October 22nd, 2012 by Ben Gonzalez
I have two nieces. Â They have been princesses, witches, models, pop stars, scientists, superheroes, and just about every other occupation you can think of. Â Of course, nothing could prepare us for the very creative ways that they go about fulfilling the tenures of their latest imaginary employment. Â I’m sure we can all relate.
The mess on the kitchen mats from the five-star chef. Â The crayon art on the walls from our little Picassos. Â Even the near flood on the floor mats from our bath-tub Jacques Cousteaus. Â They all serve to inspire us on the time where we really felt and thrived on the idea that absolutely anything we could think of was a potential occupation. Â
While we’re in the bathroom, let me tell you about my co-worker’s niece Emma.Â This little doll is a gymnast in the making. Â Her parents, being the good folk they are, have catered her physicality with gymnastics equipment and classes, the toys and tools that might make this little tike the next McKayla Maroney. Â This unfortunately, does not slow down the imagination and as she lacked gymnastic bars, she decided to do a little practicing with the towel racks in the bathroom. Â
Suffice it to say, these are most certainly not the ticket to fame and fortune, but might make for a good scowling form the folks. Â Lesson be learned parents: Keep the young ones occupied with the right tools and an extra bit of supervision.
October 5th, 2012 by Chris Aviles
It was National â€˜Mean Girlsâ€™ day recently, and I know youâ€™ll make fun of me but I LOVE that movie!Â So, as offended as I was, when this next thing happened to me, I thought it very appropriate:
Iâ€™m going away this weekend on a much needed mini vacation to Catalina Island. Â Iâ€™m really looking forward to turning off my phone and just disconnecting for a while. Â I havenâ€™t really had any time to just relax and enjoy the amazing weather weâ€™ve had this summer (I know…sad).Â
So anywayâ€¦I went to Nordstrom yesterday looking for some swim shorts and when I asked the sales clerk she replied â€œThat season is over, you can try Ross.â€ Â I was mortified! Â But being National Mean Girls Day I took it as festive. Plus, she really got me thinking about how fast the seasons are changing! That means the Holidays are fast approaching!!! Â I somehow always forget to start shopping, so I guess Iâ€™m grateful?Â Now Iâ€™m stressing out and starting to think about how I can get the most gifts for my buck. Getting to the mall to shop is not an easy task, especially when I start thinking about lack of parking and the unorganized shelves. I really would prefer to do all my shopping from home, if only I could not pay for shipping.Â
Â I wish I knew more people that needed dance equipment, gymnastics orÂ cheerleading equipment.Â We have many great productsÂ that are really affordable.Â Â In fact, that is even before you take into account that a lot of theÂ dance and gymnastics equipmentÂ includes shipping!Â That really makes life easier because when I am budgeting how much money I will spend on all the people in my life, I rarely think about shipping costs. Â I also never think about shipping errors, which is odd because I see how often shipments get lost or damaged. Â By the way, if that ever happens follow the procedures from who you are ordering from and you will be protected.Â
We can do everything weâ€™re supposed to, toÂ get your cheer mats or other package and out on time, and stuff still happens! Â You wouldnâ€™t believe how often a storm delays a plane, or a truck breaks down or some overwhelmed delivery guy accidentally delivers the package to the wrong address. Â I figure I should probably start shopping now, and attempt to avoid all the chaos or at the very least have enough time to rectify the problem. Oh wellâ€¦as soon as quitting time hits, Iâ€™m stress free!
October 3rd, 2012 by Ben Gonzalez
A very uplifting letter came in the mail the other day.Â The opening paragraph read as follows:
“Dear Mr. Gonzalez,
On behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your generous donation of discounted foam floor tiles
for Savannah’s wish…”Â
Savannah is a little girl who wanted a playhouse and it seems like our foam tiles were just the thing they needed to line the inside of a full size dollhouse for extra padding and protection.Â A very nice pink, purple, and flower patterned soft flooring now decorates the inside of her very own life-size dollhouse.Â We often get requests for donations and while we can not always accommodate, it’s really good to hear from any customerÂ following up with us to give us positive feedback.
For me, this instance was particularly touching because Darla, the program manager, was one of the most positive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.Â Her absolute dedication to her job and all that it’s about make it pretty inspiring to be a part of it, even if it’sÂ just to provide a service or product.Â It’s people like her that can really make something so trivial as our play mats for kids
, and apply it to give someone in need a little more strength, hope, and joy.Â An important reminder that even when you’re down and out, it’s good to know that there are people out there striving to make a big difference in an innocent little boy or girls life.
October 2nd, 2012 by Chris Aviles
As much as I envy this generation and all the cool toys they get to grow up with, I feel as if they donâ€™t get to use their imaginations as much as I got to. Â When I was growing up my Dad, along with the neighbor dad and his son, used to take us to department stores and get empty fridge or washer/dryer boxes. We would take them home and make the most awesome forts!Â We could literally spend the whole summer playing in our back yards, in BOXES!
