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Kelly R.

My journey into the promotional products business began in 2006. I had been working for a local sign company as a sales rep and was exploring the promotional products industry as a potential part-time business, but once I saw the benefits of owning my own business, I knew I wanted to work for myself full-time.

My online research took me to several companies who helped people get into this business…most of them franchises. The sign company I worked for was a franchise business paying an 8% royalty on every dollar that the business made. I knew I didn’t want to go that route. My research finally brought me to Distributors First and Vince Whaley.

Vince’s approach to this industry was really different, a coaching approach, with a reasonable one-time fee to start my company. Distributors First provided all the connections I needed and the support I needed to get a good start in my new business.

Within one year, our business was generating a 6-figure income and we have steadily grown over the years to where it is today. It was a humble beginning then, working from home part-time, but business has been good, to the point where we now own our own building with a thriving full-time operation.

Don’t get me wrong, success didn’t come overnight and we have put a ton of sweat and long hours into our business. But with that hard work, the decision I made back in 2006, to take a chance to go out on my own created a far different reality for me and my family than I imagined.

It was a small investment compared to the franchise deals I looked at, but today, I am in a position where I can retire in 10 years or so, with a mid 6-figure income business, with a million-dollar plus real estate equity, and the knowledge that I made a great decision to start my own company back in 2006.

Our investment has come back to us tenfold in many more ways than just the financial side. I also have the ability to create a legacy business with my kids if they want to take over at some point. Joining with DFI to start my business was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has led to a life I would never have had, if I had simply remained with a company as an employee. After 18 years, I can still call on DFI for anything I need and I know the support will always be there.