Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fun Website Find

Everywhere we go, there seem to be stickers for the kids: at the dentist, at the doctor, at the library, etc. Based on the paper backing, the source for a lot of these stickers is Smile Makers. For some reason, one of the kids left the back of the sticker sitting on the counter and I noticed the website was included, so I of course went to check it out and see what they offered.

Did you know that Smile Makers is a division of Staples? I didn't. They have been in business for over 30 years. Their mission, according to their website is "to be the absolute best supplier of stickers, toys, novelties, pencils and practice promotion items". Their customers, as you might expect from their tabs, are primarily in the healthcare, financial, religious and education areas.

They seem to have a category and item to meet everyone's need. Teacher, Medical, Dental, Financial, Church, Restaurant, Eye Care and More Fun Stuff are the tabs that run across the top. Along the side, are the categories of items they sell. Stickers, Toys, Super Balls, Jewelry, Pencils, Seasonal, Treasure Chests, Posters, Crafts, Birthday, Candy and Gum. They even include Best Sellers, New Items and Web Specials.

As an example, there is the Church Candy category which includes Bible Verse Fortune Cookies, Sours Scripture Candy, and Religious Bubble Gum Coins, amongst others. There are character pencils and occasion pencils, there are general stickers and character and themed stickers, there is play jewelry and more. They even offer gift bags to give away the treats at a birthday party. One birthday party thing that caught my eye was a princess tiara and jewelry set, perfect for a princess-themed party. They offer bulk crayons and the boxes of 4 that you see at so many restaurants - you can even get a custom box.

You can go to their website to order or request a catalog. In many ways the type of stuff they offer reminds me a little bit of Oriental Trading Company, only maybe not quite as diverse and maybe a bit more bulk oriented, since they are focused on "practice promotion items". I can't really tell how the quality of the toy type items would compare, but have been less than pleased with Oriental Trading Company in the past (although, if you consider what it is and what it costs, I guess the quality of the toy items is probably what I should expect at Oriental Trading Company).

There is no minimum order required, but the shipping is $7.95 for orders up to $39.99 and then increments up from there. As a parent, I think I would be most likely to purchase for a kid's party. I like the tiara and jewelry set, on unit comes with 24 sets for around $18, so perhaps if we have a kid's party for my daughter's birthday one year, this would be something to get. Some of the items they offer would be great for a non-candy item to pass out at Halloween as well. We are already over running with stickers, but if we weren't and wanted some reward type stickers, they would be a great resource for this as well.

Have you ever ordered through Smile Makers?