I kind of miss being able to use my imagination like that! I got very nostalgic for simpler times when I was talking to a customer this week who wanted to get some trade show flooring (interlocking foam tiles) for her kids playroom.Â Thatâ€™s very common and I provide people with these types of tiles all the time so their kids can have a colorful, safe, and soft area to play on.Â I remember one customer of mine who had a different use!Â She said she wants to have a floor her kids can play on or build stuff with, like tunnels.Â Right away, my inner child came out and I started thinking how fun it would have been to have tiles like this when I was younger.Â I can already imagine the different types of forts I can make.
I actually have some smaller versions of the trade show flooring or kids playroom floor tiles on my desk and arranged them in few different ways that could be fun.Â (as seen in pictures) The cool part about having these tiles as a kid would have been that theyâ€™re mine, and permanent.Â Let me explain.. while the refrigerator boxes were cool , Mom could only stand seeing â€œtrashâ€ in her backyard for so long.Â These interlocking tiles would have been awesome!! They look nice are easily stacked and hold up against elements a lot better than cardboard!Â We also carry a number and alphabet puzzle mat with removable letters- these donâ€™t interlock with the interlocking trade show tiles but being able to punch out the letters to create windows in my fort would rock! And if you look at the product page for the ABC mats youâ€™ll see a couple other ideas for your tiles like hop-scotch! If you have some of these tiles, or plan on getting some send me pictures of what creative stuff youâ€™re kids do with them!
September 18th, 2012 by Alex Miller
I have been getting a lot of requests from various people and companies regarding what type of mat to put under their climbing walls.Â Some people know what they want, but most don’t.Â I have a couple customers that own athletic facilities with climbing walls. We have worked close together to figure out the best thicknesses, sizes and foam types to use. Basically we are customizing climbing wall mats that were previously created for other purposes.
A good example is our stunt mats which come in three different thicknesses and multiple sizes. We have altered multiple things from the sizes to the types of foam and placement of them.Â Sometimes, you may want a stiffer foam on top and softer on the bottom, or the same stiffness all the way through.Â What’s great is we have the capabilities to do that.
We can create mats for climbing walls in various sizes, thicknesses, colors, etc.Â We can create mats that are suitable for gyms, clubs, parties or home use.Â Quite often custom mats are not necessary and our stock matsÂ will work just fine for your needs.Â It is still a learning process where we can work and help the customer to decide what may work for them, but in the end we also can’t guarantee that they won’t hurt themselves.Â We can just go off recommendations from previous customers that have created custom mats and customers that know exactly what they want.
September 18th, 2012 by Chris Aviles
OMG! You guys actually read these things?! I didnâ€™t believe it until Mr. Mats himself told us he can see number of people that visit the blogs. Thatâ€™s great.Â Now, I donâ€™t feel like Iâ€™m talking to nobody! Not to show my age or anything, but the internet or social media is amazing and has come such a long way from the AOL discs we received in the mail to â€œtryâ€ the internet.Â You can literally say anything you want to nobody in particular and somebody interested can seek out the information.Â It gives anybody an outlet to discuss or rant about anything they desire.
Iâ€™ve had some friends read my blogs and they all seemed less than thrilled. It really took away my motivation. Then I stopped and realized that they have no interest in Gymnastics Mats, or Tradeshow Flooring, or Anti Fatigue Mats so of course theyâ€™re not going to find my writings interesting. You guys, however, sought out this information and are probably more entertained/benefited by these. Now that I know I have an audience I think I can be a little more creative. I know we carry a ton of different products, but youâ€™d be surprised how hard it is to talk about them- to myself essentially. I really wish you could comment, Iâ€™d love some interaction. You can always call me if you want to talk about the blogs or maybe I sparked a question about something, then maybe I can write a blog inspired by you! Stay tuned, I’mÂ going to start brainstorming ideas to make these blog articles more informative and entertaining.Â I should do a youtube channel, where I answer questions! Would you watch?Â Iâ€™m kidding- kind of.
September 11th, 2012 by Chris Aviles
A true testament to how many products we carry is the fact that after 2 years of working here, I just discovered the extensive collection of Sports Mats we have!Â Ordinarily I handle custom orders so unless itâ€™s a product that can be produced in custom sizes, I donâ€™t really deal with it.Â
The way I found out we even had such a huge selection is because my cousin called me to ask what kind of discount I could get her on a San Diego Chargers area rug and she wanted to know if the quality is better than hers.Â Do you guys remember the plastic canvas patterns we played with as kids? You know, you would thread the different colored yarn through the template to make a furry image? Well thatâ€™s what her rug looks like (similar to the image above).Â Needless to say, I told her our nfl area rugs are MUCH better quality and would look so much nicer in her game room! She doesnâ€™t actually have her current â€œrugâ€ on the floor, it hangs on her wall- So a 7â€™8â€x10â€™9â€ rug will hang perfectly over the wall.Â Â
I decided not to give her any pricing, because I will give one to her and every other sports fan in my family for Christmas. That just took so much pressure off me!Â I can easily get everyone a gift from one place, with minimal thought and they will all be unique.Â Iâ€™m going to be a hero, because my family takes their sports seriously!Â I just need to figure out what size to get everyone.
