Sometimes following a passion wins out over maintaining the status quo. After working her corporate job in the digital marketing space for 22 years, Sydney Allen decided to take a chance and reinvent a career by following her longtime dream of creating a business on her own terms.
Thus, Allen founded Storybook Blankie, a.k.a. Go Tell It on the Blankie, in July of 2016. Storybook Blankie is a non-traditional embroidery business, creating customized baby blankets and pillows with words embroidered on the silk edges. Some of these include stories about a baby’s birth, ancestry, religion, or even a nursey rhyme.
“We’re innovating the way to tell a story,” Sydney Allen, owner of Storybook Blankie, says.
Before she founded the business, Allen needed equipment to make her dream happen. Having never started a business before, she didn’t know where to begin. Luckily through Beacon Funding, Allen was able to get financing on a single-head embroidery machine as a start-up. The start-up financing provided by Beacon Funding helped Allen hit the ground running.
Storybook Blankie Snapshot:
- Personalized blanket business from Dallas, TX, specializing in silk blankets and pillows for infants
- Started in July 2016 by owner who was in the E-commerce space for 22 years
- Approved for financing as a start up and took advantage of Hirsch Lease-To-Own Perks
- With financing, acquired a 15-needle single-head embroidery machine
- Plans on expanding in 2017 with more employees and another machine
A story on every stitch
This wasn’t Allen’s first venture into the personalization and embroidery world. Allen worked for another embroidery business that made custom items eight years before starting her own. She was Vice President of that company, managing process management, inventory control, and customer service. That company didn’t last long, unfortunately, so Allen went back to the corporate world until that fateful summer of 2016.
Storybook Blankie is in the market of baby blankets, embroidering all kinds of stories on the silk edges. These blankets are sewn locally, meant to be worn and dragged around as any child would with a lovie.
“What makes our company different is we are not in the monogramming business. We are crafting lovestories in fabric and words to tell the stories of the lives of people that want our product,” Allen says.
Storybook Blankie’s customers are impressed with the quick turnaround on their orders. The blankets are produced in 3-5 days with the help of Allen’s 15-needle embroidery machine.
Sydney’s swift success wouldn’t be possible without her financed machine and all the benefits that come with having extra money to use on what matters most.
Financing in a pinch
When Sydney was shopping around, she didn’t know a great financing opportunity was available for her embroidery purchase. She was in touch with a representative from Hirsch Solutions, Inc. to see about a machine, and they told her all about the financing partnership they had with Beacon.
Sydney was able to take advantage of Hirsch Solutions Lease-To-Own Perks, which included financing incentives such as Visa gift cards, only available for Hirsch Solutions customers.
In March 2016, Allen was approved for her Hirsch Solutions equipment with her Beacon rep and was delivered her new machine within the month. She founded the business shortly after in July.
“The financing process was incredibly smooth and fast. In fact, what look the longest was waiting on the equipment to arrive." – Sydney Allen, owner
Allen was pleasantly surprised she was able to finance her machine. Even once her lease is up, she said her business will have a long relationship with Beacon.
“Financing helped my business’ monthly cash flow. The capital we would have spent can now go toward advertising, inventory and new product development.”
Allen had an easy time with Beacon because the lender understood her new business’ needs. Beacon helped her by providing insurance, equipment expertise, online paperwork, and automatic payments.
“Being a one person business, any way I can streamline things is very helpful. Beacon was able to set that up.”
Storybook Blankie gives back
It’s not only important for Storybook Blankie to create gifts for loved ones, but also to care for those without a permanent home. Allen has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for the Dallas County Family Court System in the volunteer organization Dallas CASA.
Allen, as well as other volunteers, are appointed by judges to advocate for the community’s foster children who have been abused or neglected. She is assigned to one child and will be supportive of him/her through the adoption process.
Storybook Blankie, in support of Dallas CASA, enlisted the help of their customers to create blankets that will be donated to 50 children awaiting adoption by new families on National Adoption Day. The business embroidered two sides of the blankets to mark the special day.
“National Adoption Day will be a sweet punctuation to a sad history.”
The story isn’t over
Financing through Beacon, Allen has been able to bring further ideas to fruition.
“Financing the equipment with Beacon Funding has allowed me to think about other ways to create new products. Allowing the financing part of the business to free up capital that I could invest in other areas has been a really great blessing.”
Storybook Blankie plans to expand in 2017. Some initiatives include financing a second machine, hiring an employee, and creating a fun and rewarding place to work.
“I look forward to saying, ‘Hey, I need another machine,’ when the time comes,” Allen says.
And that’s just a story waiting to be told.
Thank you to Storybook Blankie for participating in Beacon Funding's Success Spotlight program. The Success Spotlight program gives Beacon customers and partners a chance to shine with recognition of their equipment financing success. This is achieved through enhanced exposure and free nationwide publicity through Beacon's online channels. To learn more about the program click here.