Innovation and Experience — In One Neat Package.

True success in business requires integrity, intelligence, and a passion to lead. Spearhead’s founders have enjoyed rapid success since its launch – but it didn’t happen overnight. For more than two decades, Heather and Robert have been building relationships and searching for more efficient, creative solutions to complex problems commonly faced by spirits, beauty, and consumer product companies.

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Q&A with Robert Catalano

1. What Makes Spearhead Different?

That’s easy. We invest in our people across the board and we are selective about whom we work with because we want to build relationships that last.

The only way to do that is through trust and a proven ability to deliver on time, within budget, and offer something that no other company can offer. That means we carefully choose our staff, our advisory team, and our Pioneers because we understood that’s what it takes to deliver exceptional Physical Brand Enhancements and extensions.

In fact, when we launched Spearhead, the first thing we did was to define our core values as a company. Aside from wanting to bring much-needed modernization to the industry, with new ideas and a new approach, we also wanted to operate with the highest levels of integrity.

2. You have an incredible amount of intellectual capital at Spearhead – and some highly respected industry veterans. How did you assemble the team you have now?

As long-time industry veterans in the packaging and custom manufacturing industry, we looked for people who are both well connected and well respected. Ethical values are very important to us – and this is an industry with a lot of strong relationships in place.

We started this business thinking about Spearhead’s own personal brand and we wanted that to drive our business forward. We are always looking to identify the Spearhead difference – and a big piece of that is the skill of the people we hire and the quality of the team we put in place – specifically our Pioneers and our Advisory board.

3. What do you differently when working with Suppliers?

We don’t think transactionally -- we think about people first. Our number one belief is that relationships matter – both with the clients, but also with the Pioneers and manufacturing sites. Sometimes there are different views, but that’s our sweet spot. We understand both sides of the coin and make sure that everyone succeeds.

We launched our Pioneer program to address this very issue – and to give the supplier a seat at the table to showcase innovation in manufacturing.

4. How do you feel that conversations with clients are changing? What trends do you see in your industry?

The industry is working so much harder now to make beautiful unique products that stand out on the shelf – and there is so much that can be done at every level of Physical Brand Enhancement investment. However, most customers have limited resources to manage this rapidly growing opportunity, and they really appreciate our team of experts supplementing them in the innovation process.

We happily work directly with procurement as well as brand stakeholders, because we speak both of their languages. We know if something is production-feasible, we understand costs, logistics, and design. Additionally, we understand how to overcome barriers to entry for new ideas in the marketplace.

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What is the Spearhead difference? Everyone else starts with the brand and ends up at the bottling line. We start at the bottling line and end up at the brand. We’ve reimagined the entire manufacturing process and it has made all the difference.

Q&A with Heather Fritzsche

1. What did you set out to do with Spearhead?

Mostly, I was determined to bring much-needed innovation to the industry in ways it had not seen before. In fact, that was the idea behind our exclusive Pioneers program. I have always been fascinated by the challenges and opportunities affecting product development and brand managers, and wanted to solve those problems in a meaningful way.

To do this, I realized that the key was to look at innovation from the other side.

The way I look at it is that innovation is not the same as creativity. For Spearhead, innovation is in the process – that is, the quality of materials, the specifications, cutting edge technology in manufacturing, automation, and procurement.

The product brand team of any company is the true creative vision. Spearhead is innovative when it comes to the execution of that vision.

That’s why we are successful today -- because we innovate the process as much as we do the design.

2. How would you describe Spearhead’s unique value proposition?

To answer this accurately and thoroughly, I would remark on those things that set us apart from any other business, and namely, I think it is twofold:

1. Our exclusive pioneer relationships.
2. We’re an extension of the manufacturer.

We search the modern marketplace around the world for unique, sustainable packaging and materials, and bring the cutting-edge technologies, materials, and manufacturing options to the U.S.

We also have major customers who are using new-to-world automation. As an ambassador of both the client and manufacturer, we’re developing industry-leading development processes for equipment and materials.

3. What do you do differently when working with Suppliers?

Yes, right now we’re the biggest bag supplier in country for spirits. We can create reusable, multi-functional textile bags for food, jewelry, and so many other products. Brands choose Spearhead because we think beyond the point of sale and can offer bags as reusable packaging instead of just a single-use enhancement.

Another example is our relationship with BillerudKorsnäs, an incredibly sustainable paper company out of Sweden. Their product is amazing, and now we have made them a Strategic Material Supplier.

With all the focus on the negative effects of single-use plastics, there are now so many options out there, because our pioneers are blazing a new path for the future of sustainable packaging options.

4. As a Woman-owned Business, what kind of advice do you have for other women-owned businesses in the packaging industry?

Support other women-owned businesses!

I love what I do, and I find my fellow female business owners are equally passionate about what they do. If we buy swag, I love to buy from other women-owned businesses. It’s great because senior-level women in business are very active in supporting one another, and their businesses are doing some pretty cool things, so I am definitely eager for all the opportunity to network with other smart, savvy women in the industry. There are also plenty of opportunities to become suppliers of other woman-owned businesses.

5. How involved are you in the automation process?

Our goal is always Project Zero Defects – It's our way of saying that we work on continuous improvement so aggressively that we are aiming towards ZERO defects. I like to say we’re the ambassadors between the brand and procurement, but our sweet spot is working hand-in-hand with manufacturing and procurement to ensure accuracy. That’s why I am right there, on the line, solving problems and figuring it all out.

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