So, if you need a birthday gift for a sports fan or a Christmas gift for a sports fanatic? Check out our sports mats (NFL area rugs, MLB rugs, NHL team rugs and college logo mats. You can thank me later!
September 5th, 2012 by Ben Gonzalez
It’s not totally uncommon for us to get feedback from our customers via email.Â Since we deal with all matters of mats whether it’s for yoga, martial arts, gymnastics, or industrial kitchens, it’s always a exciting when customers attach a couple of pictures of what they actually did with their mats…Â especially on slightly more complicated, custom orders.Â
One of my customers, (Tamara from Brookline, MA) got a little more creative than most of our customers.Â We offer wall padding – Â Conventional Wainscot Panels which are 2″ thick wooden-backed crosslink foam panels that mount on a wall.Â You’ve probably seen them in high school gyms or sports facilitates. Â The cost of these can add up quickly when covering larger wall areas since they are produced in 2′ widths and as a result, are generally not the best option for projects on a budget.Â However, we also offer gymnastics folding mats that can be customized with velcro connectors on specific sides, but most importantly (in this case) we can add grommets which allow these tumbling mats toÂ be hungÂ on walls.
Tamara came to us with a particular project that required folding mats, wall padding, and column wraps for a kids play area in a basement.Â After going back and forth for a couple of weeks, we designed custom floor mats as alternatives to the conventional wainscot panels and the results were quite honestly surprising, since I generally recommend the slightly pricier interlocking foam squares for kids floors and wooden backed wall panels.Â Tamara’s ingenuity and shopping savvy paid off in a big way for her little one as she now has a large area to play in that is both colorful, safe, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly, did not break the bank.
August 21st, 2012 by Alex Miller
With the Olympics overÂ and the girls gymnastics team dominating the sport we have had a lot of parents calling to ask forÂ tumbling mats and gymnastics equipment for homeÂ thatÂ can be used for practicing different moves. It’s kind of a start-up kit. You first start with the floor which most everyone orders a gymnastics folding mat, which can be used for different tumbling routines. They are also really easy to store when folded.
From there you add a couple of training aids to help in back & front handsprings as well as more advanced tumbling exercises. One of the hottest items is our Smarter Spotter, something I wish I had when I took classes. It has a great shape to it that really helps learning different exercises while keeping your child more protested. This product is usually used in combination with the folding mat.Â Being put on top for even more protection. Our Incline Mats (also known as cheese mats or wedges)Â work in a similar way. They have been around for a long time and are the favorite of lots of coaches. They also come in a folding style to help in storage.
I think the most important thing about gymnastics is that it helps train your child to have great balance, awareness, strength and versatility. It also lasts throughout there lifetime as I still find that I still have strengths and agility that I learned in gymnastics, especially balance and how to take a fall. Also, it’s a great way to get your child in shape and make some new friends. If you haven’t already, give it a try, in my opinion it’s one of the best sportsÂ for children to beÂ involved in.
August 2nd, 2012 by Chris Aviles
The FiveTastic U.S. Gold Medal Gymnastics Team should be so proud!Â They were so awesome!Â So inspiring… so inspiring that it made me want to write this blog article.
If youâ€™re like me youâ€™re probably not going to read this until after the Olympics are over, because youâ€™re glued to your screen every free second you have.Â I never had interest in the Olympics until this year for some reason.Â Iâ€™m a sucker for a good performance, which is probably whyÂ Iâ€™m also very interested in the gymantics- I would LOVE to be able to bounce around like they do!!Â At my job, I sell so many â€œfirstâ€ gymnastics mats to parents for their children, I wonder if one of those kids will ever be in the Olympics.Â Not that Iâ€™d ever know, but itâ€™d be cool.
If you want an Olympic Gold Medal you better be willing to work your butt off!Â I Googled what it takes to even be considered for the Olympics â€¦ Youâ€™ll never hear me complain about 3 days of working out again! These people have some serious self control. They spend up to 8 hours a day, 6 DAYS A WEEK in the gym, and thatâ€™s not even just for the Olympics. Thatâ€™s just to get yourself in shape FOR the Olympics.Â A lot of these girls ( Iâ€™m focusing on the girls since they did just win the gold medal!Â Go USA!) have been training at home since they could walk.Â I wonder if any of their parents were reluctant in buying them their first gymnastics balance beam or incline mat (aka cheese mat or wedge), because they thought it was just a â€œphaseâ€ only to now be sitting it the audience of the 2012 LONDON Olympics cheering on their kid… like the parents of gold medal winner Aly Raisman in this YouTube video: