Share Your Creativity – March 2018 issue

Challenge Yourself and Grow Your BusinessYou’re creative or you wouldn’t be in this industry. You share your creativity with your customers. Now, I am hoping that you will share it with your peers.

I would like to create a new feature in our magazine beginning with the March 2018 issue which will be in our subscriber’s email boxes on March 1st. But your response will determine the success of this new feature.

Each month, I am going to give you a theme and ask you to submit a photo of one of your gifts that demonstrates it. It can be a gift basket, a unique gift arrangement of any kind or even a candy or cookie bouquet. The photos will be published in an issue of the magazine to share with your peers.

If you don’t, you should be creating new designs on a regular basis for your business. I’m asking you to take a few minutes out of that design time and create a design to share with us.

Email the photo to me at [email protected] along with the name of your design, your name, name of your business, location, and website url (if you have one). If you’re a vendor, you’re invited to submit a design as well. By submitting the design, you are giving me permission to print it in the September issue of the magazine.

The design theme for the March issue is:
Spring Is In The Air
The deadline for submission is:
February 17, 2018

Don’t be embarrassed. Be proud of what you design. Take a risk and submit your design. You’ll be glad you did. Even if you are not a subscriber, as my thank-you, I will send the issue that includes your design to you.

And I invite you to share this with others in the gift industry who may be interested.

Maple Ridge Farms


Dreaming was the impetus for the creation of many of your businesses as well as for many of our suppliers.  Of course, the dream is never enough.  It takes lots of hard work to create and grow a business — sometimes beyond our greatest expectations.

One such dreamer is Tom Riordan, President of Maple Ridge Farms. 

I received a box of the Maple Ridge 2017 Holiday Gift Catalogs this week. The 88-page full-color catalog containing a huge variety of food gifts  demonstrates how far the dream that Tom had back in 1979 has exceeded his wildest hopes.

Tom went door to door to local businesses with a two-pound block of cheese, a cutting board and a wooden box.   Tom remembers:  “I’d let prospects try the cheese, show them how their logo would look on the box and explain that I could ship all their gifts directly to the recipients to save them the hassle.”

When he discovered the promotional products industry in 1982, his business exploded. He has been selling through distributors ever since.  Remembering his  own homebased beginnings, Tom reaches out to gift basket companies to sell his products while most promotional products manufacturers do not.

I first discovered Tom Riordan and Maple Ridge many years ago at one of Cherie Reagor’s  conventions and have never looked back.  A large portion of my corporate gift sales are the result of my association with Maple Ridge.  You are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to provide food gifts that taste great and look wonderful to your corporate customers if you are not offering Maple Ridge gift products.

The commission that you make on each sale is great and that applies to orders that you place for your own company use.  Some of you use pop-by gifts and they offer several that are ideal for your own pop-by gifts or to sell to your customers.  These include custom-labeled cookies, candies, and trail mixes, beautiful individual boxes of gourmet candies and nuts, and their latest addition of  chocolate covered oreos and pretzels in cello bags decorated with smiley face emotions.

For 17 years in a row, Maple Ridge has been recognized by the promotional products industry as the “Top Food Gift Company” in the country as a result of voting by distributors.   Since my own website ranks high in the search engines as a Maple Ridge distributor, I frequently get calls from individuals who have received a Maple Ridge gift and loved a particular candy or cheese so much that they want to order another one for themselves.  Alas, that isn’t possible as there are minimum quantities for each product but it demonstrates how tasty their products are.

Maple Ridge is a people-driven company that shows its appreciation to its employees and distributors.  Tom Riordan has even called me personally when I had a question that he felt could be best answered by him over the phone instead of email.  Employees number around 25 during the summer months but balloon to around 300 during the busy holiday season.  Many of them return year after year.

Maple Ridge also treats its distributors well and bends over backwards to work with the gift basket industry.

Why would you want to offer Maple Ridge Corporate Gifts to your customers?

The best answer is that I can’t think of a single reason why you would not want to.  Here are just a few of the reasons why you should:

  1. The quality of their products, packaging, and customer service is outstanding.
  2. There are no membership fees or dropship fees for you to sell their products.
  3. They provide free catalogs and other marketing materials.
  4. They can personalize each of your customer’s gifts with their logo or wording.
  5. They provide the images for your website.
  6. See their ad on page 7 for 20% off on your first order.
  7. You can order products for your own use with your discount of 40%.
  8. And best of all, you make 40% on each order.   That is the profit that most of you make after paying for inventory and putting the work into creating each gift.  This is so much easier and my customers love them!