Women in Print and Promo: Ali (Peters) Tlaxcala, Accuwrite Print + Promo
ALI (PETERS) TLAXCALA
Accuwrite Print + Promo, Hershey, Pa.
Years of experience: 7
How she got her start: The promotional industry has been in my blood since the day I was born. Our company is 30 years old (and so am I). My father began the business in our home [during] the winter of 1987 and has grown it from basement to big time, now operating on Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, Pa. for 20 years. When I was in elementary school, I would come to the office for holiday breaks and work in my own office (the attic), creating my own logos, assembling art projects (branded, of course) and conceptualizing business ideas. Little did I know at the time that this seed planted in me at a young age would grow to exploring my love of marketing at James Madison University [where I] studied consumer behavior and retail trends. After graduation, I had an awesome opportunity to come on board as a marketing specialist for a local staffing firm. Accuwrite was in need of more sales staff to accommodate our growth soon after, and in 2010, I officially joined the team. Firsthand, I had witnessed the mental and emotional investment my dad made day after day creating and sustaining a company he loved, and we both were ready at that time for me to make that same investment.
What she loves most about the industry: I value that each person or company I come into contact with is uniquely their own. I feel grateful to be able to make genuine connections with like-minded people who share my personal core values.
An average day: My morning starts with two cups of coffee, first and foremost, to equip me for the day. Then, it’s time to really get to work. I wear multiple hats at Accuwrite, divulging in a variety of business development, sales, graphic design and marketing initiatives. Most recently, my primary focus has been to finalize and officially launch our rebrand with a new logo and iconography, collateral materials, self-promotional giveaways and a brand new website. I’m also thankful to have the flexibility to take my toddler to preschool in the morning or bring him into lunch at the office to brighten up the day and give us all a good laugh.
Her proudest career achievements: My proudest career achievement is being a working mom. I was scared after having my son that it would be difficult to get back into the swing of things in the field or that it would be difficult to not be by his side 24/7 to meet his needs. Finding a balance between family life and work life, and being able to integrate the two has proved to be incredibly rewarding for both my personal and professional career. Most certainly, it has surpassed any award or certification I’ve ever attained.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: My biggest challenge has been overcoming the stigma of being “the T-shirt girl.” It’s difficult to build credibility to naysayers who don’t find value in branded goods. I think that some of the “good ol’ boys” have created that type of message through their transactional approach solely to get the sale, and it’s tainted the industry as a whole. I’ve been fortunate enough to have incredible mentors who are well respected in our community. To walk in the footsteps of some of these powerful women and become a part of their circles has helped me build momentum in my marketing goals and has given my confidence a boost. Her job advice to women: There is no greater sales tactic than to be your genuine self. Be honest and a person of integrity. And, most importantly, have confidence in yourself. You’ve worked hard to become who you are. Now go do it!
Who she turns to for career advice: My husband. He’s one of the few who understands what the day in and day out of a family-owned business is like. He keeps me mindful of when I’m overthinking things and has been incredibly supportive of our growth. I really value his feedback and idea generation for special client projects because he gives a unique perspective.
When she’s off the clock: You can find me with family. In the winter, you’ll find us during family movie night in our basement watching Trolls with a big bowl of popcorn. As the sun starts to shine a bit more, we enjoy running around with our toddler and two big dogs. You might catch us at Hersheypark a few times this summer, screaming at the top of our lungs going down a roller coaster, or indulging in chocolate chip cookies at Chocolate World.
(The following profile appeared in Print+Promo’s “These Women Mean Business” cover story in the May 2017 issue.)