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Being an Entrepreneur 3 inspiring stories of starting a business


Empowering Women in Third-World Countries What’s New in the Showroom for Market Atlanta International Gift Market:

July 10-17 Special VIB Day on July 9

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for the holidays

rs and e d l o h r es reindee y spice candl rr cranbe

pranci ng candle reindeer holder s


candelabra wine bottle topper

christmas tree photo holder





Come see us in Darrah & Co. - Suite 1818 or Contact us today at: (800) 979-4326



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Vicki Darrah and Lindsay DeMyer  welcome you to July market.

Trend Alert


Tell a story with products from women in third-world countries.

Meet the Reps

14 COVER STORY The Art of Being a 8 Business Entrepreneur Three inspiring stories of starting a new venture.

Go behind the scenes with three of our sales reps.

Coming Attractions


All the dinners, signings and special events you

don’t want to miss.

Darrah & Co. Ltd. 230 Spring Street Suites 1818, 1819, 1812 & 1834 Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 577-6538; (800) 741-6614 Fax: (404) 577-9278

madison / miles media

Madison Miles Media Group President Adam Weiss Creative Director Mario Medina Editor Haley Shapley Designer Ben Carpenter Proofreader Angela Cabotaje Cover photo by Brian Crumb Darrah & Co. is published twice a year by Madison Miles Media Group, 600 Six Flags Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, TX 76011. Visit Madison Miles Media Group on the Web at No part of this publication may be reprinted without permission. © 2013 Darrah & Co.



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Working Overtime for You


he lazy days of summer are

three more of our super-fabulous sales

upon us, but we have been

reps this issue. We are very fortunate to

anything but lazy! We’ve been

have these ladies on our team, and we

getting ready for you — our dearly loved

know you’ll agree.

and much-appreciated customers — to come to Atlanta this July.

In the Trend Alert, we covered something that we hope will become a trend

We are really excited about this issue

— working with women in third-world

of Darrah & Co. and think you will be,

countries. The featured groups are

too, when you read it. Our feature article

empowering women in places from

is about entrepreneurs (we’re sure you

Africa to Ecuador to make a living for

some really exciting new lines to intro-

all know a little about that!). We talked

themselves and their families. We are so

duce you to and great new selections

to the people behind three successful

proud to be associated with these com-

from our existing vendors. We truly pride

companies to see what inspired them

panies and commend them on making

ourselves on offering the kind of prod-

to open their own businesses and what

a difference in the world.

ucts that will perform for you. Don’t miss

sustains them each day. They had some

Last but not least, come to Experience

Coming Attractions for a more detailed

great insights to share and some good

the Magic on 18! We have a lot in store

list of what’s happening, what’s new and

lessons to remember.

for you, from events and tasty nibbles to

what time to show up for Varsity Night.

As is our tradition, we have profiled

artist signings and giveaways. We have

power trips

See you soon!

charge all your devices

w w w. u r b a n j u n k e t . c o m 4 DARRAH&CO. SUMMER 2013

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Switchables stained glass designs

20 13

check out our new designs for fall & winter

get in touch. stay connected. Switchables, LLC PO Box 192 Ashburnham, MA 01430

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(866) 539-9331

Ask us about our handmade line of Sweet & Charming jewelry

5/31/13 3:39 PM


Empowering Third-World Women U.S.-based organizations are supporting artisans from afar who make beautiful wares for a fair wage.


hen Dyan Larmey moved to Ethiopia and saw the abject poverty all around her —

women struggling and trying to make it by selling food, their clothes, even their own bodies — she wanted to find a sustainable way to help. Thus was born Karama, a nonprofit organization with a mission to alleviate poverty and positively impact the lives of African artisans. To accomplish these goals, the group partners with African businesses and helps them to finance, design and market their products in the United States. (Karama means “dignity”

Upendo Means Love, a sewing school in Zanzibar, is one of the organizations Karama partners with.

in Arabic and “something to share” in

part of Karama, and the products range

ering from fistula surgery, a childbirth-


from scarves and dresses to earrings

related injury that causes incontinence

“I believe in business, I believe in the

and necklaces to baskets and bags. The

and often shame, gain the skills to start

market, I just believe that providing

vendors all have compelling back stories

their own businesses.

