Shari Verrone the founder of Stackable Sensations started her professional career at ADP in sales, then management and worked with 19 men on the management team. After a successful stint of 9 years Shari left to have her ﬁrst child and two years later, she decided to start Stackable Sensations. The company was conceived out of the bonus room in her home over 17 years ago with four thousand dollars. Through Shari’s combination of high energy, entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and creativity, she has grown her company into a multimilliondollar business that is known for their global go-to source for unique, logo branded giveaways of all kinds, plus PPE items that are needed through this Pandemic. Stackable Sensations currently employs ﬁfteen extraordinary team members throughout the country. Shari has won a plethora of awards over the years. To name some, Shari was recently awarded the SAAGNY (tristate industry organization) Humanitarian of the Year for all her eﬀorts in giving back to the community as well as being a top contributing member within her industry. She has also been the recipient of Women of Achievement awards from the Boy Scouts of America, a National Pyramid Award for her creativity and resourcefulness on a project for Microsoft, honoured as one of the top 25 on the Hot List for innovative and creative ideas, selected as an Enterprising Women of the Year Champion, Top 25 Entrepreneurs of the Year, Best places to work at by two industry publications, a tribute to Shari’s leadership and creating the strong company culture. Shari also co-authored a book with 12 other successful women entrepreneurs: Lessons Beyond the Obvious. Shari’s favourite interview to date was with Forbes Radio about the success of her business.
“We deliver. It will always be about the unique promotional merchandise and PPE items, but never just about the merchandise”
Factors that Inﬂuenced her Heavily
When she was at ADP, Shari had an epiphany during her mentor’s (at the time-Michelle Tomczyk) presentation of how to keep a meeting interesting by always being creative and giving that WOW factor to keep peoples’ attention. From that day, it has permanently been her philosophy with business. While doing anything, she constantly thinks how can she add a wow factor. Her goal is to be memorable, inspire and delight with the element of surprise and creativity.
Attributes that Every Leader Should Possess
Shari advises every leader to model the behaviour they believe in. She has never expected anything from anyone that she has not done herself. According to her, other vital attributes that leaders should possess are to have resilience, vision, compassion, and enthusiasm. There are so many changes happening in today’s world that a good leader must have the ﬂexibility to adapt and pivot when necessary. Leaders also need a clear vision of where they are going so, they can recognize opportunities when they present themselves. Being sincerely compassionate with team members is imperative. Shari also advises to remember to build on employees’ strengths, not weaknesses and understand their world and goals. According to her, enthusiasm is a must as well.
Balancing Professional and Personal Life
According to Shari, trying to perfect two things at once constantly is diﬃcult to accomplish. She tries and often thinks of what Dolly Parton the singer once said: “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Shari starts her day very early with a 12-minute meditation and then exercise, that puts her in the right state of mind to dive right into work. Most days, before she even realizes it, the hours have ﬂown by and it’s dinner time! Dinner time is when she catches up with her daughters and her husband for some quality laughter which is needed after a long day. Sometimes it is back to work after dinner and other times a competitive game of Rummikub is on the agenda or a movie as a family.
The most recent challenge that she had to overcome was navigating through the unknown of the Corona virus. Stackable had just tripled the size of its oﬃce and added in 5 unique client interactive showrooms then the world had to work from home suddenly. Now it was a challenge to ﬁgure out showing Stackable’s client’s new items when needed and secondly, did anyone really need promotional items during the Pandemic when there were no tradeshows and events? The organization quickly decided to pivot in a new direction.
Shari and the rest of the team were very quick to think outside the box and began to provide their customers with PPE items. Stackables has wonderful relationships with their suppliers, and they immediately stepped up to the challenge of delivering bulk items such as masks and hand sanitizer. The organization’s clients were very grateful that Stackable could get them these items because there were such limited supplies available.
As a distributor of promotional products, the organization has found itself in a unique position to collaborate with its suppliers so that Stackable could source exactly what their clients were looking for to keep their employees safe during the pandemic.
As for the new showrooms, cameras are being placed in each room so Stackable will be able to share its interesting items with clients via Zoom or Facetime until they feel comfortable returning to Stackable’s building.