If you've ever seen or gifted our Ice Cream Paddle & Serving Spoon, we want you know there's an amazing story behind it...
Meet Patsy Oakley, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Associates in San Antonio, Texas. Forty years ago, her mentor — and the woman who encouraged her to become an agent — gave her an ice cream paddle. It was branded with her name and boasted a wooden handle.
"For 40 years, I have looked in the drawer, seen Bonnie's name, and thought about her," Patsy told us in a recent interview.
When Magnets USA Founder Dale Turner heard Patsy's story at a trade show in 2016, he was inspired. So much so that he set off on creating a similar ice cream paddle for LifeLong Gifts, our boutique of high-quality, engraved gifts.
"Having Dale there as customer service shows that he really cares and that he really stands behind his products. It makes me proud to know that he heard my story and he took the initiative to develop something."
These days, our Ice Cream Paddle is Patsy's go-to gift.
"If Bonnie gave me something 40 years ago, and I’m still hanging onto it, then what a wonderful gift it is for me to give to my clients," Patsy says.
"Everyone has loved the ice cream scoop because of the design and quality. There’s just something about when they pick it up, and they scoop out ice cream for themselves, or their children or their grandchildren ... it’s just a great gift that's always right there in front of them."
But for Patsy, her new ice cream scoop is more than a memorable client gift. It's a tribute to her mentor Bonnie, who passed away last summer.
"Bonnie was my dearest friend and this is her legacy," Patsy says. "Whenever I use my ice cream scoop or give it to a client, it helps me to remember Bonnie."
Patsy's late mentor, Bonnie Armstrong
It's been a full, fun month of #ThisIsMagnetsUSA, our new weekly series highlighting who we are as a company. We hope you've been following along on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — but in case you've missed one, here's a recap!
Week 1: We Are More Than Magnets
For our tens of thousands of customers, our magnets are not just magnets; they're useful client gifts that also promote their business or cause.
Watch the video.
Week 2: We Are Why-Driven
Why do we do what we do? What inspires us to get out of bed each morning and come to work? This week, we talked to several of our team members about what fuels them day after day.
Watch the video.
Week 3: We Are 28 Years Old!
Like most businesses, we have humble beginnings. This week, we heard from Magnets USA Founder and President Dale Turner about what the company looked like back in 1990 and what his younger self would have thought of our success today.
Watch the video.
Week 4: We Are A Manufacturer
Our products are not simply pulled off a shelf in a warehouse; they're designed, customized and produced right here in Roanoke County, Virginia. Every magnet has to go through a series of steps to meet our standards. We're proud to be a true American manufacturer.
Watch the video.
Week 5: We Are A Mailing Service
Did you know we offer a complete mail-fulfillment service? That’s right — we can stuff, seal and deliver your marketing right to your contacts list. This week talked to Rebecca, our mailing services team leader, about how it works, who makes it happen and why it means so much to us.
Watch the video.
Week 6: We Are Affordable
Last week, we shared how and why we're able to offer such affordable products (hint: one of the those has to do with being the manufacturer!). The reasons why might surprise you!
Watch the video.
Are you seeing fewer posts from pages in your Facebook feed?
Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it would start giving news-feed priority to personal posts from your family and friends, while showing less from businesses and media.
More and more it seems, small business owners can't rely on Facebook to get their messages across.
While there are some ways around this new algorithm, like producing more live videos and running highly targeted ads, the news is still discouraging and downright frustrating for small business owners.
And with so many of our customers small business owners, we wanted to address this topic and offer a solution.
With 28 years of small-business ownership under our belts, we know the answer is traditional marketing. That's right: A traditional marketing strategy is the secret to staying top-of-mind in today's digital world. It's crucial.
When Facebook posts, tweets and emails inevitably get lost in the sea of digital marketing, traditional marketing sticks around — if you do it right.
For almost three decades, our customers have trusted our famous magnetic calendars, sports schedules and more to put them in front of their clients daily. Every product we make is carefully designed to be the most useful for our customers and their clients.
We can't count the number of success stories we've received over the years about leads and referrals generated from one simply, handy magnet on their clients' fridges.
