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Bowling Them Over
From "Apparel Hot Sheet"
By Julie A. Cajigas
June 2011

A successful apparel promotion isn’t always about the size of the order or the bottom line; sometimes it’s about offering a client or potential client a helping hand with one of the projects near to their heart. Dona Blunt, president of Newport Promotions, had a long-term relationship with Kimberly Fivelson, her contact at a property management company. Blunt has assisted her company with a number of products including pool tags for their properties and employee gifts. In addition to her full-time position, Fivelson is also the president of the board for Celebrating All That is Feminine (CATIF), a group of professional women dedicated to fundraising to assist women in need.

Every February, CATIF hosts a fundraiser to benefit one or more organizations that directly assist women. This February, Blunt, who is on the CATIF mailing list, learned that the organization that would benefit from their second annual fundraiser was one close to her heart: Women in Need Growing Stronger, or WINGS. The fundraiser would be an evening of bowling, a silent auction and a raffle. Eager to help, Blunt offered her assistance, and learned that the volunteers at the event would need bowling shirts so that attendees could easily recognize them. “It was only four or five pieces,” says Blunt, “but I was happy to help.” Not only did Blunt find the perfect hot pink bowling shirt, coordinate beautiful decoration and help the organization through the purchase process, she also offered the shirts at cost. “It was my contribution to them,” she says.

“The shirts were awesome,” says Kimberly Fivelson. “We had many compliments, and attendees wished they could purchase the bowling shirts instead of the keepsake T-shirts we offered. Dona was wonderful to work with. She was quick, she knew what we were looking for, and she was able to take care of everything.”

Though a small order of four or five pieces sold at cost is not a major contributor to profit, the goodwill earned by Blunt with this stylish and generous promotion stands to make a significant impact in her business.  “It isn’t always about the thousand piece orders,” says Blunt. “Sometimes, it’s about the orders that bring you closer to your client.” And this order certainly did that.

The evening was a big success for CATIF. “The event was amazing,” Blunt says. “We raised over $11,000 for WINGS, which more than doubled our donations from our first fundraising effort.”

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