Exclusive Coverage: Holmes Custom Hosts Local Elementary School Field Trip

What started as the owner volunteering to help his daughters' school has turned into an annual fun and educational experience for both the company and students.

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Eager Jacksonville Beach Elementary School students skipped to the door of the Holmes Custom facility on March 9 for its annual Field Trip Day, where they learned the ins-and-outs of how stamps, signs and name tags are made.

Approximately 80 first graders were greeted by Holmes Custom CEO Bryan Croft, who kicked off the activities by sharing what the day had in store. After a welcome speech, the students were separated into groups of six and headed to the time clock where they “clocked in” for the day, according to Croft. From there, the groups visited seven “stations” where they learned how the products are developed and made. Each department within the company, including marketing, product development and customer service, teams up and creates a project that will be fun, but also educational for the kids. “It’s always fun to see these students’ curious faces as they learn what happens inside our building,” he tells A&E magazine.

In station one, the stamp department showed students how stamps are created with a laser, assembled, and how they are used. Each student received their own customized stamp.

At station two, Holmes Custom Product Development Supervisor Lisa Coleman highlighted some of the new products, sharing how the design process works. The students then drew their own creations, Croft explains.

Buttons were made at station three, where each student stepped onto a stool one-by-one to watch how they’re created. Each of the 80 students went home adorned with their own “I love Jax Beach Elementary” button.

In station four, students picked their favorite color and watched as the laser cut their names into name tags.

The kids had a hands-on experience with shipping at station five, creating their own labels.

Members of the Customer Focus Team showed students the products that Holmes Custom offers and hosted trivia for prizes at station six.

The last stop, station seven, showed the first graders how the sign machine works.

Everyone met back in the showroom, where they shared their favorite stations. “Some loved learning how stamps are made, while others loved designing their own products,” Croft recalls. “As we all said our goodbyes and they climbed back onto the bus, it was nice to feel like we made an impact on the next generation of leaders.”

Holmes Custom has been welcoming elementary school students to its facility in Jacksonville every year since 2010.

“What started out as an opportunity to help my daughters’ school with a field trip to our office has really evolved into a fun event for us and the students,” he explains. “This one day a year when we open up the office for 80 or so first graders, we try to teach them what it’s all about here, but also work on what they’re learning in school. We teach them the importance of spelling correctly and taking your time as haste makes waste. We also talk about team building and brain storming new ideas for products.”

Its annual Field Trip Day is just one way the company gives back both to its local community and global community.

For the past five years, a handful of Holmes Custom employees accompany Croft on his annual mission to Haiti, visiting the village of Dandann where volunteers give back through Haiti180, a non-profit missionary program to support and improve the lives of the Haitian people.

Holmes Custom also supports its local Jacksonville community throughout the year, hosting three blood drives as well as holiday charity initiatives such as a Thanksgiving food drive and Toys for Tots.

“At the end of the day, it’s important to participate in our community,” Croft adds.

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