breast cancer survivors, but to help remind everyone to get mammograms and do monthly self exams.  Read on to learn more about Pink PhoenixTM from our guest blogger Ilene McMurray.


Pink Phoenix™ is the United States’ first dragon boat team consisting entirely of breast cancer survivors. A competitive team, it was organized in 1996 with the mission to enhance breast cancer awareness and to provide hope for survivors that there is quality of life after breast cancer. Our purpose is to demonstrate that special quality of life; to promote wellness, fitness, fun and camaraderie through dragon boating. We also provide social, emotional and spiritual support for breast cancer survivors. Through outreach activities, media recognition and public visibility, Pink Phoenix™ strives to provide hope to those newly diagnosed and to enhance breast cancer awareness serving as a reminder to women to have mammograms regularly and to do self-exams.  Teammates find strength and quality of life by paddling together while having the common thread of a breast cancer diagnosis. We treat each with respect, dignity, compassion and foster personal growth, teaching and learning.  Pink Phoenix welcomes all breast cancer survivors from the surrounding Portland/Vancouver areas, newly diagnosed to long-time survivor, all ages, and all abilities.

Pink Phoenix team.

      We participate joyfully and celebrate life


This year we have purchased 2 banners and a flag from Barefoot Swag.  They were selected so our location at whatever venue we are at can be easily located.  Our Pink PhoenixTM logo has been prominently printed on all of them in so our team is easily identifiable at all our race venues.  We selected a mesh banner that is more easily transported to away venues as it is lighter and dries more quickly in case of inclement weather.  We also use our banners at outreach events such as Race for the Cure, Row for the Cure, The Komen Breast Cancer Issues Conference, The Advancements in Breast Cancer Conference, The Healthcare Provider and Sponsor Paddle, and the Portland Pickles Breast Cancer Awareness Game.

pink phoenix banner

We have also used fun items like the pop open fans to cool us off at hot venues, fun sunglasses that turn pink in the sunlight and fandanas. These items are both functional to the team members at events and increase our visibility and help spread awareness.

For more information, including membership or to sponsor or donate, visit the Pink PhoenixTM website at  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


If you would like ideas to raise awareness for your non-profit at events contact us today!


But, Is It Good Enough?

I started this blog post two years ago and it’s just been sitting there.  The title stares at me every time I log in.  And I keep passing it by.  Since it is just about the 2 year anniversary of “the incident” I think it’s time we explore this topic.

The back story:

Two years ago we decided to sell our home in Ohio and move to North Carolina.  What we thought would take a while turned out to be a really fast process.  And stressful. So, so stressful.  Anyway, there was  huge crack in our front brick walkway that had caused part of the walk to drop over an 1″ and created a trip hazard, not to mention looking really horrible.  It had to dug up, the brick salvaged (so it would match), dirt & gravel added then the brick re-laid.  Here is where the problem arose. There was a pattern to the sidewalk.  A zigzag down the middle with half bricks outlining each side.  Now, there is another 15 feet of sidewalk clearly visible to match this pattern to.  At this point you have probably already guessed what happened.  The pattern didn’t match correctly.  Not only didn’t it match, but there were bricks left over.  Common sense would dictate that if you take out 50 bricks, 50 bricks should go back in, right? Nope.  I didn’t totally lose my cool, however our house was being listed in 2 days with an open house in 4 days so I wasn’t happy.  I made a call to the owner of the company (which wasn’t the person doing the work) and explained the situation.  His only response “But, is it good enough?”

Now, that was two years ago, the house sold in 10 days and I’m now happily on a mountain in North Carolina.  So technically, I guess it was good enough (maybe because I don’t have to look at it every day).  But that response still shocks me as much today as it did the day I heard it.

Mistakes happen, sometimes we can fix them, sometimes we can work around them, sometimes we have to start all over.  What is important, and what others remember about you, your service or your product, is how you react to those mistakes.

