Taking a Step Into the Real World


by: Chelsey Heft, Marketing Intern

Growing up, school was never easy for me.  I never got the grades that my parents expected me to get, even though I always tried my best.  So when I hit the age where I was able to start working, I took every opportunity to work everyday and on the weekends to get experience.  The opposite of school, I realized that working, making connections, and meeting new people is what came easy to me.

When I graduated from high school, I knew that I had to go to college and get my degree.  I started off at Moraine Valley and then transferred to Eastern Illinois University to major in Special Education.  Unfortunately, I found out that special education was not the field for me.  The longer I sat in my Special Education classes the more I started to get lost and not understand the information that was being thrown my way.  I became overwhelmed at the fact I picked the wrong area of study, but knew that I had to figure out what I actually liked to do.

After some soul-searching and realizing my strengths (talking to people and making connections),  I figured out that a degree in Communication was for me.  I decided to move back home and make Governors State University my school of choice.  Currently, this is where I am finishing up my degree in Communications.

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As a graduation requirement, I had to find an internship.  One day I stumbled upon the marketing internship email application for Sharn Enterprises, Inc.  I was having terrible luck applying for internships on my own, so I figured why not try for an internship that Governor’s State was connected with.

Shortly after applying, I received a phone call asking if I would like to set up an interview time and of course I said yes!

Then all of the questions started running through my head like they would with any other person. “What do I wear? What do I say? You better make sure you have questions prepared!”  After interviewing with Stephanie and Roger, I got the call that I received the internship, and I was elated!

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Since being here at Sharn Enterprises as a marketing intern, I have taken in a great amount of knowledge.  From researching new leads, to being the main liaison for a new CRM system, to constructing strategic posts on social media, and putting together marketing campaigns, I can say that when I do head out into the work world that I will definitely feel that I have one leg up over the competition.

The meaning of graduation to me is a massive accomplishment that everyone should be proud of.  After finishing the internship with Sharn, I now am finished with my overall degree!  I am so happy (and even relieved) that I am finally done with school and can start focusing on the things I am good at.  

In the last five months, I have learned so much and I continue to learn each day.  When there is a new task I am always ready take it on. This has been quite the learning experience for me.  I am so glad I was able to take the ride at Sharn Enterprises, Inc.

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For more information on Sharn Enterprises, Inc.’s products and services, visit their website at http://www.sharndisplays.com.  For internship opportunities at Sharn, contact Stephanie at sshostok@sharndisplays.com.

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The Secret Behind Product Display Placement


Do you ever wonder why stores put product displays in certain places? It’s not because it just fits or because it looks good.  There are many factors into putting a display where it should be in the store.  You don’t find gum in the perfume department or vegetables in the meat department; there is a science that goes behind all product display placement.  Also, the size and shape of the display has a lot to do with how we shop as well.

There is a definite science behind placing products in retail stores, and the better a business is at doing it, the more sales and more profit they will make.  It all starts with how general the consumer thinks and acts when he or she enters a store.

In particular, where and how the product is positioned on store shelves can either drive their sales through the roof or it can never really reach its full potential.  Here at Sharn Enterprises we make custom made displays.  Custom made displays are designed to attract the consumers to purchase the product and add it to their other items on their list.

Some of the product placement techniques retail stores like to capitalize on includes:

-Block Placement: This is when like items are placed together.

-Vertical Placement: This term refers to merchandise being displayed on more than one shelf level.

-Commercial Placement: Items with a higher perceived value are given a more “desirable” shelf position, where as items that don’t add much to the bottom line are given a less desirable shelf space.

-Margin Product Placement: The more profit a single item gives the retailer the better position it will receive.

-Market Share Placement: The items that generate the highest revenue are placed where the consumer can easily find them.

All stores devise a blueprint called a planogram.  This is a tool retailers use to assist in the merchandising process.  A planogram is a drawing or a visual diagram that details where every product should be placed inside a store.

At almost every store we go to, the candy, magazine, and knick-knack shelves are in the check out line.  Sure, many of us go into store to get “just what we need,” but there are a few of us that have the sweet tooth or we have that need for “celebrity drama.”  It all looks so enticing to us that we just add it into our cart.  Small items like this are typically cheap and come in a smaller quantity, whereas in the middle or back of the store it might come in bulk.  You almost never see perfume or jewelry in this area.  By placing these items near or in the check-out line consumers are more inclined to purchase one of these “impulse” items.

