What Happens When You Leave The Door Open



For the last few weeks, the industry has been abuzz with suppliers advertising discounted pricing, and new programs offering very low pricing for in-house apparel decorating. There are suppliers offering the one PO Solution…and for most of these suppliers decorating is an after-thought. To offset the low price they tend to use an a-la-carte method of charging for each additional order variation of color, design or add-on service. At a quick glance these price lists offer less value and very aggressive low pricing. 

“ What are your thoughts?” My colleagues have called to ask. 

I am a contract only decorator, we never sell direct. I have been in the embroidery business for 25+ years and previously worked with fashion and major sports labels when we were located in Greensboro, NC. These days my business is focused on collaborating with like-minded clients who sell promotional products. I believe in our industry, am an early adopter of product safety awareness, and was the first decorator to earn my MAS+, and for full disclosure.. I also serve on the Board of Directors for PPAI. 

These are my own thoughts on the subject. 

In the thought provoking post Amazon Supply for B2B: Is Promo Next? “ that Mark Graham published at Promo Kitchen, Graham explores the idea that the promotional products marketplace could someday be a potential target for Amazon. He suggests the 45% wearables segment of the $18 billion in annual promotional products sales would be an appealing target.

In the same post he shares  “My good friends, Danny Rosin and Robert Fiveash of BrandFuel, talk of a doomsday scenario where they wake up one day and learn that the biggest suppliers in the industry have just started selling direct. They call it “Supplier Monday” and it’s when all of the normal rules about the promotional products industry change.” 

These ideas are all possibilities. Graham also shares this powerful reminder;

 “ In the absence of value, The only thing you can compete on is price.” 

So what is really at play here, is what is at risk, and how do we protect our profession? 

We commit to creating and providing value.  

Value in the way we source and purchase our own wholesale products and services- we don’t buy off the lowest price list. 

Value in the way we service our customers. 

Value in our expertise. Being dedicated to being the best at what we do.

Value in the way we represent our profession with responsibility - by continuing our education with Product Safety certification and MAS accreditation. 

Value in the way we price our products and services with integrity. 

Pricing sends a message and if you are constantly selling at the lowest price, you are not communicating quality and value, instead you are contributing to making this industry a market of commodities. 

After you create value- differentiate yourself with that value, build relationships. 

Relationships bring more people to the buying table. The purchasing manager may care only about the price, however the management and marketing teams will show passion for their brand. 

Because when a group of products from different suppliers have no differentiating benefits that represent value, the products become commodities. Price becomes the only distinguishing characteristic, and if we are opening ourselves to a truly commodities based market- than we are opening the door for Amazon, and we are inviting “ Supplier Monday” to just come on in.. 

We are leaving the door open for whoever walks in first. 

 Special thanks to Mark Graham, Promo Kitchen, my colleagues who posed this question, to Seth Godin who addressed this first in the PK Podcast and again in a recent conversation, and thanks to those who desperately compete on price, and force us all to think carefully consider our own actions. 

Relationships, Seth Godin, And A Slice Of Pie

My day began quite pleasantly like any other.. up at 5, a home brewed dark roasted cup of Starbucks, and a read of the morning paper. The early morning sun was just starting to spill through the french doors, and the birds were beginning to stir when my wife joined me in the kitchen. It was a few minutes later, over coffee, that she shared the email from Seth Godin.

For many years I have followed Seth, purchased his books, shared his blogs and generally, admired his genius. His critical thinking and philosophic like approach to small business has influenced my own perspective to push the envelope, work with passion, ask why, live a life with balance, and more. As my wife pursued her own passion for writing, she too, became an ardent fan. Recently I learned that Seth would be visiting Phoenix, and well... she did, what she does. She used her words.. rather effectively. And so a meet up with Seth Godin was in the works.

Those who know me well know I am rather obsessed with pizza, in a professional at home pizza chef kinda way, so his suggestion for a meet up at a gourmet pizza place I haven’t yet tried seemed like serendipity.

And so, I shlepped Seth’s big book from it’s altar at the office to the dining table in the restaurant, and I waited- and right on the dot, Uber delivered him to me.

Recognizable as always, it was a regular guy that sat down beside me. Relaxed, gracious and like two “ regular guys” from the East Coast, we began to talk. We began with incidentals, and progressed to talk of family, complete with iphone pics. We talked about busyness and balance and lessons learned in life.

“What’s your story?” Seth asked me, and unsure where to begin I hit the highlights of neighborhoods and the Navy, education,  25 plus years of entrepreneurism and more. Later my wife asked me- “ did you talk hobbies?” Raising my eyes, I just looked at her somewhat startled- “ you know..” she continued.. “ that you drive a motorcycle, fly a plane, fly fish and stuff..”. Well, no I didn’t, but somehow we talked about what mattered, struck a chord, and he generously, shared himself with me.

