Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Customers - Ear Community

Many of our customers do great work, have a cause that is near and dear to their heart. and bring their family when they come to do business with us.

All of that applies to Melissa Tumblin and her non-profit Ear Community.

When her girls were still pre-school age.... she would bring them with her when she came to the Shop to place an order. 

In those days, my husband Mike, still worked for me in the Shop. He likes kids, a lot and would often take them in to the production area to "work" with him, so that parents could concentrate on getting their business done.

The grommets that we use to make banners, come in two pieces. I couldn't tell you what the technical name for those pieces are.... but to this day, Mike still calls them "hats" and "flats" because that's what the Tumblin girls told him they were called, the day they helped him make banners.

Here's a little bit about Ear Community, it's Executive Director Melissa Tumblin and her daughter Ally (who was in charge of "hats" in the banner building process).

You can learn even more by visiting their website earcommunity.org or following them on Twitter @EarCommunityOrg

Ear Community is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization.  Ear Community helps children and adults who are born with Microtia and Atresia (when someone is born missing one or both of their ears and has no ear canal(s) resulting in hearing loss).  

Ear Community began as a global support group on Facebook on May 20th, 2010, called the “Microtia and Atresia Support Group.”  Since then, we knew we had to help more and in 2012, the Ear Community Organization was founded as a nonprofit organization.  

While Ear Community is head quartered in the United States, we try to help as many Microtia and Atresia loved ones as we can around the world.  Since inception, we have been able to help thousands of individuals who are born with Microtia and Atresia.  

Ear Community has a board of directors and also an advisory board made up of individuals who understand Microtia and Atresia.  Ear Community’s board of directors may include members who were born with Microtia and Atresia, who have loved ones who were born with Microtia and Atresia, or who simply would like to be a part of our community and show support for the Microtia and Atresia community.

Melissa Tumblin, Executive Director
Melissa is responsible for managing the day to day business duties of the organization.

Melissa founded Ear Community after her youngest daughter was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear.

“Our Story” Falling Through the Cracks with Microtia/Atresia

I remember the day when my youngest daughter Alyssa (Ally) was born. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. My husband, Brent, and I were so thrilled to finally meet her. I remember her little smile and how beautiful she was, but I also remember Brent coming over to me with tears welled up in his eyes when he said “Something is wrong with her ear.” Ally’s right ear was only partially formed, with no obvious ear canal. Immediately, I began blaming myself wondering what I had done wrong during my pregnancy and trying to remember if I had ate or drank something that could have caused this. No one said anything to us about Ally’s ear in the operating room, and so of course we became concerned. Brent went home that night and researched what it could be that Ally may have. That night he told me that she may have what is called Microtia. Our pediatrician verified this the next morning in the hospital.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our Customers - Timberline Tonic Syrup

One of our newer customers is Timberline Tonic Syrup.... and this is their story.

A "must read" if you are a fan of the "gin and tonic" drink.... and some interesting history for all of us.

 The Gin & Tonic was built backwards.

Quinine is the backbone of a Gin and Tonic.  Where most cocktails start with a spirit and add a mixer to change its flavor, the G&T began the other way around. Beginning back in the 1600s, British soldiers had to take a daily ration of incredibly bitter quinine to fight malaria.  In the early 1800s, British Redcoats stationed in Africa and India were using 700 tons of cinchona bark annually for their protective doses of quinine.  Quinine powder kept troops alive and many who ingested it to fight malaria also started experimenting with gin, sugar and lime to improve its flavor. This proved to be an exceptional episode in the history of mixology, one where the spirit was added to the mixer to improve the mixer's flavor.

The tonic of the English Empire (quinine, sugar, and water) bears very little resemblance to what we now know as tonic water. First, it used real quinine, which was taken from the bark of the cinchona tree (also known as the "fever tree”). Second, it was made from real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. Finally, it wasn't bubbly and carbonated.  In fact, carbonation hadn't even been invented yet.

