At GEDDES, we make it our mission to supply students (and adults young at heart) with imaginative and affordable pens, pencils, mechanical pencils, erasers and other school supplies designed for school stores, classrooms, and education fundraising.
Even if you haven't heard of Geddes, you've very possibly seen our novelty pens and pencils in someone's hand, in the stationery supplies aisle at the department store, or near the cash register at your local gift store. You may have even used our school supplies when you were a student and not even realized it! We serve a wide variety of school personnel at almost every level.
- School store managers and supervisors of school supply stores
- K-12 grade school teachers and librarians
- Principals and Vice Principals
- Administrators and Superintendents for school districts
- PTA and PTO presidents and officers
- Education fundraising groups and organizers of school fundraisers
- Student Council coordinators and leaders
- Student groups like FBLA and DECA
- College and University bookstores
Our Start in Schools
You wouldn't know it looking at us now, but when we started way back in 1924, our focus was the basic yellow #2 pencil and standard ballpoint stick pen. We supplied Baltimore-area, then Maryland-area, and eventually Mid-Atlantic elementary school and middle school students with the traditional writing supplies, paper supplies, and art supplies that everyone is so familiar with.
Over the many years of selling school supplies, the business expanded into helping schools set up a school store of their own. But teachers teach, after all. Their experience is in educating students, not running a business.
The company president at the time, Raymond Geddes Jr., believed a school store could be more than just a way to provide students with necessary school supplies. The school store could also be utilized as a tool for teaching communication skills, business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Yet, he saw firsthand the challenges that kept most schools from providing such a service.
- How do we successfully run a school store and avoid common pitfalls?
- How do we plan and budget for time, resources, and finances?
- How do we keep records and inventory?
- How do we use school stores to teach students about business and general life skills?
Mr. Geddes put his experiences into writing and developed it into what is now known as our school store management guide - GEDDES School Stores: An Operating Manual. This printed manual guides school personnel and school store volunteers on every aspect of a school store operation. Recently updated in 2007, we've made this manual available free of charge by customer request. Alongside our manual, additional content is accessible at raymondgeddes.com in the School Store Learning Center and School Store Lesson Plan Library areas of our site.
Going National with Catalogs
As the school supply business grew nationally, we began offering a mail order school supply catalog to reach more schools throughout the USA. In addition to the traditional, brand name school supplies from companies like Papermate, Crayola, and Bic, we provided a few unique, novelty products that we found from smaller companies, as well as a few products we developed ourselves from scratch.
But we found that the more unusual and original the item was, the more students responded and came back for more. Over time, our catalogs were filled with more and more novelty merchandise to complement the traditional school products. Today we busy ourselves with inventing and developing our own lines of novelty pens, pencils, and other school supplies for students, as well as working with folks like Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Dog Man, Pete The Cat and others to bring their popular characters and licenses to GEDDES school supply products.
Entering the Business Market
Experience in the school market fed our expansion into the world of retail wholesale distribution. Today, we're providing our unique writing supplies and point-of-purchase impulse merchandise to businesses all over the country. Our novelty pens, pencils, mechanical pencils, key chains, and other items are popular impulse products within a variety of commercial settings.
- Teacher specialty stores and other retailers serving the education market
- Pediatric doctors and dentists
- Amusement park and museum shops and kiosks
- Vending machine suppliers
- Tradeshow marketers and organizers
- Small and medium-sized specialty gift retailers
- Souvenir and resort retail businesses
- Supermarkets and convenience stores
- Office supplies superstores
- Dollar store and discount retailers
- Buyers for high volume and club store retailers
- International retailers.
Contact a Business Sales specialist for more information.
Not Just for School or Business
You don't have to be a school or a retailer to purchase from GEDDES. We have many individuals shopping with us for school supplies, art and activity supplies, novelty gifts and more.
Additionally, we serve a variety of organizations focused on children. These include...
- Day care and early learning centers
- Home schooling families
- After-school centers
- Church-related programs
- Athletic league organizers
- Community event promoters
Speak with a member of our Customer Care team toll-free Monday-Friday. We're available to assist between 8 am and 4 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
Phone: 1 (888) 431-1722
Fax: 1 (800) 533-3359
Email: Customer Service