First, if you screwed up, take responsibility. Own your mistakes. Don’t try to blame someone else.  People see through that quickly and lose all confidence and trust in you.  None of us like to mess up, but you will be respected more for taking responsibility and hopefully salvage the relationship.  Maybe the mistake is actually that of your vendor (this happens to us on occasion).  To your client,  that is still YOUR mistake.  They don’t buy from your vendor, they buy from you. I’ve had to explain mistakes from vendors before and I try to do it as “this is what happened and this is how we are going to fix it.”  It is still my responsibility to get it corrected and make the client happy, therefore I have to own the mistake.

Second, don’t get defensive.  This is a hard one, especially if the other person is angry an d it truly is not  your fault.  Try to calm them down by offering to look into the details, exploring any possible solutions, etc.  If you automatically turn the blame back on an angry customer (even if they are wrong) you may never get them to look at the situation reasonably.  They may lash out on social media, which makes you look bad.  You may never win them back as a customer AND you now have (undeserved) negative feedback about you on social media.  Ask questions, have them state the facts of what they wanted/expected vs. what they received.  Asking questions in a attempt to clarify what happened can sometimes make the customer realize that the mistake is actually theirs without you having to point it out.  They might not admit it, but it this realization is usually enough to calm then down so you can work out a resolution.

Third, try to find a solution to remedy the mistake.  Even when it’s not your fault. Especially when it is not your fault.  We have had it happen more than once.  Sometimes mistakes are our fault and we will do everything possible to fix it (yes, even if it means losing money on the order).  But we have had instances where the client made a mistake and we help them find a solution that will work if at all possible. That might mean calling in favors, it might mean working late to make sure they will get their order. If there is any way possible we make it happen.   I can’t even image having a client call and say they received their order but part of the imprint was left off and responding with “but, is it good enough?”

Sometimes how you react to mistakes makes more of an impression that anything else you do in your business.   866-247-4320

OSC (Oh So Cool) Floating Sunglass Lanyard & Key Tag

Those that love the water, whether it be boating, fishing or surfing, know that “oh crap” moment when your glasses (or heaven forbid, your keys) hits the water.  Save everyone from that heart stopping moment while promoting your business or brand with these brand new floating eyewear retainers and key chains.  Not only are they functional, but they are super cool- making you super cool when you add your logo.

The designers took a “less is more” approach to the lanyard design, creating a retainer that is functional, durable, lightweight and comfortable.  Being coast dwellers, they understand the importance of all these features and designed a product they wanted to wear.

Korkz eye wear retainer

The corks used are #9 natural corks (not pressed) that are purchased domestically.  The assembly and decoration are completed right here in the US- in North Carolina.  Your logo is laser engraved on 1 or 2 sides of the cork, creating a beautiful piece you will be proud to to show off. The laser imprint will not wear off and the cork is UV resistant, keeping your brand looking good for a long time.  We can also add custom packaging with hanger bags for a convenient point of sale item.  These can make a great add-on sale item- they aren’t just for giveaways!

cork sunglass floating lanyard

The cork floating eyewear retainer is perfect for marinas, boat manufacturers, fly shops, fishing guide services, resorts, company retreats, cruise lines, travel agents and so much more.  Anywhere there are people and water these sunglass lanyards will save a lot of grief.  Of course, sunglasses aren’t the only use- these are perfect for “cheater glasses” as well.  I wear my sunglasses when fishing to help cut the glare on the water, but then I can’t see to tie a fly on my line.  So the cheater glasses AND the sunglasses are on a Korkz lanyard.  They are so lightweight that having 2 is not a problem.

korkz eyeglass lanyard

Sometimes we want to protect other items besides our sunglasses when around water (or just have a cool key chain).  That’s where the Keez comes in.  Made from the same natural cork, this light weight key tag can be added to items beyond just keys.  While these are also great for any water related businesses or activities, the key chain will work well for wine tastings, wineries or wine shops, eco promotions and more.

cork key tag

These items are so new they aren’t even on our website yet!  Just give us a call or email us for more information and pricing.          866-247-4320