A Changed Life ... My Personal Journey in This Industry
"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." -Albert Einstein
Many years ago I started in this industry as an apparel decorator. We were doing pretty well, but my wife saw the need to expand the business to include promotional products. I thought she was nuts but I went along with it.
Our first "new" opportunity came when one of our apparel clients asked about getting a product to promote their newest project. They wanted a custom cast replica of the cattle brand that was from the ranch they were building on.
Hah... I thought, let my wife find this product! Much to my surprise, we went onto our industry search tool and found a source for the product. The supplier was great and we completed our first order, which was about $10,000. Needless to say, I was then convinced that it made sense to sell promotional products, and our journey began.
I was smart enough to figure out that we needed to learn a bit about the promotional products industry. We decided to join PPAI and attend their big trade show, which was in Dallas at that time.
The whole thing was a new experience for me. I was shocked by how many people were up at the crack of dawn getting on buses to get to the convention center. My big concern was where the coffee was. There was a focus on education that just wasn't prominent in the apparel decorating business.
That was the beginning of my love for this industry. Through the years I have pursued continuing education and it has served me well. In addition to the education, the connections I've made have been invaluable. It was in a trade show seminar that we met someone who invited us into a networking group that to this day has had a powerful impact on my professional development.