Starbucks schwag: It’s so cool. (or possibly dorky but I’m okay with that) (OPEN thread)
At the 2009 annual meeting of shareholders, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, said this: “One of the things I recently read is that Starbucks Coffee Co. is not cool any more. I’ve been here 27 years, we have never set out to be cool. We don’t want to be cool, we want to be relevant…”
Just for this one blog entry, I want to take “relevant” and put it on the back-burner and have a little fun with cool Starbucks schwag. All I am going to do is share with you a few of my favorite Starbucks things which might be very cool to me, but dorky to the rest of the world. And now for a Starbucks schwag tour:
**The lunch box:
In September 2008, I had a tour of the Starbucks headquarters which included an excursion to the partner store. While there, I picked up this lunch box, which still a year later, I absolutely love. For a little larger pic of the front of the lunch box, click here. The bottom of the lunch box has the url on it starbuckscoffeegear.com, so perhaps some of you can get one of these too (though you have to be a Starbucks partner to log in on that site. Since, I cannot log in to that site, I do not know if the lunchboxes are currently available through it). For a pic of the bottom of the box, click here.
**The ugly orange coffee mug:
In the very early 1990s I can remember walking into my local OakTree neighborhood Starbucks, and seeing some orange coffee mugs for sale with a gold logo. I can remember thinking, “oh my god those are ugly, who would ever buy that?” I went back to the mug several times, picking it up, putting it back on the shelf, tempted to buy it just because I thought it was such a hideous mug that it was calling out to me. Of course, in 1991 – 1992 I simply didn’t realize that Starbucks would be a big company, and never once occured to me that I should buy things and hold on to them. So mostly during this era of Starbucks, I didn’t buy much and I didn’t hold on to much, which I now regret. Years later, in about 2006 or maybe 2007, I was browsing e-bay and saw an orange coffee mug for sale, and of course I said, “Holy Verona Batman!! It’s the same damn ugly orange coffee mug.” I snatched up the mug from ebay (paying four times what it would’ve cost me to buy it in 1991), and here is a thumbnail of it:
One thing that is remarkable about the coffee mug is that it uses the Starbucks logo that was used between 1987 and 1992, and in my opinion is the rarest of the logos to find on anything. It is also the logo that I am personally the most sentimental about because it represents the era when I first discovered Starbucks. For a complete discussion of the evolution of the Starbucks logo, click here. For a larger pic of the orange coffee mug, click here.
On the topic of Starbucks coffee mugs, there are so many to talk about that I think a person could have an entire blog just on their mugs. I especially like the series of mugs that featured the coffee postage stamps, but don’t have any photos of those to share at this time (and I only have a few of them). One mug that I particularly like has a nice stylized Siren on it, but oddly the mug does not say the word “Starbucks” anywhere on it. The logo on the mug is the same logo featured on the green splash sticks in the stores. Here is a thumbnail of the mug: For a larger pic of this mug, click here.
**Starbucks related t-shirts:
I have a couple of t-shirts that I especially like because of the logos they feature. I have a Starbucks V2V “Do Good-er” t-shirt given to me by an SSC partner, but no photo of it to show off here. At 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea they sell logo t-shirts with their logo on them and so of course I picked up one of those right away. Click here for a pic of the 15th Avenue Coffee t-shirt. Something I’m even more sentimental about is my Clover coffee t-shirt. Big thank yous to the Starbucks partner who got one for me! For pic of the Clover coffee t-shirt, click here. I realize there have been a million Starbucks t-shirts and I only have a like 3 of them. I’ve seen baristas wearing Vivanno t-shirts, Sorbetto t-shirts, t-shirts with sign-language hands on them … There are a lot of Starbucks t-shirts!
By the way, I would love to get my hands on a Sorbetto t-shirt for my collection, if anyone should happen to know how I could best do that.
Please feel free to post in the comments anything about your favorite Starbucks collectibles, or anything else related to this blog or Starbucks. This blog is really quite new and so I am very open to suggestions and ideas about topics, what works and what doesn’t, etc …
Thank you to Larry Aldrich of Seattle Custom Framing for taking all of the photographs featured in this blog entry.
Also don’t miss the Starbucks Gossip blog run by Webmaster-Jim! http://starbucksgossip.typepad.com – I don’t think I can compete with him!