SanMar’s annual National Sales Meeting looked a little different this year. In response to safety and health concerns over COVID-19, the team decided to make their week-long conference 100% virtual.
Family-owned since 1971, SanMar is a celebrated supplier of imprintable apparel and accessories for private and retail brands, including America’s number one preferred private label – Port Authority. SanMar has 10 national distribution centers, but they are based outside of Seattle, WA.
“Going virtual was a decision we knew we had to make,” says Jeremy Lott, President, and owner of SanMar. “Keeping our team safe is our number one priority. It was a pivot – but the team really pulled it together and I think the end result was really successful.”
Presenters and participants alike were sent care packages of snacks and a tech organizer before the meeting to help aid the virtual transition. “Managing the event from a distance proved to be a challenge, but the sales team really rose to the occasion,” praises Jeremy. “Working from home is not traditionally practiced by outside sales – they really thrive in face-to-face meetings. But some creative workarounds and their sense of humor really made this whole thing easier and more pleasant than it could have been.”
One of the things addressed at the sales meeting was SanMar’s recent shift to the production of personal protective equipment (PPE). “It wasn’t an easy thing for anyone,” says Jeremy Lott. “From production to marketing to sales – everyone had to shift focus almost overnight. There are challenges that come with that kind of foundational and cultural shift. It’s forced us to be more realistic about how we move forward in this industry in a post-COVID world.”
But SanMar’s leader is ultimately extremely hopeful about the future of his company. “Of course there’s room for improvement. There will always be room for improvement. Personally, I think that’s what makes it so exciting to evolve and grow as a company. We’ve proved that we can shift focus, that we can work in new and difficult circumstances. Honestly, I’ve never been so proud of my team.”
Jeremy Lott is the President of his family-owned business and works in partnership with his brother, Jordan, and his father, Marty, who announced at the sales meeting that he is stepping back to let his sons run the company. Jeremy has been learning the ins and outs of the business since he was a child, following his father around the office. He’s worked just about every job he’s capable of, from pulling orders to purchasing. After launching his career as an investment bank analyst, Jeremy earned his MBA and joined SanMar full-time.
“It’s a gift really,” says Lott. “I believe that work-life balance is the true key to happiness and productivity. And because I was raised in this company and I get to work with family, I’ve never really had to choose between the two.”
Jeremy Lott continues to lead Seattle-based printed apparel company SanMar with an emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility.
Jeremy Lott of Seattle area apparel company SanMar doesn’t just believe in corporate responsibility. It’s one of the core values behind his company’s continued success as both a profitable business and an example to other corporations across multiple industries. He’s even gone on record describing it as his team’s “organization vision”, as well as its “rallying cry”.
Jeremy Lott on Looking to the Future
In 2017, SanMar revealed its corporate responsibility report for the very first time, and Jeremy Lott has been hard at work ever since when it comes to living up to those initial standards. He’s also placed special emphasis on the company’s perpetual commitment to sustainable business practices and manufacturing processes.
- SanMar is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global organization dedicated to responsible supply chains in every sector of the apparel and textile industry.
- Jeremy Lott and SanMar assess and evaluate the company’s current level of sustainability on every level using the Higg Index.
Jeremy Lott is determined to prove to the world that companies don’t have to choose between environmental consciousness and a healthy bottom line. SanMar’s growing success since opening up about the details of its efforts has only proven Lott’s approach works.
Jeremy Lott on Socially Responsible Workplaces
Although saving energy, sustainable sourcing, and ethical manufacturing choices are important parts of the equation, there’s more to it than that for Lott and his team. According to Jeremy Lott, family values are a key part of SanMar and every business decision made. Part of his commitment to the cause is providing his valued employees with a safe, growth-oriented place to work in every way.
- “Life is too short to not be nice,” said Lott on the values instilled in him by his father and SanMar founder, Marty Lott. All employees are treated with kindness, dignity, and consideration at all times.
- SanMar’s response to the current COVID-19 crisis was remarkable. On March 30th, the company released a report detailing its recent and ongoing efforts to keep workers safe and address the crisis. The following day, the company announced that it would become part of the solution by making millions of masks for Americans each week.
“We strive to make a difference every day,” says Jeremy Lott on SanMar’s commitment to saving energy, helping the planet, staying involved, and setting an example for other companies to follow.
SanMar continues to serve consumers and companies all over the world by providing affordable, ethically sourced printed apparel options. Jeremy Lott himself is also a father of six, a self-described family man, and a dedicated outdoor enthusiast. He currently runs SanMar in partnership with his father and his brother, Marty Lott and Jordan Lott respectively.
SanMar Corp. owner Jeremy Lott and his team launch all-new Design Studio interface.
Communicated to customers on February 12, SanMar Corp. has launched its all-new drag-and-drop interface for the creation, customization, organization and sharing of marketing materials. Known as Design Studio, president and owner of SanMar Corp. Jeremy Lott offers a closer look at the project.
“We’re excited to launch our new Design Studio,” says Jeremy Lott, Seattle area owner of SanMar Corp. “In the Design Studio you’ll find an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, up-to-date SanMar product data, and easy digital and social media sharing options,” he continues.
Promising the ability to create, customize, organize and share marketing materials more quickly and with greater ease than ever before, Design Studio is an evolution of Design Center, the design tool used by SanMar Corp. customers before Design Studio was developed. “Design Center may still be used to create virtual samples and flyers,” explains Jeremy Lott, Mercer Island resident and owner and president of SanMar Corp. Any marketing materials previously created in Design Center are, he says, still available.
“Design Center users may still access the system to save or print previously created materials,” adds Lott, who lives with his family close to SanMar Corp.’s headquarters in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Washington, in nearby Mercer Island. “You’ll also be able to transfer logos you used in Design Center to the new Design Studio,” Lott explains. Images transferred to Design Studio will remain available in Design Center until further notice, according to the SanMar Corp. owner.
Existing Design Center users are still able to edit, save or print existing materials created via the Design Center system. However, Design Center will no longer receive new product updates. Any materials that reference SanMar Corp. products from 2020 or later must, the company says, now be created in Design Studio.
“SanMar Corp. customers are now invited to explore SanMar Design Studio,” adds Jeremy Lott, SanMar owner and president, wrapping up, “and we welcome any feedback on the all-new interface.”
President of the family-owned firm, SanMar Corp., in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Washington, Jeremy Lott learned the business from the inside out, from pulling orders to purchasing. After college and a period studying in Hong Kong, Lott launched his career as an analyst before relocating to Chicago in 2001 to earn his MBA. Then moving to Mercer Island, Washington, Lott joined SanMar full-time, where he continues to steer the company toward long-term growth.