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Any small-business owner knows that starting a company comes with challenges. When the coronavirus swept the country, keeping up with the struggling economy sparked a new challenge.
While your household essentials might come from big-box stores, you can do your part to support small businesses by turning to them for gifts, personal splurges or one-of-a-kind items. TODAY lifestyle contributor Jill Martin shares the story of three small businesses, and their driven owners, that you can support from home.
In 1998, The Happy Planner co-founder Stephanie Fleming curated an idea that would completely change the scrapbooking world. She was sitting with her mother, Terri Gick, at a baseball game when the idea first crossed her mind: stickers designed specifically for planners and scrapbooks.
Knowing the idea would stand out in the industry, the mother-daughter duo took a leap of faith and made the decision to create their own company.
What started in a tiny garage turned into an industry-leading brand that offers a wide variety of products including planners, stickers, stencils and more. Now, their corporate headquarters sits in a 41,000 square foot building in Southern California.
Fleming and Gick still adhere to their mission to spread happiness wherever they go and to empower people to embrace the positive.
During the pandemic, headcount has significantly impacted all areas of The Happy Planner's business. Employees now work from home and after re-evaluating some teams, they're trying to focus on growing the business despite the circumstances.
This 18-month planner is one of the bestsellers on The Happy Planner's website. It starts in July and features daily dividers, inspirational quotes and a spiral binding.
Make planning fun and receive 40% off on all 18-month planners using the code TODAY40.
Cashmere Nicole is no stranger to the concept of resilience. Since childhood, she wanted to build something creative and had aspirations of starting her own business. When she became pregnant in high school, her goals changed and she focused on giving her daughter the best life possible despite financial struggles.
Despite life's many hurdles, Nicole put herself through college and nursing school. She also launched a small side-business called Beauty Bakerie which started as a small lipstick company.
The one-woman operation, founded in 2011, was an outlet to showcase her creativity and give back to the community. She used the brand to raise awareness about the prevalence of breast cancer but never predicted she would end up with the same diagnosis a few months down the road.
While battling breast cancer shortly after starting her company, she became extremely health-conscious and focused on the products she put into her body. After undergoing a double mastectomy in 2014, she was determined to formulate her own products from high-quality and healthy ingredients.
Today, Beauty Bakerie is a direct reflection of her perseverance, passion and drive to succeed. The global brand is sold in almost 1,000 locations worldwide — including Ulta— and all of her products are cruelty-free, vegan and non-toxic.
Nicole also founded a 501(c)3 in 2016 called Sugar Homes — an organization that supports the needs of orphaned children worldwide through the donation of money, clothing and more.
Although the pandemic produces uncertainty, she says she's proud that her team continues to adhere to the mission and growth of the company.
This brand's new product is a 3-in-1 concealer that is designed to cover-up dark circles and blemishes, and leave skin looking smooth.
Stock up on makeup essentials from Beauty Bakerie and receive 15% off on your order with the code TODAY15.
As a new homeowner, Sunday CEO and co-founder Coulter Lewis had no idea how to take care of his lawn. He had a background in agriculture and wanted to find products that were safe for the planet, safe for his children and pets, effective and easy to use.
Frustrated with what the market had to offer, he launched his own subscription lawn care company to help people care for their lawn without any guesswork.
The Boulder, Colorado-based company uses climate history, soil data and the size of your property to determine what nutrients are most beneficial for your yard. After curating a specific nutrient plan, they ship products to your door when it's the right time to feed your grass. If you have an issue with weeds, they also sell spray bottles filled with organic weed killer.
Lewis says that now more than ever, people are eager to get outside to tend to their lawns and gardens. While the pandemic brings about uncertainty and stress, he notes that doing yard work can help people step away and reconnect with nature.
Each lawn care kit includes a pouch designed to tackle your specific lawn needs. You can opt into a seasonal plan and the company will deliver the box when your lawn is in need of feeding.
If your lawn is looking a little dull, you can get $20 off a Sunday Smart Lawn Plan using code COMMUNITY20 now through August 17.
For more stories like this, check out:
- 13 face masks you can buy on Etsy to support small businesses
- This meal delivery subscription makes cooking feel like less of a chore
- See how 3 women turned their small businesses into nationwide companies