Career Change Success Stories
Kaeser & Blair offers career opportunities for those looking for a change. Our most successful dealers have come from all sorts of backgrounds, and they all have one thing in common: they made the switch to selling promotional products—and they couldn’t be happier.
In these videos, you’ll hear from some of our top dealers who share their stories of success. They’ll tell you how Kaeser & Blair gave them the chance to take control of their careers, set their own schedules, and make an unlimited income. You’ll also learn how our comprehensive training and support system helped them every step of the way.
If you’re considering a career change, we encourage you to watch these videos and see what Kaeser & Blair can do for you. We’re confident that you too can be a successful dealer, and we can’t wait to help you get started.
Stephanie Walter: Corporate Sales
Stephanie has been an authorized dealer for 19 years and previously worked in consumer product sales. She became a dealer after she was laid off from her dream job in corporate sales when she had a one-week-old baby. After staying home with her kids, she wanted more.
Her husband ordered the trial kit for her and she immediately returned it, but then a friend called the next day and let her know that she needed to order a lot of items for a golf tournament. So, she called Kaeser & Blair back and got started with everything she needed to write the order, and she’s been doing this ever since.
Here’s an interview with 2019 Kaeser & Blair Sales Leader Stephanie Walter.
Interviewer: How quickly did you start seeing profits?
Walter: You know, you start seeing profits immediately, because you have no overhead in this business. Being that K&B is our business partner, they carry all the insurance we need, and you can just go out and sell and earn the commissions. You can start with nothing—that’s what I did. I was home with my little kids, and I just built on it every year. Once you get a client, and you treat them right, they realize they want to come back to you.
Interviewer: What has been the best part about working with Kaeser & Blair?
Walter: The ability to have financial freedom. It allowed me to get a divorce but still support a family without someone else. Flexibility, and how much money you can make because there is nobody telling you what you can and cannot do.
Interviewer: How flexible is this business?
Walter: Super flexible! So, I love to travel, and I travel all over the country, and all I have to have with me is my laptop. I travel all the time and as long as I have my laptop, I can work. And, everyone is a client, and usually wherever I go, I make a sale.
Interviewer: Where do you find your clients?
Walter: Well, I’m a networker, so I find my clients anywhere I go. One of my first clients was a place that I had to have my tooth pulled, and that oral surgeon is still my client 19 years later. Anyone! You go to the doctor and you ask them where they get their pens—you know, I always have my cards with me, and I leave it for them with a Best Buys or Windjammer. A bunch of my friends from college are clients because I post on Facebook what I do.
Bruce Reissaus: Retiree
Bruce explains what he learned when he tried selling promotional products on his own and why he came back to Kaeser & Blair.
What originally drew you to Kaeser & Blair?
I ran out of things to do and wanted a little extra work and decided to pick up Kaeser part time. By 2001, she was full time in the business and we both were.
How quickly does Kaeser & Blair pay you after you place an order?
Twenty four hours and sometimes there’s a hold up at the bank or something and and it’s 48 hours, but I usually count my money in 24 hours hitting the bank account.
Did you have sales experience before starting with Kaeser & Blair?
Yes, I did have a background in sales. I had— I had no idea what promotional products were nor how everything worked on the back end of the business, the supplier end.
What back office support do you receive from Kaeser & Blair?
I broke away from Kaeser for a little while thinking that I didn’t want to give them my money, but they actually earn the money and they do for a lot less than what I give them—what it cost me a lot more to do on my own. The key to success in this business is staying customer focused and our— Our time was being limited by doing the billing, the invoicing, checking of suppliers invoices when they came in and finding ways to make payments for the for the merchandise. All of that takes time and Kaeser & Blair just makes all of that happen.
What happened when you decided to leave Kaeser & Blair?
I went on— We went on our own and tried to do it ourselves and that was a mistake.
What does your typical work day look like?
Now it’s about an hour and a half a day each. So some people might say it’s part time. We might work two hours a day, you know, if we’re busy just to maintain the business. If we want to grow the business or we’re onboarding new clients, we spend a bit more time. We’ve built a good business for ourselves, with Kaeser & Blair’s help, that is able to sustain us and allow us to live the way we want to live. We travel full time, which is another nice thing. We can work while we travel.
What is the best part of working with Kaeser & Blair?
When you create something that really helps somebody’s business situation and you see how that helps them, it creates a pretty good feeling. Getting the paychecks ain’t so bad either.
How much control do you have over your business?
There really are no rules. There’s no contract. All they ask is that you’re honest and that you act with integrity. I’ve always picked my relationships based on the culture and the integrity.
Why did you choose Kaeser & Blair over other distributors?
I’ve done that with a number of suppliers that I work with, and Kaeser & Blair was picked that way and we’ve stayed with them because of that.
Andres Betancur: School Teacher
Andres Betancur shares the main reason why he’s transitioning away from his job as a teacher and focusing more on promotional product sales. One word: freedom.
