Education at HC Brands: Learn & Grow With Us

HC Brands represents six core values: Passion, Grit, Winning, Collaboration, Accountability and Curiosity. Every day, the HC Brands team strives to excel at these values, and now we’re offering students the chance to grow with us! As part of our spirit of philanthropy and giving, we’ve now expanded our business to include an Education Department. Education at HC Brands includes a yearly scholarship awarded to one winning essay writer, and four unique paid internship opportunities!

The HC Brands Scholarship

Each year in January, HC Brands will award a $1,000 scholarship to one communications or marketing student (or similar determined by HC Brands). This scholarship is open to all US Citizens, and will be awarded to the winning essay of 1,000 – 1,200 words. Visit our scholarship page for more information and how to apply.

HC Brands Internships

Individuals looking to gain real, hands-on experience in their field of interest can now do it here at HC Brands! We’re excited to announce that we’ve established four paid internship opportunities! We have welcomed interns in the past, but with an established program, application process, and devoted Education Team, we will be able to offer the best experience possible to those looking for real experience and the chance to contribute to a growing eCommerce business.

Marketing and SEO – The marketing internship, open to one student from June to August each year, will provide real experience in SEO, product copywriting, reporting, PPC, social media, marketplaces like Etsy and Jane, and more. Marketing students will finish the internship program with real experience that will bolster his or her resume, including use of programs like Google Analytics, aHrefs, and Magento. The marketing internship is lead by Senior SEO Manager, Amber Bailey and Vice President of Digital Marketing, Chris Warren. Any passionate writer, data analyst or social media wiz will thrive on this fun and energetic team.

Technology – The Tech team, lead by Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, Jim Gruhn, gives tech students the chance to define and write new business requirements, test new software, and to be a real contributor to the essential technical aspects of an eCommerce company. Technology interns will learn JQuery, HTML, CSS, rich javascript and much more! “We’re looking for builders,” says Jim, “those who are ready to come in and build with us,” he says.

Finance – Students who are passionate about numbers will thrive under Controller Erin Poirer’s leadership. “Our finance interns will gain practical experience in the constantly growing field of finance and eCommerce,” says Erin. Any individual interested in, or pursuing a degree in finance or accounting can apply for this summer internship that will be available from June to August each year. Finance interns will be posting transactions, generating a wide variety of reports, creating and updating budgets, and analyzing financial data.

Manufacturing and Customer Care – Under the leadership of Chief Operating Officer Lee Pinkerton, manufacturing and customer care interns will learn a wide range of skills. From Lean six sigma, operations, purchasing and planning to customer service, interns will learn eCommerce operations from top to bottom, and take away real skills that will help build their careers. Dates are flexible from February to August, and we welcome more than one intern during this time frame. Each internship will last 8-9 weeks, and will expose students to the bustling order fulfillment and customer focus atmosphere of a growing eCommerce company.

About Our Past Interns:

Liam Hoffecker, Operations and Marketing student at Indiana University

Liam, Operations Intern 2018 and 2020

The ideal internship program is designed to help students cultivate real job experience, but HC Brands provides much more than that. “The people are friendly and always willing to help,” says Liam Hoffecker, a second-time intern at HC Brands. Liam is a sophomore at IU, majoring in Operations Management and Marketing, and during his second internship at HC Brands, he completed three major projects that provide real value to the company, including a fulfillment center staffing model and customer service performance report. He also assisted in production, making and shipping product and gaining an understanding of what real eCommerce looks like at all phases.

In the summer of 2018, before his senior year of high school, Liam joined HC Brands as a Marketing intern. He gained experience in Ebay and Amazon marketing, and received training in Search Engine Optimization, photo editing and Magento.

“I felt welcomed at HC Brands, and I got to do meaningful things that left an impact on me,” says Liam.

HC Brands works with students of all ages. From hosting a yearly elementary school field trip, and back-to-school drives, to helping high school and college students build their resumes and gain real work experience, HC Brands is passionate about education.

Matthew Joseph, Business student at Indiana University

Matthew, Marketing Intern Summer 2020

Matthew Joseph joined HC Brands as a marketing intern in June 2020. “I had my own desk, and my own team, and I went to work everyday knowing what I was going to do,” says Matthew.