We talked about the struggle of technology and adaption, and how technology so often advances beyond the users comfort zone and ability to adapt. We talked about speaking and travel and even the promotional products profession.

“ What’s Next?” I asked Seth.. the implication clear we were talking the next big thing...
“ Relationships” was his confident and effortless answer, I considered this for a moment, as we ate our dinner side by side. Relationships, indeed.

Sharing a  meal with such a brilliant guy, it could have been tempting to look for , or even ask for a tidbit of advice an  “If you were me..” type of question, but I didn’t , because that wasn’t my agenda. I don’t have a dilemma, a burning need and more importantly, I wanted us to be what we were-  just two guys talking and sharing ideas.

Seth’s zen like approach to sharing his words is calming, motivating and even.. uplifting, it is his minimalist perspective on marketing that is so very powerful . While we sat, Seth took a pen from his bag, and signed his big book I brought,  with a flourish, filling the full page with his scrawl.

Later when I was alone, I opened the book to that page, realizing that in fact he did have a specific suggestion of encouragement for me, advice of sorts that although it could be called his motto,  is also undeniably me... “ For Bruce.” Seth wrote, “ Make Your Ruckus.


Make Your Ruckus.. Indeed.

Product Safety.. A Necessary Knowledge

As a business owner, I am always interested in new ideas, trends and technology. As a contract decorator, I spend most of the business day focusing on the finer details of customer orders. In this changing business climate, the details are changing too. The final product details are no longer only about turnaround time and the due date, the finished quality, or even a competitive price. Today distributors are also responsible for protecting their clients brand, and delivering a finished product that to their best knowledge delivers a quality product without risk to the endusers personal safety.

To this end, I am proud to have participated in the first two PPAI Product Safety Summit events. EU Inc. is proud to be an early adopter of the "official " PPAI Product Safety Standards. What this means to our distributor clients is that we will navigate the waters with you, creating finished decorated product using the safest materials and guiding you along the way about the product choices you are making.

To stay ahead of the competitive curve, I recommend reading this  and this., don't miss this opportunity to be in the forefront, product safety is a necessary knowledge.

Read Paul Bellatone's latest installment of Connections " Delivering Confidence & Meeting Customer Expectations" to learn more about the new PPAI Product Safety Awareness Program.

How To Always Get What You Want ..



Day in and day out.. how many times have you heard a customer say this? ... OR 




And then you spend a lot of time looking for " IT"...  and then the client says.. 


And so maybe you pass all of these statements on to your supplier and hope for the best, and in the end your client just might feel that they DIDN'T get what they want; because the color isn't what they "wanted", and the size of the logo could not be accomplished given the location specified. 

So, how DO you get what you want? How do you give your client what they want? It's about giving your decorator, or your supplier- all the information they need, and sitting down with your client to collaborate on the final product specs.

At EU Inc, we have taken the guesswork out of the ordering, with this easy, quick quote order form that prompts you to give us all the information we need, up front.  

Available within the EU Inc. mobile app  you can send us a quick pic through the app, or attach it to the quote, you can view digital thread charts from Madeira and Robison Anton to show your client and specify that exact shade of blue or red, and if the logo can't be done any bigger based on the location you indicate and the logo you send- we tell you in advance. You can view the slideshow for specific decoration techniques and use our shortcut to SanMar to look at product available for free shipping via our PSST account. The Embroidery Unlimited app is available from iTunes for iPad & iPhone, and for Android and HTML5 users too. 

We made this powerful tech tool just for you . Don't get caught empty handed, take it to your next appointment. The app is free, but it will save you time and money in the long run.   It's that easy.

Give us what we need and we'll give you what you want. 

Inspiration, Divine Intervention and Guy Kawasaki

Almost 15 years ago, in the course of 6 months, I twice “ met” the woman I would someday marry. At the second of these professional events, there was a closing celebration; a smaller crowd and a dance floor, and so we danced. And when I took her in my arms, I experienced a sense of divine intervention so strong, it was the closest I had ever come to experiencing real raw, gut instinct. It was fate, and a stronger force that was forging my chosen path. 

Yet not all life changes come with such clarity. And for me, getting married meant selling my business, moving thousands of miles across the country and starting a new commercial embroidery business in a new city, looking for new clients. 

 Beginning all over again, brought new challenges. For the first time I exhibited at trade shows, got involved in my regional trade association, learned how to network and put myself out there. I began to study entrepreneurialism and learned from thought leaders like Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki. I adopted new ideas, and like Guy Kawasaki recommends - I committed to a greater quality of life, hoping I would achieve success. I began to focus on making meaning everyday, and not just money. 

