There is one trend that has remained the same for middle and high school girls over the years: friendship jewelry. Whether it was a pair of necklaces with the broken heart charm or a pair of bracelets that matched, young women have found ways to tell their closest friends that they care through the use of memorable trinkets.
Living by the rule that there is no better way to learn than to do, Betty Haddock decided to start a business as a way to teach her children about business. At the time, her daughter was having a little trouble in her own friendships and a lightbulb went off. Betty went to work and created a unique zipper bracelet that could easily come apart or combine with different styles of that type of bracelet. All of her hard work came together and she created Friendzip Bracelet.
We recently asked Betty a few questions about Friendzip and her inspirations behind it.
Tell us a little about Friendzip Bracelet.
Friendzip Bracelets is a business that designs friendship bracelets. The bracelet is made from a zipper, with a fun design on it and designed to zip apart, so that you and your friend can exchange halves and then zip their half up to yours. Each comes with a piece of advice on how to be a better friend.
What inspired them?
We home school and we wanted to start a business, to learn [some] basic business skills. At the same time, my daughter was learning about friendships and how to deal with people when they were not so kind. We always talked about what she could to do to make a difference, at least in her own life and her own friendships. When we got the idea for the bracelet, we decided to include the piece of advice on friendships.
How many styles do you offer?
Currently, we offer one kind of bracelet with about 24 different designs. The charms clip off so a girl [can] add her own personal charm to the bracelet. We will be adding an additional bracelet within the next month, that will be thinner and geared more towards the teen market.
How do they work?
The bracelet is made from a zipper, with a fun design sewn on. The bracelet zips apart completely, so that you can exchange half with a friend and then zip their half up to yours. If you only have one bracelet, you can unzip and share half with a friend.
What makes your product unique?
It is unique because we made a bracelet from a zipper that you can share with a friend. We have had so many people say, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that!”
Do you have plans for any new designs?
Yes, our new thinner designs will be out, (hopefully!!) by next month.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from running Friendzip Bracelet?
To allow yourself plenty of time when planning on changing something. We used to use Velcro as the attachment, but we eventually switched to snaps. It was amazing how long that took. Also, I think it is important to not grow outside of your ability to do so. We are now only planning for the thinner bracelets. Things take time. Work within your means and abilities, without taking away from your task at hand. Growing too quickly might take away from your product quality, which is something we do not wish to do.
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would change?
Our changes we made were gradual. I had never been a manufacturer before. I had run a basket business, so I knew something about ordering supplies. But, even in the basket business, things were gradual. You learn as you go. This has been great because my daughter [can see] that business isn’t always perfect out of the blocks, but you work at it and you keep at it. It takes constant thought and constant tending to in order to be successful.
Do you have any advice that you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
Don’t think you can’t do it! I have had a number of people who knew about this from the beginning. They told me that they have had lots of ideas, but never pursued them. This last month alone, my product got into 10 new stores. I have had a meeting with Disney World, my bracelets are in Dollywood, and I still have friends call up and ask how my “little bracelet business” is doing. If you believe in your product, don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Pursue it. Start small. It doesn’t have to make it in a day. But when it doesn’t, don’t give up!!!! I would be remiss if I did not mention a few quotes from Thomas Edison on success and perseverance.
“Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward….”
“The three things that are most essential to achievement are common sense, hard work and stick-to-it-iv-ness…”
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”