“During the difficulties of 2020 and the pandemic, HC Brands taught me how important culture is,” he says.

During Matthew’s time as an intern, he attended industry leading online conferences such as SMX and Mozcon, shared his ideas with owner and CEO Bryan Croft, contributed ideas for site usability and more.

Matthew gained hands-on experience with link building and outreach, reporting, competitor analysis, Magento, Google Analytics, and wrote SEO and product copy. Read Matthew’s blogs about how to wear face masks properly, and why name tags are important for cultivating employee creativity.

The Education Team at HC Brands is lead by professionals with decades of experience in their fields.

Meet the HC Brands leadership team here.

Amber Bailey of HC BrandsOther HC Brands contributions and happenings:

Back to School Drive for Communities in Schools of Jacksonville

HC Brands Pushing Tech Growth in Jacksonville

Apply for an internship

Apply for our scholarship

Back to School Drive for Communities in Schools of Jacksonville

Since 1990, Communities in Schools of Jacksonville has helped more than 110,000 students in Duval County stay in school. By providing opportunities, counseling, school supplies and personal care necessities, CIS Jacksonville assists students from elementary school through high school to stay the course and earn their high school diplomas. It has been our pleasure at HC Brands to partner with Communities in Schools of Jacksonville!

HC Brands donates 150 signs to Communities in Schools of Jax
HC Brands donated 150 signs to CIS of Jacksonville!

School supplies

 

Through a successful school supplies drive, the HC Brands team contributed necessities like pens, pencils, backpacks, binders, paper, personal care items, and more to Communities in Schools! Also, through our employee product donation program, we donated 150 signs to Communities in Schools of Jacksonville, along with 50 reusable face masks and 25 buttons.

HC Brands plans to continue this relationship with Communities in Schools with a holiday gift drive and volunteer time. There are several great ways to give to Communities in Schools of Jacksonville. You can help out by:

Sharing your expertise or experience with their students:
Through opportunities such as their “Pizza with a Professional” program, local professionals can meet local students and share their career experience and advice. CIS Jacksonville provides the pizza!Backpacks and school supplies

Donating money or supplies:
Whether you participate in their holiday gift program or donate money, the students in nearly 40 schools that CIS Jacksonville partners with will benefit from your contributions.

Reading time and other volunteer opportunities:
There are a few great ways you can spend time with CIS students, including reading to them! To learn more about all of their programs and opportunities, contact Ashley Hooper at CIS Jacksonville.

HC Brands donated 50 custom face masks and 25 buttons to Communities in Schools of Jacksonville

 

We would like to say Thank You to Communities in Schools of Jacksonville for helping Duval County students in need, and to our HC Brands employees who donated supplies and funds!

HC Brands has a passion for people! We care about forming lasting connections with people in our community and with our customers.

Amber Bailey, HC Brands SEO Manager, with Ashley Hooper of CIS Jacksonville

We also have relationships with The Jacksonville Humane Society, Rethreaded, Celestial Farms and more. Through our Holmes Cares program, we are always looking for new ways to contribute time and resources to the Northeast Florida Community and beyond. We also have locations in Austin, Texas and Salem, Massachusetts.

More from HC Brands:

Amber Bailey of HC BrandsFace mask etiquette

Living, learning & working in a social distancing world

 

How To Properly Wear A Face Mask

Wearing a mask has become a part of what people are calling the “new normal.” Masks aren’t just a means of protection against the novel corona virus, but a symbol of stepping up in hard times to support your coworkers, neighbors, friends and especially those who are most vulnerable. Although many of us are wearing our masks, we may not be wearing them properly. Sometimes our execution is a little off.

Make sure  you are wearing  your mask properly to not only ensure everyone’s safety, but to prevent you from sticking out like a sore thumb.

DOs:

Buy a Mask that Fits!

Carefully measure your face! When buying online, read the measurements of the mask thoroughly. It’s also good to have your measurements handy for in-store shopping since trying on a mask is a sanitary issue.

Now this is a mask that is tight to the skin!

