Promotional products, corporate gift Los Angeles.

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my promo story mary

Meet Mary Harcourt, the founder and CEO of CosmoGlo Lighting. In the first episode of My Promo Story, she tells us the story about her go-to promotional item: sunglasses.

cosmo glo promotional products set
Sample of promo items for Mary’s company, Cosmo Glo

Please tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hello, my name is Mary Harcourt. I am the founder and CEO of CosmoGlo. CosmoGlo is the leader in industry specific lighting for treatment rooms in the beauty industry. Up until I invented this product in 2020, there really just wasn’t any lighting specific to our industry. I saw the hole in the market and decided to create one. We’ve been wildly successful ever since and we’re about to go global.

What type of promotional products did you order? (If you have multiple orders tell us one project/campaign that is most memorable in your experience) Do you have a favorite or “go to” promo item for your business and industry?

The things that we found that work best for us, we have sunglasses that we use. They’re kind of our go-to item and the sunglasses. We either get them in white or black and they have CosmoGlo on the sides. And they’re just cute because who doesn’t love a pair of sunglasses. They’re pretty high quality, which you wouldn’t expect when you’re just handing out something at trade shows. And a lot of our shows are in California. So it goes along with the theme of it just being sunny outside, it’s a go-to piece that you can throw in your bag and when you really need it, you’re happy you have it. We’ve also done things like long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts bags. I mean, we’re geared towards women, women love cute bags, the cuter they are, the more we’re going to use them. So we’ve done everything from backpacks to tote bags, but definitely our go to would be the sunglasses.

Tell us about your goals and priority of your project/campaign.

I think the goal and priority for our projects and campaigns is definitely to find products that reflect our brand or our professional brand or our luxury brand. And sometimes the promotional products that we have to pick from are a little flimsy and not well made. So it’s always a hunt for us to find the highest quality, really great promotional products, where you could hand it out to someone in the booth and they’re like, oh wow, these are, these are nice because that reflects on your brand. And if we want to come across as our product is super high quality and made of great things and a luxury thing, we want all of our promotional products to match that as well.

Tell us your search process process for this promo item. What method did you use (google, social media, referral etc) on your research?

Definitely Google. I mean, I think everyone’s going tell you Google, but also we keep a list of what worked and what didn’t work. There’s sometimes that we have high hopes and you get the product in and it’s a scratch. We’ll never order that again. And other times we get things in and it’s like, oh wow, that’s exactly what we wanted. Definitely keep track of that. And we’re going to order the same thing again, and again and again.

Are you able to easily find what you are looking for? Have you encountered any challenges ordering this product (inventory, color, imprint methods etc)?

I think going through a pandemic world, you always have to have a little bit of wiggle room. Not everything is going to be in stock at the same time. So expand your timelines, give yourself plenty of time to get these ordered and delivered to you. Understand that every size might not be available. And that’s okay. And just understanding that the inventory, they might have to wiggle a little bit on their side as well. So we’ve learned instead of ordering one of an item we’ll order three or four, because one’s not going to come in time. And the other’s probably going be only a half an order, but by giving yourself multiple options, you always have something to take to the show.

Can you walk us through this decision making process on this promotional product?

We run everything through a conference style team meeting. What would you guys like to see? Would you be happy if this was gifted to you? And sometimes you think you’re onto the best things and the whole table is like, eh, that’s, that’s kind of not going to work. It’s like, oh, I’m glad I had that conversation now, instead of investing the money, taking the promotional products, handing them out and getting that reaction live. So our decision making just comes from round table.

Tell us about the result of the project. Are you happy with the outcome on your ROI? Do you feel that you have achieved your goals with these products?

Overall, I think we’re happy. I definitely would like to find better promotional products that we could use that kind of fit us a little bit better as a brand and reflect upon the product that we promote right now. We kind of just use whatever’s out there and we’ve gotten so far, so it does work, but if there was more options available, I think we would like to have something that just fits us a little bit better versus the same thing that everyone else is using.

What advice would you like to share with people who are interested to order promotional products?

I think the best advice is just order small batches. If you’re unsure of the quality and there’s no reviews to read order a hundred and see what comes in, you’re always going be able to give those away throw them in someone’s envelope, make their day. But if you order a thousand of something and they come in and it’s not quite the quality you’re expecting, you know, have a thousand units of this to go through. Where we’ve been surprised before I ordered a hundred of something, it came in and we love them. And then I turned back around and said, these are awesome. Let me buy the thousand extra. So just starting with small and trying everything. And if it’s not what you wanted, you can still give it away. People love free stuff and promotional items, and it’s going be more of making someone’s day and less about getting rid of that thousand unit piece that you don’t totally love.

Any best practice from your promotional products ordering experience?

Best practices for ordering – give yourself plenty of time. You want to give yourself so much time for them to make the product, ship the product they’re having product delays, your carriers, having product delays. You may have to ship it to a trade show that’s out of the state. So you’re going to have to go through another carrier to get that product where you need it to be. So just giving yourself so much time. And then considering ordering promo item again. Absolutely. We use them nonstop. It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s simple little things that can get social media. I mentioned all through those, but the, the sunglasses, I can’t tell you how many times people used our sunglasses a month after the event, and then they’ll throw a little Instagram reel or post and they tag us. And it was just really cool to see that a month later that ripple is still happening. So definitely we would always and continue to always use promotional products in the near future.

About the Author

Swire Ho

Swire migrated to Los Angeles in 1996. He is a proud Chinese American who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English. He trained as a sound engineer, working at recording studios and entertainment agencies before starting his own firm, Hellman Production, Inc, 2003 in Los Angeles. Swire and his team successfully produced attractive, personalized DVD and CD cases and custom merchandise like T-shirts, earning a Score award in 2009, for small business success. His business eventually grew so popular, he decided to sell Hellman Production in 2013 to focus exclusively on the promotional product industry.

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