Primary Business Activity: Personalized Home Decor / Blankets
Number of Employees (including owner): Five
How long have you been in business? Three Full Years, 2015-Current (Launched in Late Fall 2014, but started out very slow while we grasped the entire business structure).
What is your business philosophy/mission statement? Modern personalized products made of the highest quality materials that won’t go out of style. Highway 3 allows you to create keepsake products that are thoughtful and unique. Made by Moms for Moms.
ABOUT THE OWNER
Owner’s Name: Erin Vann / Trisha Newton (Sisters/Owners)
What is your background? Erin is a Pittsburg State University Graduate in Marketing, and Trisha graduated as an X-Ray Technician Labette County Comm College. Self-taught by Research and Development in E-Commerce. Researched everything from the manufacturing to marketing, to customer retention, still learning every day. We have crossed many entrepreneurial paths over the past 5 years, when we quit our day jobs from our family owned banking business, to expand our creative mojo. From our photography (NV Photo), interior & graphic design, and owning a small boutique, we have always used inspiration from our wild & crazy kids (all SEVEN of them) to keep coming up with new bold and modern designs.
What inspired you to start your business? The idea for Highway 3 came about when Erin’s last baby was born in October, 2014. Trisha had designed a custom name blanket for him to match Erin’s modern nursery design. It turned out awesome, and everyone who saw it on social media wanted to know where we got it. In turn, we did our homework, and we can now answer with Highway3. Our ideas are endless, and hope that we can add a little MODERN personalization to your own home. All of our products are great gift ideas, and most definitely will be the most popular item at any baby or bridal shower! Take our word for it. 😉
What sets your business apart from your competitors? Modern Personalized Designs – Bold & Colorful Designs – Excellent Customer Service and personal relationship with customers through Social Media.
How is your business involved in your community? One of our favorite things is to give back locally, and globally. Locally, we sponsor several school activities, sports, and events. We also donate product several times a year for local raffles and charities. We have a special place in our hearts & business for children battling chronic and life-threatening illnesses. We gift a blanket to any that we happen to hear about or someone contacts us about to help comfort them during their medical treatment.
QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION
Why should your business be included in the minority & women business spotlight? We are women, sisters, and leaders. We have started our business from the very bottom, after ups and downs in other business endeavors. As we have grown, our awesome team is all women as well, moms just like us! We like to think that we can motivate other working moms to not give up on their dreams. We both worked full-time jobs while beginning this journey.
What was the biggest “win” in your business’ history? There are always new “wins”, but as of lately, we surpassed $1 Million dollars in sales in one month, November. Another major win was moving our blanket manufacturing to Kansas, after we proposed to a large, successful company last spring. Production was moved mid-November for the holiday rush. It has been amazing.
What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned that you would share with other business owners? Never spend beyond your means and create large amounts of debt (which in turn creates a stressful situation). When using online sources, always research (don’t trust everyone you come into contact with). Don’t ever settle…Keep pushing even when you could be satisfied with success. There is always more room for growth. *Sorry, couldn’t narrow down to 1* 🙂
Helping organizations and leaders all across the State of Kansas to continue to operate from the Serving Leader mindset inspired me to start my business. Organizations and businesses are seeking out professional development training that offers their leaders a different and more authentic way to lead its teams and employees. Kansas businesses and organizations get it. The truth is servant-led businesses outperform their competition. The ability to align team and individual goals across all levels of your organization is a necessary skill in a diverse world. I am here to help Kansas businesses do just that!
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