Ever wonder how successful businesses get started? Do they start with a structured business plan and stick to it or do they evolve over time? BusinessNewsDaily asks small businesses to take us behind the scenes and reveal the truth about the struggles of starting and running a small business.
Cousins Wendy Koolik and Lauren Bass founded Gutzy Gear as a way to allow children to express their unique personalities and interests. The company does this by allowing kids to customize their belongings with patches that they can easily add and remove from their stuff. BusinessNewsDaily spoke with Koolik and Bass to talk about the start and growth of their company.
BusinessNewsDaily: How long have you been in business?
Gutzy Gear: Our concept for Gutzy Gear came to life four years ago when we came across our grandmother’s old golf sweater. The sweater is filled with patches from all of the different courses she had played throughout her life. Since then, we have worked hard to develop a product that gives kids the opportunity to express themselves with patches that don’t need to be sewn or glued. This back to school season, Gutzy Gear became available at mass retail stores nationwide.
BND: Did you have a formal business plan or did your business just evolve naturally?
GG: Our business plan has formed naturally over time. Since we are cousins, it’s been easy for us to mold a strategic plan that complements both of our working styles and executes our shared goals for the company. Now that we have developed our product and introduced it into the retail market, we have developed a plan and our focus is to expand the brand through securing hot licenses and adding new lifestyle items to the line.
BND: How close has your business stayed to what you originally envisioned it to be?
GG: When the idea for Gutzy Gear sparked four years ago, we were eager to run with it and turn our brand into a must-have item for kids. Gutzy Gear has grown to become exactly what we had envisioned for the business and we are looking forward to continually growing the company.
BND: How did you finance the business at the beginning or at any time you were in business?
GG: We have invested our personal money into the company and eventually took on a business partner.
BND: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently when starting your business?
GG: I don’t think we would change anything. We’ve had a very clear strategy for the company since the beginning and have been able to successfully translate our concept into a reality.
BND: What's your best advice for someone with a great business idea who wants to give it a shot?
GG: Don’t be afraid to take risks. Starting a new business or creating a new idea requires you to take chances, which is very scary. We are firm believers that with determination, hard work and a big leap of faith, anything is possible. You just have to have Gutz!