A Vibrant social mission since the start
Social Imprints was incorporated in 2008, but the seeds of the company were planted in 1999.
At the time, Jeff Sheinbein, now Social Imprints CEO, was executive director of a San Francisco non-profit printing company called AI, that hired recovering drug addicts and formerly homeless individuals. Jeff advertised for an admin assistant, and several days later a shy young man walked in the door and introduced himself as Kevin McCracken.
Kevin said he'd been referred by a counselor at Walden House, a Bay Area drug rehab and treatment center. Jeff liked Kevin and decided to hire him. Soon, McCracken was answering phones, filing paperwork, and performing other duties. His energy and enthusiasm were immediately apparent, and he was soon promoted to sales manager. In 2004, Kevin became executive director, when Jeff was invited to help start a similar non-profit social-based printing company in London.
In 2008, Jeff and Kevin again joined forces to start the company of their dreams. Jeff remembers, "We wanted to create a different kind of printing company, one that would offer high-quality promotional products and outstanding customer service, while providing maximum social returns to the community.
In 2009, just before Social Imprints opened, the company was selected among thousands of applicants to present its business plan to the Investors Circle Conference. The members of Investors Circle select the most promising social enterprises in the U.S. and offer them an opportunity to present their business plans to some of the country's most prominent investment funds and angel investors.
Social Imprints made a big impression. The company secured $300K from well-known angel investors, including Mike Hannigan, president and founder of Give Something Back; Henry Vandermark, founder of Solar Wave Energy; James Lincoln, CEO of Illuminated Funds; and Josh Mailman, founder of Serious Change. Josh is also the founding investor in Stonyfield Farms, and started the Social Venture Network, a non-profit that connects hundreds of business leaders and inspires them to build a just and sustainable economy.
In the summer of 2009, Social Imprints opened with a bang. In six months, the company generated nearly $800K in sales and received San Francisco Magazine's "Start up of the Year" award. In 2010, its first full year, the company generated nearly $2 million in sales to more than 400 of the nation's leading organizations, including Wikipedia, Dolby, Metallica, University of San Francisco, and AmeriCorps Alums.
Kevin McCracken talks about our social mission
Serving as COO of Social Imprints isn't "just a job" for me. It's a lot more than a way to make a living and provide for my family. Social Imprints is my way of "giving back."
At onelong-ago time in my life, I was a prime candidate for Social Imprints' social-mission. At 24, I was addicted to heroin and alcohol. Once I got clean and sober, Social Imprints' predecessor company took a chance and hired me in an entry-level job. Two years later, I had the good fortune to be promoted to management.
I helped start our follow-on company, Social Imprints, as a way to empower disenfranchised adults. My own life experience enables me to relate to our team members' struggles as they begin the journey to getting their lives back in order. Using my 12 years of experience in custom printing, I developed a training program that enables the team members to learn the ins and outs of printing and become customer service experts.
My long-term goal for Social Imprints is to open sales offices in other parts of the country. Our social-mission employees will own and operate these offices and hire other at-risk adults.
From Addict to Social Entrepenuer: A Talk with Social Imprints Founder Kevin McCracken
I would enjoy talking with you about Social Imprints and its inspiring mission. Feel free to call or email: 415-956-0269 x304 | firstname.lastname@example.org. But be warned I just might talk your ear off about Social Imprints!