Promotional products are cost-effective ways for small businesses to generate new customers and keep in touch with current customers.
The Advertising Specialty Institute reports 62 percent of users who receive an item like pens or T-shirts do business with the advertiser after getting the product.
A former Air Force mechanic who now runs an advertising specialty and promotional products business in La Crescenta is optimistic for the growth of the industry and his company.
Mark Alan Taglianetti worked as a mechanic but when he left the Air Force he decided another line of work was more appealing. He learned screen printing while working with his brother and Mark launched Mook Apparel in November 2011. He employs 4 people full-time, 1 part-time worker, 3 contractors, and uses an 8-color 4-station press.
"Our clients range from a person wanting 1 shirt to large businesses with 500 employees needing uniforms, hard hats, vests, stickers for trucks, and various giveaway items."
I asked him how he financed his screen printing, embroidery and specialty product start-up.
"I didn't receive any loans. I outsourced until I could purchase my equipment and I buy new equipment all the time. One day, I won't have to outsource anything."
Mark began in Texas and maintains a presence there and will soon be opening a location on Long Island, New York.
Mark's wife is a graphic designer with her own company Goddess Designs. She creates designs that users can apply to their T-shirts and Mark calls it, "fresh, hip art." The couple has plans to merge the two businesses.
"I'm glad to have found my passion." Mark says a key lesson is, "Don't wait for anyone to achieve your dreams or you'll be waiting forever."
Click here for the Mook Apparel website.
Read more here from Advertising Specialty Institute.