“The Rewards of Planning Early”
Joanne Gasperik believes in planning ahead. As early as nine months before the silver anniversary of her group, the Naples Quilters Guild, Joanne was already scouting for tote bags they could sell for the fundraiser.
While browsing through the Internet, Joanne came upon the 15.25×14.5-inch Jenev tote on Branders.com, which she ordered a sample of.
“It was the style that the Naples Quilters Guild board of directors liked best,” she shares.
The Jenev bag’s zippers on the inside and outside pockets offered optimum security, she thought. The size was also manageable: It was not too big and not too small to carry their quilting projects.
What held the most weight was the 8×5-inch imprint area, which made the Naples Quilters Guild logo conspicuous.
Quilting for a Cause
Established in 1983, the Florida-based Naples Quilters Guild promotes quilting in the community and among its 250 to 300 members, who meet on a monthly basis.
The group organizes annual and monthly quilt contests, field trips to quilt shows and related events, and regular workshops in which newbies can learn from seasoned hobbyists. Members may also borrow from the guild’s impressive collection of quilting books.
More than the encouragement for the craft, the Naples Quilters Guild also gives away quilts to children’s and women’s shelters.
“We make dozens of quilts for the children coming to the shelter,” shares Joanne. “They get to pick their own quilt to keep. Their thank-yous bring tears.”
The group also conducts annual quilt auctions, the proceeds of which go to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research.
“Some $2,000 to $3,000 of the money raised by the guild annually goes to the Naples Women’s Shelter,” Joanne explains.
The totes that Joan ordered from Branders.com were to be sold at the guild’s twenty-fifth anniversary in March 2008.
To see is to believe
As it was her first time to source a promotional item, Joanne was naturally anxious.
“When I ordered the totes from Branders.com, I knew nothing about product quality. An eyebrow or two were raised when members heard that I had outsourced from clear across the country,” Joanne reveals. “Needless to say, my fingers were crossed until the first sample tote arrived.”
After inspecting the tote bag, Joanne thought “the quality was very good. The zippers were well stitched, and there were no hanging thread – quilters would be looking for that, you know,” she intimates.
Joanne acknowledges that her account manager, Jackie Cabrieto, made the whole sourcing experience at Branders.com easier.
“The customer service was the best I have ever experienced. Jackie was extremely helpful and obliging. My questions were immediately addressed, not only by e-mail but also by phone,” Joanne relates.
Adding further, Joanne says, “When I had specific questions about the pain on the logo – whether to use the metallic or nonmetallic – the Branders Art Department came back with an honest reply.”
Joanne’s group also thought the original price, $7, was so reasonable that they were able to market the tote bags at an “irresistible” $15.
With the sourcing of the tote bags taken care of, Joanne can move on to other preparations for the silver anniversary of the Naples Quilters Guild.