Shipping the past year has been a nightmare. Products have sold out and not been available for months. Shipping to customers takes longer. And it does not look like it will be getting any better- in fact it looks like it will get worse.
I cannot keep up with the stock outages on our site- I recommend emailing me to confirm stock and if I confirm it ORDER it right away! Stock confirmed in the morning is wiped out and gone by the afternoon. I cannot control what my suppliers have on hand- and we are all trying as hard as we can to keep everyone updated. If something you order is out of stock I do send you an email letting you know it is backordered and when I expect it to come in.
Next issue is restocking- I just read an article that said pre pandemic I (or my suppliers) could count on getting products on time about 60% of the time- even pre-pandemic shipments were not at 100% on time. Now- they are lucky to arrive 40% of the time as scheduled. A major port in China is closed. There are 44 container ships sitting off the coast of California as I write this today. There are not enough people in port to unload them- and even if they did there are not enough truckers to get the products to whoever needs them.
I have most suppliers quoting me a three weeks before they can even get me blanks. That is stock in hand for them. They are so over run with orders. One of my biggest suppliers is quoting me two MONTHS before they can get me product.
Bottom line- if you need product for the holidays you need to have already ordered it- or order it TODAY!
You may be looking at all our different enamel mugs and asking “what’s the difference?” Here is a comparison for you.
Allegany vs Geneseo
Our #1 camp mug is our Allegany. It has a rolled stainless steel rim and a speckled exterior. The black interior is a nice contrast. Minimum order is 100 pieces- starting at $5.25 each. The Geneseo also has a rolled stainless rim and speckled exterior- but has a white interior. Our Geneseo has a minimum order of only 48 mugs and starts at $6.50 each mug.
Our Potsdam has a rolled stainless rim and a solid exterior. As opposed to the speckled exterior of our Geneseo. They both have a black interior. The minimum order for our Potsdam is 60 mugs and starts at $7 each.
Our Letchworth is closest to the original camp mugs/ cowboy mugs you remember. It has a speckled exterior and a rolled rim and handle. The rim and interior match the exterior of the mug. The Letchworth has a minimum order of 64 and starts at $6.24 each.
The Camp Mug is one of our original camp mugs (not THE original- just the first one we carried) It is smaller than our Letchworth- the Letchworth is 16oz and the Camp Mug is 12oz. They have really gone up in price from my suppliers and we no longer carry them- I would go with the Letchworth or one of our other mugs that we offer.
This brings us to another original- our Safari mug- we sold a lot of these back in the beginning. But our cost has skyrocketed from our supplier. The Safari mugs were all solid white with colored rims. They were 12oz and came in a lot of great rim colors. This mug also went way up in price and we do not carry it except for special orders. Our Country cup is 16oz and comes solid colors with a black rim. With a minimum of 72 and starting at $7.19 each they are a great alternative. The country cup comes in several great colors- all with a black rim. Both the Safari and Country cup are solid white interior and exterior.
As for their similarities: They are all enameled steel. That is, they are steel mugs with an enamel coating to give them color. This makes them lightweight and gives them that old time look. Our enamel mugs are hand dipped- and colors may vary on the body, handles and rims. They are all great for any old time country or retro program. These old fashioned mugs are ideal for for outfitters, outdoor events and other camping related shops and promotions. By using old fashioned mugs like these you give your brand the look that it has been around a long time-just like they have been.
Campfires. I have always loved them. My earliest memories of them are at Chaumont,NY. My grandparents had a cottage there when I was growing up. Grandpa had built the cottage and the firepit. The firepit was made of flat beach rocks he had piled up into a half circle to protect the fire from wind off the bay. It was right on the edge of the beach, where the grass ended and the rocky shore started. We had a campfire every night. Grandpa would spend hours sitting at it, just staring at it. I asked him once what he thought about and he smiled and said “not much…” It was fun to watch the fire, find faces and shapes in it, watch it dance. It was mesmerizing. My favorite childhood memories involve listening to the waves lap the shore while sitting at the campfire with grandpa. The smell of the smoke, the heat on our faces… If we were good grandpa would let my sister and I build little mini campfires along the outside edge of the big campfire. We would gather small flat rocks from the beach and build little firepits, then use twigs to make our own fires. Often our cousins were there at the cottage with us and of course we would toast marshmallows and make s’mores. They almost always had ash in them from the fire, giving them a smokey taste. We would all sit around laughing and talking and toasting marshmallows. But my favorite memories are still of sitting quietly with grandpa watching the fire dance for us.
When I met my husband he came with a campsite (bonus!). For the past twenty some years it has become a second home to me. The campfires there are always fun. Sometimes just with just us and our children, but more often with friends and neighbors. Learning to build a campfire was one of the first things my son most wanted to do when he was young. Now he builds most of them. Sleeping in his hammock in the woods nearby. Our friends all gather, sometimes to sit quietly and relax and exchange stories about our lives. Sometimes one of the kids breaks out their ukulele and they all start singing. Or acting out skits they learned at summer camp. Mostly we laugh. The campfire is a place to gather and unwind and relax with friends and family. I wonder if grandpa was remembering back to some of his campfires as a youth with his friends and family, doing the same things I am with mine. It really hasn’t changed much. Luckily.
Many mornings following campfires we still have hot coals. So my son throws some bacon over the fire. That brings out the neighbors. They arrive carrying eggs, bread, fruit, etc. and we feast. Sometimes our campfire breakfast lasts until noon. We all sit with our coffee and plan our day. Days spent doing our separate things. Swimming, boating, hiking, relaxing, etc. But we all wind up back together that night gathered around a campfire.
Campfires to me represent family, friends and all that is good and basic and pure. They have been there for me since I was a child, since my grandparents were children and back for generations. Campfires are for relaxing and connecting and making memories. Just the smell of one takes me back to those lazy summer nights in Chaumont with grandpa watching the fire and not thinking about much at all- just feeling the moment and loving every second of it.
I wanted to share about us and how we started. My background is mostly in retail. I worked for 20 years for Kaufmanns/Macys department stores. I started out as part time Christmas help then fell in love with it. I loved working with my customers. Talking with them, finding out what brought them into the store and helping them to meet their needs. I quickly worked my way up to managing different areas.When my children got a little older and started with after school activities I took a step down and became the store office manager to free up time to spend with my family. Meanwhile, I was helping my husband build his embroidery/silkscreen/promotional products company. He started it in our apartment back in 1995 with one embroidery machine and eventually grew it into what it is today. I remember spending one anniversary early on (before kids even) embroidering golf towels. I eventually left Macys to work full time with my husband running Buffalo Embroidery and Silkscreen.
We had a friend- Paul Ellingson- who we met 12 years ago when we both were at a trade show. Paul became a good friend and we helped each other out from time to time. When Paul decided to sell his business it was our honor to take it over for him. So last November we bought Campfire Premiums. We had already been printing mugs and bottles ourselves so it was a natural fit for us. I have spent the past few months building this website and attempting to build a social presence online. We have added over a hundred new products to Campfire. I have tried to contact all of Paul’s customers- many of whom he called friends- to introduce myself. Paul is still around- we talk occasionally still and he stops in now and then to answer questions or go to lunch.
We are starting to teach our children the business. Occasionally they come in to help stuff bottles or put lids on- you can see my son in our video below of us printing our bobcat. I look forward to what the future brings us. I still love working with my customers and hope you will give me the opportunity to meet your needs.
Thank you for reading my first blog! Please let me know how I did.