We sat down with Stephanie Woods, owner of Limelight Branding and a Boundless sales affiliate for over 5 years, to learn more about the happy coincidence that brought her from the theatrical marketing world to promos… and why Boundless was the right place for her to grow her business!
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Orange County, CA but currently live in Irvine, CA with my daughter. I’ve got a big soft spot for rescue animals and am a huge pet lover. In fact, most of my free time is spent with our rescue pets – Milton, Callie, Scarlett and Chloe.
How did you get into the promotional products business? What do you like about it?
I think like most of us, I got into this business by accident. While I attended USC, I was an intern at Warner Bros. Studios in the domestic theatrical marketing department. One of my projects was to work with our promo vendor on products for upcoming releases. So when my internship ended and I was ready for full-time work, I was offered an opportunity as an assistant to the promo vendor and a new career path was started. There’s so much I love about this business! My favorite part is the relationships I’ve developed with both my clients, colleagues, and suppliers. This industry is truly a community that I feel proud to be part of.
What professional goals do you set for yourself and how do you achieve them?
As a business owner, I am actively working to build my business by strategically acquiring new clients. This April, Limelight Branding was certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise, which is something I am really proud of. Since becoming certified I have been working diligently to use the certification as a means to open doors to new business.
What do you think is the most important quality of a good manager?
I feel like a good manager needs to be a good teacher. Everyone will make mistakes and things will go wrong, but a good manager can turn those instances into learning experiences. My experience has been that this approach better engages the team and builds comradery.
What is your secret to building relationships with your clients?
If I tell you, then it’s not a secret. Just kidding… Honestly, I think it comes down to personality. I believe people want to work with people they like. I consider my clients to be my friends and treat the relationships that way. I think this works both ways, too. I want to work with clients that I like or a brand that I have a personal interest in. It helps bring a personal perspective when I’m presenting ideas to them.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
I think what we do is often under-valued. I would love to shift the mindset from a sales position to one that considers what we offer as a commodity. It takes an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise to provide a product idea that will best match a brand and its identity. Although the product is what clients see as what they’re purchasing, it really is the impact and impression that the product creates that is the end result. In my opinion, you can’t put a price on that.
What has been the biggest game changer in the promotional products industry in your time as a sales partner?
Technology has made a huge impact since I joined the industry in 2003. Back in the day, orders and acknowledgments were sent by fax and the phone was constantly used to reach out to clients and suppliers to get information. It’s amazing how that’s all changed to the online world we live in now.
When did you start working with Boundless? What drew you to the company?
I partnered with Boundless in 2012. Since I had been receiving the emails from Boundless and kept hearing more about how their model was different by integrating more technology into their solutions, I thought it was worth taking a look at. Needless to say, I was impressed and made the move over.
How do you see Boundless shaking up the industry?
Boundless continues to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing technology solutions for our clients. I feel like they’ve really made a shift to understanding the buyer perspective and needs in how it continues to expand the services. This is a unique approach and will continue to set us apart.