Close Up: Brett Hersh
Brett Hersh’s childhood was an incubator for selling success
The summer he was 11 years old, Brett Hersh came up with his first business idea at the Jersey Shore. “We were always running out of drinks after spending the entire day playing in the sun. I started selling soda on the beach while walking from towel to towel, offering ice-cold soda for $1 each.“
Hersh kept coming up with what he calls “bizarre ideas” that solved problems for others. At age 14, Hersh sold no-run pantyhose to his ninth-grade teachers, nurses and other female professionals.
His passion for entrepreneurship remained steady over the years, and after selling his healthcare company, Hersh and his business partner, Steve Weissman, founded Admints (UPIC: Admints), which later became Admints & Zagabor, in 2001. “I started Admints with an entrepreneurial vision to grow a company that provides a nice lifestyle for my family, provides a great product to my customers and contributes to our economy with good jobs for my employees,” he says. There was definitely a learning curve, he adds. “It took us three years to figure out you could not survive in the promotional products business with one product. We started adding products, and here we are in 2016.”
In July, Admints & Zagabor was acquired by Hit Promotional Products and Hersh remains president of the company. “We could not have found a better partner who shares the same passion and vision, and is equally focused on quality, service, price and delivery,” Hersh says of Hit. “The future of Admints & Zagabor is very bright. We now have the resources of one of the best suppliers in the industry to guide us and we are having fun.”
Where do you live, and who are your family members?
I live outside Philadelphia near Villanova University. I have been married to my wife, Jennifer, for 18 years but we’ve been together for 23. We have two daughters, ages 12 and 14, as well as a dog named Cooper who is the center of attention in our house. I also have twin younger brothers, Glen and Jason, whom I am very close to. Glen is Admint’s VP of sales.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
What I love about the promotional products industry is that we are helping other businesses promote their brands and grow their companies. I like walking by the shipping department and seeing all the boxes getting ready to ship the orders for that day. All of our items are like hundreds of thousands of little soldiers going out there to help our economy and support the jobs of all the companies we service.
What motivates you in business and in life?
I am an eternal optimist and I genuinely believe that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to as long as I follow it up with hard work and persistence. I am motivated by so many things but my family is at the top of the list. I received wise advice years ago from a mentor, who said, “Always look forward.” I never let yesterday’s success confuse what is needed for today and tomorrow, and this keeps me humble and focused.
What advice do you have for a newcomer to the promotional products industry?
There are no shortcuts. Success in our industry is built with hard work, good business decisions and solid relationships with your distributor partners. Surround yourself with people who understand the promotional product industry to shorten the learning curve.