Racism sucks.  Misogyny sucks.  Homophobia sucks.  Stereotyping sucks.  Scapegoating sucks.  Gaslighting sucks.  Power at the expense of others sucksHATE SUCKS.

Eloquent words elude me as I witness what is happening now, and all that has preceded these horrific current events.  I’m dumbfounded that this is STILL the world we live in.  Progress has been too damn slow!  And that’s not ok when people are dying and having their lives and livelihoods threatened ALL THE TIME.

I’m in my late fifties and was a little too young to understand the civil rights movement as a child.  But as an immigrant from The Netherlands, I did have parents who lived in some of the most heavily bombed areas of the country during World War 2, and a grandfather who was a part of the Dutch underground smuggling Jews to safety.  We had family friends with numbers branded on their arms.

Persecution of a race was not a foreign concept.

Although I’ve always understood that racism runs rampant in this country too, I didn’t fully grasp the magnitude.  Maybe pondering such atrocities made me uncomfortable.  Maybe I thought MY not being racist was enough.  I’m going to be transparent and confess to a little bit of fear, and a whole lot of overwhelm.  A “what can I possibly do to help” feeling.

I love inspiring quotes and have had these written down for my personal motivation for quite some time.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”   ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”   ~ Maya Angelou

My feeling of overwhelm started in 2016 and resulted in our own #domoregood movement.  It is based on the following quote:

“Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.”  ~  Arthur Ashe


This is the key for every person who believes they can’t make a difference.


Start where you are.

Don’t worry about what you didn’t do before – that can’t be changed.  Think about today and tomorrow, and the next day.

Use what you have.

Have a big social media following?  Speak up!

Have some poster board and sharpie markers?  Make a sign and join a peaceful protest.

Looking for a worthy cause to donate to?  Well this one is pretty darned important because – you know… “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice EVERYWHERE”!!

Do what you can.

Not sure how you can help?  The internet is your friend.  In fact, I’ve read several good blog posts with resources that may help.  Here are a few:

From Cascadia Behavioral Health Care:  How to Support Our Black Community and Promote Anti-Racist Efforts
Learn about Anti-Racism Groups, Pushing for Political and Policy Change, Learn About Your Own Biases, Educate Yourselves, and Support Black Owned Businesses.

From Benefit Corporations for Good:  Champions for Social Justice
Not only will you learn about how others are aiding the cause, but you can also learn about a business model committed to the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit.

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.  Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

Tigard-Tualatin School District Anti-Racist Resources
Includes both Family and Student resources.

I’d also like to give credit for the amazing Portland Burnside Bridge Protest Photo.  This is about ten blocks from where I live.  I saw it first on facebook and was deeply moved by it.  The photographer, Andrew Wallner is donating sales from his work to BLM causes.

As an individual I will continue to educate myself, speak up when I should, and support People of Color within my community.  As a business, we are a Certified Benefit Corporation, so respect for all people is a directive and built into our manifesto.  We’ll be evaluating additional ways to support this important cause.

Kindness.  Empathy.  Compassion.  Hope.  Love.  Let’s replace all the ugly words with these.

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by Jun 16, 2020 No Comments
How to Order a Custom Trade Show Tablecloth with Your Logo

How to Order a Custom Trade Show Tablecloth with Your Logo

Trade Shows

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

Trade Shows are all about making a good first impression.  Whether you’re looking for new clients, new employees, or strategic partnerships – job number one is to get bodies to your booth.  To achieve this, your branding, messaging, and overall vibe need to be on point.

One of the most visible components of a trade show display is the tablecloth.  So let’s talk more about that.


Options to Consider When You Order a Custom Trade Show Tablecloth


Trade show tables are typically six feet or eight feet wide, and tablecloths usually hang to the floor.  If your budget only allows for one size, our recommendation is to go with the   six foot version.  On an eight foot table you will have sides that are a foot off the ground, but we believe this is preferable to having an extra foot of cloth per side pooling on the ground in the reverse scenario.  This could be a tripping hazard.  Custom sizes are available as well.

The flat rectangle is probably the most common.  It’s flexible if needed for other table sizes, and easy to store.  It’s also the most cost effective.

Another option to consider is a fitted tablecloth.  While it won’t give you the flexibility of fitting on multiple table sizes, it’s got a tidy sleek look to  it.  One style of fitted tablecloth fits over your table like a box lid.  It has sewn seams defining the top and four sides.  The ultra fitted version pulls snugly over the table hugging down to the table legs.

