Under 40: Katie Harrington, Flesh Co
Katie Harrington, 24
Regional Sales Manager
Flesh Co, Parsons, Kan.
Katie Harrington has been an official member of the industry for only two years, but her love for print dates back to her childhood. She has her father, AB Graphic Inc. sales manager Wes Harrington, to thank for that.
“He is what sparked my passion for print,” she enthused. “I mean, come on, I was always the one with the coolest stickers and posters—that was big time!”
During her studies at Montana State University, Harrington, a liberal studies major and Division 1 athlete on the volleyball team, decided to surprise Wes at a Dscoop conference, where he showed her the full spectrum and potential of the print world. Harrington landed her first post-collegiate job at Discount Labels, New Albany, Ind., working as an outside sales representative. She then took her skills to current employer Flesh Co.
Why she loves the industry: I love that every day is something new. A new challenge, a new configuration, a new start! The print and promo industry is forced to constantly innovate and, though my time here has been short, I am always humbled by the people in this industry exceeding expectations.
Age roadblocks and advantages: There are challenges and advantages with any age in any industry. Too old, too young—there is always something that someone is going to say that is a hindrance or an advantage. Frankly, the athlete in me refuses to see it as anything except a challenge because it is something I have learned to thrive on. But, the professional side of me sees it only as an advantage. There aren’t a lot of 20-somethings in print, which is, albeit selfishly, amazing for me. I have been trying to soak in the knowledge from those around me. I am constantly learning from those around me. As long as you are able to see it, there is no one in this industry that wants you to fail. And that is nothing but an advantage.
Her most meaningful business accomplishment: The short two years I have been working in print, the most meaningful accomplishment that I have had during my business career is not a single moment or anything concrete. It’s knowledge and experience. I have met amazing mentors, had influential coworkers and been under outstanding leadership. I can’t wait to make my mark on the industry, but I’ve got more learning to do.
Her differentiating factor: The entire [support] system at Flesh Co is what sets me apart. … I am doing my best to be the best. My current position isn’t worldly influential, but every single day I do my best to ensure that Flesh Co’s distributors are getting top-of-the-line service. ... Each one of our accounts has [its] own inside sales rep assigned for custom service. Our team at the plant—from quoting and customer service to production and shipping—is invested in providing the most quality service for our customers. ... Flesh Co has made [it] through generations and [has] over 100 years of history—we aren’t going anywhere!
What she does for fun: In my spare time, I coach for a junior Olympic volleyball club here in central Ohio. I also assistant coach my high school alma mater varsity team with my mom. I have a 10-year-old little sister who I adore and try to spend as much time with as possible. I also have seven nieces and nephews with two more on the way, so those little ones keep me crazy busy, as well. My family and support system are my everything.