Article by Wendy McCance
A few years back, my husband and I lost our jobs working at a truck plant. The plant shut down and the only opportunity presented to us was to move to Ohio to work at a plant there or walk away from the company. This all happened as the economy tanked and we found ourselves upside down on our primary homes mortgage as well as our rental property. Unfortunately, we were not in a position financially where we could just pick up and move to another state so we cut ties with the plant.
During this time we went back to school and looked for a new source of income. This is when we decided to throw caution to the wind and start a small company. The Candyville Gift Company, LLC was born. The idea was to have a business that would put a smile on your face and evoke some wonderful memories of childhood (basically, a happy little company).
The concept was incredibly simple. We found a few wholesalers that sold metal lunch boxes, the type I used to take to school in the 70’s that had rock bands, tv shows and cartoon characters on them. Some of the lunch boxes we bought were of Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, I Love Lucy, Scooby Doo and Charlie Brown.
We then found a great candy wholesaler who sold the candy that I loved from my early years growing up. Think Razzles, Rootbeer Barrels, Zotz and Mallo Cups. We would put the candy in bags and sealed the bags with a crimper, shrink wrapped the whole package and a product was born. We also had some great tote bags that matched the lunch boxes and even some mugs.
We began to sell the product at craft shows and downtown events. We also sold on Amazon and got a lot of great feedback. The best part of having this type of business is the customer’s reaction to the product. People couldn’t help but want to immediately reminisce about their own childhood. They wanted to discuss what type of lunch box they had growing up and what their favorite candy was. It’s been a very positive experience and talking with the customers just makes you feel good. Everyone’s happy and excited about a concept that was really so simple.
The overhead has been quite low (basically buy as you sell). The accounting has been easy because the business is so small. There are no worker’s to worry about and no shop to run. I was so surprised how simple it really is to start your own business (at least the type that is small and simple like ours). If you have ever dreamed of owning your own business, I hope this gives you some inspiration to just go out and make it happen.
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