The Industry's All Stars
This year’s PPAI Supplier Star awards were presented to 22 supplier companies that have mastered the golden trifecta: top-quality products, superior decorating and packaging, and superb communication and customer service. What sets this competition apart from other PPAI awards, is that the winners are determined solely by distributor votes based on results in these three key areas.
The annual competition is open to all PPAI supplier members in good standing who update their sales volume every two years as required by PPAI and maintain a SAGE Supplier Rating of an A or higher. All suppliers that meet these qualifications are included on a ballot and listed by their sales volume in promotional products.
Read on to learn more about this year’s winning suppliers in 12 categories.
Vancouver, British Columbia
FlatBox is a leading manufacturer and creator of the unique two-in-one lunch bag plus placemat. The patented, triple-insulated, neoprene bags are machine-washable lunch bags that easily unzip into placemats, providing a clean and safe eating surface anywhere. With a strong focus on quality workmanship and impeccable craftsmanship, FlatBox products ship worldwide and have been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America and Home & Family.
HidrateSpark is the startup behind the smart water bottle of the same name that automatically tracks your water intake, syncs to a personalized hydration app and glows to remind you to stay hydrated. Founded in 2015 during a weekend startup event and nurtured during a three-month accelerator program, HidrateSpark launched with a top one-percent Kickstarter campaign. HidrateSpark has since grown into a leading brand in the smart water bottle category, powering research studies at the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, and guided by its mission to be a partner in shaping healthy habits.
Fossa Apparel believes in making clothes that are not only comfortable but also affordable. Fossa’s team works cohesively to provide premium quality apparel at affordable prices without compromising good looks, comfort and style. Fossa Apparel is a family-owned, women-owned and minority-owned small business that firmly believes in its mission to bring innovative designs and carefully manufactured apparel to customers’ hands and looks forward to continuing its mission for years to come.
Pop! Promos is a rapid importer of Pantone-matched and full-color products made from scratch and delivered in 10-30 days, guaranteed. By manufacturing every order from scratch and maintaining a streamlined supply chain from raw materials to the customer’s door, Pop! Promos allows companies to receive products in their exact colors with unlimited customization.
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Stahls’ is committed to consistently bringing distributors the tools they need to help businesses grow and thrive. This includes an emphasis on offering innovative materials and equipment and the most comprehensive heat-printing education. Stahls’ products and services are designed to help distributors do more, get more creative and be more inspired.
Bethpage, New York
Midnite Snax is a leading candy, snack and gourmet food supplier offering almost 3,000 products. It is the industry’s leading popcorn manufacturer with more than 75 flavors and the ability to create custom flavors. In addition, Midnite Snax manufactures chocolate bars, chocolate-covered treats and cookies in an SQF Level 2-certified factory. Every order is produced and packed fresh per order. Midnite Snax is well known for its unique and creative packaging and custom capabilities.
ReturnMe is the world’s largest global recovery company with offices in three countries. With a recovery rate exceeding 80 percent, customers from around the world trust that ReturnMe’s solutions are secure, convenient, confidential and rewarding. Helping corporate clients get their brand on their customer’s most valuable items 24/7, 365 days a year, ReturnMe provides them a gift of peace of mind and security while building brand awareness and loyalty. Perfect for trade-show giveaways, these promotional keychains and luggage tags are a perfect blend of great design and unbeatable branding.
National City, California
A+ Wine Designs creates amazing wine gifts and wooden box gift sets. Specializing in custom deep-etched or custom-labeled wine, liquor and olive oil products, A+ also earned 2019 PPAI Gold and Silver Pyramid Awards, as well as a 2019 Counselor Distributor Choice Award. For more than 20 years, A+ Wine Designs has been ESP’s and SAGE’s top-rated wine company in the industry.
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
A wholesale print provider since 2001, Hadrus has been exclusively servicing the promotional products industry since 2010. Hadrus Vinyl Graphics’ mission is to provide promotional products distributors with unique ways to capture attention or communicate a message. The EZ STIK line of specialty graphics supports this vision by offering creative, yet practical, cost-effective products that deliver innovative and alternative marketing solutions.
Toddy Gear is an innovative and fashion-forward tech accessories brand with one simple goal—to innovate. Its creative culture brings forward the development of unique products and decoration techniques, resulting in superior promotional products with unbeatable branding power. Currently, Toddy Gear has pivoted its expertise to focus on USA-made, full-color personal protective equipment (PPE). While developing and manufacturing products that help #stopthespread, Toddy Gear has also focused on work-from-home items, like the introduction of The Wedge™ Mobile Device Stand with built-in wireless charger and more.
El Monte, California
BagWorld is an A+ SAGE and 5 Star ASI promotional products family-owned supplier whose No. 1 priority is providing personal customer service, and quick and detailed communication through the order process. Part of the promotional products industry for more than 20 years, BagWorld features an extensive bag line which includes tote bags, backpacks, drawstrings, duffle bags and more. The supplier has a warehouse and decoration facility in California, a factory in China and a second sales office in Cape Coral, Florida.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Established in 1983, HandStands offers a wide variety of unique promotional products, from phone, tablet and computer accessories to air fresheners, stress-relief products and award-winning automotive accessories. It has also expanded into electronics including Bluetooth® speakers, power banks, wireless charging and much more. Handstands’ mission is to manufacture and aggressively market innovative and quality-based products that distributors can’t live without.
