Keeney’s News

There are many economic reasons for shopping local; creating jobs in your town, keeping money in the community, better for the environment. But how do you personally benefit from choosing a local business over a big box store?

Personalized Service

Doing business with a nearby company likely means that you personally know the owner or at least a few members of the team. When you have a relationship with a business, the people helping you are more knowledgeable about your needs and are better able to assist you. A local business is also more likely to bring items into stock that you frequently purchase for a more convenient experience.

Reliable Deliveries

Ever order something online that NEEDS to arrive by a certain date and then doesn’t? Why is your order being delayed by the storm on the East Coast when you live in Washington? Buying local means that your order is coming from somewhere nearby so it is more likely to arrive on-time and in good condidtion. Local delivery drivers that frequent your business or home also know where packages should to go and who needs to sign for them.

Better Customer Service

If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a 1-800 number, only to be transferred several times and put on hold. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is so far removed from the decision-making process, there’s little concern that the company will lose you as a customer. When you shop local, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.

Small businesses are also hiring for quality, not quantity so the team you work with is knowledgeable about the products and services they are selling. With a local business, you are also likely to be assisted by the same people, so you’re greeted with a friendly face (or voice!)

Having a booth at a tradeshow is a both an investment of your time and money so you want to get the most out of the event. To prepare, consider how your information will be displayed, what items you will hand out and what information you want to relay to attendees visiting your exhibit. Here are a few tips to ensure a successful tradeshow:

Setup Attention Grabbing Displays

To help your booth stand out, add colorful tablecloths and tabletop décor. Large scale signs with your name and logo draw attendees in and help those who are looking for your booth to locate it quickly. Video monitors displaying your products and services can also help get attention and double as a useful sales tool once attendees are engaged.

Bring Giveaways & Sales Materials

Have plenty of giveaways at you booth! Stock up on pens, notepads, drinkware and other fun logoed handouts to help your visitors remember your company.   Offering drinks or snacks will also send people your way. (Bonus if the packaging contains your company information!) Check out our promo store to get ideas for branded items:

Creating a drawing for a prize brings people to your booth and helps to get follow-up contact information. Make sure you also bring lots of business cards and company brochures so attendees can get in touch with you after the show.

Staff your Booth with a Knowledgeable Team

Having a team on-site that knows your product or services well is essential to a having a successful tradeshow experience. It helps in creating more engaging conversation with potential customers and shows that your company has expertise in your field. Be ready to demo any products you are showcasing and bring handouts for attendees that are interested in learning more.

OFS First Office Boost Ottoman

In today’s world, it’s important to have an office space that functions according to your business’s needs and enhances the performance of those who work within its walls. This is why the design of your office is so important and why trends are constantly changing and adapting to the demands of businesses. It directly impacts our ability to work and be at our most productive, attentive, and creative every day that we step foot in our workplace. Office furniture trends to look for in 2018 include cozy lounge areas, collaborative spaces, colorful accents and a focus on wellness.

Hints of Comfort from Home

Global River Series

With wireless technology, it is not possible to move around during the workday and for employees to work in more comfortable spaces. Having a dedicated lounge area allows for a casual meeting environment and makes work more enjoyable.

Flexible Layouts

AIS Aloft Workstations

Flexibility is a growing trend as traditional office spaces, planned in advance with permanent layouts, are giving way to the needs of an ever-changing work landscape. Many new products are designed to be mixed, stacked and moved around, offering options for a dynamic and collaborative workplace.

Standing Workspaces

ergoCentric height adjustable bases

Standing at your during the workday is becoming increasingly popular due to the health benefits. Studies have shown that standing at your desk increases productivity and minimizes health risks like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and back pain.

Bright and Colorful

ergoCentric airCentric

Adding color to an office changes the mood of a space and makes it more inviting. In addition, companies are able to use their logo colors to tie the brand image into their office space. The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra Violet, so keep an eye out for extra pops of purple in Huskies territory.

January is always filled with News Year’s resolutions. Your goals for the year are likely to include making healthier choices, trying new things or improving your financial situation.  But what about your workplace goals? Making a few small changes at work can help to increase your productivity, decrease your stress and make you more valuable at your company. Implement a few of the changes below to become a happier, better employee in 2018.

Take regular breaks

It sounds counterintuitive, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance. If possible, build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym. Getting your blood pumping could be just what’s needed to clear your head and get your focus back.

Set self-imposed deadlines

While we usually think of a stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. You may be surprised to discover just how focused and productive you can be when you’re watching the clock.

