We Make Great First Impressions Last

Posts Tagged » community

High Standards and Happy Customers: Celebrating 35 Years


Aug 3, 2016 From the Sales Team , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Silkworm is celebrating our 35th Anniversary. What started out as screen printing t-shirts in a basement turned into a full line apparel and promotional product company with over 70 employees. We are proud to be the Heartland’s choice for custom apparel, promotional items, awards, signage, graphic design, embroidery and more. The secret to our success extends far beyond our quality products.   The foundation of our business, is and has always been, to produce quality orders, on time, delivered with awesome customer service. We have made it a commitment from day 1 to give back to the communities we serve through volunteer work and programs, donations and sponsorships. Our amazing team members are dedicated to getting to know our customers, your business and finding the best products to help make your first impression last. From classics to new trends, our team works hard to perfect our craft and provide you the best quality and best look to get you noticed.   Beyond products and services, and quite honestly, our most important pillar of success is our dedication to our company culture and our investment in our employees. We believe in creating relationships with our customers and are extremely grateful to our Silkworm advocates. We value a fun workplace that encourages our team members to be unique and grow personally and professionally. Our company culture is our brand and it’s the reason we are one of the best places to work in the Heartland. Choose your attitude, Play at work, make someone’s day and be present.   We are grateful for all the wonderful relationships that we have founded throughout the years. We are proud to give back and be active in our communities. We are excited to continue the traditions and build an even stronger future in the community that [...]

Back to School


Jul 6, 2016 In the Industry , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Back to School: Stocking up for Spirit According to the National for Education Statistics 2015 will see 50.1 MILLION kids enroll in public school. 35.2 Million of those are Pre-K to 8th grade and 4.9 Million will be enrolled in high schools all across the US. And that’s just PUBLIC schools; an additional 4.9 Million students will attend a private school. All total, there are 55 million students in the US, each of them with parents, grandparents, family and friends. Uniform Embroidery – according to recent statistics about 16.5% of schools require some kind of school uniform. A nice Polo shirts or skirt emblazoned with the school crest is definitely a snazzy way to show school spirit. Friday Tees and Trip Shirts – Many schools encourage students to buy school t-shirts to wear on Fridays, on special event days or when they go on a field trip. This promotes school spirit. A perfect staple for life long memories. Bling, bling, bling when you go into school with custom rhinestone designs, spangle transfers or glitter vinyl. Sell cheer bows, booster shirts and more. Parents and teachers can get everything the kids get. Teachers, Moms, Dads, Grandparents and supporters of all kinds often want to show their support of their students and schools, and we’ve got all the sizes and products. Seasonal Shirts – Create a school design for Halloween, Christmas, President’s Day or any other holiday that’s celebrated in a school with our custom design tool. Club-wear – For all those after school activities. If there is a Computer club, DECA, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America, Key Club, National Honor Society, Yearbook,Thespians…and more. Patches and Decals – Embroidered patches for bags or backpacks are simple ways to add school spirit to most products. Bling it up with rhinestone decals to put on [...]

Employee Spotlight: Austyn Ridings


Dec 21, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Silkworm is known for being an exciting place to work, with many happy employees! Every now and then, it’s nice to take a break from the daily hustle to kick back, chat, and find out more about them! Austyn Ridings is our Employee Spotlight of the week. She’s a Herrin native Sales Coordinator who has been with us since July, and has graciously volunteered to answer a few questions.   Describe for me your most ideal work environment. “Coworkers who get along, and help each other without hesitation. Also, a place where the work gets done, but we’re still able to have fun. So…basically, Silkworm.” What is your philosophy towards your work? “Work hard, play harder.” What song best describes your work ethic? “Eye of the Tiger. I mean, I WAS a (Herrin) Tiger in high school.” What is your favorite quote? “Don’t try to understand everything. Sometimes it’s not meant to be understood. Just accept it.”   A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? “First, why in the world is that a question? He’d probably be here to take me to lunch, and he’d say, ‘you want to go for some tacos?’” If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why? “Maybe Washington, because it rains way too much.” If you had the chance to go anywhere on vacation, where would it be? Fiji, because the water is super clear, and there are great beaches…and beer. Also, I can wear a bikini all day, and it’s socially acceptable. On a scale from one to 10, rate me as an interviewer. Duh! Have you seen any of the Star Wars movies? No…but I do know that there’s one coming [...]