 Networking grew my business. A commitment to the quality of life helped me grow my family and I continued to grow in the regional association , serving as President twice and eventually serving the Promotional Products Association Board of Directors as the Regional Association Council representative. I learned how to ask questions and think critically. Whenever possible, I shared my knowledge with others. These experiences fueled me to try harder, to want to make a bigger difference and to run for the 2014 PPAI Board.

 This past year, I found myself in the audience of Guy Kawasaki’s much anticipated session at Social Media Marketing World. As always, his words were empowering, encouraging entrepreneurs to “ be different”, “ unique” and “ do what works for you”. 

He also promised that being passionate about your profession, would make you successful. A premise I strongly believe in. 

 Guy has taught me great lessons about the importance of being transparent, yet warning that sometimes with transparency- “ you don’t always like what you see” . Another great Guy-ism I try to follow ..“ Stay positive, or shut up”.. Something we should all start teaching our children. 

 In today’s business world, we are lucky to have influencers like Seth and Guy that share share knowledge and inspire. My wife was recently chosen as a BlogHer Voice of the Year, and attended the conference in Chicago. There she heard Guy Kawasaki speak. He talked about publishing, influences, and social media. He talked about the power of women and his own social media enhancer, Peg Fitzpatrick. Suzanne was hungry for more knowledge and inspired enough to reach out to Peg-and shared that knowledge with this piece on Huffington Post. Before social media, would such connections be possible? The ability to influence and inspire an audience, an industry , a readership by just by reaching out- sharing your ideas? 

 Today, connections and collaborations can make things happen like never before. Social technologies boost collaboration and provide the space and possibility for individuals with ideas to connect and grow. 

 Divine intervention still exists, my daughters are proof of this. Inspiration is all around us and the influencers are many.. evangelists like Guy, and critical thinkers like Seth, influencers like Peg.. and leaders within our profession that will use collaboration and technology tools.. to take us into the future. 


How-To, Q & A With Guy Kawasaki's Social Media" Enhancer "Peg Fitzpatrick

Guy & PegAuthor's Note: Guy Kawasaki dared me to do this. What Can I say? I couldn’t resist- Suzanne Perryman

At the BlogHer 2013 Conversation Keynote with Guy Kawasaki and BlogHer Cofounder Elisa Camahort Page, Guy shared this tantalizing secret to his social media success "...The secret to my success on social media is a woman named Peg Fitzpatrick, .. what she does is she takes my Google plus stuff and looks at what else is interesting, and she, shall I say, enhances me. And so now you know that behind every successful man on social media, is probably an amazing woman. So that is Peg Fitzpatrick. And one more thing. Don't you dare freaking try to steal her from me. I will make it my life goal to bury you if you try to steal her from me. She does not have email. She does not have a cell phone. There's no way to get in touch with her" 

Who could resist such a dare? The name Peg Fitzpatrick stuck with me and was still lingering in my mind a few days later, when her name appeared in my HuffPost News feed. Peg was writing about BlogHer . So I did the unthinkable..Sorry Guy, I reached out to Peg Fitzpatrick. Please Guy, don't hunt me down, don't worry..I can't afford Peg. Woman to woman, I just wanted some of her smart advice and thought it would be cool to share it with thousands of other savvy bloggers who will eat up her wise words. 

Guy Kawasaki's Keynote at BlogHer, was inspiring and empowering to the almost exclusive female blogging audience. In his authentic , positive, conversational way Guy encouraged bloggers to try new things, and to look at old things in a new way. He shared his wisdom, gave great advice, talked about his own work/ life/family balance and generously gave 500 copies of his book APE to aspiring publishers and entrepreneurs.You can read the entire transcript here.It is packed with great advice. If you missed a minute, you missed a lot. 

To follow are my questions, answered directly by the coveted, glorified, mysterious, spark starting, positive vibe producing Peg Fitzpatrick.

Q: In Guy's keynote, he said "There is no scenario under which you should not use your blog and your social media presence to build a marketing platform." For the newbie just getting started, are there any tools you can recommend to ease her entry? 

I would make sure that your blog is set up with social sharing buttons and an easy commenting system. If people can’t hit a share button, they’ll leave without sharing. I use the WordPress plugin Shareaholic Sexybookmarks and LiveFyre for my commenting system. 

For social sharing, I love Buffer. It lets you plan ahead and look at analytics for your shared content. You can set up your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts through Buffer. They also have a great blog with social media tips.

