Pulling up to the PromoSpark office in Fairfield, OH, in the rain the Road Tour crew is quickly greeted by Carson, the PromoSpak mascot. Ok, really Carson is the PromoSpark owners' dog, who does happen to be in the office most days. And, while Carson runs freely through the office, the rest of the 12 people who work here are usually busy completing an order for its many non-profit and education market clients. "It's a busy time of year for us right now – well, it's often busy here – but we try to make it a fun environment even when it's entirely stressful," says Mark Johnston, who began the business with his wife Sarah in 2001. "Especially when it's overly stressful, we want to have fun and make it comfortable for our people."
The de-stress environment begins with the twice weekly yoga class that is conducted in the company's basement. "We bring in an instructor and many of us take part," says Sarah Johnston. "It's just a good way to take a break from work, put your mind on something else, and clear the decks for the rest of the day."
Spend any time with the people of PromoSpark and one thing is abundantly clear: This is a family that looks out for each other, not just at work, but also in their personal lives. Sarah Ellis, who is the company's sales manager and who the Johnstons describe as their right-hand woman, has been with the company for six years and says she loves working here because of the people. "It's a second family here," says Ellis. "It's a small company and the people all know each other personally. The owners care about us, and we care about them."
That's just the way Sarah and Mark like it. They started their company together two months before they got engaged, and want to build their fast-growing outfit in the mode of family. "We don't want to grow too big," Mark says. "We've done really well, growing every year since we started between 15% and 40% a year, but we also want our office to be a place where our people – and us – are comfortable. We're a small family, we all get along really well, and our staff has the same passion to make the company successful as we do."