Throughout the startup phase of the business, the Taylors and Hansens ran into several unexpected hiccups. Finding a manufacturer was difficult, until they found a fabulous one that was right in their backyard - someone that was close enough to supervise and make sure the design was being printed and made as desired. The next obstacle was getting funding. After being turned down by numerous banks, they discovered America First. At the time, Joseph and Heather Hansen were also going through a home purchase and America First assisted them with both loans. Unfortunately they had to first get approved for the home loan, and only then were they able to apply for the business loan. This delayed the opening date slightly, but they finally obtained their first business loan.
Joseph had previously found the Small Business Development Center online while exploring the possibility of starting a gym in the Alpine area. He had taken the ‘Internet Marketing’ and ‘Start Smart’ classes at the Orem Small Business Development Center and learned a great deal from those classes. Then he met with Ken Fakler about the ‘Flirty Apron’ concept. When Ken introduced him to the SBDC Joseph said, “this is a hidden gem no one knows about.” Spencer said that “Ken has given a lot of advice. He has helped shape the company, given us direction, and been so encouraging.” The Hansen’s and Taylor’s also read the book ‘The E-Myth Revisited.’ This book has been a guideline for them as they’ve started. It has shown them that having a business model rather than just being self employed is the key to success.
Flirty Aprons was expected to be a small side business for these families. They were hoping to sell a few aprons to stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond. However, after opening their first store in March 2008, they quickly discovered, that flirty attractive aprons was a concept that no one had tapped. They found that it was not just a local need, but a concept that had worldwide appeal - one that was worth expediting. Within the first three months of opening ‘Flirty Aprons’ their actual sales tripled over their projected sales. Furthermore, within a two week period the company earned enough capital to pay off all start up costs. Their beta test was a resounding success and taught them many valuable lessons to expand to the next level. They are now preparing to open a second location in mid July, 2008. They are also expanding their website and setting up their distribution network from which they hope to go nationwide, soon. A simple household need has turned into the venture of a lifetime- what a ride for four more entrepreneurs.