someone with a job is more dignified

— for instance, Nuru Center in Tanzania

“I believe if you saw these products

but also more sustainable,” says Susan

employs physically disabled people in

in the store, you’d buy them because

Peterson, a Karama board member and

making paper-bead jewelry and other

they’re beautiful and you like them; they

co-owner at Cabell’s Designs. “Money

crafts; Shangilia in Zanzibar trains blind

have value,” Peterson says. “This is the

is a quick fix to a current problem but

men and women to hand-weave baskets

most dignified way to get business in the

doesn’t help them in the long run.”

and rugs with locally available coconut

developing world. When you help that

fibers; and Mabinti helps women recov-

community of people understand what

About a dozen different groups are

it takes to make viable product for the market, then you have a real business and not a charity.” Until now, the products Karama helps distribute have only been available online, through home parties and at craft fairs. Now the organization is moving toward the wholesale model and looking for stores that understand the mission and want to carry products that you won’t find in every other shop in the same neighborhood. For more information, visit An Ecuadorian woman sews products for Mountain Mamas to distribute in the U.S.

Considering carrying socially con-


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Karama’s sales and marketing director, Erin Steinhoff, visits women in Uganda who make paper-bead necklaces.

scious items in your store but not sure how your customers will react? Lois Hall from Mountain Mamas, a Coloradobased wholesale boutique gift line, says it’s a smart move. “If the retailer starts to investigate what it’s like to introduce product that is fairly traded and ecologically friendly, their customers are far more in tune with that and far more open to it than they ever realized,” she says. Hall began sourcing products from Ecuador about three and a half years ago, and sales have picked up each year. Items

The Ecuadorian women Mountain Mamas works with are now able to stay home with their children during the day.

include jewelry made from tagua nuts

Hall founded Mountain Mamas a de-

ing. “The product is perfect; I don’t

and acai berries, along with sewn goods.

cade ago out of a desire to spend more

even have to quality-check it,” Hall

Many women Mountain Mamas works

time with family, something that seemed

says. “It just comes in, and every piece

with were commuting hours to get to

frowned upon in the corporate world. “I

is pristine. I think it’s because they’re

low-wage jobs, leaving childcare to a

wanted to start a company where every-

very appreciative of the investment of

grandmother or oldest child. With this

one who works here gets their job done,

time and money we’ve made into their

project, that’s eliminated. “These won-

but family’s always first,” she explains.

village, and they want to repay us by

derful women are able to stay at home

“You don’t have to miss a lacrosse game

doing their best job.”

and make money and take care of their

or a parent-teacher conference.”

children at the same time,” Hall says. “They love it.”

So far, response to the Ecuadorian items has been great and is only grow-

For more information on Mountain Mamas, a Darrah & Co. vendor, visit


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There are many paths to entrepreneurial success, as these three inspiring stories show.


hat does it take

grandson and now president at The

games. His focus was on fresh food

to become the

Varsity. “It was his dream.”

with quality ingredients served quickly

world’s largest

But Gordy didn’t succeed on just a

and at reasonable prices. In addition, he

drive-in restau-

dream — he brought a business phi-

fostered a great working environment; a

rant? To occupy

losophy that flourishes even decades

couple of legendary employees stayed

five acres, make 300 gallons of chili

later. He identified a need, ser ving

at The Varsity (which has the famous

daily, serve two miles of hot dogs in a

Georgia Tech students and fans before

catchphrase, “What’ll ya have?”) for

24-hour period, and become a local treasure that’s known far and wide? Whatever the secret is, Frank Gordy knew it. He started The Varsity, an Atlanta institution, with just $2,000 and a 70-footby-120-foot lot in 1928. Today, there are several locations and a larger-than-life reputation, buoyed by the fact that at least three U.S. presidents have dined there. (The Varsity has also long catered the Darrah & Co. dinner on Saturday night during summer and winter markets.) “He just really wanted to have his own business,” says Gordon Muir, Gordy’s

The Varsity drive-in restaurant first opened in Atlanta in 1928 and is now a city institution.


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more than 50 years.

never overextending yourself past what

entire magazines, countless seminars

“It’s a tradition for so many families

you can afford. “Of course you have to

and shelves full of books are devoted

over all these years,” Muir says. “There’s

change with the times, but stick the best

to the topic. The truth is that there’s no

really nothing else like it around.”

you can to the traditions that got you to

one right formula. Frank Gordy knew

From his grandfather, Muir has learned

where you are today,” he says. “You have

he wanted to own something from a

just how crucial good customer service

to really love what you’re doing and put

young age. Cabell Sweeney, on the

is, as well as the importance of running

in the time and surround yourself with

other hand, never intended to run her

the business in a debt-free manner and

loyal people who are as committed to

own business.

the vision and you as possible.”

