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Spectrum Specialties & Awards (SS&A) is a promotional product distributor and proud member of the Advertising Specialty Institute. Promotional products, also known as "ad specialties," make up a nearly $17 billion industry and are used by virtually every business in the United States. Items such as mugs, pens, sticky notes, and t-shirts are memorable products that provide a better cost per impression for advertisers than almost every major marketing effort such as TV, magazines, and Internet. Spectrum Specialties & Awards is able to supply companies with every possible product from over 3,000 suppliers. Its mission is to help customers create long-lasting relationships with clients through the power of promotional products. We recently sat down with SS&A's mother/daughter duo, Connie and Mary Visconte, to learn more about their family-owned business.1. How did you get involved in this industry?Spectrum Specialties & Awards is a Certified Women Owned business. After working for 3 different private marketing companies, I (Connie) decided the timing was right and began to explore different opportunities which would allow me to open my own business. After growing up in and around the industry Mary turned out to be the perfect business partner. SS&A started in 2002 in Laguna Hills, and after six years, relocated to Lake Forest where we currently operate.
2. Tell me a little about your business? What makes it unique?
Whether you are looking for something specific or searching for ideas, SS&A is your one-stop resource. SS&A is a full service promotional products provider offering a spectrum of creative solutions to support its client's diverse needs. We are dedicated to helping our customers meet their marketing and promotional needs. Our goal is to help create a lasting impression. We pride ourselves on our personalized customer service and realize it is our job to find the perfect product for our clients' next promotion, event, or theme. When working with our clients, SS&A can develop an idea that will really get them noticed. SS&A provides facility fulfillment, and is able to store, pack, drop-off, ship, and mail. We also have a showroom to view the many different products we offer. SS&A works with all types of businesses. To date, we have made t-shirts for Cuca's Mexican Restaurant and done various projects with Del Taco, Irvine Subaru and Peppino’s Italian Family Restaurants. Most recently, SS&A made shirts and other items for Mazda and Blizzard Entertainment. In addition, SS&A is very community-oriented. Both of us are extremely involved with numerous local organizations including the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club of Lake Forest. SS&A offers special nonprofit pricing to charities. In addition, we work with Regional Occupation Programs (ROP), employing local high school students as interns to assist around the shop, and the various organizations we participate in.
3. Why did you choose to locate in Lake Forest?
As the lease from our old building in Laguna Hills began to expire, we started looking at nearby cities to see where we would have the best fit. Mary contacted a few cities in the area, and after speaking with Lake Forest, it was clear Lake Forest was the most business friendly. We also fell in love with the location of the city; being near the 5 and 405 freeways, plus the 241 toll road is great for business. Mary attended the New Business Reception in 2008, the year SS&A moved into the City, and has been extremely involved ever since. Mary is constantly working with the City and various community groups including serving as President of the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce for two years. In 2012, SS&A was recognized by the Orange County Business Journal. That same year the City of Lake Forest honored Mary as its 'Volunteer of the Year'. Additionally, Connie is involved in the community and is the incoming president of Kiwanis Club of Lake Forest.
4. Any special promotions we can advertise?
For the month of October, customers will receive 1,000 full Colored, Double-sided, Business Cards with Any Order!