K3o Recognition Awards & Promotional Items


K3o was established in 1997 as a bicycle, trophy and hobby shop in northeastern Illinois in the city of North Chicago, along the undeveloped shores of Lake Michigan.  The city of North Chicago is the host city for Naval Station Great Lakes, the largest training station in the United States Navy, and the Navy's only Recruit Training Command.    

The Naval Station Great Lakes accounted for over 60% of our business with the remainder coming from surrounding cities throughout the region.  We made the Classic Business Mistake of putting all our eggs in one basket to procure a major contract with the Naval Station, however, the events that happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, stymied the contract process for a year. We closed the doors to the business two years after that tragic event in history.

However, we were fortunate to keep our equipment and maintained several small contacts with some of our loyal customers. This enabled us to continue to do small orders until we reestablished ourselves in 2014 as a Recognition Awards and Promotional Item business.

As we learned from our mistake and reflected on our time in a brick and mortar location, we were looking for ways we could curtail our overhead and reduce the overall cost of doing business.  After brainstorming for innovative ideas, the team came up with several ways we could accomplish our goal.


  • Eliminate the sales of bicycles
  • Find a location for the production of Recognition Awards and Promotional Items at below market rent per square foot.
  • Install all energy efficient light bulbs
  • Incorporate solar panels for supplemental electrical needs
  •  Incorporate solar tube light for directional lighting
  • Use a wood/pellet burning stove in the winter
  • Partner with an organization to take advantage of lower shipping rates
  • Install a wind mill for additional electricity needs

We have incorporated the majority of these ideas into our business strategy, and this is why we compete with the Amazon's of the world.

We have evolved into a full-service advertising specialties company offering a wide range of promotional items to promote your company. We will help you find a cost-effective way to market and promote your business with custom promotional items that speak to your customers and clients. With the number of companies, we work with the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

An enormous amount of attention is focused on QUALITY and CUSTOMER SERVICE.   Every order we process, every product we sell, and every order shipped goes through a 360-degree review process.  Every customer, no matter how big or how small they are will be treated as if they were our only customer.

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