“Turning Your Troubles into Dollar Signs” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 12 (feat. Mark Graham of Commonsku)

Where a business owner’s journey starts, and where they end up is the topic of today’s Success Stories podcast.

In 1997 Mark Graham founded Rightsleeve, a promotional design agency in Toronto, Canada.  The firm specializes in merchandising aimed at businesses, schools, camps, and organizations.  Mark successfully operated that business for 22 years before selling the company to Genumark in 2019.

Along the way, Mark founded another company, commonsku, which is a trusted CRM, order management, and social collaboration tool for the promotional products industry.

Today’s Success Stories podcast will focus on the origins of Mark’s career, the beginnings of commonsku, and his journey into building it into what it’s become today.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Continue reading ““Turning Your Troubles into Dollar Signs” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 12 (feat. Mark Graham of Commonsku)”

“How To Hit The G.A.S. on Growing Your Business” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 11 (feat. Tom Rauen of Envision Tees)

Many businesses talk about growing their sales and setting goals.  For apparel decorator and marketing king Tom Rauen with Envision Tees in Dubuque Iowa, expanding the business and obtaining new customers has been a focus.

You may also know Tom, from his widely publicized Guiness World Record event, where he broke the record for the largest number of T-shirts worn at once by any person.

He’s developed an interesting way of doing that with his “Growth Acquisition System” or G.A.S. for short.

On this episode of Success Stories, we will dig into exactly what this unique approach is, and why it is working so well for Tom at Envision Tees. He’ll also dive into Shirt Lab Tribe, which is a community of entrepenuers dedicated to learning how to build, grow, and scale their decorated apparel and promotional products businesses.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Continue reading ““How To Hit The G.A.S. on Growing Your Business” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 11 (feat. Tom Rauen of Envision Tees)”

“Their Favorite Books of Wisdom” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 10 (feat. Lots of Industry Leaders)

It’s no secret that many people gain tremendous insight and inspiration from reading books. Because many people tend to buy and share their favorite books as holiday presents, on today’s episode of Success Stories, we’ve asked a wide array of industry leaders to give us their favorite tips and recommendations for books that they have enjoyed this year.

We’ve asked a wide array of industry leaders to share their favorite book recommendations with us, to help you get inspired going into the new year. You’ll hear from:

  • Mark Graham
  • Charity Gibson
  • Roger Burnett
  • Jay Busselle
  • Tom Rauen
  • Jeff Solomon
  • Brian Rainey
  • Mark Kapczynski
  • Mark Coudray
  • Nate Leber
  • Shawn LaFave
  • and of course, Marshall himself

You’ll also hear from some of our staff, here at S&S, because we love books too! Whether you’re looking for a new book to give you an edge over the competition, or trying to find the perfect gift for your staff, we’ve got you covered in this special episode.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

“Play Customers Their Favorite Song” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 9 (feat. Brett Bowden of Printed Threads)

These days there’s a lot of talk about trying to find a competitive advantage that gives your company an edge.  One apparel decorator in North Fort Worth Texas has found that edge, and what they are doing may surprise you.

Printed Threads is a full-service merchandising company that specializes in high-quality screen printing, embroidery, retail finishing, and fulfillment services. 

Brett Bowden’s fun, creative, and sometimes quirky style carries over to his staff of dedicated professionals. Just check out this Instagram post, and you’ll see why people love following — Over 19K Followers — and doing business with them.

Find out what it took to develop this unique winning culture, that made Printed Threads a Texas powerhouse, and competitive nationwide.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify


Continue reading ““Play Customers Their Favorite Song” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 9 (feat. Brett Bowden of Printed Threads)”

“How to Run Apparel Programs for Big Brands” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 8 (feat. Jordy Gamson of Icebox)

Have you ever wondered who is handling the apparel programs for some of the largest and most well-known brands?

The answer can be found with one Atlanta branding and promotional merchandise agency, Icebox. Founded in 2001, they have been building turn-key solutions for corporate clients that include product sourcing, in-house design, production, warehouse fulfillment, and global distribution. 

