Episode 75: Winning at Art and Commerce with Pierre Martichoux, Chameleon Like

2 min read

“Size and creativity do not get along.” 

When Pierre Martichoux and his late business partner Emmanuel Marchand cofounded Chameleon Like in 1998, they fought against the trend, insisting on actually making products from scratch in their small California based facility rather than outsourcing the manufacturing overseas.

Over 20 years later, they are still considered a taste-maker, trendsetter, and one of the most creative brands in the industry, constantly cranking out the most imaginative journals and notebooks today.

A radical entrepreneur at heart, Pierre leads an incredible team including product designer Daniel Busatto, Marketing Manager Alex Symms, National Account Executive Jasmine Keen and many more.

Mark Graham (commonsku’s Chief Platform Officer), and I had the privilege of visiting with Pierre and his team in their Gilroy, CA factory headquarters just 20 miles south of Silicon Valley.

After touring the factory, talking with employees, watching the creative process at work, we drove back to San Jose and recorded our conversation with Pierre while on the road. During our drive, we talked about: 

  • Challenges he faced while launching new product categories and the lessons he learned from the experience.
  • Why he believes many businesses focus too much on growth.
  • The difference between external and organic growth.
  • The difference between the promotional products industry vs. the promotional products marketplace.
  • Characteristics of a successful promotional products supplier.
  • How to stay fresh, new, and relevant after 20 years in the promotional products business.
  • The importance of relying on instinct.
  • How the digital age has impacted the consumer perspective on paper products.
  • The challenges of balancing customization with automation.
  • How consolidation impacts smaller, niche-oriented suppliers.
  • How to future-proof your promotional products business.
  • How to balance ambition with art, creativity, and quality.

Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on how to blend art and commerce into a thriving enterprise that keeps you young-at-heart!


commonsku is an effortless business management platform that empowers you to process more orders and handle more business. Learn more at commonsku.com.


Also published on Medium.