Every company has a great story to tell about a famous client, company history or some milestone reached but there are a ton of interesting tidbits that they don't do the justice of sharing. We have searched high and low for the most fascinating facts you may not know about Trendex and came up with the following:
1. We’ve worked with a celebrity
Believe it or not, we had the privilege of creating a binder for hip-hop artist Jay Z. He needed a product to promote his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2013. Jay Z used the binder in a scavenger hunt around Brooklyn with fans scouring the city for it based on twitter clues. Once the fans found it, they discovered the official track list hidden inside. We have reached out to other celebrities like Taylor Swift but they have yet to return our phone calls.
2. We have been featured in the NY Times
This past summer we were featured in a New York Times article titled "Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A." Writer Gregory Schmidt reached out to us about our relationship with company Pad & Quill and what difficulties we have faced in our manufacturing process. In 2011 Trendex purchased a 35% stake in the company and helps manufacture their products. We hope that Pad & Quill continues to find success in the future.
3. Our account manager Bill is in two rock bands
Despite working full-time, Bill has managed to star in two different rock bands. Since the age of seven, he's been playing the drums and has collected numerous other instruments. His two current bands, The Ponzi Scheme and Buster Phelan, play at many venues ranging from coffee houses and bars to casinos and outdoor festivals. After fifty years he maintains that Jethro Tull is the best band in the world. When he's not in the office, you can find Bill trying to crack the Billboard Top 100.
4. We sell to companies all across the world
Many people think of us as an average small business in St. Paul, Minnesota but our reach has become national and even global. We work with companies in Italy and Switzerland for machinery and materials on the supply-side. Once we set up our capabilities and manufacture products here in the US, we ship them to foreign clients. Some of our most frequent partners include hotels in Central America, restaurants in Europe and tech companies in Asia. Having customers abroad has given us a source of additional revenue and opportunities.
5. Disney is one of our most frequent clients
The Wonderful World of Disney has a history of coming to Trendex. Some popular titles we have made products for include 102 Dalmatians, Atlantis and Dinosaur. The prevalence of DVDs in the early 2000s gave us the opportunity to create packaging for their movie releases. As technology has shifted toward streaming, Trendex has worked with Disney on other projects such as their vacation club, Disney University and Disney World. It has been fun working with a company that creates such enjoyment for kids and has made a lasting impact on our society.
6. We have worked with two foreign governments
Besides celebrities and fortune 500 clients, Trendex has also worked with two foreign governments. The South African Mint and Australian Royal Mint worked with us to create custom packages for new collections they were introducing to the public. Australia designed five new coins to pay homage to their convict past while South Africa created three new coins to commemorate the discovery of the South Pole. It was one of our team's favorite projects to work on and we all hope to visit those places in the future.
7. We’ve been in business for almost 100 years
Trendex was founded originally as United Ruling and Binding in 1919. Far from the diverse product lines of today, we only produced binders to hold county records for local governments. Back then the binding industry was booming as there was no way to organize and keep records besides paper. A lot has changed since then and Trendex has evolved from a small binder manufacturer into a producer of menus and sales kits as well as samples. Our aim is to create new product lines to meet our customers needs and continue business for another 100 years.
8. We’ve acquired over ten different companies
As the binding industry has slowed, Trendex continued to grow its operations by making acquisitions. This started initially by acquiring companies in new geographic markets like Colorado and Illinois but morphed into purchasing businesses in different industries. The acquisition of Atlas Loose Leaf gave Trendex the capability of producing new packaging products, whereas the purchase of SwatchWorks allowed us to enter the swatching industry. We have made many changes in the past and will continue to do so in the future as needed.
9. We helped Mortenson Construction win the bid for TCF Stadium
Before anyone could break ground on TCF Stadium different construction companies had to submit proposals in order to win the contract. Trendex is proud to have created the proposal for Mortenson Construction, the firm that ended up constructing the stadium. It was a great victory for Mortenson which has gone on to build US Bank Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and is currently planning the Chase Center for the Golden State Warriors. TCF Stadium has brought a renewed enthusiasm to Golden Gopher football and we're banking on a national championship.
10. Our company is 100% family owned
Trendex prides itself on being a family owned and operated business with a friendly atmosphere. Our President Jeff Polacek works alongside his brother Tom as vice-president as well as his wife Angie who works as an estimator. We're excited to announce that recently Jeff's daughter Alex was promoted to production manager. As Jeff and Tom get older, they can take comfort in knowing that the family business will be in the hands of the next generation.