Now, when you’re in the jewelry and fragrance department you never see large displays.  Jewelry such as earrings or necklaces, are always placed in smaller, more delicate looking displays that rotate and also lock.  When these displays are locked, we all know it means it’s a higher priced item.  By having this display locked we are more intrigued to want to touch it, try it on, and see how it looks.  Many times this can lead to purchasing this item that you just had to try on.

With all of this said, next time you walk into a grocery or retail store, take a look around and see where things are placed. I bet you smile a little and think to yourself “These stores are pretty clever.”

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If you are in the market for a new custom made display or need free display advice, contact one of the members on our design team here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc.!

Visit our website www.sharndisplays.com for any additional information.

Email us at info_request@sharndisplays.com!

5 Ways Being a Former Athlete Translates Into Your Professional Life


Growing up, sports were always a major part of my everyday life.  From playing t-ball as a six year-old, to playing collegiate volleyball, my days revolved around practices, scrimmages, tournaments; all of the above.  Reflecting back at my past world, I realize that being involved in sports not only helped me transition into to the professional world, they taught me valuable skills I currently utilize and will continue to develop long into my career.  Here are five ways being a former athlete translates into your professional life:

1. You know the importance of being on time… all too well. 

I remember one morning waking up late for a volleyball practice in college because I set my alarm for PM instead of AM.  I woke up in a panic at 6:05 am when practice started promptly at 6:00am.  I jumped sky-high out of bed, threw on my glasses and sped to the gym.  When I got there, I knew exactly what was waiting for me: sprints.  I ran those sprints and promised myself from that day on to always double-check my alarm clock before going to bed.

This same principle goes into effect when you are in the professional world.  You may not have to run sprints if you are late for a meeting, but it throws off the entire team.  Your punishment may come in missing out on important details or even losing a sale.  Punctuality showcases respect for your own time, and more importantly, other people’s time.

2. You are competitive.

You know that practice makes perfect, and that it was all worth it when game time came.  Your desire to win was evident and you wanted to be the best athlete you could be.  The same goes for your professional life.  Being competitive is a fundamental part of growing in your position and career.   It shows that you have drive, ambition, goals, and tenacity.  Employers want to see this side of you, and being in sports previously fosters this skill.

3. You know how to win, and you know how to lose.

You have lost the big game in regionals, you have messed up on a play, and you have had your good and bad days.  The best part about it is that you know how to use those experiences as opportunities to learn, and grow for the next challenge.  You keep trying and never give up on the things that matter most.  You also know that there will more opportunities to get yourself a win, if you do lose.

4. You are a team player.

You have been on a team all of your life and know that if your teammate does well, the whole team does well.  Same principle applies in the workforce.  If there is a large project that has to be worked on as a unit, you know how to extend your hand and offer support.  You know that if the project goes well, then the whole entire company does well.

5. You communicate.

In volleyball, you have to call “mine” when the ball is coming towards you to let the other players know you are going to take it.  When there was no communication between me and my other teammates while on the court, the ball dropped right in the middle of us.  Speaking up and allowing a fluid transmittal of communication not only helps make the play, but also leads the team to success.  Same rule applies in a company.

What if you assumed your co-worker finished the project you were working on together, when he/she didn’t?  The figurative ball was dropped and the project didn’t get finished.  Now you have an unhappy boss. You know that simple updates, the effective flow of communication leads to better results.

Here at Sharn, we know the value of the above skills.  We strive to be on time, be competitive with our prices, be team players, and communicate with our customers and clients.  We design custom point-of-purchase displays for retail, so our communication is vital.  We want to win your business, and being a company with former athletes as employees, we stop at nothing to earn it!

Interested in our products or services?  Visit http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715!