San Diego, California
Goldstar is a leading manufacturer and supplier of customized writing instruments, servicing distributors across the United States and Canada. Clients recognize the company’s focus on providing overall value by setting new standards in four-color process decoration, large imprint areas and U.S.A.-made products, as well as a range of additional services that make doing business easy. With exclusive manufacturing and sales facilities in Tennessee, Mexico and Ireland, Goldstar is positioned to be globally aware and locally competitive, giving them the strength and resources to lead the way.
Founded in 1979, Maple Ridge Farms is the leading supplier of gourmet food gifts to the promotional products industry. Recognized for its outstanding quality and service, the line includes a complete variety of naturally aged cheeses, premium chocolates, fresh-roasted nuts, made-from-scratch baked goods and smoked meats, all presented with innovative packaging.
Grand Island, New York
Starline is a top supplier in the promotional products industry specializing in quality, high-end gifts. The company is home to the patented and award-winning TruColor™ digital decoration technique. With locations in Grand Island, New York and Vaughan, Ontario, Starline remains committed to seamlessly servicing the needs of its North American distributor base.
Founded in 1992, American Ad Bag is the leading supplier of custom-printed, non-woven, paper, plastic, cotton and washable paper bags. It is now supplying black and custom-printed PPE face masks. Low minimums and fast turnaround times are made easier with shipping locations in Illinois and Arizona. American Ad Bag stands by its commitment to quality and safety and is QCA-Certified.
Established in 1947, Gold Bond, Inc. has grown into a Top 40 supplier in the promotional products industry, specializing in bringing brands to life through innovative promotional products and imprinting methods. Gold Bond strives provide customers more than they expect through world-class customer service, strategic partnerships and creative solutions. Whether it’s golf accessories, drinkware, writing instruments, bags, tools or adding value to an event, Gold Bond is there to help with industry-certified experts, award-winning marketing tools and a commitment to excellence.
Family-owned and operated since 1985, Cap America provides quality headwear to the world. Focusing on providing superior customer service, Cap America offers an expansive variety of products by continuously adding innovative and retail-inspired styles to its line, like the CA Premium Line, featuring Flexfit® technology. Emphasizing quick turn times, competitive pricing and myriad free tools to make selling headwear easy, Cap America is the go-to headwear supplier.
Hub has stood for value, growth and integrity since Frank and Rita Fleming began selling pens door-to-door in 1954. Fast forward 65 years, and those values are felt by everyone who owns a Hub pen. Hub has grown to serve an ever-increasing market while maintaining the multi-million-dollar operation of today. With 250 million pens sold annually and 300 talented employees on board, Hub is proud to continue delivering the highest quality product to the promotional products industry.
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Showdown Displays is the global leader in lightweight, portable signs and displays. Sold only through authorized reseller distributors, Showdown makes it easy by offering no minimums, fast delivery and innovative solutions for any portable display opportunity. The supplier offers endless branding opportunities, ranging from table coverings, outdoor tents and canopies to flags and sail signs, retractable banners and floor displays, including custom SEG frames.
Family-owned since 1971, SanMar is an award-winning supplier of retail, private label and mill brands. SanMar supplies apparel and accessories to screen printers, embroiderers, promotional products distributors, athletic dealers, industrial launderers and more. SanMar’s broad brand portfolio includes such industry leaders as Nike, OGIO®, The North Face®, New Era®, Eddie Bauer® and Alternative®. Private label offerings, including Port Authority®, Red House®, Port & Company®, District®, Sport-Tek and CornerStone®, complete their high-quality private label offerings. BELLA+CANVAS®, Anvil®, Gildan®, Jerzees®, Hanes® and much more are also available from SanMar.
New Kensington, Pennsylvania
Leed’s is a premier supplier of high-quality promotional products, with goods ranging from pens and drinkware to bags and mobile tech. With an in-house product development team and dozens of leading retail brands, Leed’s continually introduces products with the look, feel and performance customers want while maintaining award-winning service and cutting-edge decoration capabilities, providing a seamless experience from start to finish. With global operations headquartered in Pennsylvania, Leed’s has been synonymous with excellence for more than 20 years.
PPAI has named 82 companies and organizations as finalists for its 2022 PPAI Pyramid Awards. These annual awards honor creative excellence and outstanding promotions in Client and Marketing Programs, exceptional Technology solutions, superior craftsmanship in Supplier Decorating and dependable suppliers with the Supplier Star award. Watch for the winners to be revealed in a December issue of PPB Newslink. Congratulations to these finalists:
A+ Wine Designs
Advertising Premium Sales
American Solutions for Business
Artistic Toys and Promotions
Axis Promotions, Powered by HALO
City Paper Company
Concepts & Associates
DBP & Associates
ePromos Promotional Products
Fill It Forward
Impact Promotional Products
Indiana Metal Craft
Jack Nadel International
Lion Circle Corp
Maple Ridge Farms
Opti Print and Fulfillment
Orbus Exhibit & Display Group
Over the Top Promotions
Social Good Promotions
Soft Stuff Creations
Southwest Solutions AZ
St Regis Group - Elliot Lake Facility
The Dunstan Group
Three K Consultants
Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PPB.