Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Customer Appreciation

My name is Rose Flanagan and I work in Customer Service. I am taking this opportunity to say hello to all of you. If you have called Customer Service over the years, you and I may already have met. They tell me I have a pretty noticeable Irish accent.

During the years, I have come to appreciate and respect you. The majority of you work directly with children every day. You do it with love and dedication. Often when I’m on the phone with a teacher, I have heard the way you interact with the children. I often think "How lucky the parents of these children are -while they are
at work, their children are being taken care of by loving, caring people.” What could be more reassuring to a family?

Because you are such lovely people, I would like to ask a question. Customers have often asked me to recommend a product for one purpose or another. Since I am not a teacher, I am not always sure that I would make the same choice a teacher makes. I know what products my family has enjoyed, but that’s not the same thing as having lots of children in a classroom, is it? You would know far better than I do which of our products you would recommend.

So that is my question: If you could choose one product from Discount School Supply to recommend to another teacher, what would it be?

I would be so happy to know what you think. Your opinions would allow me to pass along information I know other teachers would value. I am very grateful for your time to read this and perhaps to write back to me.

I have tried though the years to give my best each and every day to every customer I deal with. I will continue to do so since you deserve no less.

Best regards,

Rose Flanagan

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sandy BioColor

Hello Crafty Friends!

My name is Mary and I am one of the Arts and Crafts buyers here at Discount School Supply. I wanted to share with you one of my latest unique and fun experiences with BioColor® paint.

On the weekends, I love crafting with my 4-year-old nephew, Benjamin. Because Ben could use a little more practice on writing his alphabet, an occupational therapist recommended that we purchase sandpaper letters for him to draw on and trace. The therapist said if Ben traced or drew on top of the sandpaper letters, the texture would stimulate his brain and resonate more with his memory.

I was excited to do this with Ben, and to make the activity really fun for him. So, instead of buying pre-cut sandpaper letters or buying plain sandpaper to make letters, Ben and I made our own using BioColor® paint (#BIO) and Colorations® Craft Sand (#CS).

Here’s how we did it:

We mixed one part Colorations® Craft Sand to one part BioColor® paint. I would recommend using light or fluorescent colored paint and mixing in a different color of sand for extra contrast. I let Ben select the color combinations and do all the stirring! We used long, flat easel brushes (#SHPK) to mix the paint and sand. The effects were amazing! The green craft sand turned the yellow BioColor® paint into a really vibrant lime green. When we mixed yellow BioColor® (#BIOYE) with the red craft sand (#CSRE) the mixture turned electric orange! (My personal favorite was the fluorescent pink paint (#FBIOPI) mixed with blue craft sand.) (#CSBL)

We used Heavy Weight Sulfite Drawing Paper (#A80SU) as our canvas. Because BioColor® paint has a natural adhesive quality, the sand really stuck to the paint and the paper. While I painted one large letter per page, Ben painted some trucks and bulldozers. He even got out his little toy trucks and drove them through the sandy paint. He was quite engaged in the activity and enjoyed the sensory experience of putting his fingers in the paint to feel the grainy sand. The next day when our sandy-textured letters were completely dry, Ben used Colorations® XL Crayons (#XLCRAY) to trace them. The texture and colors of the painted letters are fun; Ben would just follow the painted lines of the letters with his fingers to feel the bumpy surface.

This was such a fun and educational activity for a preschool child and I would love to try it again. I was wondering if anyone else has tried adding craft sand to BioColor® paint. If so, what did you create? I would love some ideas for another project using this medium.

Take care and thanks for taking the time to read!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Join Our Team!

Hi, my name is Beth Kroenke and I am a Web Marketing Manager at Discount School Supply. I help create the snazzy emails you receive in your inbox each week! I also work to drive traffic to our website and to improve its usability, making it easier for you to navigate. If you are not currently receiving our snazzy emails, feel free to sign up - you'll find web exclusive offers, new product announcements, free activities and more!

If you are reading this post, my guess is that you’re a fan of Discount School Supply! Well, if you have a website or blog and would like to spread the word about our great deals on school supplies AND earn money at the same time, you can join the Discount School Supply affiliate program!

