Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Marketing, PR & Advertising

Karen Scarpino delivers the goods

August 26, 2013
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Karen Scarpino
Karen Scarpino.

Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning Top Women Owned Businesses finalists. The profile first appeared in the event program.

Karen Scarpino believes most growth occurs outside of one’s comfort zone.

“To be in the top 10 percent of your industry, you need to do what 90 percent of your competition is not willing to do or not innovative enough to do,” Scarpino said.

Global vision

That’s why her sister companies, Promotional Impact and Green Giftz, are always “thinking big.”

In 2000, Scarpino began direct manufacturing overseas and brought custom-designed products into the U.S. by the container load for industry leaders such as Bissell and Herman Miller.

In 2012, her company began servicing, selling and shipping goods all over the world, including orders for clients in France, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Thailand.

Triple bottom line

The global clients are just one part of Scarpino’s business model, however.

Green Giftz created a line of products designed and manufactured in West Michigan, using scrap from unused seating fabric, thereby keeping people in West Michigan employed.

“We also provide this service to companies in Michigan where we take their scrap and convert it into useful gifts, such as the award we made for Chrysler’s Environmental Leadership Award using timber brought up from the bottom of the Great Lakes, so no new trees were cut down, and recycled glass. We also make photo frames from scrap leather.”

These projects contribute to another part of Scarpino’s business model: the triple bottom line of planet, people and profit.

The Top Women Owned Businesses judges noted Scarpino’s continued success through 2012 and elected to move her to the $1.5-$3.99M revenue category, up from the smaller revenue category where she was nominated.

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