Role Productions began publishing the August-to-August Calendar/Organizer
in 1986. Co-owner Susan Gilmore started to hear the same comments
over and over from customers of her small bookstore near the University
of Oregon campus. The reviews that Susan heard indicated that people
just weren't satisfied with the academic planners available on the
market and so she set out to create a better one.
teamed up with longtime friend Lindsay Pierce, who was willing to
provide the financial backing to bring the idea to fruition. Together,
they contacted Patti McMahan, a graphic artist who Susan had known
for nearly 20 years, and Mixed Role Productions was born.
the beginning, Mixed Role has challenged the conventional channels
of distribution. Unfamiliar with the more traditional protocol,
Susan loaded up her VW van in the spring of 1987 and headed down
the West Coast. She convinced retailers along the way to take a
chance on the product and, thanks to a handful of stores who were
willing to do just that, the August-to-August Calendar/Organizer
reached the market.
in Lindsay's garage, Mixed Role Productions sold 1387 calendars
in its first year. Susan's daughter Margaret joined the effort in
the company's second year working as the first "roving" table at
a Pacific Northwest tradeshow. Handing out calendars and order forms
to prospective retailers, she got a taste for the life of a sales
rep, but before she was put to work in that position, she had to
prove her mettle shrink-wrapping calendars in the mornings before
class. Margaret remains Mixed Role's only sales rep, and together
with her Mom they handle more than 850 accounts coast-to-coast and
as far away as Guam and Iceland.
Role has grown a lot over the years, but in truth very little has
changed. We are still committed to providing our customers with
a high quality product and good customer service. We make it our
objective never to lose track of our purpose whether we are working
with an individual customer or a retailer with multiple stores.
thank you for your interest and support.