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Shopping Habits: A Millenial vs. A Baby Boomer


At Sharn Enterprises, Inc., our goal is to design and manufacture a custom POP display that fits your marketing and visual merchandising needs.  We also find it a best practice to stay current with industry and shopping trends.  How better to do so than to interview two ends of the shopping spectrum; our resident 23 year-old fashionista/Marketing Intern Chelsey Heft, and the president of Sharn Enterprises, Inc./POP expert, Roger Wandersee.  These two have many reasons to go out shopping, and some reasons intertwine and others differ.  One thing both parties have in common? Find out for yourself below:

 (#1)  How would you describe yourself as a shopper and consumer?

Female Millennial: I am the type of person who is organized, goal-oriented and also happens to shop on a regular basis.  You could say I am your typical “girly-girl” but I am very simplistic; I enjoy the simple things in life. When it comes to the color of my clothing, I usually stick with neutral colors that don’t stand out.   What I purchase also depends on where I am shopping at and how it’s presented.

Male Baby Boomer: I am an “aging male baby boomer” and since I am in business, I try my best to stay current.  I try to look as good as I can for my age, but my wife buys most of my clothes and other necessities because she has much better taste than me.

(#2) What kind of “mood” are you in when you shop for different occasions, and how does that affect your choice?

FM: There are times when I go out shopping and I don’t exactly need clothing; it’s more along the lines of household items. Whenever I am out shopping for household items, I find that if I have a budget, I always end up going a tad over.  I go for the name brands and the quality rather than what is the cheapest on the shelf.  Same goes for shoes and clothing.

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MBB: I don’t like to shop for my own clothes, because I’m not good at it.  So when I do shop for myself, I’m usually not happy about it.  Surprisingly, I like to grocery shop.  I suppose that’s because I like to eat.  I often ask my wife if she needs anything from the grocery store, so I get what’s on her list and a bunch of other stuff that I just saw and wanted.

(#3) Regarding clothing, I noticed that some stores put matching women’s outfits together, while other stores don’t.  How does that affect you while shopping?

FM: If there is an area in the store that is well put together, it is more likely that I will lean towards that brand because of how the company has put their products on display.  If I cannot find any other outfits that “speak” to me, then I am probably going to move on.

MBB: I really prefer clothing stores that put matching products together.  I’m kind of a guy who needs to see something together to “get it.” If I have to figure out a match, I usually pick out one piece, and then ask the sales person to help me match it.

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(#4) When shopping, do you find it helpful when a sales associate is there to help? Many large stores have done away with it.

FM: Most times I don’t need help finding clothing or outfits that go together.  However, when it comes to fixing up a room in my house, I definitely ask for help.  It is nice to know that associates in stores are willing and able to help. With smaller boutiques, I’ve noticed the employees are very willing to help you right when you walk in.

MBB: I resent not being helped! I don’t much care for “self-serve.” It seems like only the “high-end” or home improvement stores offer individual help anymore. If I’m not looking for help, I will shop online.

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(#5) What are your views on shopping online?

FM: I don’t like shopping online.  You never really know what you’re going to get until you’ve already received it.  However, if I do shop online for a product, I always read the reviews.  If you don’t read the reviews, you could end up with a bad product.  I find that when purchasing items via the internet, American-made items are one’s that last much longer, compared to the items that are made elsewhere.  I feel that when purchasing an American-made product, it is money well spent!

MBB: I like to shop on the internet if I’m looking for a specific product and likely won’t have questions.  Such things as a book, flowers, candy, etc. that you’re sending to someone as a gift are examples.  Most of my internet shopping is around Christmas.  If I know exactly what I want to buy, then I just go online and get it. It helps me avoid the malls.

(#6) Are you willing to pay more for convenience and the speed of the transaction?

FM: If I am in a rush and need to be in and out rather quickly, sure, I will spend a little more. On any other given day, I would have to say that I wouldn’t spend more because of the convenience.  You never want to buy something just because “you had to have it.” Always keep in mind the longevity of the product, clothing item, and/or shoes being bought.

MBB: Being a “baby boomer,” price is not important.  As you know from the news media, we “baby boomers” only care about ourselves! (Just kidding) Of course price is important, but like most other people, I will pay a little more sometimes for convenience.

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(#7) How important is the visual and what attracts you to a particular product?

FM: If there is a good display that makes the clothing look more enticing, that is what causes me to think “Wow, I want to buy that!” There is great importance to being visual. Just like with food, we eat with our eyes first.  If we see something that looks appealing, we are more likely to eat it or in this case, purchase it.