It wasn't until the 1850s that tonic was combined with carbonated water and sold as a mixture by Schweppes. That was when it went from "tonic" to "tonic water."  While tonic water was convenient, it lost something in the pre-packaging. You could control the ratio of tonic water to gin, but you couldn't control the ratio of quinine to water. This meant that getting more quinine flavor also led to watering down your drink. Not ideal. Over time, most companies switched to synthetic quinine, which altered the flavor even further.

Luckily, all is not lost.

As the name suggests, there are really only two components to a G&T (unless you count the lime or the ice), which means only two ways to screw it up. It's easy enough to avoid a bad gin. Bad tonic water, though, is the rule, not the exception. Look at a label and you'll see cheap high-fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient in almost all of them.

The vast majority of store-bought tonics are like soda pop with a little bitterness added to them.  Tonic is so bad, in fact—and so predominantly used with gin—that it convinces some people that the taste they don't like is the gin. There's no nuance. They're bad.  When they're not bad, they're boring.

We can fix that.

There is a better way.  Upgrade your G&T.

Like the tonics dating back to the British Empire, our tonic syrup is made with real quinine made from Peruvian cinchona bark.  To enhance your drinking experience, our tonic also has highlights from fresh lemongrass, citrus zest and genuine simple syrup. You add the water and have complete control of the flavor and pour to taste. If it isn’t bitter enough, add more syrup.  Too bitter, add more Club Soda, San Peligrino, or water from your SodaStream. 

We have done tees, hats and jiggers for the folks at Timberline Tonic.... making them the kind of "one stop shop" customer that creates a win for both of us.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

News from The Shop - Luis and Auto

A few years ago we got a new "wide format printer".... a piece of equipment that you might have heard us to refer to as "Roland".

Roland revolutionized the sign portion of our business.... because he brought us the ability to do bigger jobs, faster and at a higher quality.

It was a similar thought that was in my mind when I attended a trade show last fall.... and decided to replace our long serving "manual screen press" with an automatic version.

Screen Print has always been the biggest part of my business. Being able to do bigger jobs, faster and at a higher quality would make us a better resource for our customers.... and perhaps, even open the doors to customers we didn't yet serve.

Long story short, while we are supported by a good vendor and had staff that made a valiant effort to embrace this new technology.... the learning curve was much steeper than we had anticipated. 

So, for a few months, it was most definitely the "cha cha".... two steps back, one step forward.

In the end, we learned that one of the pieces to the puzzle was Luis.... a new employee who brought with him skills and knowledge consistent with the "Auto's" capabilities.

I am very happy to report that we are now ready to be that "bigger, faster, better" screen print provider.

Here is a video clip of Luis and Auto doing their thing.

You are welcome to come by and see them do it in person.... and can talk about  getting your job in the queue!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Our Customers - Flatirons Health and Rehab

One of our newer customers is Flatirons Health and Rehab.

When they need branded apparel they come to us.... when you need help with a wide variety of medical and surgical concerns, you would go to them.

Rehabilitation Services
The interdisciplinary team at Flatirons is skilled at working with patients with a wide variety of medical and surgical concerns. Your length of stay will vary based on your goals and your progress. 

Our goal is for every patient to progress as quickly as is possible.

Each patient has the benefit of receiving the skills and expertise of many professionals. Physicians, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and nutritionists work together with you. They guide your care plan according to your needs.

Recovery does not end when you leave Flatirons Health and Rehab.  Your Therapy team will recommend a plan for "home", wherever that may be. 

State of the art Biodex Equipment
We are excited that we will be using Biodex equipment in our therapy gym. 

The most current and effective equipment on the market, it allows us to electronically track patient progress on a daily basis. 

Accurate data will keep us all on the right track helping us move our patients efficiently toward successful outcomes.

To learn more about who does, where they do it and how you can access their services, please visit their website at http://www.flatironshealthandrehab.com.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Our Customers - 4 Nose Brewing

When the folks at 4 Noses Brewing need branded apparel screen print or embroidery.... they come to us.

That of course makes them one of our customers..... and one that we thought you might enjoy meeting.

