Kay Hamilton is President and CEO of the Hamilton Group and a 2019 Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star
Each year, WBENC presents 14 women business owners with the prestigious Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star Award. The WBE Star Award is the nation’s premier recognition for excellence among certified women-owned businesses, honoring female owners for their leadership skills, business success, and ability to serve as an inspiration to others.
Today, meet WBE Star Kay Hamilton, President & CEO of the Hamilton Group, a promotional product distributor, currently focused on uniforms and employee apparel.
Kay is “The Advocate” because not only does she own and operate her own successful enterprise, but she has taken the time to serve as a mentor to other women pursuing their own entrepreneurial ventures and dreams of business success. Read below as Kay shares some of the challenges she’s faced as a business owner, her business values, and her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Advice from the Stars
What values have led to and continue to support your business acumen?
Honesty, efficiency and sincerity have guided the Hamilton Group’s business decisions and have been the basis for my professional conduct as President and CEO. These attributes have honed the skills needed to determine what are and what are not viable business opportunities; as well as enabling an accurate assessment of prospective business relationships.
What are the bigger challenges and barriers you’ve faced as a business owner? How have you overcome them?
Timely and accurate communication is essential to the success of any enterprise, but given the challenge of overcoming longstanding prejudices against women owned businesses, especially when the enterprise is minority owned and operated, gaining acceptance has proven to be a tremendous challenge. Historically, this regional economy has demonstrated a reluctance to engage Small Business Enterprises (SBEs) in general, and WBEs particularly. Through persistence, and the ability to provide the highest quality merchandise specialized, the Hamilton Group has realized some degree of professional success. We continuously strive to expand our client base and pursue new client and vendor relationships. The exploitation of all modes of communication has been used to facilitate business processes; via cold calls, email marketing, direct website access, Convention and Trade Show attendance.
What is your proudest moment in business?
The Hamilton Group’s initial efforts were directed toward specialty merchandise sales. I enjoyed designing and customizing promotional items for my clients. Having received a request to provide uniforms for a regional government agency, the Hamilton Group’s response provided an agency design logo and suggested name tag embroidery. The client expressed gratitude for the comprehensiveness of our fulfillment proposal.
What advice do you have for a new entrepreneur?
I would advise new entrepreneurs to stay committed to their dream of owning and operating their own business. They need to be aware of the challenges that will confront them; the difficulties that must be overcome and the disappointments that will inevitably arise. Belief in one’s ability to succeed, and a streak of stubbornness; persistence and determination are absolutely indispensable if one is to overcome the odds stacked against new enterprises.
About the Hamilton Group
The Hamilton Group focuses on providing clients with uniforms and other apparel their employees may wear during the course of the business day or may use as personal, athletic attire. By consulting with purchasing departments, or authorized individuals, recommendations for company uniforms, lab coats, protective jackets, sweaters, sweat suits, sweat shirts, sweat pants, tee shirts, athletic jackets, rain gear, hats (of all varieties,) rugby shirts, etc. have been submitted for consideration; orders processed and deliveries executed. If requested, logos are designed and various embroidery styles are submitted for consideration. The Hamilton Group ensures the timely fulfillment of our clients’ industrial apparel needs.
Learn more here.