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Meet the two most inspiring, history-making former business owners I know, and the first marketing examples in my life!
I’m referring to my Dad and Mom! Today, I’d like to share what is inherently in my DNA— business ownership. The Hamilton Family now consists of four generations of business owners and entrepreneurs who, despite extraordinary odds, endured to pass down an outstanding work ethic and hunger for human dignity and service excellence. And for this reason, I remain committed to delivering marketing excellence to all our current BUILDINGBLOCKS clients and those to come.
I own a digital marketing agency today because of my Dad and Mom— Mr. James T. and Mrs. Veta L. Hamilton. They are, in fact, the two history-makers from Wisconsin that directly inspired my life. And though Dad didn’t leave us a boatload of money or a large inheritance upon his untimely passing, he left something far greater—LOVE & INSPIRATION!
My Tribute to Hamilton’s Fine Sausages, Est. 1970.
Dad launched the first black-owned sausage factory and distribution center in Wisconsin. And outside of being dearly loved, respected, and known for his spirit of excellence, Dad was always willing to offer a “hand up” to those in need within the community. So, he graciously provided employment opportunities and helped as many people as possible.
And over a short time, the Hamilton name became synonymous with fantastic spicy breakfast sausage! As a kid, I remember seeing the refrigerated box trucks at the factory with the “Hamilton’s Fine Sausages” name and logo on the side. In fact, the logo also happened to be an illustrated image of my Mom. So, in result, their marketing strategies back then were mobile billboards, referral marketing, bootstrap direct marketing and print media.
I still glean from Mom’s resilience and determination to keep pushing forward through life’s adversities.
Speaking of Mom, she too was a pioneer in her time. For instance, at the start of the Milwaukee Public Schools desegregation movement in 1958, she became the first black student to attend West Allis High School in West Allis, Wisconsin! These days, I look forward to our weekly conversations as I check in to see how she’s doing. At the same time, I can always gain a bit of her wisdom whenever I’m faced with a business or personal challenge.
Thankfully, Mom continues to share stories with me about her experiences growing up, and they help remind me to cherish and appreciate her enduring strength. Now I understand clearly why she raised us as she did after our Dad suddenly passed away.
Yet, because of their faith in Christ Jesus, their sacrifices, and willingness to take extraordinary risks, they opened business doors of opportunity for many kids of color and future generations— including me! Ultimately, they taught us to have hope and faith, and to always believe in ourselves.
Building a Marketing Business Based on Faith, Family, and Service Excellence!
At BUILDINGBLOCKS, we’re about remaining committed to serving digital marketing excellence to as many businesses as possible. And we acknowledge that all of this is possible due to whose shoulders on which we stand.
Although my parents’ challenges seemed overwhelming at times, they stayed the course, remaining true and faithful to who they were. In the end, they set a precedent and instilled in my siblings and me the ethics of hard work, entrepreneurship, faith, integrity, family, and consideration for others.
And as I reflect on history today, I still feel tremendously honored and blessed to come from a family of “Firsts.” Thanks, Mom & Dad!
And thank you for reading!
Jason L. Hamilton, Founder and CEO
BUILDINGBLOCKS Marketing Solutions