Here's just one example:
"A man who lives in my neighborhood called about a house that had just come on the market. When I picked him up to look at the house, his adult son was with him. When we returned to their home to drop them off, I handed the son one of your magnetic calendars. He took it out of the envelope and thanked me, then his Dad laughed and said 'Jim, that's how I got your number and called you! Your calendars have been on my refrigerator for years, I use them often, so when I wanted information on this house, I called you.' This resulted in a cash sale in the $600,000s."
Ready to see how traditional marketing can work for you, too? Ready to have your own success story? Start with magnetic baseball schedules, our famous magnetic tear-off calendars or a popular non-dated magnet.
Are you looking for a change of pace, change in scenery or maybe a change in ... boss ... in 2018? Magnets USA might be the right place for you.
Here at Magnets USA — an award-winning small business in beautiful Roanoke, Va. — we work hard and play hard. We pride ourselves on creating a fun, inviting culture that appreciates big ideas and small moments.
Our management team is constantly on the lookout for employees who go above and beyond, who see solutions where others see problems and who inspire those around them.
2018 — our 28th year in business — will be a big one for Magnets USA. Wonderful, exciting growth is on the horizon, and we need talent that can keep up and continue to propel us in the right direction.
We're currently seeking candidates for:
For more information, please email your resume, position desired and a little about yourself to email@example.com.
Hear from past and current employees:
"Magnets USA has by far been my best job I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. "
"I have the resources and support that I need to learn and excel every day. I love what I do and I enjoy coming to work every day."
"There is a certain family feel you get from working here compared to other companies."
"Management listens and supports my ideas and aspirations."
"Close-knit company that is family-orientated."
Like so many of you, we see a new year as a time to reflect and resolve.
Well, we've done a lot of both lately, as a group and individually, and we've decided that we want you to know us a little better.
We want you to see an email from Magnets USA, a postcard, or a box, and know that it came from a team of real people who care about your success and providing a superior, one-of-a-kind product.
For years, we've called ourselves a friend to the real estate community — and now, we're stepping up our game, so you truly know us as a friend.
Each week in 2018, we'll be sharing something about ourselves, in a series called This Is Magnets USA. We hope you'll enjoy our stories, and in return, share some of yours.
Whether you know it or not, every order placed at Magnets USA is the culmination of a dozen hardworking people. Real people. Local people. People who have passions and goals and families to support.
Just like in your business, the holiday season (a.k.a. busy season) comes with challenges and excitement. And like you, we do our very best to meet those challenges. We say this often, but it's true: Your success is ours.
To all those who have helped make this season — our 27th in business — rewarding, worthwhile and fun: Thank you from bottom of our hearts. It's because of customers like you that we love what we do.
Let us first say that it's no coincidence we're making this announcement on Thanksgiving week. Our customers mean the world to our small business, and we're forever looking for ways to make life easier for them.
Since launching LifeLong Gifts (back then, LifeLong Cutlery) in 2014, we have received such an outpouring of support from the real estate community. It's been extremely humbling to see how our lineup of high-quality, personalized gifts has impacted your business relationships.
So this is our gift to you, our way of saying thank you.
Here's what you'll notice when you visit the completely redesigned LifeLong Gifts home:
Why are we doing this?
To put it simply, we love you and care about your time with us. This transition is part of the bigger picture of Magnets USA and our dedication to provide every customer with a positive experience. As we embark on our 28th year in business, it is our goal to continue to improve, grow and stay relevant.
We hope you'll tag along for the journey...
Before we know it, a new year will be in full swing — which means now is the time to get creative about your 2018 lead and referral generation.
But wait! You also need to reach out to 2017 clients and prospects for the holidays. (You're stressing now, right? Don't.)
Luckily, we have one product that solves both of these conundrums: our Tear-Off Magnetic Calendars, which feature greeting card-quality covers and your business contact information.
"I anticipate eight to 10 listings from our mail-out over the year," writes David R., a Magnets USA customer since 2014. "From experience, we know not all calendars are the same quality. Yours are the best. For the money, this is the most effective marketing tool we use."
Packed with helpful content like home tips, recipes, healthy living hacks and inspiring quotes, our magnetic calendars are painstakingly designed to be a small gift (with a massive ROI) for everyone on your mailing list.
Check out the collection now, and order your favorite before it sells out!
Everything was ready to go — our bags were packed, the product samples looked good, and our marketing literature was hot off the press.
