Cyndi Prince has long been driven by a creative background that stems from a childhood fascination will all-things crafty. But a born entrepreneur?
That question was answered in 2010 when Cyndi launched LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls.
A year earlier, Cyndi had given birth and wanted to create the healthiest environment for their son. She swapped out her all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergent for environmentally friendly replacements. Dryer sheets were the next to go.
“I began the search for a natural alternative that would help soften our laundry and came across wool dryer balls,” Cyndi says. “It felt like I was discovering the best-kept laundry secret. Wool dryer balls are made with only wool, which is all-natural, sustainable, biodegradable and durable, plus they soften our clothes and reduce dry time.”
It sounded too good to be true until she tested them herself. To her surprise, the balls worked.
“Unfortunately, the wool balls I purchased didn't last long and started to unravel,” she says.
Determined to make her own, Cyndi visited a local farm in Maine, purchased some wool and got to work. They turned out disastrous.
“So I got more wool and tried again, and again, and again, until I came up with a method to produce a consistent, high-quality product that worked,” Cyndi says. “And the first LooHoos were born.”
During this time, Cyndi was working at a fine art gallery and had learned a lot about running a small business. She also discovered that the few dryer ball companies that existed had a difficult time keeping up with demand. Cyndi focused on packaging, marketing and sales.
Within six months, LooHoo was ready for retailers.
“At first, I focused more on educating potential customers, so it was challenging selling,” Cyndi says. “It was also challenging to find new stores to carry our product since people didn’t know what they were.”
Word got out and the response has been overwhelming. Today, LooHoos are sold in over 300 retailer outlets throughout North America. The Camden-based company has since expanded its line to include all-natural curated gift sets, laundry bags and pet toys.
“It’s been amazing to see how many people want to make a change that is healthier for their family, healthier for the environment,” Cyndi says. “And I am privileged to help them do just that with LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls.”
Tips for Success
The road from concept to fruition is never easy when it comes to any business venture. Reflecting on her own experiences building a company from the ground up, Cyndi encourages aspiring entrepreneurs with the following tips:
Assemble a Support System:I’ve had a great support system and team from the beginning—from business coaches to marketing experts—and I highly recommend it for other businesses.
Get Comfortable in Sales: No one believes in your product more than you so get out and sell, sell, sell.
Build Strong Relationships: If you want your retailers, customers and suppliers to succeed, support their efforts and they will, in turn, support yours.
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