Storyteller Promotions: A Life Long Love Story
Mike and Ruth Mallon love a good story. They pride themselves on telling yours, but their own story is about as good as it gets. Mike and Ruth together makeup Storyteller Promotions, a branding and promotional products shop out of Houston, Texas. When they’re not on the road, you can find the purple-clad couple in The Cannon, helping startups solidify their branding.
Their nicknames are characters from beloved cartoons – Mike, the famous Buzz Lightyear, and Ruth, Elastigirl from Pixar’s The Incredibles. Their favorite cartoon boasts no caped crusaders, though. They draw their inspiration from the Disney/Pixar movie UP.
In the movie, a young girl pins a grape soda bottle cap to a young boy in the spirit of starting an adventure club together. The young girl and young boy grow up, fall in love and get married, never losing sight of the spirit that first brought them together. At the time they saw it, Mike and Ruth were missing their adventures.
Mike was working as CSO for MetroNational and Ruth in event planning for Marriott. The way the two put it, “We were giving the best of ourselves to somebody else.” The two love birds were sick of living as slaves to their day jobs and saving the leftovers for each other. One grape soda cap changed all of that.
The couple quit their jobs, determined to spend their time with each other. They knew they needed to work, and a few trade shows later they found their calling: promotional materials. How they got into branding was just a happy accident. Says Mike, “When people ask, ‘can you do this?’, our answer is always ‘Absolutely!’ Then we figure out how to make it work.”
And they’ve definitely made it work. Mike and Ruth purchased their own equipment and enlisted their sons’ help in running a promotion and branding shop out of their home. Mike saw the value in working as consultants, not order takers. He asks, “Why make something that your client won’t use and positively associate with you or your company?” The Mallons became experts in custom jobs, making one or one-thousand of whatever promotional item fit their client. As Ruth tells it, they pride themselves on being “a good steward of your brand.”
Now Storyteller Promotions has grown (exponentially) and left the house, and the apples didn’t fall from the tree. The sons who helped them start now own their own firm, Grape Soda Creations, the preferred vendor for Storyteller’s screen printing, awards, trophies, and most custom jobs. The Mallons bring that family feeling and dedication to all of their projects.
Mike and Ruth have found success by asking important questions, and challenging their client’s requests. “There’s a story behind every brand. We find the story and match it to a unique product that tells that story. We don’t ask what, we ask why. Where are your clients when they need you? What tells YOUR story?” Whatever it is that tells your story, Storyteller Promotions will find it. After all, Mike and Ruth know a good story when they hear it.