Lemonade from lemons? How about art from junk mail? Sandy Schimmel of Schimmel Art of Phoenix, Arizona is using recycled advertising ephemera, junk mail and greeting cards to create some visually stunning art.

Check out her collection.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Peter Weinstein says:

    Utilizing unused company resources can be an exceptional marketing tool…although I never utilized my unused samples, misprints and the like for spectacular art pieces like Sandy Schimmel has, I did repurpose my excess merchandise for use by the homeless and under-served. I felt this was my corporate responsibility and yet it also generated a significant amount of marketing goodwill.

    Let me explain. I owned promotional merchandise firm for seven years and I was amazed at the number of samples we collected in a years time. Misprints, sales samples, odds and ends. Most of the merchandise couldn’t be returned to the vendors so we had to find a place for it every year. Most competitors just dropped it off at Goodwill, had sample sales or threw it away. I knew we could do better.

    Instead of treating samples as a burden (as well as a small tax right off) I decided to take it up on myself to make better use of these samples. As such I contacted all our customers, even prospects, and asked them for their unused orders, their samples, their left over trinkets and trash. I also contacted my vendors. I asked them for all their misprints and merchandise that could never be sold.

    I then found homes for all this merchandise. Schools for writing materials, briefcases and backpacks for people trying to find jobs, and clothing for homeless shelters.

    This was not a small donation…one year we collected over $500,000 worth of merchandise.

    We named the program”Samples for Seattle” and for all our traditional marketing efforts this program generated the most awareness of any of our activities.

    Some days I felt guilty about the amount of awareness and new business this program generated…but when all was said and done we were doing the right thing…the responsible thing.

  • Tony says:

    To be honest, I don’t agree with you, but you marked some good points here

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