Inspirational Must-Reads!


Reading. We all do it! We start at a young age with our parents telling us stories of lands far, far away and heroes that slay mighty dragons. As we grow up we discover our own stories and develop our skills to better understand authors like J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald and their use of the English language.

Reading, for the most part, is meant to inspire us. Of course, the type of inspiration that drives us changes over the years and alters the type of stories we seek out. Some people turn to the how-to books, some keep on the path of exciting fiction, but many of us turn to the books that help us better ourselves when it comes to our careers.

A recent article highlights a few “must reads” for this group of people; specifically entrepreneurs. They are testimonials and explanations from seasoned professionals about everything from productivity to making a product or idea “sticky”.

Here are a few choice reads from the article that I can vouch for!

            The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell

            How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

            The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

Share with us some of your favorite books that have inspired you to become a better businessperson, below! What advice did they give you? How can others benefit from it?

Vendor Spotlight: Bag Makers


Founded in 1980, Bag Makers is a Top 40 supplier that specializes in non-woven, paper, and plastic bags. Our beginnings were quite humble, having started in a dairy barn in north central Illinois. Today, we’re more than 300 associates and the largest bag supplier in the promotional products industry.

Family owned and operated, our focus over the years has been in 2 core areas: serving the distributor exceptionally and building a better quality bag. In wanting to serve you well, we believe that customer service is the least you should expect from your supplier, so we wholly focus on customer satisfaction. It’s been a driving principle for us and one that’s helped us earn 5-Star ratings on ESP and A+ ratings with SAGE.

However, we also know your customers want quality too so we put great focus on all of the components that make a better bag for them – materials, construction, imprinting, and logistics. We start with the best raw materials available and combine these with stringent construction methods. We even own our own non-woven factory in China to ensure our quality infrastructure. Bag Makers – our facilities and processes — are also accredited by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), offering you peace of mind when it comes to product safety and social compliance.

Yet ultimately, we know that it’s your customer’s message that’s most important. We offer 4 different decorating processes, including full-color imprinting, and have won numerous industry awards for our quality. Combining construction and imprinting, Bag Makers also offers complete custom design services. Our Design Centre team can help you create a n exceptional bag just for your customers – a distinctive bag just for them.

For a truly unique look at Bag Makers, we invite you to ‘Meet Bag Makers’ in this brief 3-minute video. It’s a fun approach to learning more about us, so see how many Bag Makers’ associates can you recognize?!

What’s So Great About Going Social?


Everyone has those days where we ask ourselves, “What is so great about social media?” and “Yes, it keeps us connected, but does it really work?”

The answer is yes. According to a recent article on, a social media presence will directly benefit your marketing plan and brand for several different reasons.

Brand recognition is probably the most important reason. Companies like Pepsi or Apple are invited into our homes because we know them. They are brands that have a trusted image and a reputation to match. Getting your brand onto platforms like Facebook and Twitter may not get you to Steve Jobs’ status, but it will allow potential users to get to know a little more about the company behind the brand.

This also allows for repeat exposure and a chance to develop your brand within your community. By connecting with customers and other members in your community, you can easily find out what is important to them by looking at their “likes”, posts, etc. If you can tap into those niche markets, you have the potential to touch a whole new customer base.

Some may forget that social media sites can help generate traffic to your own, company web pages. By providing links, you can easily turn a status update into an invitation to visit your home page and consistently stay on the forefront of your customers mind.

For more reasons why your company should stay involved in social media, take a look at the rest of the article!

Do you have any success stories when it comes to social media? What has been working for your brand? Share with us, below!

February Vendor Spotlight: Smead


A Rich Heritage of Innovation and Quality

A world-leading provider of solutions for efficient document management, Smead is a woman-owned company well-known for its high quality, environmentally responsible products and innovative organizational systems. For more than a century, Smead has been committed to one purpose: Keeping You Organized.

Over 100 Years of Tradition and Loyalty

Smead Manufacturing Company was founded in Hastings, Minnesota in 1906.  Charles Smead began the company with six employees and one product — the Bandless File — a revolutionary product that changed the way people stayed organized.  Acquired by the Hoffman family in 1916, the company is now in its third generation of family ownership, and has been a woman owned business enterprise since 1955.

Smead represents the benchmark in adapting and inventing organizational products and solutions to fit changing needs.  A century and thousands of products later, Smead Manufacturing has grown into an international leader, providing organizing solutions to millions of people worldwide.

Smead has successfully anticipated future trends through continuous consumer insight and the understanding of trends in the workplace.  Total filing solutions will continue to be developed by Smead researchers as they coordinate efforts to produce the products, systems, and methods through the next century.

More than 1,500 Smead products are made by over 1,000 employees in 6 U.S.A. locations.  Smead products are sold only through office products dealers and authorized resellers.  For more information please visit and connect via Facebook ( or Twitter (