How to Measure your face for a mask?

  • For Height: You want to use flexible measuring tape or even a piece of string & a rule to measure the length between the bridge of your nose to directly under your chin.
  • For Width: Use the same materials to measure the length from your right cheek bone, going along the bridge of your nose, to your left cheek bone.

Our masks are made with two-ply 100% polyester material. It fits and secures to your face based on your mask size. You can check this first DO off the checklist!

If you measure for approximately 7″ x 4.75″ in you fit into a large

If you are measure for approximately 6.375” x 4.25″ you fit into a small size

Pug with Tongue Face Mask
Model is wearing the Pug Mask by HC Brands
American Flag Face Mask
Model is wearing the American Flag mask by HC Brands

 

Wear Your Mask Anytime You Go Out in Public

Now that you have a mask that fits, remember that you bought it so that you would actually wear it! Always bring your mask with you, and wear your mask especially indoors.

In indoor spaces (places that are enclosed by walls or windows), wear your mask

In outdoor spaces (places that are fully open to the outside), wear your mask

Whether you are going to your local supermarket  this evening, or you are going to your local park, you never know who you may encounter and what may be in the air, so it is always a good idea to wear a mask everywhere you go. The equation is quite simple: Going anywhere outside of the security of your own home = wear your mask!

This Lowes customer created her own safe zone. (Do what you have to in order to feel safe.)

Put On Your Mask the Right Way

How to put on your mask properly:

  1. Grab the straps of your mask
  2. Pull & latch each strap to the back of each of your ears, one at a time
  3. Adjust with the edges of the mask so it is secured under your chin and sits directly on the bridge of your nose*
Image source: umass.edu

*If you have to adjust your mask after putting it on, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly

Wash or Dispose of Your Mask After Each Use

It is super important that after every use of your mask, that you either dispose of it, or (if you know that it can be used again) that you wash it properly.

Tips for Washing your Mask:

  • Make sure that you mask is actually washable (if you are unsure either contact wherever you bought it or just dispose of it and get a new one)
  • “Warm water and any detergent at home should work great” – Dr Gabriela Andujar Vazquez in her interview with Medical Xpress
  • Don’t forget to wash the filter in your mask as well to prevent build-up of trapped air particles

Make sure to get a face mask that you know you can wash so that you don’t have to continue buying new ones. For example, our masks are 100% washable as you can either throw it in with your laundry or just use soap and warm water.

Shop this Camo Face Mask
Shop this Rainbow Color Face Mask

DON’TS

DO NOT continuously adjust or move your mask

Once your mask is on, try to avoid the urge to adjust or move it unless it is falling off of your face. Make sure that you have a mask that you don’t need to adjust or move in the first place.

DO NOT pull your mask off of your mouth to talk to people

The point of the mask is to protect you from other people and to protect other people from you. When you pull off your mask it completely defeats the exact purpose of why we wear it. Don’t worry, the other person knows how happy you are to see them and you don’t need to pull off your mask to show them your glowing smile.

DO NOT do any of the following:

  • Wear your mask under your chin
  • Wear your mask under your nose
  • Wear your mask above your chin

DO NOT think you are invincible with your mask

A mask is just one precaution of many that you must take.

Never forget to also:

  • Stay 6 feet apart from people
  • Be careful of what you are touching with your hands
  • Wash your hands frequently & have hand sanitizer at your ready
This shopper got creative with social distancing. All he needs is his mask and he will be doing everything right!

DO NOT put a mask on babies or children under 2 years old

DO NOT share your mask with others

Your mask is yours and yours only. It is one thing that you don’t have to share with others and that no one else probably wants to share with you!

 

 

Resources:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-reusable-mask.html

https://www.facebook.com/The-Man-Cave-1852177261746451/

https://mumcentral.com/

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/mask.png?itok=Vpqs699E

https://www.nytimes.com/

Face Mask Etiquette: When, Where & Who Should Wear a Mask

Table of Contents
Why You Should Wear a Mask
Non-medical Mask Protection
Face Covering Ideas
Where You Should Wear a Mask
Where You Can Go Mask Free
States Requring Masks
Who Doesn’t Have to Wear a Mask
Finding Out Local COVID-19 Mandates
About Our Masks

Wearing face masks has become a daily routine for people all over the world. In the United States, many businesses, cities and states have set strict rules for wearing face masks, especially as America starts to reopen. Face covering rests on a delicate balance between health and safety, and social etiquette. Depending on where you live, work and shop, it’s important to understand when you should cover your face, and why.

