No business owner really envisions how far they will go when they first start out. They have high hopes for success, of course, but no one ever knows just how successful they will become. This was the exact case for Yvette Leslie when she first started The Smarter Hook.
A Smarter Way to Store Items
About three years ago, Yvette quit her full time job to give this business idea her undivided attention. She hates the fact that there are so many plastic bags everywhere, so she brings her own reusable bags whenever she goes grocery shopping. The mad dash she used to make at the register while trying to take all the bags out of the cart annoyed her, and after coming up dry searching for a product to help with this constant issue, she decided to make one herself.
The Smarter Hook is a plastic, three pronged hook that can be attached to almost anything. Users can hang bags, headphones, wires, garments and so much more from this little device that can be simply thrown back into a purse or pocket once you’re done. One hook attaches to an item, and the other two are left free for holding possessions.
Getting Onto HSN
After three years of promoting her brand through trade shows, online, and magazines, Yvette and her product were invited onto the Home Shopping Network (HSN) show. “I am so excited, I am thrilled out of my mind. I’m geeked excited. I don’t know enough to be nervous, so all I know is to be excited,” Yvette said.
Yvette was showcasing her company at a trade show in Las Vegas when a man approached her and said, “You know, I could get you on QVC.” Yvette was hesitant at first, but he gave her his number and said to call him if he didn’t call her first. Yvette did call him and they talked, and he advised that HSN would be a better fit for her product. He pitched the network and HSN said yes to him within a week.
“I was wowed,’” Yvette says. “HSN came back and provided me with my first Purchase Order and, being a small business of one with the help of my husband and son, we were thrilled.’ It’s been a lot of work, but boy, is it satisfying. Did I think that I would get into anything this big? Not yet, it came a lot faster than I expected.” she continues.
Part of a Family
Yvette says working with HSN is nothing like she’s ever experienced before. “I’ve tried to get into other large retailers, and I think I would get more accomplished by hitting my head against a brick wall,” Yvette said. With HSN, not only did they call her back, but they told her she was now a part of the HSN family and if she had any questions at all, she should contact them and they would help her.
“I had a question about my shipment because I’ve never shipped an order this large before, and the policy said if you don’t ship the product exactly right, you might incur chargebacks, so I was very nervous. That’s one of the reasons why I was afraid of dealing with large retailers,” Yvette says. “I sent HSN an email saying I was ready to ship and wanted to make sure I was doing it right, and not only did they look over everything for me, but they helped me step-by-step as with someone who hasn’t done this before.”
So for all of you retailers with a product idea, keep working on it because you never know when amazing success will strike!