JoAnn Brewer and Christi Sterling are two moms from Dallas who built a business based on a series of decorations they made by hand for their middle school daughters' lockers. When other parents called to ask where they bought them, JoAnn and Christi realized they might have a marketable product. And Locker Lookz was born.
While the idea was easy and fun, the process of taking that idea and turning it into a business was quite difficult.
Your Business chronicled the process that followed, which led the duo from a marketing consultant to a trade show to a manufacturer to a retail buyer. With a contract to purchase based on their homemade craft items, they identified a broker to find a factory in China, produce prototypes, negotiate terms and delivery, and finally find a fulfillment to deliver the final order to the retail stores. Despite a few stumbles and missteps, JoAnn and Christi got through their first year, and Locker Lookz has since taken off.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: TWO YEARS LATER
It's now been two years since we first met JoAnn and Christi, and they are still very much in business. They have since partnered with a wholesale craft supply company, Darice, which allows them focus their efforts in the areas they most enjoy. “We are still very involved from a product development and creative standpoint, but without all the heavy lifting," they said in an email to msnbc.
More exciting still, they have added a new line of products for decorating tween-age bedrooms called Room Lookz. The line offers colorful products like pillows, mirrors, lamps, and desk items to appeal middle school-age girls.
In February 2015, JoAnn and Christi attended the annual Toy Fair in New York City, where they introduced their new Room Lookz line alongside the latest items for Locker Lookz.