What is an affiliate program, you ask? Basically, it is a means by which a company may advertise on websites and blogs other than their own. For instance, let’s say Mr. Smith has a website. He joins our affiliate program and posts a link to Discount School Supply on his site. If a visitor buys a Discount School Supply product via this link on Mr. Smith’s site, he will receive a commission from us! Not only is this a good thing for Mr. Smith and Discount School Supply, but this also helps web shoppers find the products they need at the prices they want!

Interested? Simply apply for a publisher account (a free service) through Commission Junction and then apply to the Discount School Supply affiliate program. Once approved, you can start adding links to your website or blog! Sing the praises of Discount School Supply while earning money at the same time!

Want to learn more? Feel free to share your comments and we’ll answer any questions you have!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ryan's Aspen Table

My name is Howard Finfer and I am the Web Product Manager at Discount School Supply. I always enjoyed my experience in school. My teachers always seemed to genuinely care about me. Going back to first grade, I can remember my teacher making me feel special since I was the only one to get her jokes. From that point on I strived to make a personal connection with my teachers. I feel like that always gave me an advantage going through school; to have formed a relationship with my instructor. I always loved school, and often thought of pursuing a career as a teacher (and continue to be encouraged to do so by peers)…truth be told, I just don’t think I’m brave enough to get out there in front of a class full of learners.

I'm grateful that I can work, if not with kids, for kids. It's a great sense of accomplishment for me to know that when I go to work, my job contributes to the fun and learning that kids experience - either in school or at home. I am continually reminded that we're contributing to the overall good of society - whether it's when I go to friends' houses with children or bring my daughter to a community park activity and see so many Discount School Supply products being used out in the field, literally. Being a parent of a 2 1/2 year old daughter makes me not only the Web Product Manager, but a customer also. More than once I've received my Discount School Supply order and contacted the buyer or warehouse with my comments and suggestions (and yes, occasional complaints). I'm happy to tell everyone that you don't have to work here to have your voice heard….with the addition of online product reviews and ratings, your voices can be heard, too.

Having spent the past 5 years of my life working here, first as a Personal Service Manager taking calls and entering orders, and in my current position as an online merchandiser (managing and maintaining the products, categories and promotions on our website), I am proud to contribute to this blog space. I hope to, in the coming days, reach out and share with you my unique vantage point as product manager, customer advocate, and parent.

In this photo is my daughter Ryan at her favorite place; "working" at her Aspen Table & 4 Chairs Set.
Read my review of this, and other products here: http://reviews.discountschoolsupply.com/1828/337167/profile.htm

Creative Crafting

My name is Tiffany Harbrecht, and I work in the Brand Marketing Department. Every month, I have the opportunity to create new and easy projects that can be done in the classroom, the childcare center or at home, and we feature them on the Discount School Supply website. Each educational activity features our unique school supply products, often with creative ways to reuse and recycle other materials as well. These art ideas are just part of the many free crafts, curriculum activities and resources provided by Discount School Supply for teachers, caregivers and parents of young children.

My favorite go-to paint for these art projects is definitely BioColor® paint. It's so versatile, dries quickly without cracking and has vibrant results that never fade! I've used it on countless crafts, and it is such an easy paint to use – and to clean off my hands and work surfaces!

I often use our Brawny Tough Art Trays when I'm painting also. I squirt BioColor® right onto the surface for easy accessibility. The trays are awesome for preventing glitter from getting everywhere, and they're super helpful for keeping me organized when it comes to sorting and transporting the art materials I need.

A few of my other favorite arts and crafts supplies include our Colorations® Super Washable Chubby Markers and Regular Crayons, Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper and Washable School Glue. Those items have so many uses and have become staples in my art supply stash.

A few months ago, we found a blog entry written by a parent who had recently been crafting with his/her children, using an idea from the Discount School Supply website. It was an activity that I had written, and the blogger thanked Discount School Supply, raving about how easy it was to make the project with a few basic arts and crafts supplies and some materials recycled from around the house. They even included an adorable picture of their children's handiwork. It's moments like these that bring a smile to my face and demonstrate to me how arts and crafts can bring so much learning and joy to children and their families…and that's part of what we're all about at Discount School Supply!