MBB: Many of us old guys lack imagination, so the visual is very important to us. We like to see how things go together, or perhaps how they work. Many displays now come with some type of video that helps demonstrate the product. A well thought-out display is also good for the merchant because it keeps the products together and utilizes valuable store space.

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(#8) When do you “roam” a store versus getting in then getting out? Why?

FM: When I know I am on a time crunch, I am in and out and get what I need.  On the flip side, when I know that I have time, I roam around and do some window shopping.  It’s always nice to be able to walk and look around.  In a sense, it’s almost relaxing.

MBB: I only roam around when I grocery shop. I’m looking for that next best thing for the grill, or the special snack I want after dinner.

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As a business, it’s important to know your customers. Who do you appeal to?

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For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com  

“A Proud American Manufacturer”

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Father’s Day 2015: 8 Gift Ideas for Dad


Back on July 10th, 1910, the governor of Washington decided to proclaim the first ever “Father’s Day.”  However, it was not until Mother’s Day became a nationally recognized holiday that Father’s Day became official 58 years later.  Every third Sunday in June, families celebrate that special guy in their life and show their appreciation through actions as well as gifts.  Most fathers claim that they are easy to please, but on the inside, they would love a thoughtful present.  That’s why we here at Sharn Enterprises have come up with a list of possible gift ideas for dad that will make his day special, while showing you some of our exceptional POP custom displays.

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1. Golf Gear

Do you have a dad that loves to relax on the weekends by heading to the green?  Any dad who loves golf would appreciate a specialty club, some new golf balls, gloves, golf shirt, or even a golf towel.  These gifts would be a great idea for any dad who is active and has been itching to take a weekend getaway to the nearest golf course.

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2. Leather Goods

Do you have a dad that double as a businessman?  Does he like the finer things in life?  Then maybe your pops will like a new leather wallet or belt.  More practical than flashy, a fresh, new accessory will allow your dad to practice the saying, “out with the old, in with the new.”

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3. Power Tools

A good gift for the handyman in your life would be a brand new power tool or even tool chest, which would make any father feel useful as well as appreciated.  This gift will hit all the bases, but just make sure your dad knows how to use them safely!

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4. Watches

Does your dad have trouble remembering schedules and being on time?  A new watch might be a good idea for a dad like likes to be on trend, but also might need extra help in the time department (Mom will thank you for this one!)

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5. Fishing Gear 

Does your dad love the outdoors?  Then a simple, go-to gift maybe some fishing and hunting gear.  Head to the nearest Bass Pro Shops (or another outdoorsy store like Cabela’s) and incorporate your dad’s personal style into your picks.  He will appreciate the thought as well as rock the coolest fishing pole of the bunch on his next big trip.

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6. Music Gear

Does your dad like to sing or have jam sessions?  A dad with an ear for music might enjoy a new guitar, picks for his current guitar, speakers, or new headphones.  Not only will you bring out his creative side, you can enjoy the tunes together!

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7. Electronics

Is your dad always on top of the electronics game?  Splurge on a HD big screen for his man cave, a new remote control, or even a speaker system.  Any of these options will definitely gain you the title of “favorite.”

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8.  Spirits 

Is your dad a connoisseur of fine wine and spirits?  Purchasing dad a nice bottle of his favorite alcoholic beverage might be a nice idea for the father who likes to take a load off and enjoy a drink on a night off.

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No matter what category your dad fits into, (sporty, classic, rugged, professional or musical) there is always a perfect gift out there for your father or grandfather.  We encourage you to spend time with your family, especially your dad.  The jack-of-all-trades in your life deserves something that will make him smile and feel appreciated on that third Sunday in June.  Father’s Day 2015 is officially June 21st, so start planning!

We hope you enjoyed seeing a few samples of our custom displays and hope we can serve you in the future.

www.sharndisplays.com

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For more information on our products and services be sure to check out our website at www.sharndisplays.com

Or click on the link below to check out our latest video:

http://vimeo.com/71471550

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“A Proud American Manufacturer”

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An Ode To Mom! Mother’s Day 2015


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This upcoming Sunday, May 10th, is a special day to women all over the world… Any guesses what it could be?

