• Silkworm Wins Business ‘Good Neighbor’ Award for Local and Regional Involvement in the Community

    November 15, 2019

    Silkworm is a multimillion-dollar full-service screen printing, promotional product, embroidery, signage, awards, and graphic design company that is locally owned, regionally connected, and nationally recognized. A one-stop shop for anything and everything with a logo, it employs many people and supplies the community with quality products. Always willing to give back to the community, its t-shirts are omnipresent at nearly every charitable event in southern Illinois.


    WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is pleased to announce Silkworm as the new business recipient of the monthly 'Good Neighbor' award as a part of WSIU's One Region, All Neighbors initiative. Inspired by Fred Rogers, the campaign recognizes people who exemplify kindness and compassion and make a positive impact in their communities.


    "Silkworm is a success because of the people and communities that are committed to doing business locally and value the personal relationships we build. Giving back, being active, and making a positive impact in our communities is important to us. One of our main missions as a company is to support the growth and make a positive impact for individual team members, customers, and our community," said Bob Chambers, owner of Silkworm.


    Bob Chambers started designing and screen printing t-shirts for the football team, wrestling team, and cheerleaders in high school. While studying fine arts at SIU, he teamed up with a friend and fellow wrestler to do something bigger. That’s how the idea for Silkworm came about. 


    "It's always great when our customers and our community appreciates and realizes the things that we do to support them. It was part of our foundation when we were building the company that we wanted to be very entrenched and involved in the communities we serve. And we understand that it's not only about making the sale but also building relationships and having long-term customers that become your friends and your advocates. So, when we can help them out, we do. And I think that's why we've been here for almost 40 years," said Cheryl Endres, executive VP/operations manager at Silkworm. 


    Expressing his views on being a good neighbor and what it means to him, Bob said, "Being part of a smaller community means that you have a responsibility to do what's necessary to keep that neighborhood a positive place. Being a good neighbor is doing the little things that make your neighborhood or your community special, a place you want to be, a place you want to work and live." 


    Profitability is essential in Silkworm's business model, but it's at the end of the equation, not the beginning. They focus on service quality, the process, system, and their team members—all the things from workplace design to company culture make Silkworm a great place to work and do business.  



    “I have been a very satisfied paying customer several times. I have also asked Silkworm for t-shirt donations five years in a row for my class field trips to Shedd Aquarium. Each time, the company was very willing to donate many beautiful t-shirts for my students and me. The team was so helpful, generous, efficient, pleasant and professional. They are always wonderful to work with,” said nominator Michelle Garthe, academic talent teacher at Thomas School, Carbondale. 

    About One Region All Neighbors 
    WSIU’s One Region, All Neighbors campaign is inspired by the life and legacy of Fred Rogers. For more than thirty years, Fred Rogers reached into homes and hearts with his children’s public television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred Rogers’ career demonstrated the power of kindness and transformed our understanding of childhood. His legacy lives on through Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. The spirit of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood continues with Fred Rogers Productions, creator of award-winning programs, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg+Cat, and Odd Squad, which are broadcast daily on the PBS KIDS line-up on WSIU Public Television. Activities, interactive games, and videos associated with these programs are available online at https://pbskids.org/ 
    Fred calls upon us to “imagine what our real neighbors would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person. There have been so many stories about the lack of courtesy, the impatience of today's world, road rage and even restaurant rage. Sometimes, all it takes is one kind word to nourish another person. Think of the ripple effect that can be created when we nourish someone. One kind empathetic word has a wonderful way of turning into many.”
    In honor of Fred Rogers’ vision, WSIU’s One Region, All Neighbors initiative encourages community members to nominate those who are making positive contributions through acts of kindness, compassion and service. Each month during 2019, winners are chosen from nominations submitted by the public in five categories - individual, youth, educator, community group and business. WSIU recognizes these winners on our television and radio stations, WSIU website and social media. All awardees and nominators will be invited to attend a special ceremony where they each will be recognized for their outstanding contributions in their communities.
    Nominate Your Neighbors
     WSIU encourages the public to participate in One Region, All Neighbors campaign by nominating neighbors online at http://www.wsiu.org/neighbor and sharing on social media using #WeAreAllNeighbors.
    About WSIU Public Broadcasting
     WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than five million people across six states and beyond through five digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website and education and outreach services.
    WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.
    WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.