NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Eric K. Heitkamp
Lil’ Respect, LLC
How did your supplier company get its start?
Lil’ Respect, LLC, founded in 2016, was a culmination of several ideas and needs. The name was planted more than 30 years ago as a fun, family joke. My dad had all the material things he wanted in life. Every year, when asked what he wanted for his birthday or a special holiday, he would say in jest and without hesitation, “All I want is a little respect.”
In 2015, my wife, Stephanie, and I were trying to teach our two young boys unique and lifelong ways to respect and recognize the good in others. At the same time, our six-year-old was coming to us wanting to write notes to his friends, teachers and the local firefighters about why he liked them. With these events, Lil’ Respect, offering personalized, premium recognition gifts, was officially born.
What led your company to enter the promotional products market?
Our mission is to provide individuals, businesses and organizations with a simple, unique and sincere way to express their gratitude, while also recognizing the positive qualities, abilities, contributions and achievements of others. We quickly recognized that Lil’ Respect was the perfect gift for employee recognition, as it is a fun, unique product with a serious message. PPAI gave us the best opportunity to get our product into the marketplace.
What’s your favorite thing about being in the promotional products industry?
As a new member, PPAI gives our company credibility in the marketplace. It also offers us the opportunity to take advantage of PPAI’s unique resources and benefits. Also important, it gives us the opportunity to get our product in front of thousands of new potential customers.
Why did you join PPAI?
As a manufacturer’s rep in the packaging industry, I was very familiar with PPAI from the PPAI customers I had worked with over the years. Through my experience with them, and in addition to supporting them at PPAI-sponsored events, I knew this was the best opportunity for our organization.