Quit multitasking

While we tend to think of the ability to multitask as an important skill for increasing efficiency, the opposite may in fact be true. Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

Turn off notifications

No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead build in time to check email and messages. Allowing incoming phone calls and emails to dictate how you spend your day will mean you do a great job of putting out fires but that may be all you get accomplished.

Give yourself something nice to look at

It may sound unlikely, but some research shows outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements can increase productivity by up to 15 percent.  Decorate your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face.


On a weekly basis, I am forwarded emails from supervisors and management with glowing compliments about the Keeney’s team. After using some of the customer feedback for a recent proposal, we decided these praises should be shared with the entire staff, as a reminder of the great work everyone does each day. As I began copying each email to the large glass board in the breakroom, I noticed a common theme. Although we offer competitive pricing, a wide variety of products and free delivery, none of the comments were about that. Over and over, the level of personal touch, friendly interactions and attentive service were highlighted.

“I really appreciate you going the extra mile for us! Again, your stellar customer service is most appreciated.”

“Your install team was just great…professional and courteous through the whole process. They did an awesome job.”

“The Keeney’s team really cannot be beat – The pinnacle of customer service!”

“Just when I think I’ve met all of the wonderful people at Keeney’s you surprise me with another one!”

At the end of the day, Keeney’s and other small, local businesses offer something that the big box stores and online retailers can’t compete with: a personal touch. When customers have questions, they talk to the same three, knowledgeable customer service reps that know customers’ children’s names and upcoming vacation plans. Each time a customer places an order, they have the comfort of knowing that the same delivery driver who knows exactly where they like their supplies placed will be there with a big smile on their face and a friendly greeting. When a new office is being setup, the customer knows the experienced install team will be on time and will ensure everything is perfect before they leave. Customers want to buy personal and I believe that have been a contributing factor to Keeney’s customer retention for 70 years and counting.

Lindsey Thompson, Marketing Specialist

Lisa's 35th Anniversary

We Keeney’s employees have two reasons to celebrate today: first it is our President’s 35th anniversary with the company, and second, it is International Women’s Day. Both of these events seem improbable; Lisa does not seem like she’s old enough to have been in the workforce for 35 years, and she did not start working here on the day she was born (our founder, Bob, was a stern parent, but not to that degree). However, her business acumen, her wisdom in steering our relatively small company of 32 people through the hazardous waters of the Office Supply industry, as many larger, better funded and almost entirely male-run companies have, been eaten by competitors or failed outright, would suggest that she has always had an older person’s knowledge and judgement. When you look around the company and see many people who have been here more than 10 years, and a large handful who have stayed for almost Lisa’s entire tenure, you know that she is an excellent boss; a person who inspires others to their best work and makes her company a home, not just a workplace.

International Women’s Day is a funny concept. Why do we restrict the observance of how women contribute to society, and in particular to business, one day a year? At Keeney’s we have 32 employees – half of whom are women. Including Lisa, we have 9 employees with the word “manager” in their title – 5 of the 9 are women. Lisa listens equally to input from women and men in her employ, and frequently includes rank and file employees in decision-making if they have a unique perspective – without regard to gender, or years with the company. That may be another reason employees stay at Keeney’s for so long – people like to be valued for their minds and opinions, as well as their competency and productivity. Is this how it works at companies run by men? I don’t have recent, direct knowledge of that because I’ve been here for so long, but from what I hear, men in charge usually don’t place so much value on listening.

As a man benefitting from all these advantages of working in a woman owned company, working for a President like Lisa, I cannot fully get behind the idea of an annual “International Woman’s Day.” At Keeney’s, we should be celebrating women in the workforce, women leading companies, women setting the standard for excellence  every day. I know that if my female coworkers had stayed home today, the rest of us would have had a hell of a time getting anything done – not because we’re incompetent without our female coworkers, but because we are dependent on them.

So, three cheers for the women, six for the women of Keeney’s, and twelve for Lisa, on her 35th work anniversary.

-Steven Sterne, GM, Keeney’s Office Supply and Interiors

Independent Dealer magazine published an article highlighting Keeney’s work with non-profit organizations in the local community this month. Read about it on page 43:

June is National Safety Month! Here are a few tips to keep your workplace safe and reduce work related accidents.


There is something unique about office supplies; most people really enjoy using them – especially when they are fun or different. With the holidays upon us and gift buying time in full swing, check out some of the fun and quirky options available to keep your loved one happy while they are working.

Seattle Seahawks Pop Up Post It Note Dispenser
Seattle Seahawks Helmet Dispenser
Seattle Seahawks Stapler

Seahawks Tape Dispenser, Post It Note Dispenser & Stapler – Calling all 12’s! Fun, football shaped Seahawk desk accessories for the season ahead.

