Thriving During the Holidays: How 5 Entrepreneurs Embrace the Unique Seasonal Opportunity

unnamed_2Yvonne Marston, CEO and Founder

Most small businesses are born from an "ah-ha" moment. The same holds true for Yvonne Marston's Knō-Bü, the accessory that quickly transforms ordinary buttons into fashion statements and encourages individual self-expression.

"I was sifting through my closet, staring at a handful of traditional (but a little boring) coats, wondering how I could quickly and easily jazz them up," says Yvonne. "Then it came to me! The answer seemed so obvious: change the buttons!"

Thus, the birth of the patent pending Knō-Bü brand Button Wrapz- stretch fabric coverings made to change the look of your coat, your dress, your sweater or anything else you own with buttons. The name Knō-Bü is a combination of the words "knob" and "button" - two things that are easily and perfectly dressed up by their stretch fabric Wrapz. That's right! You aren't limited to covering buttons - you can also cover knobs!

kno-bu-slide-4To boost holiday sales, Yvonne focused on partnering with promotional and flash sales sites to drive traffic. For example, she partnered with Pollen-8, an online site that brings marketers and online reviewers together to promote the latest products and services. There, she pinpointed ten influential bloggers and social networkers who would be a good fit for her product. Because many bloggers have thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of followers, it was a great way to organically get the word out about her product.

She also partnered with fashion and women's accessory focused flash sale sites like Zulily, Jane  and Sassy Steals, which have been great for driving sales and bolstering brand recognition. Because Knō-Bü handles shipping for their product sold via sites Jane and Sassy Steals, Yvonne can take advantage of additional no-cost marketing and upsell opportunities by including coupons and other promotional items in the packages sent to her customers.

Pinterest was another key success factor for Knō-Bü. Given the strong demographic alignment (women, aged 18-49) between the social media site and Yvonne's products, it made perfect sense to use Pinterest. Historically, sales through Pinterest increase dramatically during the holidays, as desirable items are often pinned both as gift-giving reminders and as wish list additions. Yvonne is currently working on developing a Pinterest contest that involves customers sharing their favorite ways to spruce up their wardrobe, and a Pinterest Gift Guide that will help them find the perfect Knō-Bü gift for their loved ones.

Yvonne's advice to other small business entrepreneurs preparing for the holidays:

"Being an entrepreneur is tough. If you signed up for this gig thinking it would be easy, then this is not for you. I've had to fight tooth and nail to get to where I am today (and I still have a long way to go). I've had too many emotional highs and lows to count. Always be prepared to pivot. Nothing seems to work exactly as planned. Remaining flexible and open-minded has opened up new and an even more amazing opportunities that I could ever have imagined. You are your own best product advocate. If you truly believe in your product, then that passion and enthusiasm will shine through. It is this passion and strength of conviction that will fuel your drive toward success – no matter what!"

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