Woman in Grocery Store with Mask On

Why wear a mask or other face covering?

Even if you’re not fearful of catching the virus, it’s important to remember that wearing a face covering, particularly a non-medical mask or scarf, is mostly intended to protect others from YOU. Non-medical masks, such as the ones we sell, are primarily worn to trap larger droplets from coughs and sneezes, so that people are less likely to spread the virus while in public or in close spaces. Non-medical masks also protect your nose and mouth from dust, pollen, allergies, haze, exhaust, smoke and other substances.

What’s just as important is that wearing a face covering “fosters a sense of faith, a shared or mutual obligation and civic duty.” Read more here. Covering your face shows that you care about public health and you’re following guidelines set in place by the CDC and health officials.

While some cities and states are more relaxed with face coverings and other coronavirus prevention measures, others are implementing strict rules, fines and even possible jail time for non-compliance. Some businesses will not allow customers in without a face mask, and there have been many news reports across the US showing protests against mandates for face covering in public.

Outside of the legal implications, it’s now also a social expectation to cover our faces to protect those around us.

What do non-medical masks protect you from?

As stated above, non-medical masks protect your nose and mouth from dust, pollen, allergies, haze, exhaust, smoke and other substances. In the prevention against the spread of COVID-19, these lightweight face coverings are intended to capture droplets from coughs and sneezes. The more people wearing masks, the less likely COVID-19 can spread from one person to another.

N95 masks and respirators, on the other hand, are examples of personal protective equipment that protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that the general public wear N95 masks. These critical supplies should be reserved for health care workers and medical responders.
girl with scarf face covering

People are covering their faces with things like:

Where should you wear a mask?

The CDC recommends that everyone wear a face covering in any setting where social distancing is not an option. Examples of very close spaces include planes, cars (especially Ubers and taxis), elevators and similar spaces. Other indoor spaces you should wear a mask include restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and post offices. Most businesses are following social distancing guidelines as they re-open, but customers should protect themselves and staff members of these businesses by wearing a mask indoors.

Group of People with Masks on

Face masks are highly recommended, and in some places are required in:

  • Grocery stores
  • Planes
  • Restaurants
  • Post offices
  • Convenience stores
  • Ubers and taxis
  • Other close spaces where it is not as easy to maintain 6 feet of distance

Where you can be more relaxed about covering your face:

Most people can relax with face covering etiquette in outdoor spaces that allow air to flow more freely, and where people can easily distance themselves by 6 feet. You can be less concerned with covering your face when:

  • Taking a walk or jog in your neighborhood
  • Going to a beach or public park
  • Visiting your local zoo
  • In other wide open spaces that make it easier to maintain a safe distance

What states are requiring people to wear a face covering?

All Americans are recommended to wear face coverings in public places and confined spaces, but some states have taken it a step further. The list of states requiring face masks includes Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Moreover, as of April 20th, essential business customers in Hawaii could face a $5,000 fine, or a year in jail, if they do not wear a face mask and maintain 6-foot distance.

Coronavirus prevention measures can change from day to day, and in places like Palo Alto, California, people are now required to wear a mask or face covering for most public activities. San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco counties also now require face coverings, with violations punishable as misdemeanors. From California, all the way to Florida, there are strict measures to enforce the use of face coverings in public.

If you plan to go out in public or to an essential business, make sure you’re aware of your area’s latest rules for face coverings. You may even want to call your grocery store or other business before you go, to know whether they’re requiring masks for entry.

Cloth Face MasksWho is generally not required to wear a mask in public?