Icebox has helped brands like Delta Airlines, Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings and AT&T with their apparel programs. Co-founder, Jordy Gamson, is talking to us about what it takes to run these turn-key programs, especially through uncertain times.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Continue reading ““How to Run Apparel Programs for Big Brands” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 8 (feat. Jordy Gamson of Icebox)”

“Collegiate Sales & Jimmy Kimmel Fame” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 7 (feat. Brayden Jessen of Zome Design)

Building sales in the licensed collegiate or school markets isn’t easy, but Brayden Jessen, of Zome Design in Spokane, WA is going to help you do just that. He knows the importance of capitalizing on the moment and what it takes to market collegiate apparel. Brayden is most famous for his “Gonzaga Exists” T-shirt design that ended up on local news stations AND Jimmy Kimmel Live (see the video below). Find out how he made that possible, on this episode of Success Stories.

Zome Design’s “Gonzaga Exists” design makes the local news

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Continue reading ““Collegiate Sales & Jimmy Kimmel Fame” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 7 (feat. Brayden Jessen of Zome Design)”

“Sell Trust, Not Decorations” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 6 (feat. Traci Miller of Color 3 Embroidery)

One thing that contract apparel decorators sell most is Trust, with a capital “T”.  Sure, you can focus on the embroidery, screenprinting, heat transfer or other methods of embellishing a garment, but seasoned contract professionals know that sales for them are not transactional.  Everything is about the relationship.

As a 25 year decorating veteran, Traci Miller, of Color3 Embroidery, knows this all too well. Listen as she shares advice on how to establish strong business relationships and how to sell trust instead of decorations.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Continue reading ““Sell Trust, Not Decorations” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 6 (feat. Traci Miller of Color 3 Embroidery)”

“If You Stand For Something, They Will Come” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 5 (feat. Roger Burnett of Social Good Promotions)

Promotional marketing companies have always tried to connect customers with the best products for their needs, but do those products always make the world a better place?

One company has found success with targeting the marketing needs of clients and aligning them with products that offer a deeper and more meaningful story.

Social Good Promotions works diligently to use promotional marketing products in a way that serves a greater purpose other than just simply being a canvas for a logo. They deeply believe in being socially responsible and try to give back in some way.

On this episode of Success Stories, we’ll discuss this with Roger Burnett and discover how his passion for improving the world, providing value, and always surprising and delighting his clients has moved him to the forefront of the promotional marketing space.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Continue reading ““If You Stand For Something, They Will Come” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 5 (feat. Roger Burnett of Social Good Promotions)”

“Creating Impactful Apparel Designs For Clients” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 4 (feat. Jeremy Picker of AMB3R Creative)

How do you tie creative art development into more sales? 

On this edition of the Success Stories podcast, we’ll dig into that by discussing how Jeremy Picker and his team of creative professionals have found success by going the extra mile when developing ideas for their clients. 

We’ll also touch on AMB3R Creative’s approach to developing impactful designs, that’ll get end users choosing to wear their clients’ promotional apparel over and over again.

AMB3R is a Colorado-based apparel design firm that brings fashion to people by creating products that people love. They serve non-profits, churches, restaurants, corporations, and other businesses with their team of talented designers and project managers that takes a kernel of an idea from start to finish. 

We’ll learn how they use t-shirts for everything from an entire clothing line, to a merchandising campaign for promotional products. 


Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify


Continue reading ““Creating Impactful Apparel Designs For Clients” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 4 (feat. Jeremy Picker of AMB3R Creative)”

“Lessons Learned from ‘Here For Good’ Campaigns” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 3 (feat. Jarrod Hennis of Rockford Art Deli)

During and after the coronavirus pandemic, many screen-printing shops found success by developing a local “Here for Good” campaign to help surrounding businesses in their community stay afloat during these difficult times.

In Rockford, Illinois, Jarrod Hennis developed a “Here for Good” campaign and assisted businesses in his area to raise money by selling t-shirts.  Each shirt sold helped that local business, but also kept Jarrod’s shop, the Rockford Art Deli in business as well.

On this edition of Success Stories, we’re going to discuss the Rockford Art Deli’s “Here for Good” campaign and learn how it worked, what Jarrod learned, and how this idea is laying a solid foundation for a successful future in his community of Rockford, Illinois.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify


Continue reading ““Lessons Learned from ‘Here For Good’ Campaigns” – SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 3 (feat. Jarrod Hennis of Rockford Art Deli)”