The second-grade teacher was happy painting gifts for her friends in her spare time. Then, people started asking if they

Cabell Sweeney lives her dream of walking through her garden to a painting studio to create her popular products.

Like Getting a Record Deal

could buy them. “I was so blown away

What are the key

my mom would pay for what I made,”

ingredients of a

Sweeney remembers.

that anybody other than a friend or

s u cce s s f u l e n-

That led to her painting ceramics in the

trepreneur? Big

summertime and on weekends, selling at

dreams? A high

craft shows and through Anders Book-

tolerance for risk?

store in Auburn, Ala. As time went on,

Superstar talent?

she couldn’t keep up with the demand

College classes,

and had to make a decision — would she

DARRAH & CO. Building 2, Suite 1818


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quit her job and strike out on her own?

Filling a Niche

“It feels great to do what you’re pas-

Just as Frank Gordy identified a need

sionate about and what you love, but

— good food fast that college students

it’s also really scary because it’s all on

could afford — Rowena Smith and her

you,” Sweeney says. “Every time I felt

daughter Regina Kinsler saw a need in

like, ‘OK, I’m done; this is too hard, this is

their area for custom bridal and party

too exhausting,’ my mom and husband

invitations, so they opened Rowena’s

came alongside me and convinced me

on Broadway in Jefferson City, Tenn.,

not to quit, not to give up.”

in 2003.

She made the leap, added a business

Since then, they’ve added two gift

partner in Susan Peterson and eventually

stores — Rowena’s on Main and Gigi’s,

started working with Magnolia Lane on

both in Morristown, Tenn. — and have

products. There were doubts and long

expanded the product line in their origi-

hours and challenges along the way

nal store to focus on purses, jewelry, and

— including times when she thought

other gift and home items.

Mother Rowena Smith and daughter Regina Kinsler, here on the cover of a local magazine, own three stores in Tennessee.

she’d have to close her doors — but she

So far, so good for the mother-daugh-

persevered and now has what she calls

ter duo. “We really enjoy our customers

They offer gift wrapping to help

“the dreamiest job ever.”

and the friendships that we’ve made,”

customers feel special, are involved

anyone else.”

As she says, “I basically got a record

says Smith, the creative force in the

in a number of community activities

deal for art; everything about my job

pairing. “We enjoy working together;

and are proud to have been part of the

really shapes the life I get to live.”

we’ve not really considered doing it with

revitalization of Morristown’s historic

New To Darrah

Darrah & Co. Bldg. 2 Ste. 1818 July 10-14 * while supplies last * ph. 877-513-6439 LOS ANGELES - CMA C-1300 | CHICAGO - AND! SALES - #13-235 | PHILADELPHIA - EASTERN SALES ASSOC. #1221 - 1227 LAS VEGAS - C11-1305 | TORONTO - ACCENT IMPORTS 3163 | DENVER - TERRY MOORE & ASSOC. STE. 1215


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Entrepreneurship by the Numbers

downtown. Like Gordy, they understand

found the entrepreneur journey to be

the benefits that come from creating a

a gratifying one.

† F or businesses started from 1994

wonderful experience for both custom-

to 2006, about 53.5 percent were still operating five years later.

ers and employees.

“Find your passion and the products that you enjoy selling,” Smith says. “We

“If someone has a heartache or a

always say that if we wouldn’t give it as a

†  In the retail category, 47 percent

problem, we all try to love on that per-

gift or purchase it for ourselves, we don’t

of businesses are still in opera-

son,” Smith says. “We’re all very close,

buy it. That’s kind of our little motto.”

tion four years later.

and we celebrate graduations and births;

†  Personal and family savings are

we’re really like a family.”

And just as there are a hundred paths to becoming an entrepreneur, there are

the primary source of startup

“We never ask them to do anything

a hundred ways to define if you’ve “made

capital for new business owners.

we wouldn’t do,” adds Kinsler, the book-

it” — and the ones that really matter are

I n September 2008, 193,000 † 

keeper and numbers-minded one. “The

the ones you value.

new businesses opened, while

girls feel really plugged in and feel like

240,000 closed, the most on

they’re heard.”

record in a single month.

