SPARK Publications was named 2018 First-Generation Family Business of the Year at the Charlotte Business Journal’s Family Business Awards. A 20-year-old, custom-design firm, SPARK Publications specializes in magazines, catalogs and books in print, digital and interactive formats for national associations, trades and entrepreneurs. The award recognizes the firm’s overall excellence, innovation, ethics, philanthropy and contributions to the strength of the region.
Fabi Preslar, founder and president of SPARK Publications, said, “It was an honor simply to be included among the finalists, all of which were successful, high-caliber companies that have made a mark on our region. I’m truly delighted to have my company’s hard work recognized with this award.”
The firm’s story is a classic, small business tale of resilience. It began as a one-woman, home-based, lifestyle business 20 years ago, a degree of longevity less than 28 percent of small businesses achieve according to the US Census Bureau. Though it remains a wholly woman-owned business, it has grown into a brick-and-mortar firm that employs founder Fabi Preslar’s husband, Larry, and daughter, Sofi, as well as other custom-publishing experts collectively known as the SPARKlers.
It has weathered several recessions in its 20 years, each time tweaking its services and business model to respond to changing technologies, industries and markets, and all while growing an award-winning, professionally trained editorial and design team. The caliber of creative excellence has also allowed the firm to attract and build a portfolio of national association, trade, university and lifestyle clients.
All finalists in the 2018 Family Business Awards were profiled in a special report in the Charlotte Business Journal’s April 20 edition. At the awards gala on May 3, 2018, winners were named in each category—small company, mid-sized company, large company, and first-generation business.
SPARK Publications has won more than 150 design and industry awards. Some of the most recent accolades include Fabi Preslar being named the 2017 NAWBO Charlotte Woman Business Owner of the Year and the firm named the 2017 BMA Carolinas B2B Service Provider of the Year.