Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Annual Benefit Report
Our Commitment to the Triple Bottom Line
1525 is a woman owned and operated business based in Tigard, Oregon partnering with clients all around the United States. We specialize in creative promotional solutions that honor the identity and individuality of our clients. Our small but passionate team loves helping companies bring their brands to life with promotional campaigns that leave a lasting impression. The companies that choose to partner with us value the expertise, experience, energy, and high attention to detail we give to each and every project.
The ability to operate 1525 while remaining true to core values is extremely important to us. Efforts began with the #domoregood hashtag. The message was based on the quote by Arthur Ashe: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” In response to a sense of overwhelm, this was an excellent beginning for a stronger sense of social responsibility and a belief that our efforts could make a difference. Two years later we were introduced to the concept of a “Benefit Corporation”. Pursuit of this certification was a no-brainer.
We worked with Benefit Corporations for Good. They helped us through the process of evaluating our company and understanding how a commitment to the Triple Bottom Line aligned with our own values. We were certified in 2019 and we also registered our status with the Oregon Secretary of State.
What is the Triple Bottom Line? It is a commitment to People, Planet, and Profit. Pretty nifty!!
Our North Star
We believe in Authenticity, Telling the Truth, and being Good Citizens of the Planet.
In our world, Kindness is the norm, Promises are kept, and Sustainability is more than just a buzzword.
At a time when many are being asked to choose sides – what we call the either/or paradox – we want it all. We can do good work, be environmentally responsible, treat our colleagues, customers, vendor partners, and community members well, AND – still make a fair profit.
If we can do all of this and be a little bit goofy in the process – that’s a bonus. 🙂
Intro to 2022
A Year of Transition
2022 was a year of transition. As with many companies in many industries, staffing was a challenge. Ultimately, we were not successful in adding to our team.
Towards the end of 2021, another employee (a family member) had a dream opportunity to consider. He was offered ownership of a professional basketball team in Salem, Oregon – about thirty miles from our current location. This was an opportunity that checked off EVERY single box of what was important to him. One of those things was community involvement. 1525 was on board to support the dream.
After a successful first season, two decisions were made. The first was to investigate moving our company to Salem, and second was to hold off on staffing additions until the move was completed.
Even with the additional commitments and no additional personnel, the company experienced 15% growth over the prior year.
From our Manifesto: Treat our colleagues, customers, vendor partners, and community members well…
From our Core Values: We value our clients, colleagues, and suppliers. Success means that everybody wins. It’s about ethical standards and respect. And in our opinion – it’s the ONLY way to do business.
The mandate is to treat ALL of our stakeholders well.
1. Our initial efforts to staff up were unsuccessful. Later in the year, we put this on hold pending a move to a new facility in Salem.
2. KPI’s were simplified to keep us on track while maximizing productivity with our small staff.
1. As our current clients grow, we’ve had to be careful taking on new clients. Defining what constitutes a good client for 1525 has helped with that process. When we were not able to take on new work, we did our best to refer to other vendors.
2. We’re working with larger clients to better define our process and understand their process to make transactions smoother. This creates more time for the creative stuff.
1. Similar to our client process flow, we’ve worked with key vendors to streamline processes.
2. With our larger promo vendors, we select those with a strong social responsibility mandate whenever possible.
1. This was the big change for 2022. We are an official sponsor for the Salem Capitals, as well as key volunteers for the organization.
The three core values of the organization are:
2. Affordable Family Fun
3. Player Opportunity
Once we are moved, we’ll be able to co-brand and assist with the community piece for the Capitals. For example, we anticipate greater exposure for our plogging dates because we can make it a Capitals/1525 event.
People Goals for 2023
1. Move finalized by Q4. Evaluate exactly what seats in the bus need filling by Q4.
2. Continue to research Social Responsibility mandates when selecting vendors to work with.
3. Formalize community event participation in conjunction with the Capitals.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. In that order.
In 2022, we continued to implement changes made in 2019 such as
1. Eliminate disposable kitchen items.
2. Water filtration system in our sink eliminated the need for bottled water. Employees provided their own water bottles.
3. Color coded towels (by employee) in the bathroom and frequent laundering.
4. We continued to recycle anything that can be. Paper, glass, packaging, etc.
5. We are extremely mindful of the Marketing Merchandise solutions that we offer our clients, steering them towards more sustainable options. In addition to this, we were creative in our packaging for individual shipments and reused materials as much as possible. This included recycling packaging such as boxes & foam from neighbors in our complex instead of purchasing new material.
6. Our Preferred Vendors have formal Social Responsibility programs in place.
Planet Goals for 2022 – How did we do?
Since Covid, our increase in work and decrease in staff has caused execution of new goals to fall by the wayside.
The good news? We stayed true to our values. Our actions remain consistent with our manifesto.
Planet Goals for 2023
Make sure everything already implemented stays implemented.
From our manifesto: Most important is the belief that we can do good work, be environmentally responsible, treat our colleagues, customers, vendor partners, and community members well, AND – still make a fair profit.
1525 experienced 15% growth in 2022. Shorthanded most of the year – we were very happy with this increase. And of course, gross profit margins were maintained.
Profit Goals for 2022 – how did we do?
1. We were looking for a 10% increase in sales, and ended up with 15%.
Profit Goals for 2023
1. Maintain sales level of 2022. 2023 will contiunue to be a transition time with a bit of a holding pattern. We hope to be moved by Q4 2023.