It’s important to check your state and city orders, but generally those exempt from wearing a face covering are:

  • Children younger than two years of age
  • Anyone for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
  • Those who work in a profession who do not have any face-to-face interactions with the public
  • Anyone working in a profession where use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession
  • Anyone exercising, while observing social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines

How can you find out what your local rules for face covering are?

It can be tricky to understand what is a suggestion, and what is a requirement. In DC, for example, a discrepancy between the mayor’s verbal and written guidance has caused confusion for customers of essential businesses. This confusion resulted in grocery shoppers without face coverings being turned away.

You can stay on top of the latest orders and news in your area by checking your city’s website. Your city’s website will likely also offer a COVID-19 dashboard, the latest news updates about the pandemic, and new testing sites. If you are local to Northeast Florida for example, check Jacksonville’s COJ.net.

About Our Face Masks at HC Brands:

Design Your Own Non Medical Mask
Design Your Own Face Masks
  • Made of 100% 2-ply polyester
  • Very comfortable & easy to wear
  • Very soft, breathable and washable
  • Feature elastic ear bands
  • Protect your mouth & face from dust, cold, pollen, allergies, haze, exhaust emissions, passive smoking, Etc.
  • Available in fun designs, colors or design-your-own style

 

At HC Brands and 904 Custom, you can easily create your own face masks with business logos, names or slogans. Head back to work safely, while you make a name for your brand.

You can also find designs that make face-covering fun. Shop emojis, animal prints, unicorns and more!

Cute Emoji Face Mask

Our non-medical face masks are lightweight, machine washable and easy to wear. We also offer bulk discounts! Whether you’re shopping for your family or for your staff, you can get comfortable masks that help prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

HC Brands Face Mask Coupon

More Blogs You Might Like:

Living, learning & working in a social distancing world

Holmes Custom is now HC Brands!

Working, Learning & Living in a Social Distancing World

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed our lives indefinitely, and this shift may be further reaching than we expect or intend. (There are positive impacts too!) The coronavirus pandemic is creating new social norms. It is impacting the way we interact with our neighbors, store clerks, mail carriers and delivery workers.

The social impact of coronavirus will undoubtedly create new ways of interacting in the workplace and in schools. When it’s time for kids to head back to class, and employees to return to the workplace, we will adjust to a new idea of normalcy.

Empty ClassroomWhat might the new norm look like?

The pandemic has brought out the best of mankind. Although there are frightening impacts to public health and the economy, daily news reports show us that kindness is alive and well.

New positive social norms look like:

  • Young people delivering meals to seniors who can’t leave their homes
  • Children using their savings to purchase meals for people in need
  • Grocery stores offering special hours for elderly Americans and people with compromised immune systems
  • Small businesses helping their communities with free or reduced cost meals and supplies

The COVID-19 outbreak has also taught us to be aware of our surroundings, to be more germ-conscious, and to keep a courteous distance from other people.

These new norms will likely affect the way we interact with our coworkers when we head back to the workplace

Employers can be ready to direct their staff by:

  • Posting reminders to wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of infectious disease
  • Posting social distancing signs and courtesy desk plates to remind guests and staff to avoid close contact
  • Limiting access to public pens (for dental and medical patient sign-in, check signing at banks, etc)

  • Providing sanitizing wipes and gels, and making them readily accessible
  • Requiring the use of vinyl gloves in food service, spas, nail and hair salons and more
  • Limiting crowds in lunch rooms and cafeterias by spreading out break times
  • Changing office rules, allowing workers to order takeout and eat at their desks
  • Implementing new sick-leave and health security policies to help with disease control. Encouraging symptomatic employees to self-isolate

  • Prohibiting visitors to workplaces, (no longer allowing family members or loved ones in company buildings)

Outside of the workplace, people will likely continue to practice social distancing for months, or even years, to come. People with compromised immune systems can remind others to keep a healthy distance by wearing special color-coded ID cards, gloves and masks. They may also limit their exposure to public places, by only going to restaurants and stores during slower hours.

How can you be courteous in the new social distancing world?

