Continuing the Family Business
With Carla Ejaz
When it comes to modernizing a family business, Carla Ejaz is an expert. Masterfully, she took everything wonderful and enduring about her father’s company – and successfully streamlined it for today’s customers.
Carla Ejaz is the Co-owner, Director of Business Development, and Vice President of Sales at Lasting Impressions Inc, a promotional products company that has placed in the top 8% of promotional distributors nationally. Carla specializes in seasonal trends and corporate incentive programs, working with Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, mid-sized manufacturers, and even their neighborhood bar and grill.
Lasting Impressions, Inc was founded in 1976 by Carla’s father Mark Dabiero. Currently, the company resides in a 50,000 square feet facility located in Canton, Michigan equipped with screen printing and embroidery machines. Printing of textiles is done in-house which enables them to control the print quality. They offer a wide variety of options which keep up with the latest in the retail market including: jumbo print, simulated processes, liquid metal, glitter & transparent inks, rhinestone transfers, laser printing on wearables and distressed appliqués!
Lessons in modernization
In any family business, there is a pivotal point where you must either stick to what you know – or take the risky, extraordinary leap into the unknown. When faced with respecting tradition or modernizing, Carla Ejaz chose…both.
Carla Ejaz is enthusiastic about keeping up with the latest trends in the corporate and retail world. While consistently honoring her father’s legacy, Carla took drastic steps to make Lasting Impressions products more accessible online, and it paid off big time. Even before the pandemic, Carla spent years working closely with sales and marketing to ensure that online ordering was easy, seamless, and exceptional.
Noticing early on that other companies were not offering easy ordering, Carla saw an opportunity for growth. She encouraged her Co-founders to invest in online marketing, and enjoyed the success that it brought when customers loved it!
Business partners make your business better
When her father announced his retirement, Carla decided she wanted in. So did her siblings – but that’s a great thing. Rather than the common stories of family feuds and power struggles, the Dabiero family makes big decisions together.
Carla shares that they’re so successful because they trust one another, focus on their strengths, and stay in their lane. She insists that they would not have been so successful at working together if they tried to overpower one another.
Enjoy this episode of The Business of You – if you have a family business, this will hit close to home!
“I am a people person. I find it easy to talk to people, and I love networking. I am always learning more about other people, companies, and cultures.”
“We grew up working around the shop, since we could walk. All of us have done every job in that business – from filing to production to catalogs to customer service. I couldn’t give you my start date, because I’ve always worked here.”
“He always knew he wanted to retire at some point. He had communicated with all of us that we would have the first option to buy the company. We all wanted to have our hand in the business in some way!”
“You want to grow and change with the times, you don’t want to become stagnant. We want to keep up with trends and follow changes that are happening with the world.”
“It wasn’t common for distributors to have this robust online website. That’s something we really wanted to do!”
“We were able to implement that on-demand option that was really lacking in our industry.”
“I absolutely love having business partners. There’s 5 of us, and we all have our roles within the company. We all stay in our lane. I think that’s why we’ve been able to grow like we have.”
“I think a challenge if someone is a sole owner of a company is trying to work on your business instead of in your business, that’s a challenge.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Check out the official website for Lasting Impressions at https://www.liteam.com
Connect with Carla on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/carla-l-dabiero-ejaz-20baa936
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