“When I started, I thought of the Death of a Traveling Salesman with Dustin Hoffman. I was like, “Oh, man, am I going to be that guy?” But I’m a school teacher. And so I teach school in Texas. And this is great because it’s liberating and I’m going to be able to transition away from a fixed job in a fixed location.
You know, if I have a phone and if I have business cards or if I have my person and I meet anybody on the street, I can be working and it can be productive.
I just like talking to people. You know, I’m pretty self-motivated and so having the freedom to do what I want and talk to who I want, when I want. Being a teacher and this being on the side is kind of interesting. I’m in a situation where I’m connected with booster clubs and with parents and with organizations that want product. It’s easy. I mean, you have lots of— We have access to I think it’s over 700,000 different items. And a lot of places have no idea where to get it, what to do, and so sometimes we just fit a niche. And so by just existing and people knowing what I do, people come to me and I put in a ten minute order and can pull huge gains.
The fact that there is so much freedom, you can feel isolated, you can feel lonely. But Kaeser’s spectacular, period. The service and the support is— I wasn’t ready for it. I would absolutely encourage people to get into it if they’re self-motivated, if— Well, you have to have an entrepreneurial spirit about you. Why? Liberated lifestyle. I feel very successful, really.
Kaeser makes it really, really, really easy. But there are some dangers. Nobody’s writing your check if you’re not working. Earnings are 100% dependent upon input of effort. I mean, it is input of effort equals output of income. It just provides a freedom. It provides a lifestyle freedom. It provides a work freedom that a fixed job in a fixed building doesn’t allow— doesn’t allow for.”
Matt Browning: New Job Seeker
New job seeker Matt Browning found a new career as a promotional products dealer with Kaeser & Blair. He loves the excitement that comes with seeing items he’s sold being used around town (even if his wife does give him a hard time). Learn why Matt decided to give direct sales a shot, how easy setting up his new business was, and why he hasn’t looked back.
“My name is Matt Browning. We’re out of Richmond, Kentucky. I wasn’t familiar with the promotional products business before I started. Honestly, I just got a job where I could get a job. And it’s a very, very interesting creative outlet because every day is different. Every client is different. Every project is different.
Since I’ve joined Kaeser, I’ve learned more about some of the other opportunities that are out there and when you weigh everything out, it’s it’s just a phenomenal relationship that you have. You know, you’re not signing any contracts. You know, the customers are yours. They don’t really get involved unless you need them and when you need them, they’re there. It’s very rewarding.
You know, you get out what you put in and that’s every day. You know, you do the things that that are going to make you successful and they pan out. You know, you’ve got a great supplier network here with Kaeser & Blair. You’ve got great support system. You’ve got educational tools and you’ve got other dealers to lean on.
We were able to talk about the arrangements and we were up and running in a matter of two days, I think. And you know, had all of our materials, our Welcome Kit, order forms, logins and passwords and all that good stuff, and we were ready to go.
It’s very rewarding. My wife jokes with me all the time that I’m always walking around town and I say, you know, “That’s our product!” or “That’s our t-shirt!” And so she gives me a hard time, but I enjoy it. Very creative and just a lot of fun.
If you’re interested in the promotional products industry, definitely take a look at Kaeser & Blair. Talk to the dealers, talk to the people that have experienced what Kaeser can offer. Compare it, you know, do your research. Do the legwork and put everything out on the table and I’m confident that you’ll choose Kaeser & Blair.”
Michelle Calabro: Business Owner
Professional acquaintances are sometimes the most trustworthy sources when it comes to vetting a business. Learn how Michelle Calabro was convinced by someone she knew that Kaeser & Blair was a reputable company and logical choice for a career move.
“I ran into Mike Harrison six years ago at a trade show, and we’ve known each other since the 80s. Then he mentioned to me that he was connected to Kaeser & Blair at that time, and at that moment it wasn’t necessary for me to even consider. Mike had a business the same sort of size as my business.
So he told me his story and that he connected his business to Kaeser & Blair six years ago, and he’s been extremely happy.
Very, very happy Century Club. You know, so when you’re at a certain level, then you have someone dedicated to take care of your business, which of course is key to me. So he had wonderful things to say about the Kaeser & Blair family, the people, the level of care that Kaeser & Blair has for you and your business.
You know, the other aspect that was very important, obviously, is that Kaeser & Blair doesn’t own my business. And they’re not going to contact my customers because they’re mine and I’ve earned them. So that’s very attractive and very smart business thinking on Kaeser & Blair’s part. The commission percentage is higher with Kaeser & Blair.
The way in which Kaeser & Blair pays you is the single most exciting, rewarding, motivating element that you could have as a salesperson. Because paying every day, ACH and at the front of an order, is incredible and no one can match it.
What’s impressed me the most about my daily work with Kaeser & Blair—being connected to Kaeser & Blair—is that I can spend 90% of my time working for my customers and I’m confident that all of my orders and my background business is being taken care of properly and efficiently and timely.
The camaraderie is great. Everyone is really open. We’re sharing, you know, share ideas, sharing, you know, business stories, getting to know new friends. It’s all good. It’s just wonderful. It’s very nice.”