Be our Guest, Annual Showcase of best/brightest Promo Products & Apparel

Please be our guest next week at the Annual TOPS show (Travelling Optimum Promotional Show — what a dumb name for a great event).  This is our annual chance to see the latest in new products, gifts, apparel from North American and global suppliers.  Admission is free and this is NOT a sales event (no pressure).  Its just a tradeshow and a chance to see the latest.  You don’t have to go with BigCoast Brands, just ask for a ticket and we’ll ensure you are on the list.  March 24, 11am to 4pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  Email me rich [at] bigcoast.ca to reserve your ticket(s).   You can see the official invite here OR below:


Company Stores — We do that!

We are proud at BigCoast Brands to be managing company stores on behalf of our clients. Some of our clients want a company store so that their employees or senior managers can access a collection of corporate gifts that they purchase for themselves or as corporate gifts for external parties.  Other clients, like Vancouver’s franchise success Nurse Next Door needed an online store solution that would give their Franchise Partners access to uniforms, gifts and promotional products.

Stores can be open to all Web users OR Login protected like this Nurse Next Door example.

Our company web stores are simple, well branded and fully operational: they show products, allow simple shopping navigation, add to cart, calculate taxes and ship direct to the shopper’s door.  From our 3,000 square foot facility we pick, pack and ship the order.  Simple, no fuss promotional products shipped directly to the shopper with no effort for the company head office!

A snapshot of the product for Nurse Next Door.

We use Magento, (from their website): a feature-rich eCommerce platform built on open-source technology that provides online merchants with unprecedented flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their eCommerce store. Magento’s intuitive administration interface features powerful marketing, search engine optimization and catalog-management tools to give merchants the power to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. Designed to be completely scalable and backed by Varien’s support network, Magento offers companies the ultimate eCommerce solution.

A Fedex plug-in allows store to calculate exact shipping to shoppers address via Fedex with options for Ground, Air or 2-day. Cool!

Magento Clients

The Magento Community Edition is available as a free download under theopen source OSL 3.0 license.  More information can be found at http://www.magentocommerce.com

Magento currently reports more than $25 Billion in transactions and 90,000+ merchants using their platform.

These big-time brands use Magento so I knew it was right for us:

Vancouver’s own Adam Kambeitz designs, populates and manages our Magento stores and we are grateful for his assistance.  If you’d like to find out how BigCoast Brands can design and operate a company store for you, please contact rich@bigcoast.ca


Thank-you 2010 Olympic Games — one year later

On the eve of the first anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games I spent some time thinking about what the games meant to BigCoast Brands.  Personally, the Olympics were an amazing event, lots of fun and a two-week party.  For our business, here is a brief summary of the legacy from the basics to the more esoteric:

Opening Ceremonies

Increased Revenue: Obviously we’re not the only supplier in the Lower Mainland or even farther afield that snagged some contracts during the Olympics.  But still, we were blessed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business for direct Olympic Games clients such as Canadian Olympic Committee; Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC); Inniskillin Winery; Sportsmark; Bell, Jamaican Bobsled Team and others.

Boosted Confidence: We were inspired by our experiences in 2009 and early 2010 so we committed ourselves to a bigger office, more staff, and investment in technology.  Our goal was a strong foundation for the next 20 years in business.  Unfortunately we forgot that many Olympic host cities suffer a “hangover” period after-games and it was certainly true for our Q3 & Q4 2010.  Regardless, BigCoast Brands is in business for the long haul and a few quiet quarters aren’t hurting us.

John Furlong cutting ribbon at our office with BigCoasters Terry, Colby & Rich

Broadened Horizons: because of our direct and indirect involvement in the Olympic Games we acquired new clients at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; Halifax 2011 Canada Games; and corporate clients in San Francisco, Chicago, and Montreal.  This is probably one of the best aspects of working on Olympic-related projects – the spin-off benefits.

We say thank-you to all the athletes, VANOC staff, COC staff, sponsors, taxpayers and fans that made the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games such a success.  We are forever indebted to you.


Latest Euro-Retro Fiat 500 inspires Hoody

It was amazing to see so many of these cool Fiat 500’s in Italy this summer. The Fiat 500 has almost arrived in Canada and they will launch here with 3 cool models.  To learn more, see this excellent Vancouver Sun review.  The pics in the Van Sun article inspired me to design this 500 Launch Hoody.  I hope everyone likes it.


Splatter Tees to the next level

I’ve always like the look of splatter tees, even for corporate clients.  Check out the Jack Daniels shirt here, that’s a perfect brand connection.  But what is common about all the designs in the pic below?  The splatter is 2-dimensional and part of the artwork. Its not true splatter, its just part of the art and is repeated in 1-color over and over during the print process.  On YouTube I found this descriptive video showing real splatter being added to a design — one at a time.  Pretty cool. Now I want a client who’d like to see their brand reproduced like this — who’s in?

Splatter Print designs from http://www.designshard.com



Hottest Kids Collectible this Year, we’ve got em

Traveling by train this summer across Europe my three yearold daughter was always entranced with what she considered “big kids.” This would be any preteen, teenager or really anyone who would pay attention to her.

Every kid in Europe was wearing dozens of these Silicone collectibles on their wrists and my daughter was fascinated! Fruit shapes, animal shapes, cars, planes etc.  Every kid (and their parents) told us this was the hottest craze for late 2010/11 so I’ve been watching for them ever since.  We got some for my daughter for Christmas this year and now I’m happy to say I can offer to our corporate clients!  Put your logo on the packaging and make some kid (and parent’s) day!

Silicone silly bands
  • Animal shaped silicone wrisbands include a 3 x 4 insert card printed in 4 color process on 1 side
  • Each pack has 12(randomly chosen)in various colors
  • Standard production is 5 days upon art approval
  • 250-499 500-999 1000+
    $2.20 $1.70 $1.40

Set up $55 (G)

250-499 500-999 1000+
$2.20 $1.70 $1.40

My dog’s on twitter!?! Top 5 Pet Gifts of 2011

Reprinted from ASI News Release Dec. 21, 2010 (Dawn Marie, author):

The recession-proof pet-gift industry grew from $28.5 billion in 2001 to an estimated $47.7 billion this year, according to the American Pet Products Association. And a recent American Express poll reveals 31% of consumers plan to buy their animal a gift.

The top 5 coolest pet gifts of 2011 are:

  • Canine Twitterer: Dogs can tweet, too. This tag from Hammacher Schlemmer (asi/59444) lets a canine share its thoughts with followers on Twitter via a motion sensor and microphone in the tag that interprets activity and sends one of 500 pre-loaded Tweets.

Give your @woofwoof thier own twitter account

  • Pet Bandana: “Doo” rags. Pet bandanas with Velcro fastener from Marathon Mfg./Prestige Line (asi/68707) come in 17 color choices to match any fur coat.
  • Leash: On a tight leash. Keep that dog safe and secure with this durable 5-foot leash from Rhode Island Textile Co. (asi/82307).
  • Bird Feeder: A little bird told me. Keep feathered backyard visitors happy with this tall, clear bird feeder with multiple perches from S & K Manufacturing (asi/84325).
  • Pad Balm: Give me your paw. Moisturize and protect puppy’s paws with this thick, natural pad balm from Solar Advertising (asi/88148).
  • Pet Umbrella: It’s raining cats and dogs. Hammacher Schlemmer (asi/59444) has an inverted bumbershoot umbrella that forms a waterproof cocoon around a small dog.

    Hmmm, isn't this what an umbrella in a windstorm looks like?

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