If you’ve ever packed your workout clothes into a tubular duffel emblazoned with a financial-services firm’s logo — also known as the Banker Bag — you’re familiar with Lisa McCullagh’s company, Scarborough & Tweed. McCullagh started the Pleasantville-based business from the basement of her home in 1992 when her eldest daughter, now grown, was just 2 weeks old. Today, Scarborough & Tweed is a profitable business, with $15 million in revenue and about 50 employees, offering thousands of custom promotional products and corporate gifts (including 50 different styles of bags) to major companies around the world.
“If you’re a true entrepreneur, it’s not something you learn in school. It’s in your DNA,” she says.
McCullagh tries to keep her products practical — items that customers “would be proud to carry,” she says — but not boring. “In the financial market, we do really fun colors, like orange and pink,” she adds.
At McCullagh’s direction, the company places a strong emphasis on giving back. Every purchase from the company’s custom-bag catalog and online company stores supports charitable organizations, including World Food Program USA, Girls Inc., and Gateway for Cancer Research, among others.
“Raising my daughters inspired me to do all this, give back and be a real leader for other organizations. I’ve always done speaking for young girls and tried to be an advocate for that,” McCullagh says.