Swag! It used to be the only swag I liked was a free pen. Everything else irritated me. I received two shopping totes in one day last week and donated both of them. I look dumb in baseball hats because (through no fault of my own) I have a big head and I look like that kid in the Hey Arnold! cartoons when I wear them. Tshirts? Not unless they are low necked and dark colored. And there should be a law banning me from wearing polo shirts. Polypropylene tote bags, flash drives, stress balls? Nope. Nope. Nope.
So when we talked about things to put our logo on, I was stumped.
“Pens are good,” was literally my only idea. Oh, and a cotton tote bag that said ‘Another fucking tote bag, brought to you by Persistiny.’ Felicia wisely vetoed that dumb idea.
Then we heard about companies who create promotional products with an added purpose beyond the two usual purposes of promotional products. So a pen with our logo on it would remind you to come see us on the internet and it would aid in writing notes or lists or crazed manifestos. But some companies were adding a third dimension to their products. Helping others.
Miir is a company that makes travel mugs and travel bags. “Every MiiR product funds a trackable giving project,” reads their webpage and if you check the bottom of their travel mugs you will find a give code. The one on the mug in front of me is HC23026. Let’s see where this takes us, shall we? Okay, there was some work to create an account (does any website let you do anything anymore without giving them an email address?). But then it took me to this page about bringing water to houses in Lempira, Honduras. This project ends the need for people to travel for their water. Tap water. A common occurrence for most Americans (and a downright dangerous one for some when mishandled) tap water changes lives. So Felicia worked with them and they happily accommodated our small order. The mugs are great. We’ve only given away a couple of them, we really need to get on it. Hi Natasha! Natasha won our first giveaway and has a mug. I really like them and actually use them for cold drinks more than hot.
Our other product is a little pouch. I love pouches. So does Felicia. So do lots of people. The company Felicia found is an outstanding mix of business and directly helping people. Freeset manufactures bags, t-shirts, and fabrics in West Bengal, India. What sets the company apart is that it was built from the idea to give women in the region a choice beyond working in the sex trade. The women who sew the products are paid a fair wage, work full time to earn health benefits and also earn a pension. Yes, a pension. Remember those?
Here are some facts about both of these products. The products are well priced. The quality is outstanding. They are well designed. They did an amazing job matching our colors and reproducing our logo. The work was done on time and delivered on schedule. There were no hidden costs. We placed small orders relative to the usual size of orders these two companies handle and we were never made to feel as if they were doing us a favor by being in business with us.
Have a look at their websites. You can buy individual products or you can have batches of products custom made. Family reunion coming up? Wedding? Seminal birthday? These companies can make you something fun and high quality that your guests won’t immediately dump in the donation bag when they get home from your function. And someone, somewhere gets clean water delivered to their house. And someone somewhere else gets to get up and go to work to earn a fair wage, health benefits for themselves and their families and a pension.