How did your company get its start?
I first got into this business when I went to work for a friend’s company. That’s where I learned the business—what to do, what not to do. After three years there, in 2005, I left to start my own company. In July 2010, we partnered with a communications company, and today we’re a full-fledged marketing and communications firm.
The philosophy we operate by is that we’re not necessarily out to sell a product. What we sell is a way for customers to deliver their message. It could be a pen, it could be an iPad app. When I sit down with a client, I don’t show up with a bunch of catalogs; I ask them what their need is, who they are targeting and what call to action they are seeking to communicate. I take that back to my team and find what works best for the client. And if that means a promotional product, it’s what delivers the right marketing message.
What’s your favorite thing about being in the promotional products industry?
I absolutely love what I do. My favorite thing about this business is that it gives me the opportunity to help and guide people, to show them how to get their message delivered. Oftentimes, clients will know they have to do something, but not what. I help them get their message out there in a unique and effective way.
When did you know that you wanted to work in this industry?
I used to work for a cargo airline, and it’s where I was first introduced to branding and logos. I always thought the company’s logo was ugly. We had a person we worked with for branded merchandise; I told them I wanted to design a new logo for a sticker that pilots put on their navigation bags. That led to a rebranding effort, and all the logoed products that go with it. It was this process that got me into promotional products and got me intrigued by the field. The experience of creating my first logo has stuck with me.
Why did you join PPAI?
I subscribed to SAGE because I was interested in their product search engine. Once that relationship was in place, someone from PPAI reached out to me about membership in the Association. I declined because at the time I didn’t see the need; my focus was on the search engine. However, I started to research PPAI, and I saw that it could benefit me in working with my vendors. I wanted my company to have that association with PPAI in communicating with vendors.