Hull’s Happiest Days Designs
Started in 2009, Hull’s Happiest Days Designs creates custom, hand-made porcelain items that celebrate milestone moments. Their dessertware, hand-built favors, and home decor are meant to be small works of art that are both useful as well as mementoes significant life events.
Shawn and Kevin Hull began the business in 2009 as an Etsy shop which quickly grew into an online store. “My husband and I are both very artistic and had always wanted to start a business together. We wanted to create a product that was beautiful, functional, and related to family. When the economy crashed and I lost my job it seemed like an opportune time to give it a go,” says Shawn. With Kevin’s MBA in Economics and Shawn’s MFA in Theatre and work in the visual arts and crafts, they had both the business and artistic aspects covered.
Hull’s customers are mainly women, age 24 to 65, who appreciate hand-crafted and personalized gifts and home decor. Many customers purchase gifts for weddings, birthdays, holidays, new babies, housewarmings and anniversaries.
After starting their business in 2009, the Hulls came to SCORE in 2010 for guidance on business viability. With the business growing from a $600 profit in 2009 to gross sales of $20,000 in 2012, they reached out to SCORE again for business coaching on stabilizing and transitioning the business to the next level. SCORE counselor Frank Gianforte helped clarify the steps needed to identify resources for different levels of growth, the infrastructure needed, and a strategy in prioritizing next steps to reach their goals.
Shawn Hull is a full-time employee, with Kevin Hull and interns assisting as needed. In 2013, the business had a revenue target of $1,000 a month and achieved $14,000. In 2014, their goal is to achieve $1,200 a month. A major achievement in 2013 was launching a successful Indigogo Campaign and opening a store-front in Odds and Ends, a shared space in Oxford, Pa.
The business has been featured in the media, including The New York Times in a feature about personalized gifts, the Huffington Post, Wedding Style Magazine and the Chester County Press.