You do have to be 21 yrs old to get in.... to both their website and their tap room.

"Our mission is to be a socially responsible brewery of extraordinary passion and creativity, constantly crafting unique and classic styles. Hosted in our comfortable yet elegant tap room, we strive to serve only the freshest ales and lagers, in addition to our constantly changing barrel-aged beers."

Here's where you can find them.... for an in person visit.

4 Noses Brewing Company 8855 W. 116th Circle Suite 4 Broomfield, CO 80021
They are ready for your visit.... 
Monday to Thursday – 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm Friday - 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm Saturday – 11:00 am to 11:00 pm Sunday – 11:00 am to 10:00 pm T: (720) 460-2797   beer@4nosesbrewing.com 
Want a peek behind the scenes?
Brewery tours: Just come in and ask. If not crazy busy, we would be happy to show you around. 
Find today’s tap list HERE.... but I have to tell you, this is the one that sounds good to me.

Laika Boss

Russian Imperial Stout .Big, chewy and delicious imperial Stout that is filled with dark chocolate, caramel, and roasted flavors from a variety of malted barley. This beer is full bodied, flavorful and a perfect sipping beer.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Promo - Visibility for Tradesmen

We have lots of visibility options for the tradesman.... marketing, branding and safety. 

Here's a deal to help you access three of those options.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ideas to Grow - Right Message.... fm a 9yr old

What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling

If you want your conversations to have a real impact, you need to simplify your message.
I recently read a study that confirmed my suspicion that most people don't remember what we present to them in a sales call. The data suggested that the average buyer in a meeting will only remember one thing-one! -a week after your meeting.
Oh, and by the way: You don't get to choose what that one thing is. Sigh.
So what have sales professionals done about this? They have worked on "honing the message," developing a "compelling unique advantage" and, of course, the ultimate silver bullet: a surefire elevator pitch.
But here's what you're fighting: A world cluttered with information, schedules, packed with more meetings and work than a person can handle. A decision-making process with more people involved in every choice-many of whom know little about your product or service.
No wonder so little is remembered; often your audience doesn't even understand much about what you're offering.
What Kids Want to Know
I have a 9-year-old daughter with spring freckles, long brown hair and blue eyes the size of silver dollars. She asks the kinds of questions that on the surface seem so simple:
  • Daddy, what do you do?
  • Why do people decide to hire you?
  • Why don't they hire somebody else or do it themselves?
One of the great things about 9-year-olds: Like many buyers these days, they lack context. Any answer that you provide has to be in a language that they can understand.

What does a procurement specialist know about what you sell-or the IT person, or the finance person? The challenge is this: Can you answer the three questions my 9-year-old asked, for your own business?
Hint: There are right and wrong answers for both.
Daddy, What Do You Do?
  • Right answer: "I help companies to grow really fast by teaching them how to sell bigger companies much larger orders."
  • Wrong answer: "Our company helps develop inside of our clients a replicable and scalable process for them to land large accounts."
Why Do People Decide to Hire You?
  • Right answer: "We have helped lots of companies do this before, so we are really good at it as long as they are the right type of companies."
  • Wrong answer: "We have a proven process for implementation that allows organizations to tailor the model to their market, business offering and company's growth goals."
Why Don't They Do It Themselves?
  • Right answer: "Just like when you learned to play the piano: Mommy and I could teach a little, but we don't know as much as your teacher, and teaching you ourselves would take a long time and be very frustrating. Daddy is a really good teacher of how to make bigger sales, and people want to learn how to do this as fast as they can."
  • Wrong answer: "We are the foremost expert in this field with over $5 billion in business that our clients have closed using this system. Usually our clients have tried a number of things on their own before we work together and have wanted outside help to get better results."
In these cases, both answers are accurate, but that doesn't make them 
right. In a world in which more decisions are made with less information and context, our responsibility is to get to as clear and memorable an answer as possible for all of the buyers to understand.

Tom Searcy at Explosive Growth is the author of this article, that was originally published on-line at Inc.com