I watched a video published by a vendor about how their company was born. This is a family business, an apparel and textile supplier that is devoted to corporate responsibility and community support. During the pandemic they shifted some of their focus to offer products for personal protection. You can learn a lot about how to do business by watching and learning from the promotional product industry’s market leader with annual revenue of nearly $2 billion.
The video made me think about my great grandparents who owned a butcher shop in the Polish neighborhood of North Philadelphia. At the time, all nationalities gravitated towards neighborhoods where they knew the language and customs. Before the Great Depression many families could not afford to buy food at their butcher shop, so my great grandfather extended credit so no family would go hungry. When my grandmother married my grandfather in 1926 their life was devoted to raising my mom and her sister and working in their own shoe store in Camden, NJ and then Upper Darby, PA. Not the place to buy fancy, fashionable shoes, their shoe store offered sturdy white shoes for nurses, the high-laced black shoes worn by the sisters in the Catholic Convent, and corrective footwear for people with special foot problems.
As I was growing up, my father was a rocket scientist (yes, an actual rocket scientist) and my mom a teacher. The genes for being a marketer and entrepreneur skipped a generation. I went from working at Sears in high school to Abraham & Strauss, NY just out of college, graduating to sales and marketing for over twenty-five years at Fortune 100 and 500 companies, BASF, Gillette and Max Factor. For my “second career” I transitioned to the promotional products business for a family-owned company. Tough adjustment, as my last name was not the family last name so the playing field was slanted. I finally started my own business 18 years ago and I’ve never looked back, not lately. Today, I looked back while I watched the video.
The video deeply resonated with my own corporate values. My business is truly personal. Our goal is to help companies build their business to provide for the families who work together. Our company’s values include helping people and businesses build hope in their communities. I am proud to represent companies who are focused on making the world a better place. We look to companies who offer sustainable products; products responsibly grown; products sourced using recycled materials when possible; and textiles made without human rights abuses and environmental harm. We aim to secure products sourced with fair labor standards throughout the world.
It is a tribute to my family to pause and remember the values important to my moral and ethical development. It has always been my personal motto to treat people the way I like to be treated, the Golden Rule! May I always keep looking up to the people and businesses that hold truth and honor sacred, people who treat others with consideration and look for ways to make the world a better place.
I would love to learn more about your story. If you want to share, please email your story to Lynn3@1st-Straw.com or call to chat 609-472-1667.