It’s Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is a celebration in which we honor mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.

Although, this day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, here in the United States, we know it to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Mother’s Day began in the United States in the early 20th century.  The holiday was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia.  She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States, which became successful in 1914. Anna Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and its now celebrated all over the world.

So, this Mother’s Day, be sure to tell your mother, grandmother, or maternal figure just how special they are to you.  From picking up our clothes off the floor, to being the shoulder we can lean on, Moms are the real deal (and make it look so easy!)

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us here at Sharn Enterprises.

Looking for a special gift? Check out our friends at Mavi Bandz for a unique headband that is functional, yet stylish!

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Website: http://www.mavibandz.com

For more information about our products and services be sure to check out our website at
http://www.sharndisplays.com.

Or click on the link below to check out our latest video
http://vimeo.com/71471550

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Why “American Made” Matters


America is known as the land of the free and home of the brave.  As Americans, we are lucky to be able to pursue our dreams, and that’s exactly what Arnold (Arnie) Werner, founder of Sharn Enterprises, Inc. did.

An Army sergeant serving in Germany and France in the 1940s, Arnie saw first hand the opportunities offered in America compared to other countries.   Shaped by his experiences while overseas as well as his own independent spirit, Arnie started Sharn Enterprises, Inc. out of his garage in 1974.

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During this time, the U.S. was still a manufacturing leader.  Arnie felt that American quality, labor, and value were still the best in the world. Years later as America began slowly to change to a service economy, he resisted the temptation to import his products, favoring American workers, American materials, and their inherent quality.

While importing goods has become more of the norm since then, Sharn’s current management still holds true to the values championed by Arnie years ago, and Sharn continues as “a proud American manufacturer.”

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We find it important to let our customers know our legacy and that all of our materials are Made-in-America and that we build them in house.  Our customers keep coming back because they know that they are receiving a one of a kind, American product.  Here are more reasons why “American Made” matters:

Job Creation & Support of Small Businesses

American people spending American dollars on American products equals American jobs.  It’s a win-win for all parties involved.  If every American spent an extra $3.33 on American-made products, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs.  If every builder used just 5 % more American-made products, it would create 220,000 jobs!  By using US made products, you are helping to secure future business within America.

Human Rights & Fair Wages

Many exporting countries do not have the strict regulations for working conditions like the United States.  By keeping our dollars in the US, we are not supporting the sometimes terrible working conditions that may occur in other places. When you choose American made, you contribute to the payment of “an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work.”

Furthermore, many countries do not have minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low.  You can be confident that American consumer protection laws and safety standards are upheld in order to protect you and your family, whereas in foreign countries there are child laborers and the product may not be built up to code.

We are one of the few countries with regulated wages, which will also help to preserve our economy and create jobs for those living in the U S of A!

US Manufacturing = More Jobs!

Each manufacturing job creates an additional 5-8 jobs.  Manufacturing also supports an estimated 17.6 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs. More than 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing.

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The Environment

US manufacturing processes are typically cleaner for the environment than in other countries.  Many products that are produced and sold in other countries are made using dangerous chemicals that pollute our environment and are also made with hazardous chemicals.  When you purchase American products, you know that you’re helping to keep the world a little cleaner for not only your children but for your own safety as well.

Quality

Many people look to overseas in order to buy cheaper products, but often lower pricing equals lower quality.  Furthermore, a US made product can be received faster and more efficiently than importing.  More than 80% of people said they pay attention to whether a product is labeled “Made in the USA,” and 76% said they would be more likely to buy something with that designation.

All in all, when you buy American, you keep American dollars on US soil, leading to a more thriving economy.  Sharn not only supports the American made promise, we follow through with it. 

“A Proud American Manufacturer”

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For more information on our products and services, visit http://www.sharndisplays.com!

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Sources:

http://www.americanlanyard.com/articles/10reasons_buy_american.php

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/02/made-in-america/index.htm

http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/made-in-america-matters.html

http://industryedge.nationalhardwareshow.com/2013/06/the-rising-demand-for-made-in-the-usa-products/

http://www.nam.org/Newsroom/Facts-About-Manufacturing/#sthash.RUVujMGA.dpuf