Can Sustainability and Profitability Coexist? featuring Michael Scott Cohen of Harper and Scott

Feb 23, 2022

Michael Scott Cohen is the co-founder of Harper and Scott Inc. that specializes in the custom design and production and fulfillment of branded merchandise and promotional items. Michael with his friend, Jon Alagem founded Harper and Scott to be a more creative, flexible, and responsive player in the crowded business of merchandising. Harper and Scott oversee products from design to delivery, including having a 12-person production operation in China that assures quality and quick turnaround. Harper and Scott was listed in INC 5000 for three consecutive years.

In this episode, Michael Scott Cohen shares how he started Harper and Scott, how he entered the private label branded goods space, why they chose to cover fulfillment as well, how they pivoted their business during the pandemic at a time when so many other companies had great layoffs, and why corporate social responsibility and government sustainability matters so much to them as a corporation.

This Cast Covers:

  • Who is Michael Cohen Scott and what is Harper and Scott (01:35)
  • Michael and Joey talk about their favorite Anejo tequila (02:48)
  • Growing up in Charleston and reading his first sales book Rich Dad, Poor Dad at 12 years old (05:59)
  • Michael’s background has always been business development (07:50)
  • The genesis of how Harper and Scott was founded (09:28)
  • Seeing outdated practices across competitors in the promotional products space back in 2013-2014 (12:33)
  • What makes Harper and Scott stand out amongst all other agencies in the promotional products space and is part of their unique value proposition (13:59)
  • How Harper and Scott was able to pivot their company and create new revenue streams during the pandemic that enabled them to not let go of any of their employees (17:15)
  • Why it has always been about growth over at Harper and Scott (23:10)
  • What is a B corporation and why invest in sustainability? (27:24)
  • How Harper and Scott educate their clients about how their products are manufactured – right from the procurement of raw materials to packaging and distribution and how they can leave a lasting impact (29:20)
  • Michael’s view on handling minority-owned businesses and still being profitable in this world of capitalism and meritocracy (32:14)
  • Harper and Scott’s challenge that they're addressing in 2022 (33:31)

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