FACES of Flint & Genesee Business: Craig & Sandra Kelley, Prestige Promotions, LLC

In 2004, Sandra Kelley had the opportunity to take a buyout from General Motors where she had worked for many years. As someone who had always aspired to own her own business, she discussed it with her husband and took that buyout to begin her dreams.

“There was a franchise show at the old IMA (Dort Federal Event Center),” says Sandra. “There was this one table that had a lot of promotional products. I talked to him and found out that this was an industry and I decided to get into it.”

Now, 20 years later, Sandra, along with her husband Craig Kelley, runs Prestige Promotions, LLC, a promotional marketing and branding company that specializes in branded promotional products, apparel, commercial printing, and marketing consulting.

Over the last two decades, the couple has become experts in their found industry. They quickly joined the Promotion Productions Association International, they obtained Master Advertising Specialist certifications, and they became very active in the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association where Sandra was the president of the board in 2021. Embedding themselves in the industry helped them grow not only their business but their network. This led them to experiences that they still carry with them.

“We were chosen to be advocates for the industry in Washington DC,” says Sandra. “We met with State Senators and Representatives and taught them about the economic impact it has on our state.”

During their trips to the Capitol, they always saw promotional materials in the offices of the people they met with.

“It was an easy way to start the conversation,” says Craig. “Then we can go on to discuss what was favorable to our industry and what might not be something we’d want them to vote for.”

After 20 years, Prestige Promotions continues to provide quality promotional materials to area businesses.

Why did you decide to open your business in Flint & Genesee?

Sandra: We live in and love Genesee County. This business started as a home-based business in 2004 and was for several years as we began to grow and spread out a bit more. We bought our first building in Burton when Craig retired and joined the business about five years ago. The vast majority of our clientele is right here in Genesee County, so being here we are close to our clients.

How would you describe the area to an outside?

Craig: Community-minded.

Sandra: We have noticed that the organizations and businesses in Genesee County seem to support the community.

What is your business philosophy?

Sandra: We truly believe in taking care of our clients.

Craig: Treat people as you want to be treated.

How are you involved in the community?

Sandra: Craig and I sit on boards for several nonprofits. Craig has been on the Big Brothers Big Sisters board for the last five years and has been a big brother for almost 20 years. He is also on the board for Kearsley Manor where he is the vice president. I am on the board for Communities First as treasurer and have been for 10 years. We volunteer with different groups and in terms of business we sponsor various organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Vocational Independence Program. We are also members and strong supporters of the Flint & Genesee Chamber’s African American Advisory Committee (AAAC).

Why did you decide to join the Flint & Genesee Chamber?

Sandra: We were looking for support and to be around like-minded business owners. We saw that the Chamber was doing good things in the community, and we thought joining could serve us as well as the business community. We’re very involved. We go to Chamber luncheons, are active members of the AAAC, and make it a point to attend the business meetings and after-hours events.

What advice would you offer other business owners or those looking to start a business?

Craig: I would say to take advantage of the resources that are available. A lot of people think they don’t need them, but a lot are helpful. So, take the time to investigate how they can help you.

For more information on Prestige Promotions, LLC, visit PrestigePromotionsGB.com.