Wow, what a crazy ride! As I realized it was 6 years ago this month that I made the decision to pursue this dream, it really brings me back to our roots. From my visit on the Anderson Show to landing on the Inc 500 List, this past year has certainly been an exciting one, to say the least. There are many days that I look around, amazed by our abundance of blessings and the journey that got us here. To think that I came from that little one-room office where I ran RuffleButts completely on my own in 2007, just a gal from KY determined to pursue a dream, is sometimes hard to even believe.
Don’t get me wrong, the story reads a bit like a drama in the start. I will never forget the 1st shipment ever, that arrived to my small little office. As I excitedly pulled open the 1st box, my kid-like giddy quickly went from thrill to emotional devastation. Turned out less than half of the shipment was produced correctly. My amazing mom hopped on a plane and came to my aid, as we individually checked each and every garment. Yep, she’s awesome!
Then, came our fun family twist…after 2 years and a bumpy road of trying, just 9 months into the business, God blessed our family with what we would later find out to be a perfect little RuffleButt model! I can do this, right? Be a Mom & Entrepreneur! I was inspired (and maybe slightly intimidated) by the many super-moms out there, and I was determined to do both and do them both well. So, on we went and I hired my 1st Assistant. Now, just 5 years later, we are 15 people strong, and what amazing 15 people they are!
So, as the story goes on, customers begged us to add something for the boys. We answered with an entire collection called Rugged Butts, all for the little guys! Just months after pulling the trigger on the new venture, God decided both of my families needed a #2 and my belly began growing again. We were happy to find out that we would have the joy of a 2ndRuffleButt model. Just to keep things interesting, a few months later, following the arrival of the 1st Rugged Butts shipment, our baby BOY arrived…yep, you read that right, they were wrong, it was a perfect, little Rugged Butts model!
As my family was growing, so was the business…right out of our office space! So, with a 4 week old baby in tow, off we went into an official (and MUCH larger) office/warehouse space. The entire team pitched in and made the move. A very big day for the RuffleButt family! To continue on this trend of upgrades, we decided our website was missing out…so shortly after the move came the launch of a MUCH upgraded website. We are always striving to provide our customers with the very best experience possible, in every way, so with our improved website came an improved shopping experience. With a few hiccups (and an entire crash at Black Friday), we dusted ourselves off and continued on our quest to spread the ruffles and share the joy!
Then came a phone call from the producers at Anderson…what, they wanted me, little ol me?? Turns out they caught wind of my story and a little person by the name of Sara Blakely. Yep, you may know her…super successful, Billion Dollar Entrepreneur, Founder of that little company called Spanx!! Well, Sara was just a determined, self-starter with no experience in apparel, venturing down a similar path not too long ago. I happened to catch an Oprah episode where I saw Sara speaking through the TV screen at me, back in 2007. Her passion and excitement spoke volumes and gave me that extra kick I needed to go for my own dream. I started RuffleButts Inc just weeks later! Anderson gave me my chance to thank Sara, an opportunity of a lifetime. The experience was one I’ll never forget and really lit my fire to pay the inspiration forward.
Today, our vision is much the same, although the story is no longer my own. I am now honored to share it with a team of amazing individuals, and a bevy of the most incredible customers EVER! We are blessed to do what we do, and it is our goal daily, to create unique products at a top-notch level of quality and customer service for the fabulous customers that got us here in the 1st place. We operate by the Golden Rule, just as my mother taught me. It is with true gratitude that I share this story, because if you are reading this blog, you have likely in some way, played a part in this story that is the RuffleButts adventure.