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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 [...]

The Power of Promotional Products


Jul 20, 2015 In the Industry , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Creating Promotional products and custom apparel are things we do every day, day in, day out so we sometimes forget to notice the power of these products. We create thousands of custom designed products but every time we see one of our products outside of the walls of Silkworm we are reminded of the power and impact these items can carry. The last sporting event you attended you probably wore a custom shirt with your team’s logo and possibly even your child’s name. When you see others, even complete strangers, wearing the same logo apparel you have an immediate connection without saying a word. The apparel may not be your team but possibly your favorite band, alma mater, group, or an event you’ve attended. What other product can you think of that provide that same immediate experience? If you attend college, graduated college or have a child/grandchild/niece/nephew, etc. attending a particular college you probably have a decal, coffee mug, cup, rally towel, sweatshirt, jacket, t-shirt and other custom branded items and apparel featuring the school name or logo. These items don’t represent a brand or a name, they represent pride. Say you go to an event and have an amazing time or donated money or volunteered, you usually get a custom t-shirt or promotional item. Again, these items are more than a cool design, they are mementos. When you walk into a business or organization you look for someone wearing a custom embroidered shirt or vest that signifies that the person wearing the apparel can help you. You may know the person sporting that custom embroidered polo, chances are you just noticed the shirt and were seeking help. Though you don’t know the person in the custom apparel, you automatically seek assistance and have an automatic sense of trust. Next [...]

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.

Top Reasons to Buy Custom Shirts


Jun 29, 2015 In the Industry , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

If you look around when you are out and about, you’ve seen custom shirts for just about any event, business and group you can possibly imagine. Everyone loves custom shirts, people literally go crazy over them. There are many reasons to invest in custom shirts…they serve as a walking billboard so why not? With that being said, there are some “best practices” for promotional shirts. Have a great design that is unique to your message. Bright graphics on solid colors are great for appealing to large groups. The softer, the better. The goal is for people to want to wear your shirt. Use Trending Brands to encourage social sharing (Check out #ComfortColors and #District Threads on Instagram or Twitter.) We get orders for just about every occasion you can think of so we compiled a list of the top reasons to buy custom shirts. Promote Your Business or Organization As previously stated, people love custom shirts and anyone that wears your shirt becomes a walking billboard for your business. Custom shirt giveaways are an excellent way to promote your business and a way for your customers to show support for your business. Best Practices for professional organization or business shirts The message should be a positive and neutral. Use your full logo, tagline and web address so people can find out more. For better ROI, make the shirt part of a campaign with an end goal. Get samples of t-shirt materials and pass them around for a “comfort” read. Always keep your message positive to reflect your brand in a positive manner. Have Employees wear custom business tees when out in the community. Use your custom shirts for Social Media contests to boost engagement. Show Your Team Spirit You aren’t going to go to a school event without a shirt [...]

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. [...]

Customer Spotlight: RSP Heating & Cooling


Jun 7, 2015 Customer Spotlight , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

RSP Heating & Cooling was founded in 2004 by Jim Weihl.  Jim established RSP with the mission to provide Southern Illinois with a heating and cooling company that treats clients with Respect, Sincerity, and Professionalism.  Since 2004, RSP has grown to become the largest Trane dealer in the Southern Illinois area. RSP Heating & Cooling employs a fantastic staff of technicians, client care representatives, and comfort consultants with years of experience and education in the heating and cooling industry. At RSP Heating and Cooling, values define the character of their organization. The entire team constantly strives to lead their industry in client satisfaction, provide outstanding career opportunities for people with great attitudes, exceed the industry standards of professionalism and above all always do what is in their client’s best interest. Over the years, RSP Heating & Cooling has relied on Silkworm for custom apparel, promotional products and signage. “The items Silkworm provides for us keep our image cohesive and professional,” says Nicole Weihl  “Their customer service goes above and beyond.  We’re also very appreciative of the product donations they have made to our Folds of Honor charity golf tournaments over the years.” In addition to providing excellent customer service and quality work, RSP Heating & Cooling has built an awesome reputation for giving back and being active in the communities they serve. “Our community has really embraced RSP during our first decade of business.  From Mounds to Mt. Vernon and all the cities in between, Southern Illinois has supported us and helped us keep growing year after year,” says Nicole “the Tri-C area has specifically been a huge source of support for us.” On Wednesday, June 10th, RSP Heating & Cooling will sponsor Knock Hunger Out of the Park with the Southern Illinois Miners to help stock the shelves for Carterville United Community Pantry. “We’re thrilled [...]

Trending Now: Summer Events


May 19, 2015 In the Industry , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

The warm, sunny weather is here and that means hello, outdoor events! We have been stuck indoors all winter long and welcome some vitamin D! The warm weather brings a change of pace for businesses, event organizers and communities. Summer and Fall are go time for company picnics, customer appreciations events, fundraisers, parties and reunions. If you are looking to organize an event, you will want to suggest outdoor activities and keep a rain plan in your back pocket.   What Events are Trending for Summer? Golf Scrambles top the list for outings per year. Golf is a great event for fundraisers and outings. Keep in mind that Golf outings typically appeal to executives and are popular for networking and player gifts, raffle prizes and silent auction are a staple to a great event. Performance polos, golf towels, can huggers, custom golf balls, Pullover jackets, and hats are amongst the most popular giveaways for golf scrambles. Baseball is still America’s favorite pastime and baseball outings are still widely popular for groups. Baseball teams and stadiums accommodate groups with special sales for outings. Baseball outings have grown very popular with smaller crowds like schools, bachelor parties and reunions. The draw of the team and sport helps your marketing efforts and arranging tickets and travel are top priority. If you are planning a baseball outing, you may want to consider customized shirts, hats, and can huggers. Outdoor Concerts continue to draw in large crowds, vendors and event sponsors. Outdoor concerts and festivals are usually held in large, open lawns where there is plenty of seating areas and clear visual lines. Many community event organizers are holding outdoor concerts and festivals to show the local culture and promote local businesses and artists. Consider family picnic nights, end of school play days, summer leagues [...]

Community: Knock Hunger Out of the Park


May 12, 2015 Event , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are off

Knock Hunger Out of The Park is an event to benefit local food pantries in Southern Illinois by asking the community to donate non-perishable food items kicking off May 20th @ 7:05 P.M. and each Wednesday night Southern Illinois Miners home game. Food insecurity exists in every county in the United States, Southern Illinois counties have rising food insecure households due to the increase in poverty levels. Households with children face an even higher rate of food insecurity and everyday more families start to rely on local food pantries and organizations to meet the basic nutritional needs to stay healthy and productive. Our local food pantries rely on donations to help feed those in need. We are asking you to help end hunger in Southern Illinois for a stronger, healthier community. “A community that plays together, succeeds together.”  -Tim Arseneau, V.P. Southern Illinois Miners  Without the basic need of adequate nutritional foods, not only do those in need suffer, but the communities we live, work and develop suffer due to: an increase in medical attention needed because of the lack of adequate nutrition, developmental delays in children leading to additional needs for special programs, as poverty level increases, crime rates increase. Each Wednesday night game will be sponsored by a local business who has donated time and money to help end hunger in our area. Each game will benefit a local food pantry of the game night sponsor’s choice and will receive a $500 check in addition to any donations received. Thank our game night sponsors by visiting their locations and finding out more about their business. Fans that attend the game to cheer on our Southern Illinois Miners will have the chance to win social media contests, door prizes, t-shirt toss and other game night contests and giveaways. The [...]