NORMAN — It should come as no surprise to many that Barb Burcham is getting ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her company, Ad Specialties & More, LTD, but when she started, success was a long-time coming for this Floridian transplanted to Oklahoma.
These days, it’s easy to tell Burcham has found a good balance of professionalism and fun while she’s on the job.
“It’s a blast. It’s so much fun,” Burcham said about her job. “I love what I do and I love my clients.”
Before you even walk in the door, a mermaid about as tall as the door holds a sign saying “Seas the Day” and that’s the first hint that you’re in for a unique experience. Once inside, promotional products of all shapes, sizes and materials display her years of being a successful businesswoman.
It’s a place where you can tell creativity is buzzing through the minds of Burcham and her employees daily.
Burcham started the business July 9, 1993 after she was unable to find the right job at the right pay after moving to Oklahoma. That’s when her husband, Dr. Jeff Burcham, stepped in to help her start her own business with a computer, a truck and $2,500.
It wasn’t easy, though. In fact, she said she nearly ceased operations after a few years.
While trying to obtain clients, everyone kept telling her “bless your heart,” Burcham said. She quickly learned from her husband that meant they weren’t going to do business with her.
“A tall, skinny Yankee was what they called me,” she said with a laugh.
Being from out-of-state was a big barrier, one that she finally was able to break through after her first big order from a client that is still with her today. Jack Ferrel, marketing director of Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, was one of her first big clients.