Chelsea Williams, 32
Owner & CEO
Spark Branded Solutions
Nashville, Tennessee

Getting Started

After leaving a career in broadcast journalism, Williams stumbled into promo during a chat with a friend who was working at a Nashville distributor. She moved onto two larger distributors before founding her own in the summer of 2022.

Earning The Honor

In the first year after Spark Branded Solutions opened, the company experienced tremendous growth and was able to expand its staff from two to eight, reports nominator Michelle Burke, Spark’s VP of sales.

What’s Your Biggest Career Challenge?

“Right now it’s managing Spark’s growth, because we are a team of industry veterans, so we have to be really smart and not grow too fast. I have to be really strategic with who I’m hiring, and also about our clients. Everyone wants those multi-million dollar contracts, but from a resource standpoint you have to step back as business owner and think, ‘Do I have the resources, the cash flow, the staff to take on these large accounts?’ It’s managing the growth while making sure we’re continuing to scale.

How Do You Think The Industry Will Change In The Next Decade?

“I think things will be much more automated in 10 years. On the distributor side we have a really big demand for on-demand stores, being able to work with suppliers to integrate and produce those true on-demand stores and one-piece orders without all the resources that go into it – the P.O., the invoice, all those things, and having the integration. We’re starting to see our suppliers move that way, but I think 10 years from now the landscape will be totally different.”

What Inspires You To Do Your Best Work?

“My team inspires me to do my best work. We are a team of seasoned promo veterans, and everyone on my team left established companies and good-paying jobs to come work for my startup. That’s scary and it’s humbling, and every day I show up and do my very best work because they depend on me, and I’m going to make sure that I’m making them proud.”