BY LEE ANN SANDWEISS
The phrase “tiny but mighty” applies to Logos and Promotions, a Bloomington-based promotional product company, and to its owner Janis Sutton. The uber-petite Sutton, a.k.a. “Little Bea” to her friends, is half of the two-person operation she runs from her home, which has become an advertising powerhouse in just two years.
“One of our biggest clients to date is the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. We produced 27,000-plus can koozies among other products for them this year,” Sutton says. “One of our other local customers has also put in large orders—6,500 hats, 3,000 polo shirts, and 9,000 reversible mesh basketball jerseys, all in this quarter.”
Sutton, who wears the hat of sales rep for her WBE-certified business (Women’s Business Enterprise), says she’s built the company’s customer base the old-fashioned way. “I make calls and knock on doors. I personally deliver everything that is going local. The personal touch and service is what has helped us grow. It builds customer loyalty like nothing else can.”
Before moving to Bloomington six years ago, Sutton worked in development at Anderson University for almost ten years. Logos and Promotions is her first business. However, her partner, Charlie McClure, former owner of Apparel Design Group, has 25 years of experience in the field and many established contacts, as well as being a NASCAR licensee for 20 years. After Sutton sells the business’ services to a customer, McClure places and tracks the orders and handles billing.
“Everything we sell, whether it be advertising specialty items or apparel, is contracted out to our loyal suppliers, many of whom I have worked with my entire career,” McClure says. “I think the main reason we’re profitable in our infancy is due to our lack of overhead. We work from home and communicate all transactions via e-mail and cell phones. No land lines, no postage stamps—things like that add up fast. This allows us to be extremely price competitive, as less overhead equals greater profit on smaller margins.”