Merchology's 2020 Year in Review
It’s no secret that 2020 was a year filled with facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. However, these challenges were a great reminder of how important it is to celebrate our wins, and more importantly, progress we helped achieve in our communities! Check out some of the MerchFam’s best moments of 2020.
Awards & Recognition
For the third year in a row, we landed on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's Fast 50 list! We landed in spot #28, after achieving nearly 88% growth from 2017 to 2019. The Fast 50 event is one of our favorites of the year, and this year it was virtual. The Business Journal team sent us some Bootleg mix and gin to celebrate, so no complaints on our end. Thanks, MSPBJ team!
We are honored to have landed on this list alongside other retail powerhouses for the second year in a row. During 2020, it is estimated that online shopping increased by almost 33% over 20211, so we are thrilled that our customers are continuing to have an enjoyable shopping experience on our site.
We found ourselves celebrating this iconic National growth award for the third year in a row, earning a rank of #1696. Only 1 in 10 companies on the Inc 5000 list can say they’ve appeared on this list three times in a row. We think that’s pretty exciting!
Minnesota's Most Powerful Business Leaders
Our very own founder and CEO Dick Ward was deservingly named one of Minnesota's 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders. Throughout 2020, we have definitely had to "adjust our sails"!
New Brand Partnerships in 2020
Our tagline is “Your Logo + Brands You Love”, so it wouldn’t be a year at Merchology without launching new partnerships with some of the greatest brands in the world.
The birth of the MerchBox is a prime example of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” As soon as the world went remote in March 2020, we had customers asking us if we could drop-ship gifts to their employees’ homes. Of course we could, including overseas! Even better, we created turnkey gift themes, which we call the MerchBox. We created curated gift boxes with themes ranging from a remote holiday party (the Merry + Bright), to a Germbuster PPE kit, and a Virtual Beach Retreat kit, to only name a few! We look forward to expanding this service with even more fun themes in 2021, as we know that Work From Home arrangements and Virtual Events will continue to be a part of our “new normal” in 2021 and beyond.
How We Gave Back in 2020
Giving back has always been a huge part of our business model, but the causes we care about needed our support more than ever this year.
1% For the Planet Donation & Partnerships
Due to all of our environmental efforts, we became a Nevada Certified Green Business in 2020! Merchology was the first small business manufacturer in the state to achieve this certification. This honor was awarded based on our efforts in the following areas in our company operations:
- Waste Reduction and Toxins Elimination
- Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
- Water and Energy Conservation
- Employee Education around Sustainability
We look forward to expanding our sustainability efforts and hopefully achieving a similar certification in the state of Minnesota!
The MerchFam continued to find ways to volunteer throughout 2020 in ways that were safe for employees and helpful for our community partners, who saw a drastic decrease in volunteers and donations in 2020 due to safety and economic concerns. This meant taking our volunteer efforts almost entirely outdoors! Fortunately, this meant spending time cleaning up the very wildlife areas that we were aiming to protect by engaging in these partnerships.
In June, we were able to donate over 500 reusable grocery bags to The Link in Minneapolis to help distribute grocery and supply donations that came pouring in after the destruction and looting in Minneapolis neighborhoods following the murder of George Floyd.
Overall, even with a significantly smaller MerchFam team for almost 6 months of 2020, we were able to volunteer over 100 hours in our local communities. We look forward to expanding our volunteer efforts significantly in 2021 with the full MerchFam groups in both Minneapolis and Reno!
We spent significant time in 2020 listening, learning, and reflecting on the events surrounding George Floyd’s murder by the Minneapolis police, as well as the systemic racism that persists in America. As an organization, we want to be a part of positive change and progress in regards to these issues and inequities. We made financial donations to Campaign Zero, as well as the Lake Street Council. We expanded our Diversity and Inclusion training program by working with Stephen Blair Venable of Surgo Consulting. And lastly, we set renewed goals around diversity hiring. (For a full statement on our social justice views and efforts, please review our LinkedIn post from June 2020.) We strongly believe that a silver lining of 2020 is a renewed focus in America on social justice causes and making our communities and organizations part of the solution.
Happy New Year!
So there you have it – Merchology’s highlights of 2020! The entire MerchFam is deeply grateful to our devoted customers who have graciously given us their business this year, as well as our suppliers and business partners who help make it all possible. We’re excited to see what the new year will bring, and we can’t wait to deliver you even more brand awesomeness in 2021. Cheers!