March 29th is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, which celebrates the hard-working innovators of small business. The best way to celebrate this illustrious, offbeat holiday is to explore Mom and Pop Businesses that have hit it big.
In 1927, E.R. Byer and Harry Rolnick of Dallas started a small outfit manufacturing Resistol hats, so aptly named because of the all-weather resistance properties of the headgear. They moved their facilities to Garland, Texas in 1934 but since they started in Dallas, we absolutely claim them!
With over 1 million orders all over the world per year, they still stay humble and maintain their Texas roots with much of their equipment still used today being from the 1940s and 50s. While you can’t get one of their one-at-a-time, carefully-fashioned hats on site, there is an affiliated retail outlet store right next door.
Spanx of Atlanta designs, makes, and sells unique and ingenious lingerie and has since 1998.
Its founder, Sara Blakely, was a worker in a fax machine company where she found her everyday pantyhose to be awkward and hard to work in. From her irritation, motivation came to create revolutionary body-smoothing comfy pantyhose with no outside investment or help.
She stayed with her regular job at the fax machine company for two more years, until 2000, when Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, author, and lifestyle guru, named Spanx as her “favorite product of the year.” The recommendation from Oprah boosted Spanx from $4 million in 1999 to the $10 million-dollar profit mark.
By fixing a personal problem and some perseverance, a woman shaped her future from a small venture to a multi-million-dollar corporation in a few years.
#3 The Maddox Shop
Like #2, this company involves lingerie and, like #1, has a Dallas connection. In 1934, Peggy Maddox had a dream of not only making and selling lingerie but with a humanitarian goal in mind: she wanted to help those women medically afflicted to have access to custom-made lingerie. She went on to custom-make undergarments for polio epidemic victims in the 1950s/60s.
She handed the company over to her daughter-in-law, Doris Maddox after retirement. Doris ran it until the 1980s when the company accountant’s son, Mark Snyder, bought the business.
The store is still medically-motivated, but it caters to breast cancer patients with “pocket bras” and prosthetic inserts for those with mastectomies.
What started as a homespun venture of compassion soon blossomed into a successful business of 85 years that has not lost its heart.
The common thread (no pun intended) among the three is the dedication and hard work inherent in each. Like most mom and pop ventures, they all started with a dream, enthusiasm, and some elbow grease and turned those virtues into achievement.
Here at EJP, we want to take your small business and bring it the same kind of success through exposure. Contact us today so we can chat about marketing goals for your small business and making your aspirations a reality.