  • Help prevent the spread of coronavirus and potential future outbreaks. Don’t use common objects, such as pens at sign-in desks and banks. Use your own pen or stamp instead.
  • Avoid touching door handles, gas pumps, card readers and other germy surfaces. Wear gloves, use a paper towel, or use hand sanitizer after every contact.
  • Be aware of people around you. Smile, wave, say hello and be friendly. Wear a name tag or ID with a larger font so people can read your name from a distance. If we all use courteous social distancing, we can prevent social isolation
  • Take signage seriously. Whether it’s a reminder to wash your hands, or to keep a 6-foot distance, be courteous and follow these directions

Once school is back in session, and no longer taught remotely, educators will likely continue to enforce regular hand washing and social distancing between classmates and staff. Parents may limit play dates and other interactions to a handful of children at a time.

The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly changed our lives, and this change may last for a long time. Despite the fear and negativity that grows as new coronavirus cases are confirmed, there are positive impacts as well. People are spending more time with their pets and getting away from their screens. Pollution has reportedly dipped and the display of kindness grows everyday. Once the spread of the virus has plateaued and people go back to work and school, we can all do our part to promote the new norms!

Keep a courteous distance, wash your hands, smile and say hello.

At HC Brands, we pride ourselves on friendly customer service, fast production and shipping times. We’ve been in business since 1954, making quality rubber stamps, signs and business essentials. We are a leader in rubber stamps, custom signs, name tags and IDs and personalized gifts.

Through these trying times, and as people and businesses recover, we are here for you.

Holmes Custom Becomes HC Brands

We have exciting news to share!

As we continue to grow our personalized product offerings and our reach in the retail e-commerce industry, we are excited to announce that Holmes Custom is now HC Brands!

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, with additional fulfillment centers in Salem, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas, HC Brands is your one stop shop for the highest quality personalized home and business products. We offer a wide selection of merchandise from nine specialty sites, including rubber stamps, custom signs, name tags, promotional products, vinyl wall decals, notary public seals and supplies, personalized gifts, and more!

Name changes are something we are familiar with. In 2017, our company, Holmes Stamp & Sign, became Holmes Custom, in order to better represent our growing brands.

“Much like the need for us to change in 2017, we feel that Holmes Custom no longer represents who we are as an evolving brand,” says owner and CEO Bryan Croft. “We are a marketing/technology/e-commerce company that is innovating and rapidly growing. The name Holmes Custom no longer reflects who we are.”

HC Brands earns annual sales of $20 million, and we’ve experienced annual growth of 30 percent for the third consecutive year. Our investment in internal systems and technology allows us to deliver an easy online ordering experience resulting in quality personalized products, delivered with exceptional speed, directly to your door. Our streamlined ordering experience facilitates same day or next business day shipping.

“Informing our customers of all we do has been a challenge for us for many years,” says Libby O’Regan, VP of Strategic Partnerships. “By letting our customers of one site know that we are part of something much bigger, we hope to introduce audiences of one brand to our other brands and connect the dots.”

We welcome you to join us as we continue to grow as HC Brands! Visit our sites to see what’s in store:

 

 

 

Holmes Custom Pushing Tech Growth

Today we want spotlight our involvement in the 2019 Tech Coast Conference. We are proud to announce that Promo180.com, one of the websites within the Holmes Custom family of brands, is the official sponsor for this summer’s conference.

As the sponsor, Promo180 will be providing printed collateral, signs, name tags and other promotional materials for conference vendors.

The Tech Coast Conference is a one-day event that takes place at the TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL on August 21st, 2019. Holmes Custom is continuing to expand its digital presence by being a part of this innovative event.

Tech Coast Conference

As Jacksonville’s biggest technology event, the Tech Coast Conference gathers IT professionals, business owners and executives, product managers and digital marketers in one place. Tech enthusiasts from all backgrounds are invited to spend the day learning, exchanging ideas, and propelling Jacksonville to the next phase of IT development. This marks the 6th year of the annual conference.

The conference features speakers such as Jim Stallings a local entrepreneur, Dr. Johannes Ullrich, Dean of Research at SANS Technology Institute and Josh Scobee, a former Jacksonville Jaguars Football Player, as well as a panel of experts from Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The speakers will cover topics such as developments in cyber attacks, data governance, AI, cloud technologies, and other global trends.