Runners are nice particularly if you have different messaging for different events.  A runner is a rectangular piece of fabric  that hangs over the middle of the table.  You might opt for a generic tablecloth that reflects your branding, and order different runners to coordinate depending on the purpose.


Decorating  your Custom Trade Show Tablecloth


Now that you’ve picked a size and style, the real fun begins!  Although there are a few ways you can decorate – you get the most flexibility with sublimation.  And, it checks ALL the boxes.  It’s cost effective, durable, and gives unlimited design possibility.

Here’s the skinny on sublimation.  Pay attention – it could be a Jeopardy question later. 😉  

Sublimation is a chemical process where a solid turns into a gas without going through a liquid stage.  Dye Sublimation is the method of applying an image to specially coated ceramics, metals, and polyester cloth, using three main ingredients: sublimation ink, heat and pressure.  When the heat and pressure are applied, the dye on the transfer medium sublimates, or becomes a gas, and is then absorbed into the polyester itself; the print becomes a part of the fabric. It doesn’t fade easily, wear, or have any texture or weight.

How cool is that!  You can have 100% coverage in the form of a detailed photo, or something as simple as a solid background with a one color image.  This is where the personality of your company can shine!


Design Tips For your Custom Trade Show Tablecloth


Imagine the nine quadrants of your tablecloth as three rows up and three columns across.  The middle quadrant is the table top, and the quadrant below is your primary messaging area.  This is what trade show attendees will see as they walk the floor.

Design elements should not overshadow the message which might be as simple as a company name, website address and phone number.  Your company type and personality will determine the graphic components that compliment the message.

In most cases, you will have brochures and trade show swag on the top of your table.  Again, if the graphic is too busy, these things get lost and can create a cluttered appearance.  If you’re not going to have much on top of the table, you’ll have a little more leeway.

Another tip is to create messaging on the backside of your tablecloth.  You may mirror the front or do something completely different.  This allows you to turn the tablecloth to bring the message you want to the front.  It’s almost like getting two tablecloths in one without paying a penny more.  

And don’t forget about the sides.  It’s another area that is often not visible – but  sometimes it is!  A big graphic element on the side is a nice touch.

Round Up Your Trade Show Event & Booth Details

What else could you use for your trade show experience?  Roll up banners are a perfect compliment to a custom trade show tablecloth.  They are also produced using a full color decoration method, so ordering together creates a very cohesive look.

Are you giving anything away?  Swag is an effective way to keep your name in front of prospects, potential new hires, and strategic partners – once they’ve left the trade show.  If you’re wondering about how to select tradeshow promos, we have good ideas about that as well.


Turn Heads with Your Custom Trade Show Tablecloth at Your Next Show

Exhibiting at a trade show is a big commitment.  It’s a financial commitment made up of both dollars and time.  Finish the job by making sure you’re projecting the messaging necessary to achieve your desired result.

You may ask, “How do I do that?”  

This is where we come in.  You have a budget, and a desired outcome.   We’ll help you with the plan.

Let 1525 Get the Job Done Right!

1. Book a Call:  We’ll get to know your project and help narrow down your options from a million to a small handful.
2. Review Your Options:  We’ll walk you through our recommendations and come up with a final list of stellar products to move forward with.
3. Place Your Order:  We’ll organize all logistics, finalize artwork and oversee production of your promotional products.
4. Sit Back and Relax:  We’ll take care of everything to ensure a timely and stress-free delivery!
1525, Inc. is a full service marketing merchandise company that empowers you to achieve your goals through the strategic use of marketing merchandise.  Let us help you become a Marketing Merchandise Rockstar!   Learn more at 1525.co.

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by Jun 8, 2020 No Comments
Standing Up & Standing Out with Eco Friendly Custom T-Shirts

Standing Up & Standing Out with Eco Friendly Custom T-Shirts


Eco Friendly Custom T-Shirts

T-shirts have always been a great idea for brand recognition.  But in recent years, manufacturers have upped the ante with amazing custom t-shirt choices that are not only good for the planet, but also so cozy that they’re sure to become the favorite –  worn week after week.

How Are Eco Friendly Custom T Shirts Different?