But we never made it to Mega Camp, Keller Williams Realty's annual conference in Austin, Texas — and one of our biggest trade shows of the year.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Keller Williams transformed Mega Camp into Mega Relief, a week-long event to help those impacted by Harvey's devastating wrath.
We were able to send four amazing team members down to Texas to participate.
One of those people was Daniel Turner, who works on our dedicated KW sales team:
"This was quite a shocking experience for me," Daniel says. "When we first arrived on buses to the more heavily flooded areas, my first thought was, 'This looks like a war zone.' All along the streets were massive piles of ruined belongings from the houses."
Until this experience, Daniel says he never realized how much was truly lost in a flood.
"If you weren’t lucky enough to have an upstairs, the majority of the items in the houses were totally destroyed. The homeowners we met seemed to have lost all hope."
Daniel and the rest of the crew spent the week tearing out drywall, ripping up carpet and removing damaged materials from homes in Katy and Houston.
"It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, knowing that we were able to help save the structures of the houses that we worked on," Daniel says. "We felt immense gratitude from the victims, and we could tell that we brought a few rays of sunshine to their days after so many weeks of uncertainty and devastation."
Another rewarding aspect was working alongside so many Keller Williams agents. Had things been different, we would have met them across a perfectly arranged table in the marketplace section of the conference. Instead, we helped each other haul, lift and offer hope.
"There was an incredible amount of camaraderie felt between us and the thousands of Keller Williams agents," Daniel says. "We all worked together extremely well, especially considering most of us had never helped in a situation like this before.
"I was so amazed to see that many people step up and help with relief efforts. To see people fly in to Texas from all around the country gave me so much hope and made me incredibly proud to live in this country."
We could go on for days about the quality and value of our famous tear-off magnetic calendars. They are, after all, the original! But we know you'd rather hear from people just like you. People who work hard, budget hard and succeed big.
Your skeptical friend
"I was starting to wonder if all the magnetic calendars I had been giving out each year were worth the effort. I recently closed a property, and afterward the client said, ‘See what 15 years of sending someone a calendar can do?’ I guess that answers my question! Closing just one house pays for many, many years of sending calendars."
- Doug B., Magnets USA customer since 1996
Your fiscally savvy friend
"I anticipate eight to 10 listings from our mail-out over the year. From experience, we know not all calendars are the same quality. Yours are the best. For the money, this is the most effective marketing tool we use."
- David R., Magnets USA customer since 2014
"The calendars pay for themselves, as I usually get at least one sale a year from a referral by a client that receives my calendar.”
- Vicki C., Magnets USA customer since 2005
Your friend with all the great stories
"These calendars really work! I recently received an email from a young man requesting my assistance in finding his first home. When I asked if someone had referred him to me, his reply was, 'I know who you are, because your picture and calendar have been on my mom and dad's fridge since I was a little kid!' This same scenario has repeated itself over the past few years. After sending out calendars for over 20 years to my sphere of influence, they have been my best spent dollars in advertising and keeping in touch."
- Pam S., Magnets USA customer since 1997
"A man who lives in my neighborhood called inquiring about a house that had just come on the market. It was not my listing, but I was aware of it as I had showed it to another party a few days earlier. I picked up my neighbor to look at the house, and his adult son was with him. When we returned to their home to drop them off, I handed the son one of your magnetic calendars. He took it out of the envelope and thanked me, then his Dad laughed and said 'Jim, that's how I got your number and called you! Your calendars have been on my refrigerator for years, I use them often, so when I wanted information on this house, I called you.' This resulted in a cash sale in the $600,000s."
- Jim L., Magnets USA customer since 2009
Your friend who likes the easy button
"Our real estate company has been ordering magnetic holiday calendars from Magnets USA for over 21 years. Each year the process gets easier because our representative is so helpful and completely knows her products and her clients' needs. If I have a question or a late order, our representative just handles it."
- Karen D., Magnets USA customer since 1996
"I send or hand out 400 pieces every year, and get calls and sales from my calendar mailings. I use them to keep in touch with clients and friends, but mostly I farm certain neighborhoods. I have received many calls from these calendars and have people come up and talk to me because they want to thank me for the calendar and the recipes. What an easy and efficient marketing tool!"
- Fred L., Magnets USA customer since 2010