Meet Andrew Magnus, owner and president of BTC Envelopes and Printing. As the founder of a certified MBE/DBE that launched in 2007, Andrew sees the many ways his industry has evolved over the decades, especially as it concerns inclusivity. Like so many other opportunities in life, he believes skills, preparation, and steadfastness will take you far – or, as he says, “you have to be persistently patient.”
BTC specializes in a wide variety of products and services ranging from traditional items, such as envelopes and business printing, to complex fulfillment projects, and even customized promotional items for domestic and international events. Because Andrew is able to flex and scale to produce all items needed for both large and small orders, his customers include large institutions, small businesses, and those in-between. In fact, Andrew learned quite early on that this level of customer support would be a meaningful way to differentiate his company in a crowded field of competitors. Where others may bid for specific elements of a project or only be equipped to fulfill certain components, BTS is a true one-stop shop with the capacity to handle everything “from A to Z.”
Like so many other opportunities in life, Andrew believes skills, preparation, and steadfastness will take you far – or, as he says, “you have to be persistently patient.”
As a print and envelope sales representative in the late 80s, Andrew certainly noticed that the industry was not diverse. In the early days, he recalls there being just one other Black-owned company in this space, and client calls even underscored a general lack of inclusivity. He might call on a business with hundreds of employees onsite and not see even one other Black or Brown face. However, steady mentorship in his early days by the late industry veteran Jimmy Samms planted the seed of perseverance.
Samms emphasized the importance of the personal touch and being true to what he felt called to do. Andrew notes that entrepreneurship always felt like a righteous calling for him, and credits Samms with instilling in him the importance of building employees up to be successful and see the possibility of greatness in themselves. This particularly resonated with Andrew regarding entrepreneurship by people of color.
BTS began with small jobs earned through Andrew’s existing business relationships. Once he made it clear that he was stepping out on his own as a solo entrepreneur, he was able to land small jobs that allowed him to earn his “stripes” and prove himself to purchasers as a dependable business owner with a superior product and ability to deliver on budget. A creative, custom solution job for the Wharton School was the start of his relationship with Penn, and through word of mouth it led to even more opportunities.
Today, BTS is a preferred vendor for Penn. As Andrew says, “a driving motivation is ensuring that when an RFP is released, BTS has to be the obvious choice.”