Q: For the experienced social media maven/ blogger- what should she be doing now in social media to expand her audience? 

The biggest thing these days is social SEO. Social media activity such as likes, tweets, shares and +1’s are counting towards your Google search ability. You can improve the Google search ranking of your blog by having more social media activity. Look at social media as an extension of your blog to help more people find your great content.

I would recommend using Google+ to help build your Google social search. It creates a great platform for your blog and you can find people who are interested in your blog focus. There are many photographers and foodies killing it on Google+.

Q: What is the minimum amount of time a blogger should spend per day on social media? And what tools do you recommend to increase efficiency? 

That’s a really tough call, it depends on how many platforms you are using. You should be able to work on your social media in three small chunks (morning, mid-day and evening) so you can post or share something new and respond to people who have tweeted you or commented on a post. Set a time to work on it and don’t get sucked into something that isn’t productive if you have writing to do. I usually go on Pinterest at night after I’ve finished everything else so I can pin and browse without cutting down my productivity.

Q: Guy credited you for being his social media thought leader saying "I don't want this to be the Peg Fitzpatrick session, but what happens is Peg Fitzpatrick sends me an email saying you got to try this and that's when I try it’" What is one thing you think bloggers should be trying right now? 

The most important thing for bloggers to do is to get their Google authorship set up on their blog. Getting proper author rank isn’t the most fun thing but it’s the most important thing you can do for your blog. 

The last “ohhh check this fun thing out email” from me was about Friends + Me ), you can share your posts from Google+ to Twitter and Facebook with Friends + Me. You don’t have to share to both but sometimes you might want to. You can use certain hashtags to control the flow of content, it’s very easy to customize it.

Q: What do you recommend bloggers read right now? Via books or online? 

I read a lot of blogs on how to blog like Problogger  and CopyBlogger  .Two books I’ve read and would recommend for bloggers are Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time) by Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith.

Q: Guy struck me as being a very likable guy, great smile, sense of humor and I loved his positive approach and candor. What do you like the most about him? 

The things you mentioned, of course, but I appreciate that he treats me as an equal. I haven’t seen or heard of any other social media professional admitting to having a team of people or person that they work with, even though most of them do. People assume that Guy has a huge team of people working behind the scenes but it’s mostly he & I. When you get to a certain level of success, you need help with email, schedules etc. It’s just a necessity. I never say that I work for Guy, I say that I work with him. It’s a subtle difference but I think it represents it more accurately. 

He’s one hundred percent transparent and open which is brave and refreshing. We have a lot of fun working on things but are equally as serious about everything that we do. Guy is very generous and giving as well. I like to say I have the best job in the world.

Q: How long have you been loving social media, starting sparks and producing positive vibes?  How did you hook up with Guy? 

I’ve been using social media for about four years now, the last three years on a professional basis. I think I’ve been starting sparks and producing positive vibes a lot longer, I am the same on and off line. 

I met Guy on Twitter when I tweeted that I started a book club online and we were going to read Enchantment first. He tweeted me back saying he’d love to come to my book club and it was a great Twitter chat. We trending nationally on Twitter, over the Tony Awards. This was my first #MyBookClub chat and I’ve been having them once a month for the past several years. It’s a great way to connect with others who like to read and I’ve learned a lot from all the books I’ve read. From #MyBookClub, Guy & I kept in touch and he was really supportive of my collaborative blog, 12 Most, that was new at the time. He wrote a guest post for it and shared some of our content. We stayed in touch and I worked behind the scenes on What the Plus and APE and I have a chapter in each of them.  I’ve been working for him directly since about January of this year.

One interesting thing is that we live on opposite coasts so everything that we do is done remotely.

Peg Fitzpatrick is a positive vibe producer, social media butterfly and general all around happy person!Peg works with Guy Kawasaki on community management, social media marketing strategy, and innovating the world of social media. She’s also the director of marketing and social media manager for Kreussler Inc. covering the online brand management and well as traditional marketing.You can find Peg as writer and managing partner at 12 Most. 12 Most is a dynamic community of influential, globally-renowned writers & business experts publishing amazing content. She also founded the popular Twitter chat #MyBookClub which meets once a month to talk to the brightest authors on social media.Peg has contributed to two books, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us and APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book. Peg loves sharing her inspirational thoughts and helping others learn social media through her blog. Covering all the major social media platforms, she frequently hears “you’re everywhere!” She’s passionate about life, social media, and inspiring others to be their best.

Photo Credit: Social Media Selfie by Peg Fitzpatrick

Pantone Fall Fashion Report 2013


It's not surprising that designers are embracing — Emerald — as a staple in their collections. What's so awesome, though, is that designers are also opting for other rich, fall-friendly colors.



