The name game
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 4, 2008
HAY RIVER - Charlotte Hogan's job is to make sure businesses, associations and government agencies get their names in front of the public.
She is the sales manager with Muddy Waters Enterprises, a Hay River firm specializing in novelty promotional products.
In that role, she promotes clients by placing their names on almost anything imaginable.
"There isn't anything today that you can't get your name put on," she said.
Along with common promotional articles like ball caps, T-shirts, pens, refrigerator magnets and coffee mugs, countless other things can be labelled, from barbecues, stoves and gazebos to mountain bikes and telescopes.
"It's amazing now the things that are available," Hogan said.
She said manufacturers sell their products to about 15 distributors across Canada specializing in branding or imprinting.
"I can go to them and get anything your little heart desires," she said.
Hogan said there is only one item she has yet to find for a customer. Recently at the Fort Smith Trade Show, someone asked her to find a glass piggy bank in the shape of a shoe - as in the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe.
"I have yet to come across it," she said, adding she has seen such a bank in wood and vinyl, but not glass.
Along with Canadian distributors, she has contacted other distributors in the U.S. and China.
"I'm still looking," she said. "I'm bound and determined to find that piggy bank."
Among the unique products she has secured for clients have been specially-labelled water bottles for the NWT Power Corp., which gave them to participants in the recent Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer research.
Such items show goodwill to the community, along with being effective promotional items for clients, she said. "It's a good way to keep their names out there in the forefront."
Hogan has been working for two years at Muddy Waters Enterprises, where she is the only employee.
"I am Muddy Waters," she said.
She has lived in Hay River for three years. Before moving north, she worked for about five years at similar promotional company in Nova Scotia.
"I think it's an awesome job, because some of the things are so funny," she said.
Hogan sells promotional items in many communities in the NWT and even some in Nunavut. She believes to be successful in the promotional business, a person has to enjoy people and sales, and must be comfortable working on tight deadlines.
"Everything is always on a schedule," she said. "You really have to be prepared to move on things."