Who says passion will only get you so far?

Fully Promoted, formerly known as Embroid-Me, is part of the United Franchise Group (UFG) set of brands which originated in the United States.

Liz Luisi

As the name Fully Promoted suggests, the brand is basically a one stop shop for all the promotional and marketing needs of a business — branded apparel and uniforms, team wear, corporate wear, high-vis gear, hats, caps and beanies, as well as a variety of printing requirements and much more.

Liz Luisi

Liz Luisi is the director of Fully Promoted Bathurst and to say she is enthusiastic about her business would be something of an understatement.“I’ve been in the industry one way or another, whether it be in printed flyers and promotional products or uniform sales, for 25 years,” says Liz. “I was the sales rep for this company when it was EmbroidMe and worked for the previous owners for three years. I liked the company so much that on the 28th of April 2017, I bought it."

Within a few weeks of taking the reins of her new business, Liz had to deal with a rebranding that was being rolled out around the franchise group worldwide. Fully Promoted Bathurst was one fo the first cabs of the rank and Liz was fine with that.

“The rebranding may have been an issue for other stores, but for me it wasn’t,” she says. “As I was buying into the business, it seemed common sense to rebrand, and change management at the same time. I was one of the first Fully Promoted rebrands.”

What some might have seen as a challenge, Liz embraced as an opportunity.

“When I bought the business, I looked at the EmbroidMe contract and said no, I want a Fully Promoted contract because that’s where I’m going,” she recalls. “What that name change encompassed was the ability to promote the business more effectively and open the door to all types of branding. Basically, I did it all in one fell swoop. Within two weeks of buying the business I had rebranded.”

Fully Promoted Bathurst Shop Front

Obviously, Liz was on the right track with her business strategy because Fully Promoted Bathurst has gone from strength to strength in the past 18 months. The team (Liz and three staff) has been bolstered by the addition of her husband, who was able to leave his former job and join the business on a full wage.

“We’ve had significant growth and are just a little bit proud of what we’ve achieved here,” says Liz. “In 2018, we were looking at an overall sales growth of 52.6 per cent (6 months) — that’s $200,000 (extra) since we took over. My husband tells me that sales have increased because of his good looks and charm. He is a good-looking unit, but I’m not buying that.”

Born in Dubbo and raised in Orange, Liz and her family moved to Bathurst in 2010. “I got married in Sydney, but I decided I wasn’t going to raise my kids in Western Sydney. So we upped and left.”

She feels very much a part of the local community and is grateful for the opportunity running the business in Bathurst presents for her and her family.

Community spirit

“There are three things in life that I love — my family, my business and my community,” she says. “I feel I’m the luckiest girl in the world because I have the asset now to involve all three of them in my everyday life. People tell me I’m such a savvy businesswoman, but I’m really not, I just know what feels right — and helping my community, which in turn helps my business growth, which in turn helps my family, makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t you want to help your community?”

As with the rebrand, Liz views community involvement in a holistic fashion. It makes perfect sense to be involved in what’s happening where you live.

“Soon after I bought this business, I realised I was in a position where I could help people,” she says. “When you’re in business, people often approach you for a donation to a worthy cause. In our society there is an awful amount of under privilege, so if I can help people — and it’s a cause that will benefit my community, my business and my heart — I will help out.”

Liz was happy to put her money where her mouth was within several weeks of taking over Fully Promoted, when the misfortune of a friend resonated with Liz’s community spirit.

“A very good friend of mine, who is thankfully still working with us, was diagnosed with terminal cancer,” Liz recalls. “She’s my age with two young adult children. I’d lost several relatives to cancer and thought what can I do to help our community deal with this? So I created a logo on a beanie that said: ‘Let’s Fight Cancer’ with ribbons attached to it, each representing a type of cancer that had taken somebody dear to me. We sold these beanies for $13. We made no money out of it, just covered costs, and $5 from every beanie sold went to the Daffodil Cottage oncology unit in Bathurst.”

Liz Has Been Widely Acclaimed In The Bathurst Community For Her Fundraising Efforts

Liz was pleasantly surprised at the community’s response.

