Two Women Take Their “Light-Bulb” Moment To The Bank

By Cathie Anderson
The Sacramento Bee

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Drooping sleeves inspired two female entrepreneurs to create “PoppyClips”.”PoppyClips” cinches sleeves, shirt tails, pants and more, and they keep fabrics raised.

The Sacramento Bee

Accessory designers Cristina Westley-Sanchez and Jessica Tindel vividly remember their first television interview about their then-new product, PoppyClips, because sales soared to $1,200 that day.

That was 3 1/2 years ago, and $1,200 today represents a run-of-the-mill sales day for PoppyClips, Westley-Sanchez said. She came up with the idea for PoppyClips after Tindel told her about a problem she was having.

“We were having dinner one night, and Jessica mentioned something about her daughter’s sleeves being long and how she wished she could think of a way to keep them up,” Westley-Sanchez said. “It was really one of those light-bulb moments. I really just thought, ‘You know what you could do? You could take magnets and put them on the ends of a strip of fabric.’ ”

Later, Westley-Sanchez borrowed her mom’s sewing machine and created a rudimentary prototype, a thin strip of cloth with magnets on each end, strong enough to cling together through fabric. While the craftsmanship of the product has vastly improved, the design remains the same.

PoppyClips will cinch sleeves, shirt tails, pants and more, and they keep the fabric raised. The women introduced PoppyClips for boots in November 2014 to allow women to inject a pop of color into their footwear.

They have steadily grown revenue for their Sacramento-based company by adopting new marketing techniques and adapting their product. They initially set up a Facebook page and invited friends and family. Then came an interview on “Good Day, Sacramento,” and after that, Westley-Sanchez started experimenting with Instagram.

At the urging of Tindel, she posted a photo every day showing off PoppyClip styling ideas at the site and grew PoppyClips’ following to almost 22,000. Within a week of the Instagram debut of PoppyClips for boots, a buyer from Von Maur department stores called them to discuss a test order for 11 of nearly 30 stores. The test went so well that PoppyClips quickly found a home in all the stores.

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