I live in Alberta, so the economy has slowed down because of the price of Oil. People are buying less and it seems that competition is heating up. The last thing I want to do is raise my customers prices. However, the Canadian dollar is not leaving me much choice. Most promotional products that are warehoused in North America come from the USA….. even if they are from Canadian suppliers like Starline, Taylor and Grant or Bulletline, they are still printed in the USA and then brought into Canada. Last year quite a few suppliers had to send out notices that the catalogue pricing they had sent out was no longer valid because they had to put out emergency price increases. I propose that part of the problem is our reliance on American suppliers. I wanted to write this post to bring attention to a couple of top notch Canadian suppliers that make their products in Canada. These products have seen very little price fluctuation, despite the CDN dollar dropping as much as it has. If you want to see our economy recover, I believe it has to start with buying more locally made products like the following.
Digimates! A long time favorite product of mine. It is made in Montreal Quebec by Vispak Inc. They make most of their products, which can be found at www.insaneproducts.com . The digimate is a really cool product that sticks to the back of your phone without leaving a sticky residue and then can be used to clean the screen of your phone. I have had digimates from brands like Bell, Kijiji, Telus and many more trusted brands. This product has been seen by many people, but very few people know that it is locally made and has not had a price increase since Feb 2014.
Jerico Clothing. Can be found at www.jerico.ca and they make their clothing in Toronto, Ontario. They have a custom clothing program available that allows you to select the color of different features on the clothing, so if you have brand colors that are red and black like mine, you could do a hoody with red sleeves, a black body and a red hood…. Pretty cool to have this stuff made in Canada and be customizable. This stuff is not just sewn in Canada, it is knit, dyed, cut and sewn right here on Canadian soil.
Picquic Screwdrivers. Finally a west coast company! Picquic started in Canada in 1988 and is now the leading Canadian manufacturer of custom screwdrivers. They have over 7 different models that come in seemingly endless color options; this screwdriver is widely recognized and reliable in every way. Since my introduction to Picquic, I have sold literally thousands of them, and have never had 1 single complaint; people just love them. Learn more at http://www.picquic.com/
Custom Wood Products, made in Edmonton. The largest promotional products supplier in Edmonton is www.kalvanna.com they do all sorts of drinkware printing here in Edmonton; however what a lot of people don’t know is that they also manufacture promotional items. They can do custom glass pieces and custom boxes; but my favorite item is their custom wood pieces. They can do cutting boards, or crib boards to order… pretty cool, especially since it doesn’t get more local than your home town.
Tattoos and Stickers! www.Premiums-Plus.com has been a trusted supplier of tattoos and stickers and other printed promotional items, printed right here in Canada since 1961 (dare I say before our industry even really existed). According to their website, they have printed over 147 million pieces over the years (I know I personally did a single order for 100,000 magnets through them once). In my opinion their claim to fame is they have what I believe to be the best waterless tattoo on the market.
So the next time you are on the market for a promotional item, make the effort to buy Canadian made products. There are lots of great products to choose from, and you will be supporting local businesses that make their products in your own back yard.