“In my work with the Boundless team over the past few years, I see the dedication which is a hallmark of this company. I’m proud and honored to be asked to lead such a world-class team.” -Bridget Smith, CEO
2020 has been a year of change, and we are excited to share some happy (and bittersweet) news. Henrik Johansson has stood at the helm of Boundless since its inception and has decided to pursue new potential in his accomplished and impressive career. We wish him all the best in this new adventure. We are so proud to announce that Boundless has a new CEO in Bridget Smith, previously Chief of Special Operations at Zazzle.
For years, Bridget has managed Zazzle’s acquisition of (and partnership with) Boundless. Over the years, Bridget has shown so much pride in each of our departments, our core values and culture, and the incredible talent steeped into the Boundless identity. In addition to her 15 years at Zazzle, Bridget served as Director of Finance for Apple’s US operations for 13 years, VP of Finance at Intuit, and co-founded Tenth Planet, an educational software company.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Bridget (via Zoom, of course) and got to know our new fearless leader in a fun and informal Q&A.
Nick: Tell us a little bit about your background with Zazzle and with the promotional products industry.
Bridget: Oh, I could go on for days, I’m sure, but it’s Friday and you’re probably wanting to get on with your weekend here at some point. I started in 2005. I was hired as CFO and it was a growing company at that point, and we were expanding internationally. Since I’d been in finance my entire career, I was excited to get the opportunity to move to Cork, Ireland to open our international office from scratch. I was basically the only feet on the ground when I got there, and that was fun – we were certainly scrappy, but it was fun.
Nick: I’ve been to Cork. Kissed the blarney stone, dontcha know?
Bridget: (laughs) I did too! I went back to the office and told people I did it and they laughed and said, “Well, you know… it’s not the most sanitary thing.” Luckily, it had been a rainy day, so I felt better about it.
So, after I moved back to the States, I drove the opening of a manufacturing facility. And since then, I’ve been working mostly with Boundless.
Nick: 2020 has been a crazy year. Are there any tried-and-true mantras that keep you sane and focused during it all?
Bridget: I love hiking – that’s my joy. My husband and I climbed Mount Whitney, so we conquered 14,000 feet. But man, those switchbacks – there had to be probably 300. Not a fan of switchbacks.
Also, my nephew and his wife recently introduced us to pickleball, of all things, so learning a new sport has really helped. Just being outside and getting fresh air (when there’s no smoke from these California fires).
Nick: What are your hopes for the promotional products industry moving past 2020?
Bridget: I hope that events start resurrecting soon, the main reason being that I think people need interaction with other people. Real interaction. We’re all living in our little hovels right now, and I don’t know about you, but I get Zoomed out. I miss just being with people, having those spur-of-the-moment conversations, sharing the laughter. So yeah, I’m hoping events will pick up, and not just for our industry. I just think human interaction is so, so important.
Nick: I’m a book nerd, so I always ask this one. What is your favorite book?
Bridget: I would say the Outlander series. The going back and forth in time, taking modern knowledge we’ve developed and taking it back 250 years (especially in medicine), it’s just fascinating to me. I’m kind of a history buff anyway, so it’s cool to see how the series mirrors all the big names in history. Fun fact, Zazzle has the assets for the Outlander show, the license to use those images. Super cool.
Nick: What are you most excited to bring to Boundless?
Bridget: I’m really looking forward to bringing more synergy between Zazzle and Boundless. We’re working on a few things, and if they work out, they could really help both companies reach new heights, so I’m excited about that. I’d love to consolidate purchasing power between the two companies, so that we can all do better there.
Nick: This one’s kind of goofy. What’s your favorite fad from the 1980s?
Bridget: (laughs) High-waisted pants.
Nick: One more before we jump off. What is your favorite thing about Boundless?
Bridget: I love the people, and the passion from the people. I think that they all absolutely care about not only their teammates, but about the future of the entire company. It creates a loyalty that is really hard to beat.
We want to thank Bridget for her time and candor, and we greatly look forward to working with her!