Happy Anniversary

Well, it’s been 1 year since we took over the family business. One long Covid year. While there have been decades of anniversaries before us, this one is especially meaningful because it was our first as the owners. Did you know only 13% of family-owned businesses make it to the third generation (see here)? It’s a daunting statistic, but one that we’re proud to represent. While there are many reasons businesses don’t typically make it to the third generation, there are some interesting studies out there that show family businesses outperform public and state owned companies (see here).

My dad sent a family text this morning that read “Keep the main thing the main thing.” While he isn’t part of the Brady family Idaho Sporting Goods lineage, his wisdom rings true. I think this is the reason that family businesses are valued by customers: PEOPLE ARE THE MAIN THING. Our people have been “the main thing” at ISG since its inception way back in the 50s. Grandpa Hugh had some incredible relationships. He was involved in so many community organizations and genuinely cared about making Boise a better place. If you look through old ISG memorabilia, you’ll find plaques from little leagues, businesses, associations, clubs, and more. If you looked in his safe, you’d find a box of floppy discs that held years’ worth of embroidery files. If it mattered to someone, it mattered to him. We are proud to continue keeping our employees and community the main thing.

Here are a few ways we keep people the main thing:

  1. Treat people right. Be friendly, be honest, listen, smile, understand them.
  2. Make it easy. Communicate via phone, text, email, social media, or face to face, complete artwork approval & payment online, deliver their goods quickly, price fairly and consistently.
  3. Take care of it. Own the process, know the product, produce quality results, communicate when necessary, make the process smooth.
  4. Help. Solve problems, have a sense of urgency, go the extra mile, do what needs to be done.
  5. Surprise them (in a good way). Throw in an extra hat, decorate a new favorite item they might like, deliver it a day early, write a nice little note.

It’s been a wild ride, but we’re grateful for this opportunity. We can’t quite have the party we wanted this year, but you better believe ISG is going to be having one heck of a celebration for year two!

What Works for Who and When?

I used to teach elementary school in the Boise School District (I loved it). My goal was to understand each student’s strengths, passions, and needs to figure out what worked for who (and when). Today I have the same goal at ISG Print + Embroidery.

Nike Polos and swag bags for summer golf tournaments? You got it.

Ladies’ power jacket to close the New Year’s Deal? Heck yes.

Sweat-wicking tees for hot, summer labor? You bet.

Trendy tees for your spring merch corner? All day.

Trucker hats in every color for the company BBQ? You better believe it.

Christmas Carhartt Jackets for your hard-working team? Yes, sir.

I think you get the point.

Teaching is most effective when it is individualized and so is corporate apparel decoration. We want to get to know you and what works for you. Let us be the experts that make you look good!

The Kitchen

Hi, my name is Brittany. This is my first blog post for ISG Print and Embroidery. Our website is pretty far down the list in Google searches. I’m trying to figure out this search engine optimization (SEO) thing, and apparently having more content on the website will help boost our rankings. So, here goes a journey of our company.

Anyway, I’m the one dedicated to reinventing the family business in its third generation of Brady-ness. When Tim’s dad and uncles did a last call before selling the last bit of the family heirloom, Tim and I had one of those life defining talks. We love Boise and feel connected to the people here. We thought it would be a great flexible work option for me while I wrangled 4 kids at home. I knew about the dedicated staff and I knew about the legacy of the Idaho Sporting Goods customer experience. I didn’t know about Covid. So, we got to work.

We built and then rebuilt a website (because they didn’t use those in the 50s and we didn’t have one). Who knew GoDaddy, WordPress, Wix, and everyone else offer different benefits? Our site pretty basic, but it’s a start. You found it, so that’s good.

We designed a logo, sold shirts, and donated almost $3,000 to St. Luke’s Health Foundation with our Idaho Strong campaign. We also gave away hundreds of dollars in gift cards to local businesses (like Boise Juice Co, Guru Donuts, Rudy’s, and Zamzows) to our customers who purchased Idaho Strong t-shirts and hats. It was only a small way to give back, but we wanted to do something for our community. I think we’ll carry on this Idaho Strong line for special causes that matter to our people.

We bought a program to bring our ordering and production processes online. While trying to master it before sharing with the team, we got too frustrated and picked a new one. It’s amazing. You will love it. It’s like an apple product, but for organizing custom apparel decoration shops. Do you know about the Domino’s pizza tracker? You can do that with your ISG orders too. We can send you a text or email as your order progresses through each stage of production. Our team has iPads and all sorts of color codes to make sure you get the best product when you need it (P.S. Did you know we can get most garments next day from our suppliers in Seattle and Reno??).

We bought a brand new Embroidery Machine. It’s top of the line (Tajima, if you care) and was our first major purchase (besides the business of course) totaling over $50,000. It’s pretty and Japanese and sews the prettiest designs you’ll ever see. It has some pretty tech sensors for embroidering on hats. Our customers have been loving the Richardson 112 Trucker, and we learned how to do that cool puffy, 3D embroidery.

Beau and I hired more team members. They are awesome humans and creative employees. They make us stronger and give us capacity to give the most personalized hometown service with efficient local turnaround. You won’t find a better crew than ours.

Our team cleaned up our shop and we made shirts for ourselves. Coop designed us an awesome logo (can you see the Idaho shape inside the G?) and we put it on some of our favorite Bella + Canvas basic tees. We threw out a lot of stuff, but we keep some awesome mementos of the past including a little golden ashtray from the Nugget Casino where Grandpa Hugh used to stay on his Nevada sales trips. Our kids refilled the vending machines with all their favorites and we stocked the fridge full of Coke and LaCroix. We made it home.

We hired ourselves an amazing photographer to capture the essence of our small business. Her name is Amanda and she’s super cute, smart, and creative (but also a totally legit engineer). We got pictures of Emily selecting apparel for clients, Coop working his magic on some logos, and Natasha hooping up some goodness in the embroidery room. Beau, Sarah, and Hunter got a chance to get some action shots of themselves screen printing a few garments and using the new plotter machine. We took team photos and went on the roof. We’re going to put a bbq out there when it gets nice.

Speaking of bbq and happy hour, I should probably explain the name of this blog. As a mother of four kids, you can imagine the time I spend in the kitchen. It’s a place where we tell stories and recap our days. We laugh, dance, and clean up a lot of messes. I think a lot of those same things will happen here on the blog. “The Kitchen” also has a deeper meaning that connects us to our Idaho Sporting Goods roots. Some of the strongest ISG memories were made the kitchen upstairs in the 10th and State building. If you know any longtime customer, they probably spent countless hours chatting (“BS-ing”), eating, and drinking with Hugh at the shop. The kitchen was the place where relationships were nurtured, and those relationships were the core of ISG. We want to bring people back to the kitchen.

Come join us on the rooftop.