Download The Fall 2013 Pantone Color Report Here.

EU Inc. Wins 2 Technology Awards at PPAI 2013



EU Inc. was recognized by Promotional Products Association Intl. for both our company blog and our mobile app- bringing home 2 technology awards , in both of these categories. 

We dream to aspire big things, and by collaborating and using the latest technology tools- we accomplish our goals with an IT department of two. ( Bruce Perryman, Owner &  His " better half" blogger, wife and social media & marketing manager Suzanne Perryman).

Hope you get the chance to use these tools created just for you! 


Pantone Reveals Color of The Year Energizing Emerald Green


“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Emerald for Fashion
The prevalence of green has been steadily rising for several seasons, especially in the fashion and couture markets, and even on the red carpet. Appropriate for every occasion, Emerald’s classic elegance makes for striking and irresistible women’s formal and everyday wear as well as accessories. Emerald also makes a strong statement in men’s sportswear, knitwear and ties. Fashion designers featured in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2013, including Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, Barbara Tfank, NAHM and Marimekko, are incorporating Emerald into their spring collections. Balanced yet sophisticated, Emerald enlivens all colors in the spectrum and will continue to make a statement beyond spring and summer into fall and winter.

Look forward to seeing this energizing effect in the sportswear market! 

Bruce Talks Turkey.. Brine, Brandy & Blessings..!

The Holidays don't have a lot to do with business.. so I thought I would take a departure from the norm and talk about what's really important.. family and food. What you may or may not know about me.. is that I love to cook and I am a sentimental guy. So the Holidays are always a favorite for me. 

Families are built on traditions- and in our home, we have many. Most are based on savoring the simple.. so here is a round up of all good things Thanksgiving!  Chefcoat

I start with a Fresh, All Natural turkey. I was up and out early last Saturday expecting to fight the crowds at Sprouts. Getting the bird was easy, finding our favorite Brine, not so much . A quick call home confirmed I had walked by the entrance display and Boom! I was done . Brine in hand. An awesome turkey begins with a good brine. 


The freshest of ingredients were gathered in the last day or so. However, usually 10 minutes into the TDay prep we will discover a missing, yet necessary ingredient and I will run to AJ's . This year, I look forward to using the motorcycle for this a.m. run.

Our family tradition dictates a classic herb stuffing, with Sage, Thyme , Parsley and a sprinkling or Rosemary gathered from our herb garden. I like to use sweet onions and I highly recommend The Macy's Day Parade, for family viewing in the background for stuffing and turkey prep. This year there is a new Elf on the Shelf balloon, sure to be a big hit in our house. It works for us- My job is hyping up the appearance of Santa which of course occurs at the very end! 

Earlier in the am, Suzanne & the girls will finish up the Harvest decorated sugar cookies and the pumpkin pie, so the oven is clear and the house smells good, and of course the kids get to sample the cookies post- breakfast. Finalturk

Our favorite dishes include fresh, french style sauteed green beans, mashed potatoes ( I like to throw in horseradish or garlic), sweet potatoes ( the wife's fav with black pepper and brown sugar) smashed turnips and this delicous cranberry sauce with apples and brandy. I might be tempted to throw in a favorite brussel sprouts dish, but I digress. And yes, I am a " clean as I go"  chef.

EdnavalleyMy favorite wine happens to pair well with Turkey too, Edna Valley Chardonnay ( visiting the winery is on my bucket list). It is  crisp and enjoyable, so you might want to purchase more than one bottle . ( Just sayin). 

The girls get busy with the table prep, this includes a cool craft project they do each year compliments of Martha , pairing an easy printable with glue and her never ending yarn stash. ( Don't ask.) In addition, we always grab Rosesandrosemarysome rosemary from the garden and the roses we have in bloom- simple , but beautiful. During dinner the Arizona sun will shine through the french doors in our dining room, lighting the table with a great glow and the roses are always a great touch.

Right around this time, Zoe will start circling in her walker, anxiously anticipating the arrival of our Elf on the Shelf who arrives sometime on Thanksgiving Day, usually with great fan fare and a creative flair.Elfbookel After the arrival, I share the book with the kids each year and it's the official start of our Holiday season.

Our day will wrap up with a family movie, desserts in front of the fire  ...and if I am lucky later ..the chef will be rewarded with his favorite sambuca and espresso as the day ends with a fire on the patio. The memories however.. they stay forever. 

   What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? 

ps. the family pic on top was our first "family only" Thanksgiving, that was all about US and a great success. It is also a great shot of our girls, that have now entered the " tween" stage and now have a bit more " sassy" in each smile.