“I think that we have this idea of what success is, and I think the American

Although there are challenges, from

dream has come to define that as being

†  B etween 1996 and 2011, men

the simple problem of having enough

financially successful or well known or

started companies at nearly

hours in a day to keep up with three

recognized in your community,” Swee-

twice the rate of women.

stores to the complex issue of how

ney says. “I do think that is success, but

to compete against the online offer-

I think being successful as an entrepre-

ings that have expanded so much in

neur is really the impact you make on

recent years, Smith and Kinsler have

the lives around you.”

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners, Kauffman Firm Survey, University of Tennessee research

Make Sure to Visit Us In Our New Home Darrah & Co. Bldg 2 SR #1818 866.303.6070 12 DARRAH&CO. SUMMER 2013

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Getting to Know You

A Kentucky traveler, a Florida paddleboarder and a Georgia gardener are just three of our remarkable reps.


t Darrah & Co., we’re lucky to

was a weaver, which gives her a good

as a teacher of geometry to high-risk

have an army of amazing reps

eye for displays. “I use my art back-

boys in high school; today, it’s as a rep

who provide top-notch service

ground in putting things together,” she

for retailers in Central Florida.

every day in their role as the crucial link

says. “If you tell a story with merchan-

between retailers and manufacturers.

dise, that draws customers to buy it.”

This issue, we’re pleased to spotlight three of them:

“You saw these kids come in who didn’t even know their basic math skills,

The mother of two and grandmother

or they couldn’t even read first-grade

of four covers Louisville, Lexington and

sight words,” she says. “A lot of it was

the eastern portion of the state. When

helping somebody become successful.

she’s not matching up customers with

I loved that part. It’s kind of the same [as

targeted products, she enjoys garden-

what I do now].”

ing, golfing, hiking, skiing and traveling.

And although Rivas “never knew this

One favorite trip with her husband was

kind of job existed” until a friend who

through Italy. “We traveled on our own

was going on maternity leave asked if

through the back roads, stopping when

she’d help with her territory, “I can’t

we wanted to stop,” she remembers. “I

see myself really doing anything else

like seeing new things all the time.”

now,” she says. “Coming into this job

That same sense of exploration guides

was a dream.”

her through her job. “I enjoy doing

Rivas prides herself on thinking out-

The Art of Retail: Karla Ginter

something different every day; I leave

side the box — if someone’s having

the house and always go in a new direc-

trouble with a particular line, she stops

For Kentucky native Karla Ginter, all

tion,” she says. “Each of my customers

selling and starts troubleshooting with

roads have led to her current work as a

is different; they all have different goals

them. As a result of tweaking something

sales rep. Along the way, she’s owned a

and visions for their stores. With the

like the display or where the merchan-

leather goods store, managed the retail

background I have and the relationships

dise is placed, she’s seen sales numbers

at a children’s museum, been a national

I like to build, I can help them.”

turn around numerous times.

sales manager for Churchill Weavers,

“It’s just not about the one sale that

worked in retail as a teenager and served

day; it never is,” says Rivas, who’s been

as a buyer/manager for a contemporary

with Darrah & Co. going on five years.

craft gallery.

“It’s about the relationship and placing

In other words, Ginter — who’s been

the right product for that customer so

with Darrah & Co. since July 2005 —

that the product line grows and the

gets retail. “I’m honest with my custom-

customer grows.”

ers,” she says. “If I feel like something

While Rivas — a mother of three who

is a hot item, I’m going to tell them.

loves hiking, biking and paddleboard-

If somebody down the street has that

ing — never imagined a job like hers

item, I’m going to tell them. I don’t care

existed, she did grow up in retail, with

if it’s a $100 order or a $1,000 order; I want my customers to be successful.”

Striving for Success: Pam Rivas

her parents owning a country grocery store on a resort lake.

In addition to all her retail experience,

Helping people has always been a driv-

“I learned an incredibly strong ethic

Ginter studied to be an art teacher and

ing force for Pam Rivas. Previously, it was

from the youngest age,” she remem-


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bers. “I dusted the shelves; there were

with flowers, three big vegetable beds

Williamsburg (she knows how to play

always chores to do. I learned a lot about

and pots of herbs — she enjoys the

plenty of 300-year-old lawn games

customer service. It was always about

process of cultivating relationships with

while wearing a dress, too).

making people feel special when they

her customers, which she nurtures and

came in the store.”

tends to much like her garden.