Weego Battery Pack – Get your loved one out of any jam. Jump starts the car or charges your smartphone – this all in one option is a dream gift this holiday season.

Pink - Ladies Computer Tote

Femme Floral Computer Tote Bag – who said office supplies aren’t sexy?  This gorgeous bag carries your standard laptop and everything else – all while staying stylish.  No more lugging that ugly computer bag.

Glass Chairmat – Class up your home office or your work area with this elegant, ergonomic, economical, non-shattering glass chairmat. Lifetime guarantee.

Purell Desk Pal

Purell Desktop Pal – for those that cannot be without their Purell; this fun desktop buddy holds the standard purell bottles and adds some character to your desk.

Ergotron WorkFit T – if your loved one would prefer to stand at work or at home when on the computer – this mobile, sit-to-stand solution is the perfect “go anywhere” solution.

Fashion Binders – Who can enjoy their workspace without some color? These fashion binders are adorable and a great way to store your mini documents or photos.

Mini Glass Dry Erase – for home or office.  This is a stylish, sleek organizing / scheduling tool for your organized loved one.  Personal size of 9×12 available.

Keurig OfficePRO K155 Premier Brewing Syste

Keurig OfficePro K155 – that perfect cup of coffee every time.

Stylish Coffee Drawer – this accessory goes nicely with the Keurig Coffee machine that you will also buy.  Great stylish design to hold k-cups.

You can suggest a “Coffee Club” to your team or boss this holiday season.  The boss does not even need to buy a brewer.  With Keeney’s Office Supply’s Coffee Program – we will give you the Keurig brewer for free if you buy your k-cups from us.  Not a bad deal.  See our Coffee and Breakroom section for details.

These are just a few fun ideas for this holiday season.  All are available from Keeney’s Office Supply for next day delivery – no minimum order.  Start buying your fun office supplies today!

Think Local Buy Local

We are celebrating a month of INDEPENDENCE. Not only as a country on July 4th, but as Keeney’s Office Supply, an independent, local, woman owned office supply and interiors company in Seattle. We have been in business for over 68 years and we would not be here today without the freedom of being an independent company. This freedom has allowed us to be flexible to changing markets and customer’s needs, to be adaptable to requests and to be mindful of current economic concerns. We don’t answer to shareholders, we answer to our customers and that is something we are very proud of. So as Independent Business/Retailer month is upon us, we reflect on why it is great to be an independent and why our customers benefit.

Survival of the Independent

As my Google alerts go off every hour about the possible- impending merge of Office Depot/ Max with Staples, and as I read about Amazon’s plans for world domination across all industries, I am more motivated than frightened. We are nimble, market savvy and customer focused. We are experts in our field and we provide tangible, appreciable value to our customers in every interaction. We have outlasted 99% of the office supply dealers who were in business in the late 1980’s, including formidable suppliers like BizMart, Office Club, Eastman’s, Viking, BT, USOP, Corporate Express and Office Max. We are survivors because we always find new ways to stay relevant to – and focused on – our customers, without losing sight of our core values and identity. We get it.

Keeney’s is growing even as our industry shrinks, the cracks are widening in our competition’s service level and responsibility to its customers. People are seeing dramatic price increases, reduced customer service and delivery options – all of which are important to customers. For Keeney’s, if price was the only reason someone bought from us – we would be out of business. We are not the lowest price on everything – but who is? What we do is deliver an exceptional level of service, understanding and product expertise that keeps our customers coming back and have done for many, many years. They trust us and rely on us to be their business partner and we have continued to deliver on this promise to them.

Customers don’t sacrifice anything with Independents

Lisa on blue recycling can

Choosing to buy from an independent dealer like Keeney’s does not mean the customer has to sacrifice anything – At Keeney’s , you still get state-of-the-art online ordering platform, mobile ordering app, rebates, discounts, electronic emails and invoices, tracking, free, next day delivery. The best thing is, we are still here to talk to you. Our customer service team is here in Redmond, they know the customers and their accounts, they are in communication with all drivers and sales people and warehouse and purchasing. We are all in the same office and share the same values we place on our customers. They come first.

 So this month, as we celebrate the independence of our great nation, we here at Keeney’s also give thanks for the brave decisions of our fearless woman leader, Lisa Keeney McCarthy. Who without her strength and savvy business approach, Keeney’s would not be standing here today as a growing, diverse, forward thinking office supply & interior company – we would simply be another tomb in the Office Supplier graveyard.

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