By Alison Stanton
Stainless steel cups and tumblers in a variety of sizes and colors. Insulated lunch totes that help keep food cool. T-shirts and hats in a wide range of styles.
These are just a few of the many types of promotional products that are available at Brandables.
Brandables opened its doors in 1992; President Amanda Wigal-Schlosser purchased the company in 2006.
“I really do a little of everything. I am also a janitor, accountant, salesperson, IT person and warehouse personnel,” she notes.
Located in the Scottsdale Airpark, Brandables offers an exceptionally large variety of wholesale promotional products for virtually any business and trade show need.
From company owners who wish to order pens that feature their logo as a giveaway, for their customers, to managers who want to reward their large team of employees with a customized insulated lunchbox, Brandables is a one-stop promotional item shop.
As Wigal-Schlosser notes, regardless of the order, one thing remains constant: a complete focus on attention to detail.
“Our orders go through quite a few processes before the customer receives them. Everything is checked in when blank for accuracy and then we proof and re-proof as needed until it is correct.
“Then, when the order is done, we check to make sure all details, colors and quantities are correct before the customer ever knows the order is done.”
This careful process helps ensure that her valued customers get exactly what they have ordered, she says.
For customers who need assistance choosing which type of promotional item would be best for their needs, Wigal-Schlosser and her team are more than happy to help.
“We like to hand-pick ideas for customers, based on the demographic of their event or office to help give them a better ROI,” she says.
“I know it is a little cliché, but we treat everyone like they are our friends and family. We like to give the extra touch and attention so everyone feels this is one thing they can take off their plate and know it will be done correctly and on time.”
Brandables focuses on companies and events that require a larger quantity for the items purchased.
“This allows Brandables to offer better pricing,” she says.
Promotional items that are especially popular right now, Wigal-Schlosser says, include stainless steel drinkware, coolers and clothing.
“We have seen a shift in the products we sell that really go in line with how the world is turning,” she says.
“People are looking for more functional items that can be used in their personal life as well as comfortable items. Most of our corporate customers have changed their focus when procuring items for employees and tradeshows.”
Although these items are selling more briskly as of late, Wigal-Schlosser says there are a number of other products that have sold steadily over the years — albeit with a new twist.
“I always joke that my industry is really great and just adding a new function to something that is already in the marketplace,” she says.
“Many times, new products are just adding a new function, like a pen that can also do seven other functions.”
Wigal-Schlosser says if customers request an unusual item, she will figure out a way to fulfill the order or direct them to a place that can assist.
Despite truly enjoying her work and all that it entails, Wigal-Schlosser admits it can be challenging to explain what she does to a new acquaintance — as well as the level of precision and care that each and every order requires.
“Many times, people view our industry as just a tchotchke company and we are just an order taking machine, but there is really a lot that goes in to what we do,” she says.
Brandables is an arm to the marketing firm, and they make sure that all brand standards are consistent throughout an organization.
“People are always surprised that you can’t just order a pen because there are thousands of options and each one is slightly different. We become consultants this way, too. A simple order, in people’s minds, can actually take a few days to work out the details since it is not really black and white.”
Whether she is consulting with a first-time customer over a bulk order of golf towels or working with a repeat customer on a custom order of chip clips, Wigal-Schlosser loves the diversity that is inherent to her job.
“We work with such a variety of companies who all have different requests and requirements, so my day is always a little different,” she says.
“Also, most of our customers have deadlines and I love making sure we hit every deadline no matter what. This allows my customers to shine in their roles. We are the fairy godmother in some cases who just make things happen.”
Wigal-Schlosser is also grateful for the many customers who have been with Brandables for most of the 25-plus years.
“As customers move companies and careers, they seem to take us with them, so we not only stay with the previous company but also gain the new company as well,” she says.
“I am a people pleaser and want to make sure my customers like me and my company and would want to come back. Some people call me Amandables since I am ‘one’ with the company.”
Looking ahead, Wigal-Schlosser says she hopes to continue to grow the company, while not losing the small-business feel for which Brandables has become famous.
“I love the idea of scaling my business in the future, but right now I am happy with how we have grown. I am able to balance being a mother and wife as well as a business owner,” she says.
“When I first worked for this company, before I purchased it, and then initially after I purchased it, I never thought this would be something I stayed with my entire adult career, but as I continue, I really love what I do and plan on working with Brandables until I decide to retire. We have a great work culture here, and I would love to keep that going through the years.”