New Member Spotlight: Square Golf Ball & USA Custom Imprint/Bright Valley Enterprises

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Phil Ellison
President
Square Golf Ball & USA Custom Imprint/Bright Valley Enterprises
Corrales, New Mexico
PPAI 69521

How did your company get its start? 

In 1995, I thought of the concept for a square golf ball. I enjoy unique items and felt for certain that this type of novelty item was available. In 2000, when the internet really became mainstream, I searched globally, but could not locate the item. In 2012 after another exhaustive search, I decided to make the product myself. After a year of hard work, trial and error, and much lost sleep, the square golf ball was born.

I had a very difficult time locating a company to imprint messages and logos on the square golf ball, so I ended up purchasing a high-end professional UV ink printer. This was an excellent move, and it opened my eyes to other possibilities. I purchased this printer for one purpose, but quickly found that I could imprint on all types of products. Two years into the square golf ball process, I had built up a good assortment of products which I could custom imprint and sell directly via my website.

All of this time I was thinking retail, direct-to-consumer. In 2015 I began to get inquiries and orders from companies wanting to imprint their logo on the square golf ball, and over the course of the year my activity switched from retail to corporate sales as the bulk of my orders grew. My imprint business was built on no minimums and no setup fees, as this type outlet was very much in the minority.

What led your company to enter the promotional products market?

I have 15 years of experience in broadcast TV promotions. Throughout those years, representatives would come to me, and this is how I secured promotional items for the TV station. I am keenly aware of marketing and promotional opportunities. This background knowledge provided a level of confidence that I knew if I created the square golf ball, I could market it. I began marketing to retail outlets, corporate and direct to consumers—everybody. I knew the corporate door would be the hardest to open and my efforts netted only a few corporate clients. In 2015 enough square golf balls were in the right hands, I suppose, that they received greater corporate interest, although I still had difficulty opening doors with new clients.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the promotional products industry?

I currently maintain a direct-to-consumer website where I fill very small orders, as in one to five items. I’d like to phase that out. In all honesty it requires the same amount of effort to create one item as it does to create much larger volumes of the same thing. I would much rather deal with distributors who open doors at a corporate level, and take orders for 50-500 at a time instead of one or two at a time. I deal with distributors who understand promotions.

Why did you join PPAI?

With my promotional background, I decided to seek out a venue where promotional items were offered. One of my clients suggested I explore PPAI. This was the organization I had been looking for. I had exhibited at several trade shows previously, but quickly found that I wasn’t involved with the right audiences. PPAI allowed me to speak directly to distributors within the promotional world. These representatives “got it” and understood the value of this new product.

That audience belongs to PPAI and another similar organization. I researched both plus asked my client for a pros and cons list comparing the two organizations. In every area compared, PPAI seemed to afford a better opportunity for me and my business. I came to PPAI to get exposure to large volumes of distributors. What I found was that PPAI offered many more tools that I could pick and choose from to assist with my own business development.

 

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