Every day is exciting and different at Budd Bay Promotions and Apparel. From assisting customers with a rush order, to researching promotional products and consulting with clients, the Budd Bay sales team certainly knows how to stay on their toes and keep their customers happy. Even so, Budd Bay sales manager Kristin Gustin and sales assistants Kirsey Kramme and Mika Dunne happily take the time to share their expertise and excitement for their company.
“Every day is so different because our requests change every single day, hour by hour,” shares Kristin. “We can walk in the door thinking we’re going to work on this set of projects, and that can be flipped upside down with other projects that come in. So we just have to adapt, and go as the day takes us.”
Budd Bay Promotions creates embroidery and apparel applications in house, but a lot of their other products are sourced from outside factories. The sales team acts as a broker, facilitating the process from start to finish, even when that means answering emails in the middle of the night with an overseas company. But that’s what makes their role so valuable. In a world of online shopping and endless products, Kristin and her team provide a local and personable service to the community.
“We get to know our customers, they’re not just another number,” says Kristin. “You learn about their company, you learn about their life, and that’s a really cool thing.”
Kristin began working for Budd Bay four years ago, after moving to the area with her husband from the Tri Cities, where she worked in her parents sign and embroidery business. Though she left her family to move here, joining Budd Bay was like joining a second family. The sales team enjoys working together, but also spending time together as friends outside of work.
“It’s definitely a family environment here, and that fosters us to move forward as friends outside of work.” says Kristin. “Which is really nice, we’re friends and coworkers.”
One of the first times Kristin and Kirsey hung out together was at Brats Brews and Bands, a summer event that Budd Bay is a sponsor for. Whether they’re working the events or not, they like to attend and socialize at the various community festivals.
“Events are my favorite things to do, because we get to meet our customers out in a more personal aspect, they’re not at work,” shares Kirsey. “We get to meet them when they’re hanging out with their families, when they’re just relaxed and having fun. That’s really cool to see the customers in that setting.”
“That’s something that makes it really nice,” adds Mika, “this being my first serious job after I moved here, is really getting to know the area and getting to build relationships with other people in the area.”
But when they’re not spending their free time networking at events, the ladies on the sales team stay busy in the office working hard for their clients, new and old. “I think my favorite part about this job is definitely our customers,” says Kirsey.
A year ago, Kirsey joined the Budd Bay team as a sales assistant. She’s worked in other sales positions before, but says she enjoys Budd Bay and getting to know her customers and their company stories. “And they trust you,” she adds. “You build that trust and it’s like a connection that you build for years and years.”
“It’s exciting getting to know our customers on a day to day basis,” says Mika, “and eventually finding more things that they like. It’s always nice when we find that one thing that makes someone else really happy or excited, it makes it fun.”
Mika joined the Budd Bay family just a few weeks after moving to the area from northern California last November. First, as a heat press specialist for the production team, and then four months later she joined the sales team. “I’ve always been on the production side of it, so its fun seeing the sales,” she says. “I have a different take on it, so it makes it really fun knowing the process.”
“It’s extremely helpful having her on our side, when we need help with pricing or different apparel items,” Kirsey says of Mika. “I think we have a really good team here, and I think that customers know that too, when they come here they know that they can trust us,” she adds.
Mika now specializes mostly in paper products and marketing, and Kirsey works with letterman jacket customers. But the savvy sales trio at Budd Bay can truly help their customers with whatever products or needs they may have.
“Every day that a customer walks out the door happy, I’m happy,” says Kristin. “That means I’ve done my job from start to finish.”
They recently helped Clarus Eye Centre celebrate their 50th anniversary with a series of promotional products. They also enjoy working with different schools and fundraising projects, too. In the spring, they helped with apparel purchasing for Purple Up, a military family support campaign. Certainly, the sales team at Budd Bay has had a big impact on their business and the community at large.
“Kristin leads our team of Mika and Kirsey as the heart and soul of our company,” says owner John Grantham. “Budd Bay is only as good as the kindness and accuracy they share with our customers and suppliers.”