Purpose-First

    #ChuckSaid – Purpose First, Profits Later

    Today’s message is for small business owners. I have been in business for myself for over 25 years. I innately understand, empathize, and connect with you more than you could ever know.

    I’ve enjoyed many successes as a business owner, and I have faced just about every type of business problem that exists.

    • I know what it takes to make it in a down economy.
    • I know what it takes to grow in a shrinking product category.
    • I know what it takes to scale a business without overdoing it.
    • I know what it feels like to earn industry-wide recognition.
    • I know what it is to meet and exceed sales goals month over month.
    • I know what it is to grow bigger and stronger in unimaginable ways.

    Continue reading…

    25 Years

    Happy 25th Anniversary, Crystal D!

    It’s a big day today at Crystal D! Twenty-five years ago today, Chuck Dahlgren purchased Ice Nine Glass Design, a little six-employee company that etched glassware, paperweights, and Christmas ornaments. In 1994, Chuck decided to give the organization a facelift, and we changed our name from Ice Nine to Crystal D!

    We’ve grown tremendously since August 1, 1993. We no longer etch glassware and ornaments. Instead, we create beautiful crystal awards and gifts that are sold in the promotional products industry. We’ve grown from six employees to over 60 Memory Makers who help Turn Emotions Into Memories!™ We’re the Home of “The WOW Effect”®, and we take pride in that.

    From Memory Makers to the Crystal D dance, from HOTWE to OT, from WOW Day to the golf outing, there are countless examples of what makes Crystal D the company it is today. In the spirit of celebration, I’ll share examples of three things that make us Crystal D: our acronyms, our sounds, and our core values! Continue reading…

    Quality-Derek

    2017 Quality Value Champion: Derek Edwards

    Hello readers! Alexis here to introduce you to our 2017 Quality Value Champion! At Crystal D, it’s important for us to recognize the employees who live out our five core values. At WOW Day back in January, we recognized a new set of Value Champions (VCs).

    Our Value Champions are people who have been nominated by their peers and selected by managers as a person who lives out one of our five core values: integrity, quality, respect, commitment, and passion. Our VCs receive a lot of fantastic perks throughout the year including:

    • A shiny crystal award
    • Their name and picture on the Wall of Champions
    • A reserved parking spot right in front of the building
    • An afternoon of fun in the sun at a VC boat outing with Chuck
    • Eight different meals from Let’s Dish!
    • $100 and an afternoon off in December to go holiday shopping
    • Re-recognized with a certificate that’s framed and presented to them at the end of the year
    • Meetings with managers over breakfast to discuss how Crystal D can improve
    • Planning company events and community outreach

    Now that’s a lot of great stuff! Continue reading…

    Costa Rica

    Making a Memorable Award

    I love hearing the stories behind some of our coolest pieces. Our Memory Makers love sharing the Regatta Award with Costa Rica artwork, so I wanted to hear how that piece came to be. And of course, I wanted to share that story with you!

    One of our distributors came to us with this project. He told us the story of Ms. Walker and her technology company, Charter Business.

    Charter Business was on the brink of collapse when she decided to acquire a key vendor. Once the acquisition was final, Ms. Walker decided to set a very aggressive sales goal for her team. In the first 12 months after the acquisition, she wanted $2 million in new sales. Continue reading…

    Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

    Whether it was a class project or sports, from the moment you started school, you’ve likely been on some type of team. If you were anything like me, you remember all the feelings you had when your team won or when your project was a success. You and your team work hard, you make sure everything is perfect. You perform for judges or make your presentation to your class, and then you wait. And when your team’s name is called, you are ecstatic. The amount of energy and excitement gets pretty intense.

    That feeling is something everyone wants to feel. That excitement and gratitude fills every part of you. Because teamwork makes the dream work, right? Continue reading…

    No Recognition

    #ChuckSaid – No Recognition Is Better Then Bad Recognition

    My son-in-law is a physician. He works in a hospital taking care of patients after the emergency department admits them. He works shifts, carries a pager, and hardly has time to eat lunch.

    His first job was at a regional medical center in the city where he lives. My son-in-law joined this particular hospital because it seemed to have a great company culture. He agreed with their core values and planned to improve his professional skills as a hospitalist. It appeared to be a great fit both professionally and personally.

    And it was a great fit in many ways. He learned a ton about his role in the physician “food-chain.” He met some amazing nurses and doctors with exceptional character and was able to strike a balance between work and life for the first time in a decade.

    Sadly, though it took only a short time for my son-in-law to conclude that the corporate values and purpose touted during the interview were nothing more than lip service. The core values were hit or miss, depending on the situation at hand. Nobody really believed in them.

    All that talk about purpose and values during the interview process was just a marketing ploy to attract new doctors. Continue reading…

    2017 Respect Value Champion Eric Wiberg

    2017 Respect Value Champion: Eric Wiberg

    Hello readers! Alexis here, back with our next Value Champion profile! Recognizing our employees for living out our core values is a big part of who we are at Crystal D. At WOW Day, we recognized a new set of Value Champions (VCs).

    Our Value Champions are people who have been nominated by their peers and selected by managers as a person who lives out one of our five core values: integrity, quality, respect, commitment, and passion. Our VCs receive a lot of fantastic perks throughout the year including:

    • A shiny crystal award
    • Their name and picture on the Wall of Champions
    • A reserved parking spot right in front of the building
    • An afternoon boat outing with Chuck and the other VCs in the summer
    • Eight different meals from Let’s Dish!
    • $100 and an afternoon off in December to go holiday shopping
    • Re-recognized with a certificate that’s framed and presented to them at the end of the year
    • Meetings with managers over breakfast to discuss how Crystal D can improve
    • Planning company events and community outreach

    Now that’s a lot of great stuff!

    I got a chance to talk with our newest Respect Value Champion, Eric Wiberg. He told me how he felt when he won this award and how the experience affected him. Continue reading…

    Second Quarter WOW Champs

    2018 Second Quarter WOW Champs Revealed!

    It’s WOW Champ time again! On Wednesday, we announced our second quarter WOW Champs, and we’re excited to share the winners with you!

    Every quarter, five people are chosen as WOW Champs. These people are nominated by their peers for best representing one of our five core values. Once the nominations are all gathered up, managers meet to discuss who best embodies each value. Then at our company meeting, Chuck says a few words about each person and how they exemplified that value. Continue reading…

    The Perfect Product for Any Occasion

    Crystal: the Perfect Product for Any Occasion

    Scenario One: you’re a rock star executive assistant, working for a major company in your industry. Your company has ten people retiring this year, and they need something special to celebrate this milestone.

    Scenario Two: you’re the CEO of a mid-sized company. You just bought another company and want to commemorate the merger with a keepsake of some sort.

    Scenario Three: your sales team hit a significant milestone and you want to celebrate their accomplishment with a spectacular award.

    Scenario Four: you’re the organizer of an annual golf tournament. You’re looking for a classy and affordable award for first, second, and third place.

    What do these four scenarios have in common? They can use crystal to memorialize these very different occasions. Let’s dive into these ideas a little deeper. Continue reading…