James Wiens started a new business in Goessel called “Sunflower Promo” with the goal of providing companies and organizations a way to enhance their products and services using promotional items and print services.
“I can do almost anything and everything,” he said. “I like coming up with ideas to increase sales for a company or further public awareness to benefit groups or businesses.”
Wiens said he was a teacher and a coach at one time.
“I did that for quite a while,” he said, “and even though being an entrepreneur is a risk, I had a good run as a teacher, and now I’m ready to do something on my own.”
As a teacher and a coach, he said, he dabbled with some promotional ideas to help his teams.
What Wiens said he discovered is that he had a real interest in designing the shirts, hats and gear and getting those for people.
“They enjoyed it and were excited about (the items),” he said.
Regarding the new business, Wiens said he believes he is providing a service.
“Some clients know exactly what they want, but aren’t sure how to get it.
“Others don’t even know where to start, but they think they ought to have something and just aren’t sure what to suggest or what to ask for.”
Still other people, he said, talk to him about helping them with designing a logo.
And yet other people could and would get their own promotional items, but they don’t have time to do it because they are running their own business, he said.
Regardless of why businesses or groups call, Wiens said, he likes working with people.
“I really am a people person,” he said. “I like to get out and meet people, build relationships and maintain relationships and networks.”
In reminiscing about the first order he placed for a client, he said it took him 10 to 12 hours to research and narrow down to which one would be best.
“It took time getting the right item for the client and getting an account set up with the supplier,” he said. “Every one of these orders gets a little shorter and shorter as I continue to learn.”
Anything can have a logo or some type of information printed on it to promote a business or group, Wiens said.
One of the most unique orders, he said, was printing Goessel Grade School Bluebirds on a pair of shoe laces for every student.
“It was a surprise for the younger students before winter break,” he said. “The blue laces turned out to be very cool.”
His expertise doesn’t stop with marketing or designing logos on mugs, pens or keychains, either.
Wiens said he has a network of suppliers able to promote a company or business with golf balls, golf clubs, pliers, apparel, computer items and more.
“You name it, and it can probably be done,” he said.
Some of the work done in-house is embroidery.
“I partner with James and Gail Voth, who own Ratzlaff Draperies, and they continue to do embroidery for us right here on site where my office is,”he said.
“We work together and do lots of things. The possibilities are amazing.”
So many people do things at the Kansas State Fair or other smaller county fairs, Wiens said.
With so many booths and trade shows, it would be a good opportunity to promote a company’s services or products that are available, he said.
In addition, Wiens said he is not locked in with one or two suppliers, but rather is able to look at a number of different companies to assist his clients.
“When I started my business, I registered with the state as a distributor,” he said.
“This gives me the opportunity to establish accounts with wholesale suppliers. I subscribe to a database that gives me access to over 4,300 suppliers such as Nike Golf, Eddie Bauer, Sport Tek, Bic Pen and more.”
Working with these suppliers on a wholesale basis, he said, means he can get products such as a Nike polo, embroider it with a logo and still be able to sell it to the customer for less than they can order the same shirt undecorated from a Nike catalog.
SAGE is the leading provider of research and business management tools for the promotional products industry, he said.
It provides product tools, websites, e-commerce solutions, printed end-buyer catalogs, artwork services, payment processing, trade shows and services.
With a database of one million products from 4,300 promotional product suppliers, SAGE makes doing business easier, he said.
“I explain to my clients that my service is to find them exactly what they need at the right price.
“I can offer ideas, virtual presentations of several options, and will always get hands on samples for customers so that they know exactly what they will be getting,” Wiens said.
One of his latest projects has been working with the city of Goessel to improve signage included the possibility of some LED signage to advertise the city and its events, he said.
“It’s all about promotions and marketing. I will help you get the word out about your business, team, cause or event,” he said.
For more information on how Wiens can help businesses or other groups and organizations, call 620-367-8100 or his cell at 620-897-7540.
He can also be reached via email at: james@SunflowerPromo.com.
For information about what he can do to help businesses, visit his website at: SunflowerPromo.com.