Natick, MA: For over 20 years, Office Images, Inc. (dba Trainers Warehouse) has been a women-owned business and now we have the certificate to prove it. A few years after my dad, Michael Doctoroff, founded the business, I left my fancy-shmancy training and consulting job to join his fledgling business. Together, we built the company, selling tools that make classroom learning more innovative, effective and fun. A couple of years later, my mom joined us, and voilà, we became a women-owned business – or so we thought.
Shortly after we began claiming WBE (Women Business Enterprise) status, a customer called, inquiring about our credentials. When she asked to speak to the owner of the company and heard my father’s deep voice, she wondered how we could be women-owned.
He replied, “have you ever heard of a man working with his daughter and wife and having ANY control?” Despite the chuckle, this apparently wasn’t enough to call yourself a WBE.
As we focused on the development and marketing of 100s of new products—from Tokens of Appreciation to Game Show Buzzers, Dry-erase Name Tents to Fidget Toys – it was many years later that we finally carved out time to attend the required pre-certification seminar, which would then enable us to apply for, and gain, official WBE status. Although my dad passed away after struggling with ALS, we hear him in our minds cheering, “Hip Hip Hooray!”
As a women-owned enterprise, we will continue to develop tools that build communication, make learning more engaging, and foster more collaborative workplaces.