Designed by The Jacksonville Chamber IT Council, Tech Coast Conference is a forum for local business to share solutions for advancing the digital landscape and it plays a key role in connecting IT decision makers and key stakeholders. This event helps develop partnerships and create employment opportunities in North Florida.

Staying Competitive in the eCommerce Era

Satisfying our Holmes’ customers goes beyond offering top quality business products, personalized gifts and novelty items. As the parent company of seven online brands, Holmes Custom must keep up with digital trends to stay afloat in each of its business verticals.

At Holmes Custom, we intelligently route orders, managing geolocation, capacity and manufacturing processes for 3 separate locations. We are able to do this with a tech team focused on growth and scalability capabilities through fully responsive platforms.

Jim Gruhn, our Chief Technology Officer and an active member of the Jax Chamber CIO Council, is part of the executive leadership that has brought us to a place where we now sell thousands of products and employ a team of 100 talented staff members we call “Holmies.”

Gruhn is dedicated to finding the next innovative solution for Holmes Custom. His team of full stack engineers, a UX developer and Systems Administrator use open source and best of breed technologies to continually deliver. Holmes Custom now operates in all major marketplaces that are integrated with MWS API’s.  His team uses scalable tech platforms to push 7 websites towards eCommerce success.

Holmes Custom is showing its commitment to innovation, digital growth, and the employment of the Jacksonville and surrounding community by investing in local resources such as this. It is our hope that the Tech Coast Conference will play a critical role in helping North Florida mature into an established tech community and make Jacksonville a destination for top talent.

Creative Ways to Share Your Magnetic Business Cards

From multinational corporations to the corner patisserie, business cards are tiny brochures that tell your valued patrons – and potential customers – what you’re all about! And they’re a terrific pocket sized marketing opportunity.

 

 

Here are our favorite tried and true ways to jazz up and share business cards so they’re sure to be noticed – and remembered!

 

A Business Card with a Purpose

Be sure your business card doesn’t become just another card in the deck. Magnetic business cards are terrific for adhering to filing cabinets, refrigerators, or other metal surfaces. Get creative! Use business cards as tickets to special dining or company events, as bookmarks, and even as a reusable discount card for a small percentage off each purchase.

 

Include a Fun Fact or a Testimonial

When designing your business card, you naturally want it to stand out from the others. And, most certainly, you want the information on your card to be read. Try adding a fun fact that will grab the card recipient’s attention. If you’re a marine biologist or work at an aquarium, for example, you might include a line that says ‘Did you know? An octopus has three hearts’!

 Technology Is In!

Adding a QR code or a specific product SKU to your business cards that offers a discount for visiting your website is an ideal way to easily track the effectiveness of your business cards – and that people are really interested in what information you’re sharing with them.

 Send Those Business Cards in Creative Ways

Send Business Cards along with invoices and to existing – and potential – vendors and suppliers. You may be surprised when an opportunity to gain a new client or expand your business presents itself from something as simple as the interest drawn to your organization via a well-designed business card.

 Show Your Support for a Cause

Just about every company out there loves to give back, whether to the community or somewhere in need around the world. Proudly show your patrons, clients, and guests who or what you support by including a small line about your support somewhere on your magnetic business card, such as ‘We proudly support the March of Dimes.” It may even inspire others to join in and offer support, too!

Instantly Connect Your Face to Your Company

Include your best professional picture or even your favorite social media profile picture (depending on the casualness of your organization) on your business card so that people will remember you and associate you with your business long after your initial meeting.

Best Buddies 2019

This year Holmes Custom teamed up its efforts toward helping the nonprofit organization, known as Best Buddies, reach their annual fundraising goal. If you don’t know, Best Buddies is a “volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities”1. To help raise money and awareness they hold a walk in 53 different countries and every state in the U.S!

Our Holmes Cares committee got to thinking on how we could raise enough to help make an impact, and they figured it out in the most delicious way possible. On May 2nd, we gathered to share a holmie homemade spaghetti lunch! With pasta, meatballs, garlic bread, and cookies galore we got to feast for a cause. Each Holmie donated $10 towards our fund and in exchange got to devour a delicious meal. With full bellies and smiles, we managed to exceed our fundraising goal! We had a goal of $500 and just from our spaghetti lunch alone we raised $560. But like the dedicated holmies we are, our efforts did not stop there.

