“I’ve been a jewelry sales rep since I was 19 years old, my whole career,” Mark Nash confided. I recently caught up with Mark, a road warrior, who like many of us, has been re-thinking his career options due to Covid.
“I started out with Seiko, then transitioned out to Simon Golub, where I covered seven states. I took their annual sales from $100,000 to $1 million. Next I represented Benchmark for 6 ½ years, he says. “I’ve always excelled at, and enjoyed sales, connecting with wonderful people in our industry, bringing satisfaction to clients. But recently, after decades on the road, I started to think about slowing down a bit, exploring other options.
“At a party, I was chatting with my niece’s husband who mentioned a great family printing company. ‘My aunt Chris is the president. They’re extremely successful, and they don’t even have a salesperson!’
“A light bulb went off. Long story short, on March 12, 2020, I took the plunge and became the first salesperson for Folks Creative Printing, a 100 year old company. Then the pandemic hit.
“It actually was a blessing in disguise, as the shutdown gave me ample opportunity to explore my new career field of industrial printing and learn the ropes. Although the product was different, I realized much was similar – presenting a quality product to clients, helping them fulfill their needs, working within the structure of a successful company.”
Folks Printing had also been wanting to roll with the times and expand to Omnichannel marketing, including ecommerce, social media, enewsletters, text marketing and sales funnels. They’re fortunate to count major corporations among their clients. But many market opportunities had been passing them by – smaller companies and entrepreneurs wanting quality custom labels at a great price – such as beer and wine manufacturers, and manufacturers of jams and honey seeking distinctive quality labels at a competitive price. In addition, primarily focused on the local Marion, OH market, Folks Printing had not been aggressively tapping a potentially much larger national market.
Folks Creative Printing is a quintessential American success story. Before the turn of the 20th century, a hill in Marion, known as Gospel Hill, was used for tent meetings and as a stop-off for travelers going thru the area. In 1919, Jay H. Maish, Sr. came to Marion, typewriter in hand, to start an advertising printing company, incorporated in 1926. Settling in the area, they became known as the “Folks on Gospel Hill.”
Thru the 1960s, the company prospered with local customers such as Marion Power Shovel, producing multi-color letterheads, booklets and financial statements – including commercial printing – for customers around the world. They have major state-of-the-art multicolor presses, capable of the most sophisticated jobs, but also new HP digital presses geared to quick production and smaller runs, even 25 labels.
“Folks is a family company, from the heartland,” Mark explains, “and really embodies heartland values – quality, integrity, value. It’s inspiring to work with such a ‘Made in America’ company. Like any company that’s so successful, they’ve learned to adapt to survive, to roll with the times.”
Mark’s career has now come full circle. Mark and Folks Printing, drawing on Mark’s background, are introducing a special offer for jewelers, for readers of Southern/Mid-America Jewelry News – labels for jewelry cleaning solution and polishing cloths. You can easily order custom labels from Folks Printing to fit standard cleaning solution jars, creating a quick add-on sale at check out which will remind your customers of your store every time they clean their jewelry, “quality labels reflecting your quality brand.”
“It’s great re-connecting with all my friends from over 40 years in our industry and providing them something from my new field.” Mark’s thinking about his career outside the box has created new opportunities, an important point to note for all of us adapting to the post-COVID market. But thinking “outside the box” has actually been more “expanding the box,” coming full circle, as Mark’s journey shows. With roots that run deep, venturing outside is really ultimately coming home.