Tis the Season for Community


Nov 23, 2015 In the Industry , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Tis the season for giving. But you should be charitable during more than just the holiday season. It’s almost expected that companies, no matter the size, do something to help the community between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s what you do in the “off season” that can make a huge impact and benefit more than the charity you’re reaching out to. When a plan is put together and executed properly, coming up with a community initiative can boost your business in a number of ways. Not only are you helping someone in need, but also your brand shines in the public’s eye and morale among employees can get a boost. Make sure the initiative you’re launching fits with your brand. While any effort to give back is generally appreciated, ones that make sense to customers and the public at large tend to be even more successful. A few examples include a restaurant supporting a food pantry in the community or a bookstore getting behind a literacy campaign. As the boss, be the driving force behind the campaign. It’s important that you get all your employees and staff members on board with the effort. They’re more likely to get to be supportive of the plan if the management team is enthusiastic about the cause. Educate yourself and those around you about the group you’re supporting. Showing true passion will convince others to help. Once your staff is on board and a plan is in place, let the media know. Everyone likes hearing about good news in his or her community. Newspapers, TV stations and radio stations often send out a crew to cover such events, especially those in a small town. Send a press release and give the journalists ample notice to cover the event. While the act of charity is the [...]

Get Your Spirit On!


Sep 14, 2015 From the Sales Team, In the Industry , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

School spirit does not just apply to students, but also alumni, faculty, staff members, and their friends and family. A good mascot and/or team symbol brings a large community of people together for a lifetime. Think about what high school and/or University that you went to. Whether you had a great time or not, that experience is a part of you. Going to basketball and football games on alumni nights are great, because you get to see the former players from forty and fifty years ago, and you still see them in their spirit gear! It’s such a fantastic concept! When preparing your gear for a new school year, make sure you appeal to everyone! Students Students who are still attending school have a unique kind of pride. It comes from being a part of the current student body, and still enjoying their time with their like-minded peers. It is a sense of togetherness that is fueled by everyone representing their team mascot together. Team spirit gear for students is usually best represented in the form of t-shirts! There’s nothing like a free or inexpensive branded t-shirt with the high school or college mascot on the front. Other products like koozies, towels, hoodies, and even cups or tumblers are a useful way to promote spirit as well. The student body is the group that shows their pride in the purest, most unconcealed way, so keep that in mind when designing your merchandise. Alumni, Faculty, and Staff When designing and providing spirit wear for a more adult crowd, t-shirts are a great plan, but it can’t be the only form of merchandise. Cater to their needs with other types of products like polos, office supplies, blankets, coffee mugs, etc. T-shirts are great for when they are going to the Friday night [...]

Silkworm Buying Criteria


Jul 13, 2015 From the Sales Team , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Making the buying decision is not always as simple as “yes, let’s order.” Throw in buying for at least a dozen people, custom artwork and buying before you see the product and it’s easy to get stuck and put the buying decision off. We’ve created the Buying Criteria to set the bar to provide the very best in the customer experience. Getting the standards of buying from any promotional products company, while raising the bar so high only Silkworm can reach it. We set strict performance standards and hold each other accountable. We always aim to deliver quality, service in a timely manner. We compare apples to apples when ordering so that our customers know what to expect and we know we are providing quality products. We sample promotional products: screen-printing, signs, embroidery, brand name products, pricing, and union/USA made products to insure quality. We commit to the value of product and believe the buying experience exceeds the price. Always provide the highest level of service, professionalism at every level, and communicate openly. What to Look for When Buying Promotional Products Offer the highest quality of products in all budget ranges. Screen Printing Embroidery Promotional Items Signage & Banners Custom Display Union & USA Made Service We provide proven “customer satisfaction” and we strive to make the buying experience a positive one. We believe: Clients are advocates for the company In providing our personal Guarantee to Honor product due dates, Meet quality control standards and Resolve customer concerns timely manner. Professionalism at Every Level We lead an Experienced and educated sales team dedicated to: Personal Service: Listening to the customers’ needs and finding the best solutions. Product Knowledge: Product availability, What new products are “hot” in the market, What products are available to meet a tight deadline and Research products for the customer Market awareness: Events and activities in the community Talented [...]

Why Company Culture Is Important


Jul 6, 2015 In the Industry , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Company Culture can be your company’s biggest asset, it can also be your biggest liability. If you read business journals, you will know that articles about developing positive attitudes, and cultivating awesome company culture are dominating the news feeds. Company culture is just as important as business strategy. At Silkworm we take company culture pretty seriously. We understand that our attitudes and the level of respect we show each other directly correlates to our customer service. Culture isn’t just a cheerful attitude, friendly conversation and a smile. Culture encompasses everything we do. Flow charts and company rules are essential, but a strong company culture is more powerful than any written words in a binder. When there is a sense of belonging and pride within a company people take accountability for their actions. So How Do We Define the Worm Culture? Our Core Values Clear Vision and Goals Hiring the Right People for Our Team Encouraging Wellness Open Communication Ongoing Development and Strategic Planning The Worm Culture Be Respectful Hold Each Other and Yourself Accountable Lend a Helping Hand Always Think about the bigger picture and the team Always Look to Create Partnerships Be Active in the Community Provide Feedback & Ideas to Improve the future Deliver WOW customer service and performance Be Open & Honest Pursue Growth and Drive Change Be Creative & Open Minded Have Fun with It.