A few days after on May 4th, we put on our walking shoes and headed towards Jax Beach. The Seawalk Pavilion hosted 600 people who came to walk for inclusion. Starting off the event, we participated in a group stretch. Then the awards were handed out, and we celebrated their impressive fundraising donations. From high schools, businesses and individual donors it was marvelous to see everyone come together to help reach a common goal. As soon as they cut the ribbon, we eagerly began our walk. We took a few laps along the beach and the pavilion. With music filling the air and the dogs playing around, it was hard not to have a good time. Once the walk came to an end, there were activities for everyone to enjoy. With a bounce house, a silly photo booth and Frisbee toss there was something for everyone. They even served delicious food, like pizza and donuts.

At the end of the day, everyone’s support was well worth it. Not only did our team surpass its goal, so did Best Buddies. With the help of our holmes cares team, the luncheon, and individual Holmie contributions we raised an encouraging $795! Best Buddies goal was 95,000 for the Jacksonville walk, but this event exceeded that number with a record $100,000! Our Holmies were glad to contribute! A big thank you to everyone who participated and donated towards our fundraising efforts. We look forward to doing it all again next year! In the meantime, you can follow us @HolmesCustom to keep up with our work in the community.

 

References:

  1. https://www.bestbuddies.org/what-we-do/mission-vision-goals/

Health and Wellness Fair

On Wednesday, April 24th we ventured out of the office and into a fair “custom” made for the Holmies team. For the first time, Holmes Custom hosted a Health and Wellness Fair, which was put on by the Healthy Holmies initiative. During this fun event, we visited booths offered by different businesses. Each booth was hosted by a local vendor who supplied products to help us work on our wellness goals. Our wonderful vendors included the Jacksonville Jaguars, Community First Bank, Super Fit Foods, Local Fare JAX, and Anytime Fitness.

Beginning at the Community First Bank booth, we had the opportunity to open a new bank or credit account. This was a great opportunity for Holmies who needed a new bank, and each person even received money for signing up and providing referrals. The big hit of this booth was the cash cube. One of our holmies, Jesse, scored $31 in only twenty seconds!

                                

The second booth was for the Jacksonville Jaguars. We were able to enter a raffle to win stadium tour tickets. Sports fans went to hear about the upcoming schedule and found information on season passes. Just in time for the NFL draft, GO JAGS!

Thirdly was Anytime Fitness, who came to offer us some great deals. Holmes Custom has a partnership with its local Lakewood branch. The branch extends discounts for enrollment and monthly fees. Not only did they present us with a way to reach our fitness and exercise goals, but they also provided a prize wheel that offered gift cards and free classes!

Another super vendor we had was Super Fit Foods. This company delivers meal prepped foods straight to your door. They offer meals to fit almost any diet imaginable, even for those with food restrictions. We also got to try the delicious samples they brought like peanut butter protein cookies and sweet potato protein bars.

Our last vendor was Local Fare Jax. Their motto is, “let us bring the farm to your front door” and they do just that. They deliver fresh produce to your door within 24-48 hours after it has been handpicked or gathered. Using this service is a great way to start working towards your nutrition goals.

For those of us that are Florida Blue members, we had the chance to complete a free biometric screening. Also known as a “measurement of physical characteristics.” In a typical wellness screening, they take measurements of your height, weight, BMI, blood pressure and more.

 
The first ever Holmie Health and Wellness Fair was a complete success, thanks to the marvelous efforts of our people operations coordinator, Sarah De Nicolais, along with assistance from Head of People Operations, Alice Viego. We also can’t forget the help received from our Holmes Cares committee! This event awarded a few lucky Holmies with great raffle prizes, including $50 gift cards, water bottles, and even stadium tour tickets. Of course, each Holmie who attended the Health Fair received helpful tips on fitness, nutrition and financial wellness. Each booth brought us one step closer to reaching our individual goals!