PROFILES OF PROMINENCE | THE GARLAND GUIDE 2016
Jan Furtick THE PAYTON GROUP
Joyful, creative and full of life – these may not be the adjectives you’re used to hearing for the introduction of a leader, but for “Jolly Jan” Furtick, there’s really no other way to begin. Jan often plays the role of the woman behind the curtain, or the woman behind companies’ creative branding strategies to be more precise. Her local business, The Payton Group, is a family affair where she and her husband, Steve, find unique solutions for each client’s marketing goals. Whether it’s mass quantities of ball point pens, specially designed t-shirts, laserengraved office accessories, or anything in between, the Furtick family has dedicated their careers to making sure clients select the exact branded product that will deliver the ideal result; and they’ve been vastly successful at doing just that. Jan’s personality is so perfectly suited for the promotional products business, it’s tough to picture her in any other field, but she didn’t set out to be a small business owner. In fact, Jan was headed down the path to become an attorney. While in high school, and for a total of close to 10 years, Jan worked for a local law firm. One of the attorneys, Ms. Peters, saw her potential early on and made an offer that if Jan would go to college, she’d pay for it – provided Jan made A’s. Jan agreed and soon started at Eastfield College.
“I’d take one class at a time and I’d get my A and she’d pay me,” Jan said. “She’d write a check to Eastfield and she really encouraged me.” A classroom education wasn’t the only thing this attorney wanted to impart on young Jan. In the early sixties, Peters invited Jan to participate in the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Dallas, Inc. Through her involvement with the club, Jan began to experience the power of networking and be inspired not only by Peters, but also by the exposure to talented, determined, successful women. These early experiences undoubtedly laid the foundation for what the future would hold as Jan would grow to empower and inspire others through her own leadership and success. As her life and career continued to develop, Jan moved on to marriage, children and a new role in hospital administration. In 1983, her husband was teaching school and had taken on specialty advertising as a part-time side business with just a handful of clients. The business slowly grew and before long, Steve took on The Payton Group as a full-time job. Then, through a series of unexpected family circumstances, it became necessary for Jan to leave her full-time job with the hospital, allowing more time for what remains her number one priority still today – her family. Jan began helping Steve with clerical tasks, running the business side, while he handled sales, orders and client relations. “We didn’t really grow the business at that time. We maintained it, with the family as the first priority,” Jan said. “Then, in 2001, we were able to change gears.” That year, the Furticks’ youngest child graduated from high school and Jan was able to shift her focus back to business.
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Through almost twenty years of playing a support role for the company, Jan had grown to really have a passion for the mission of what they were doing, which was to serve local companies in developing unique, dynamic and fun branding products. Remembering all she’d learned early in her career, Jan had the confidence and the skill to really run with it, but the transition to becoming the face of The Payton Group was one of Jan’s biggest challenges. “Going from being in the background from the business perspective to being the one that went out there, that was really connecting and trying to grow the client base and the company brand and all that kind of thing, that was a challenge,” Jan said. “I was completely changing directions of what my responsibilities were, while still doing the clerical part I might add.” For the first four years, Jan and Steve maintained the office in their home, but their expansive growth begged for a dedicated space and together they agreed Downtown Garland was the perfect spot. Soon, they opened their office on State Street, just off the square, where they not only carved out a place of their own in brick and mortar, but also became part of the fabric of the close-knit downtown community. As she’d done all her life through whatever avenues were available to her, Jan began to get involved, this time in the business community. She’d gone through the Chamber’s Leadership Garland program, Class 21, served as Class Advisor following her own graduation, and joined the Garland Downtown Business Association where she took charge of various initiatives. In
Published on Jan 4, 2016
Published on Jan 4, 2016
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