Sarah Penn - The Hot 25

Who’s shaking up the industry today and making it a unique, successful, challenging and innovative sector? The members of the 2016 Counselor Hot 25. Check out their stories.

It takes a certain kind of moxie to start your company in 2009, right in the middle of a recession, and in the UK no less, as Europe really took it on the chin economically. “We thought if we could make it work when times were tough, it would be a great experience to carry through to the more buoyant times to come,” says Sarah Penn, managing director for Outstanding Branding (asi/288519).

Six years later, the company that started with Penn and her partner Andy Thorne has 20 people and is actively looking for more to join, as Penn says there’s an aggressive growth plan in place for the next few years. “There’s a lot to love about this industry: the constant innovation of products and print processes; the way that client expectations change and develop and we as distributors need to keep on top of those expectations,” Penn says. “And the people! I’m sure there are few industries with as many brilliant people in it who love what they do and have so much fun doing it.”

And proving that globalization is alive and well, Penn visited the ASI Chicago Show in 2015 and has clients in the States and around the world. “What I loved about the U.S. industry was the energy and positivity from everyone we met,” she says. “The enthusiasm for the promo world was clear, and it’s hard not to love that level of engagement.”

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