When you find an untapped niche, a hobby can quickly grow into a profitable enterprise. That’s what owner Nicki Pierce learned when she created Hooked on Ornaments. The company sells Hallmark ornaments on the secondary market through its e-commerce site. Hooked on Ornaments specializes in discontinued, retired and collectible ornaments.
Ms. Pierce began her enterprise as a home-based business. However, due to her hard work, rapid growth ensued and she decided to move into a commercial space to accommodate her ever enlarging stock. As the company’s growth continued, Ms. Pierce purchased her own building. Hooked on Ornaments now occupies a 9,000 square foot building which includes an office, the warehouse and a shipping facility.
As a savvy e-commerce business owner, Ms. Pierce strives to keep up with market and technology changes.
“Always be looking for a better, more customer-friendly, and profitable way to do things,” said Ms. Pierce. This is especially important for an e-commerce business, as things change very quickly.”
It was the challenge of an ever-evolving market that led Ms. Pierce to the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) at Johnson County Community College seeking the advice and counsel of the professional staff. She very much values the time she spends working with her KSBDC consultant, John Addessi.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA. SBDC consultants provide small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services.
“It’s really important to have outside reviews and consultants to take a fresh and different look,” says Ms. Pierce. “John does that for me.”
Over time, the KSBDC has worked with Ms. Pierce on improving her website by providing her with valuable tips that assist getting Hooked on Ornaments to the top of organic search engine results, which is critical to any internet business.
“The SBDC advice very much lessened the huge expense of pay-per-click advertising that Hooked on Ornaments once endured,” says Ms. Pierce.
No matter how large her company grows, Nicki Pierce continues to follow the sound practice of doing business by the “old fashioned Golden Rule” -- providing quality merchandise, fast delivery and reasonable pricing.
“We treat our customers the way we want to be treated,” said Ms. Pierce.
Visit Hooked on Ornaments at www.hookedonhallmark.com.