“We thought we’d do 1000 beanies and would probably be lucky to sell half,” she says. “But we sold out in two weeks and delivered a cheque for $5000 to Daffodil Cottage. Everybody wanted to help — they could see they were getting something and the money was going to a good place. I had people going to football fields and the netball stadium on weekends. Four or five stores in Bathurst sold them. Everybody wanted to get involved.”

Sponsorship for local sporting teams

Fully Promoted sponsors local sporting teams, including the Mana Netball Club, which began with a single team and now has 14 teams in the regional competition. Mana has significant Indigenous participation among its junior players.

“The Aboriginal community has a big pull for me here, because I feel their story needs to be heard, so I support the Indigenous community where I can,” Liz says. “That’s why we’ve been the main sponsors for Mana Netball — a $5000 sponsorship each year for two years, that’s $10,000 in total.”

As well as helping the community, Liz says such sponsorships also make good business sense for Fully Promoted, adding it’s not really rocket science, but common sense.

“It’s a win-win situation because Mana did all their uniforms through me,” she says. “I promote my business on their uniforms, they get funding and we’re helping each other out. I’ve got three competitors here in Bathurst, all offering branded apparel or trophies or promotional products. My big point of difference is that if my community can see that I give back to them then they’re likely going to come to me instead of lining somebody else’s pockets.”

25 Full Page Liz Luisi And Her Great Tight Knit Team

Fully Promoted also sponsored the inaugural NAIDOC touch football day in 2017. Approached by the local Aboriginal liaison officer for help, Liz was keen to get on board.

“It basically started as an idea for a cops vs kids match, bridging the gap between Aboriginal kids and the law,” she recalls. “So I said I’d help with hats, T-shirts and a trophy. It was a great day. Woolworths supplied drinks and fruit, and the fire brigade was there, letting kids climb all over the fire truck.”

Inspired by that initial success, Liz took on the sponsorship role again in 2018 to discover what had begun as a small operation had exploded into something much bigger.

“We provided the hats and shirts for our police team,” she says. “But it was amazing — it had got so much bigger. From one school the previous year, we had high schools coming from Lithgow, Cowra, everywhere under the Chifley local area command. Private schools got involved, paramedics, and Charles Sturt University entered a team. It’s become something the kids look forward to and for the community to celebrate.”

Support from parent company UFG

Always prepared to help out, Liz is appreciative, in turn, of the backup she gets from parent company the United Franchise Group.

“If there are any questions or problems, they’re literally a phone call away. They negotiate on our behalf with suppliers for rates and terms, and contact new suppliers. They also help with any marketing we need.”

UFG also operates the Fully Promoted website, which Liz is loving.

“Whether you live in Bathurst or WA, you can Google Fully Promoted, find my store, see samples of our work and what I have to say about my team, my products and my community. We can add content into the website, but it’s run through head office.”

Lizs Every Day Motto Features On Her Office Wall

However, Liz is adamant that it’s not a matter of simply letting the brand bring in the business.

“In terms of getting the word out, that’s up to me and my team,” she says. “If you want to buy a business in a franchise, don’t think you’re just going to hand over a cheque then sit back and wait for business to walk in the door. It doesn’t work like that. I work hard 24 hours a day, because I never stop thinking how to improve my investment.”

Liz Luisi Fully Promoted Bathurst Mana Netball Donation

A labour of love

For Liz, Fully Promoted is most definitely a labour of love.

“I love my brand,” she says. “I don’t feel like I’m working. I could stay here until 10pm every night in the office because I can see this is my family’s future. Why wouldn’t you work hard at it? I love creating items to help people’s business — bringing their logos to life is amazing.”

So is expansion on the cards for Fully Promoted Bathurst any time soon?

“Absolutely,” says Liz. “All I’m going to say is: watch this space. I dream passionately and I dream big. I feel that if I can benefit more people, whether that’s by employing people or being able to reach more clients and give them more service to help them grow their business, then I’ll go far and wide. I’m just the driver. It’s my team who make it happen.”