Is eco-friendly just a buzzword, or does it really make a difference?   To give you a better idea of what’s possible, let’s take a closer look at the District Threads Re-Tee, and the Allmade Tri-Blend T.

District Threads Re-Tee is a very new product that is made from 100% recycled fabric.  You know – the stuff that would end up in a landfill.  The shirts are a 60% cotton/40% polyester blend.  Fabric colors are sorted to create the new shirts, which means that the dyeing step, an extremely water intensive process, is eliminated.  WOW!!  The environmental impact is equivalent to skipping six weeks of showers or shaving 5.87 miles off your commute.  Well done Re-Tee!!

Allmade, a relatively new kid on the block, produces a Tri-Blend T with both a positive environmental impact AND social impact.  What’s not to love about that!  The polyester/modal/cotton blend is soft and prints beautifully.  

Allmade has a nifty impact calculator so you can see the environmental and social benefit of your choices.  For example, if you buy 100 Allmade Tri-blend T-shirts instead of 100 traditionally produced 100% Cotton T’s, you will save 4000 Gallons of Water, 9 Pounds of Chemicals, 40 Pounds of Crude Oil, and Recycle 600  Water Bottles.  You will also have created 1 day of Living Wage Jobs (in Haiti), and 8 days of Lives Changed.  Sweet!

Planning Your Eco Friendly T Shirt Design

Whether you’re creating raving fans for your brand, promoting a cause, appreciating your employees or clients – design is critical.  A good design should fulfill the goal of your project AND make the shirt the go to week after week for the recipient.  Custom T-Shirts should be Fashionable and Functional.  Yes – you can and should have it all! 

Consider print locations, design elements, and colors.  Front, back, sleeve, high upper back, side wraps – think outside the box.  Then again, sometimes less is more.  Know your target audience and design accordingly.  

Material and Style Options

When considering fabric content, think it through.  Who are these shirts for?  100% Polyester Dri-Fit T’s would be a good choice for participants in a half marathon.  Concert T’s?  You may want to consider a fashion forward 100% cotton.  And Tri-Blend is fast becoming a go to option because of the cozy factor.  It’s a great choice for employee and client appreciation programs. 

The other big variable is shirt style.  Men’s, women’s, youth, v-neck, crew-neck, short sleeve, long sleeve – there are MANY different options!  This is when companion styles become important.  Some projects may incorporate all of these styles but they all need to be the same color.  Others may utilize one style, and offer a color assortment.  At the very least, it’s recommended that you offer both men’s and women’s companion styles.  

Lastly, don’t forget to evaluate size ranges.  Some styles go up to XXL, while others offer a wide variety up to 4XL – and a smaller selection up to 6XL.  Tall sizes are a thing too.  It’s no fun to be the body type that can’t fit in the shirts that everyone else is getting.  Be inclusive!!

Repeat the mantra… know your audience.  Make sure to check all the necessary boxes so you can achieve your goals.  

Eco Friendly T Shirt Printing

The decoration method for your shirts will depend on order quantity, fabric content, and budget.  Working with someone who has knowledge of the full arsenal of decoration methods available will be ever so helpful!

Screenprinting is the most common way to decorate a t-shirt.  It is the go-to in most situations.  

But what if you have a very complex design and you only need 10 shirts?  In that case, Direct to Garment Printing (DTG) might be the way to go.  The limitation here is that DTG printing works best on 100% cotton.  

Maybe you’re looking for a special effect such as reflective, rhinestones, or a digital transfer.  It’s advantageous for you to understand your options so you can make informed decisions.    

Let Us Help with Your Custom Eco-Friendly T-Shirt Needs!

Eco-friendly t-shirts matter.  Sustainability is becoming an important differentiator for customers.  As a Certified Benefit Corporation, it matters to us as well.  

There are two components to sustainability.  One is materials and production methods and the other is will the end user love it?  Because let’s face it – an eco friendly shirt with an ugly design that ends up in a landfill does not qualify as a sustainable option!

We’re pretty darn good at guiding our clients with their t-shirt projects and other custom eco friendly apparel needs.  Here’s how we can help you.

  1. Book a call:  We’ll get to know your project and help narrow down your options from a million to a small handful.
  2. Review Your Options:  We’ll walk you through our recommendations and come up with a final list of stellar products to move forward with.
  3. Place your order:  We’ll organize all logistics, finalize artwork and oversee production of your promotional products.
  4. Sit Back and Relax:  We’ll take care of everything to ensure a timely and stress-free delivery!