Golf Scramble Tips


Jun 30, 2015 In the Industry , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Are you planing a golf scramble? Our wormers have helped organizers by providing products since 1981…Tiger was six years old and coming off his 1st appearance in Golf Digest and Bill Rogers won the Open. We aren’t claiming to be golf pro’s but we have learned a thing or two about putting on a great event. Here are a few tips for tournament organizers: Provide food. Hungry people aren’t usually happy people and happy people tend to donate more. Along with food comes drinks. Always, Always have a participation gift. Golf polos are great because it taps into your specific market, serves as a billboard every time a participant wears the shirt and people appreciate them! Can huggers are essential and if they aren’t in your budget have a sponsor provide them for the event. If your event is in the dead of summer, consider cooling towels. Make the event look great with a clean, professional display. Set up a properly labeled tent for registration and have large clear banners to provide direction and show appreciation to your sponsors. Keep in mind that your sponsors help make the event happen and anything you put their logo on should be quality, don’t skimp on a couple dollars on this one. For your hole sponsorships offer different sponsorship levels to encourage more sponsorship activity. Consider black and white signage for Level 1, full color for Level 2 and a larger sign with a full color logo for Level 3. Design the on-course signs so that sponsors can take them home and use them for other promotions or to show their sponsorship in local events. If you use quality printed signs you can use them as part of your next year’s marketing. Sponsors are more likely to commit when they see that you are [...]

Employee Spotlight: Kristen Bathon


Jun 22, 2015 Employee Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Kristen Bathon, a Southern Illinois native, promotes Silkworm through attending and coordinating events and provides day-to-day marketing and sales support as the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Silkworm. Kristen has been with Silkworm since September of 2014. “I wasn’t looking for a specific job because I still had a semester left at Southern Illinois University,” says Kristen, “but I had a contact at John A. Logan College that referred me to Silkworm, so I applied!” Kristen was very familiar with the Silkworm reputation and our involvement in the community, so she was excited to apply! “Silkworm is involved in numerous events and programs throughout the area,” says Kristen, “so attending the events would be my favorite part of my job.”     Kristen wants to be actively involved in the community. Silkworm allows her to do just that! Kristen also organizes tours of Silkworm to share our mission, values and services to different area groups. Kristen’s favorite memory at Silkworm was the RSP game night for Knock Hunger out of the Park. “It was exciting to see the community rallying together,” says Kristen, “Bringing in canned goods for United Community Pantry in Carterville, Illinois. Silkworm, along with RSP Heating and Cooling and the Event Partners exceeded our $5,000 goal, filling 3 Trucks with milk crates stacked high full of non-perishable items collected at the game and $1,500 in monetary donation. Knock Hunger has been a great event for the community and given a much needed boost to our local food pantries with donations and helped create a lot of awareness for hunger in Southern Illinois. The River to River Relay is another one of Kristen’s favorite events to support.  “At the River to River Relay we got to interact with all the runners,” Kristen says, “And set up tents with yummy snacks.”         Kristen loves to cook [...]

Community Spotlight: Gumdrops


Jun 16, 2015 Customer Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Many children in the Southern Illinois area have trouble obtaining academic success because they have limited or no access to food.  Gumdrops, a non-profit organization in Carterville, Illinois is on a mission to make an impact in the lives of children. Volunteers for Gumdrops assist with filling backpacks with child-friendly food for children to help alleviate this problem in our community. Mindy Combs and the employees of First Southern Bank have been involved with Gumdrops for the past several years.  Their involvement does not stop at writing a check. First Southern Bank employees participate in fundraisers and also help out at the Gum Drop Packing Station. “We will be hosting a food drive for Gumdrops at all 15 First Southern Bank locations, beginning on June 11 and running until June 24,” says Mindy, “Encouraging employees and customers to get involved and donate items.” Gumdrops opened their doors in 2008.  Since Gumdrops has been established, 1,400 at-risk children have been fed every week of the school year. “Gumdrops makes a huge impact in the community,” says Mindy, “The program assists with a problem that people don’t like to think about, the problem of childhood hunger.” Hunger is alive and it’s right here in our community. Gumdrops steps in and makes sure that these children have food to take home and eat. Gumdrops fed 41,041 children in 2012, their record year.  Currently, Gumdrops is associated with 12 school districts and 36 schools in Southern Illinois. Summer months are even harder for food pantries due to the fact that children are out of school. First Southern Bank sponsors the June 24th game of Knock Hunger Out of the Park this summer.  All donations collected from June 11-June 24 and the donations collected at the June 24th Southern Illinois Miners game will be given to Gumdrops. [...]