What do we stand for? 

How can we make a difference?

2019

Annual Benefit Report

1525, Inc.

Introduction

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

Manifesto

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.  🙂

 

Core Values

Authenticity

We are genuine and honest with our clients in order to establish a foundation of trust and understanding. As with client relationships, our promotional campaigns are authentic, creative and one-of-a-kind.

Creativity

It matters to us that your promotional products make sense. And whenever possible, we believe they should be FUN and FUNctional. We’re not locked into a brand or a process, and that translates into a freedom to be creative.

Flexibility

Pivot power is essential in this business! There are a lot of moving parts to a project – from product selection to production to distribution. Pivoting away from problems towards solutions is a special kind of mastery.

Curiosity

We are part of an industry with millions of products and hundreds of production processes.  A curious mind not only keeps us current with the latest options – it also helps us learn more about our clients so we can find the best solutions.

Win-Win

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.

Optimism

We’d much rather see the glass half full than empty.  After all, It’s the same darn glass!  So much in life is a matter of perspective.  Positivity, gratitude, and hope make life – including business –  a lot more fun and rewarding. 😁

Summary Review

People

1525 does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. 

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.

Employees:

1.  We’ve invested in systems to create a more flexible work environment, thus giving employees more opportunity to pursue other interests.

2.  Education and employee development is a primary function of the president.  For example, we took our entire staff to a 5 day tradeshow which included product training and also educational seminars.  Additional training occurs throughout the year.

Clients:

1.  We are stewards of our clients’ projects.  Finding the right solution at the best possible price is paramount.

2.  We conduct business in a way that allows us to sleep at night and look at ourselves in the mirror the next day. 😁

Vendor Partners: 

1.  Good communication and prompt payment.  Just as we would like from our clients.

Community:

1.  Two members of our team attended a day long Mental Health First Aid Training facilitated my Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.  

2.  Plogging – see Planet

People Goals for 2020

1.  Metrics around employee development.

2.  Create a more diverse team as we grow.

3.  Pick a cause to contribute to financially.

Planet

There are a few different ways that we work to protect the planet.

1.  We have invested in technology that allows our company to run “less paper” and we are mindful that waste ends up in the recycling bin.

2.  We have eliminated disposable kitchen items opting for re-usable options.

3.  We invested in a water filtration system to eliminate the need for bottled water.

4.  Our bathroom now has a color coded (by employee) hand towel system, and our toilet paper is made of bamboo and purchased from Who Gives a Crap – a company that contributes profit to building toilet facilities around the world

5.  We are extremely mindful of the Marketing Merchandise solutions that we offer our clients, steering them towards more sustainable options.

6.  Our Preferred Vendors have formal Social Responsibility programs in place.

7.  We hosted nine #plogging/domoregood events inviting others to join us in our monthly plogging meet ups.  Plogging is a combination of running, walking, or jogging – AND picking up trash.

In April 2019 we facilitated a plogging day that included about 100 Nike employees.  Several weeks later, we received an email letting us know that the event had been communicated in a companywide newsletter and as a result – employees also plogged in China, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil!!  That day our little pebble rippled around the world!

Planet Goals for 2020

1.  Continue efforts but create Metrics so that we can better understand our impact.

 

Profit

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 50% growth in 2019.  Profit margins were maintained allowing for the bolstering of infrastructure to allow for future growth.  This included:

1.  Addition of a new salesperson.

2.  Clean up of all Corporate Documentation.

3.  New Insurance and CPA relationships to better serve our needs.

4.  Revamp of marketing message including our online presence – currently in process.

5.  Benefit Corporation Certification.

6.  Professional Development Training.

Profit Goals for 2020

1.  20% Sales Growth – adjusted for Covid19

2.  Remain audaciously optimistic as we pivot services during unusual times – thus better serving our clients.

3.  Women Owned / Emerging Small Business certification.

4.  Create stronger banking relationships

5.  Incorporate a Giving line item into the Profit & Loss projections so it becomes a budgeted line item.

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