1525, Inc. is a full service marketing merchandise company that empowers you to achieve your goals through the strategic use of marketing merchandise.  Let us help you become a Marketing Merchandise Rockstar!   Learn more at 1525.co.

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by Jun 1, 2020 No Comments
It’s All About The Triple Bottom Line!

It’s All About The Triple Bottom Line!


We are very excited to share with you that we are now a Certified Benefit Corporation!!  I thought it would be a good idea to explain exactly what this means.

A Benefit Corporation has made a formal commitment to the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit.  This commitment is consistent with our core values and having the official certification will not only keep us on track, it will propel us forward.  Annual re-certifications, and annual reporting requirements will help us stay focused and on course as our business continues to grow.

We initially met with Tom Hering and Mary Ann Harmer of Benefit Corporations for Good.  They clarified the process and the expectations for this certification.  Next we completed an evaluation comprised of 48 questions that required a ranking and an essay explanation for each response.

Per the Benefit Corporations for Good website:

“Questions are scored and graded based on criteria established by senior level business and management professionals, acknowledged experts in the Benefit Corporation model.”  

“The criteria for certification from Benefit Corporations for Good are:

  1. Environmental sustainability and workplace “green practices”.
  2. Leadership and management competencies that support employees, vendors/suppliers, and customers with a focus on values including:  Transparency, Authenticity, Diversity/Inclusion, Stewardship and Purpose.
  3. Engagement with  community and nonprofit initiatives that support the development of ‘equitable and healthy communities’ as well as vulnerable individuals and populations.
  4. Sound and strategic business practices that foster profit and growth as well as metrics to monitor progress on criteria.”

We passed our test and were also given feedback on how to take this to the next level.  Invaluable information!!  I’ll be sharing more about that in a future post.

For now, we are registered with the Secretary of State as a Benefit Corporation.  We also have an obligation to publish an annual report summarizing our efforts.  Our first one will be for 2019 and will be available for your review in the third quarter of 2020 –  on our website.

Thanks Tom & Mary Ann.  We’re thrilled to be part of the revolution!

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by Jun 30, 2019 No Comments
What Exactly is Business Success?

What Exactly is Business Success?


Isn’t the answer profit??  That’s what my generation (boomer) got taught.  The bottom line, happy stockholders, money, money, money! 

I wasn’t buying it then, and I’m certainly not buying it now.  Thank goodness there seems to be a BIG shift happening.  Corporate Social Responsibility is a real thing!  I’ve witnessed it in the companies that 1525 has chosen to partner with, and am so encouraged by this movement.

I’m not saying that profit isn’t important.  It just shouldn’t come at the expense of our planet, our employees, or our customers.  We need to be mindful of our decisions and how they impact these areas. 

One of our larger partners sent me their Social Responsibility report for 2017 and I was FASCINATED with what I read.  They currently employ about 4000 people and have operations world-wide.  In their 40 plus years, they have never had a lay-off.  You read that right!!  With all the economic downturns of the last 40 years, no one lost their job.  I’m sure it impacted the bottom line short term, but I have to think that long term it was a great decision.  One of their core values is to BE NICE.  Treat people well.

This same company went to 100% emailing of invoices and estimate that they will save 1,000,000 sheets of paper per year by making this change.  They have programs that monitor and work to improve their impact on the planet, and make them assets to the communities where they operate.  They are my heroes.  Family owned – I might add.

1525 is a two person company and it would be easy to believe that our efforts wouldn’t make a difference.  That would be a cop-out.  If every small company worked to be good citizens, the cumulative impact would be significant.  My word for 2018 is MINDFULNESS.  So… Bill and I have been giving this concept of Corporate Social Responsibility much thought.

We already are avid recyclers.  And in January of this year, we implemented a new CRM and order management system.  Although we are not paper-less, we are certainly less paper – and that’s a start.  Plus, Bill is the king of reduce, reuse, recycle!

Treating people well should be a no-brainer.  We love what we do so that definitely makes it easier.  We’ve adopted our major industry association’s code of conduct, and belong to organizations that have diversity and inclusion as core values.

Yes we want to be profitable, but we also want to be good citizens of this planet, and good neighbors in our community.  And I think it’s possible to be all three.

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by Apr 10, 2018 No Comments
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