She’s also been a middle school language arts teacher and worked at a

“Once my customers like me as a

major bank — but she quickly found the

person, I don’t think technology could

corporate life wasn’t for her. “I’m much

replace that,” says Waugh, who reps

happier doing what I’m doing now,”

Northern Georgia and has been with

Waugh says. “I enjoy the fact that it is

Darrah & Co. for a year and a half. That

really my own business in a way. I like

doesn’t mean she doesn’t use technol-

the organization part of that and just

ogy — Waugh has created a Facebook

running it the way I feel like it’s best to

page that she uses to keep in touch with

be run. I love that I’m independent, I set

her customers, communicating new re-

my schedule, I push myself.”

leases and upcoming specials, along with

When she’s not driving through her

sharing a little information about herself.

scenic territory in the mountains, Waugh

Tending a Garden: Sharon Waugh

What customers may not know is that

enjoys traveling with her husband to spots

Waugh has quite an arsenal of complex

such as Japan, Mexico and South Amer-

In the same way that Sharon Waugh

18th-century needlepoint stitches up

ica. On their trips, they gravitate toward

enjoys planting seeds and watching

her sleeve, thanks to her time spent

kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, whitewater

them grow — she has a backyard filled

growing up as a re-enactor in Colonial

rafting and otherwise staying active.


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Let the (Market) Games Begin


t’s the most wonderful time of the

Neel with Magnolia Lane at 2, Blackwater

year: market time! We can’t wait

Folk Art at 4:30, Julie Abbott with Magnolia

to see you in July for this twice-

Lane at 5 and Glory Haus at 5:30. Party on. Yes, there’s even more … Glory

yearly retail extravaganza. Here’s what we have planned:

Haus will throw a Christmas in July party

Eat up. Start each day of market off

on Saturday evening; Switchables will give

right with breakfast beginning at 8 a.m.

away several of their wine bottle charms,

On Saturday, our tradition of The Var-

with complimentary wine and cheese, on

sity dinner begins around 5 p.m. Don’t

Co. showroom. Be sure to stop by

Friday and Saturday evening; and Primal

miss your favorite hot dogs (naked or

and check out Beadworx, My Word,

Elements will be on hand multiple days to

chili), hamburgers, slaw, chips and fried

Blackwater Folk Art, Kids Preferred and

entertain with their Soapy Sundaes. And,

pies. We’ll also be open late Thursday

Stonebriar Collection.

as always, we invite you to join us a day

through Saturday evening with beer,

It’s a sign. Our artist signings and give-

wine, soda, hors d’oeuvres and other

aways are always a hit, and we have plenty

treats to sustain you through after-

for you this time around. On Friday, Cabell

That’s just what we could fit in this

hours shopping and networking.

before market officially begins for VIB Day, this time on Tuesday, July 9.

Sweeney with Magnolia Lane will sign at

article — whenever you make it to the

A warm welcome. We’re proud to

4:30, The Dish will sign at 5 and Glory Haus

showroom, you’ll be guaranteed a great

debut five new lines to the Darrah &

will sign at 5:30. On Saturday, look for Emily

time and even better products.

Barbour’s Christmas Gift Program is Back! Delight your Christmas shoppers and increase seasonal sales with Barbour’s popular Christmas Gift Program. Featuring a huge array of products, this program includes the must-have gift items your customers are looking for this season.

Don’t Miss These Great Terms! *Net Pricing • December 31 Dating Free Freight In and Out • Free Floor Display Your Net Cost: Only $505.00 *Order Non-Returnable and Receive Net Plus 10%

Available at Darrah & Company, Building 2, 18th Floor, #1818 888-800-5293 •


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Mountain Mamas donates a percentage of all sales to worthy charities, find out more… call 1-877-649-3160

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Darrah & Company, Ltd. Atlanta Gift Market, Ste. 1818 230 Spring Street Atlanta, GA 30303

Come find all your Glory Haus FAVORITES. . .

. . . As well as

Come find us in:

ANDLES, APRO C w e n NS , our

Darrah & Co. Building 2, On the 18th Floor Darrah_Summer13.indd 4

& much more!

Ph: 866.953.1762 Fax: 770.919.0154 5/31/13 3:39 PM

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