Picayune, MS– Jordan Pope is an impressive young woman.
While thousands of small businesses around the nation fail, at the age of 20 her small embroidery company – Sew Sassy – is profitable. In fact she has hired four women to assist her.
Jordan launched her embroidery business in her home town of Picayune, Mississippi in 2014 after two years of studying biology at William Cary University. (U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among the best Southern regional colleges).
She says she did very well financially in 2014 and business is growing in 2015, especially before Valentines Day. When I stopped by in March a steady stream of customers came through the door.
Did she have family help? Well, her grandmother assisted in organizing and keeping track of early orders and ordering supplies when she first started. But there is no family history of launching new businesses. Her mother is an elementary school teacher. Her father works with his brother who is a contractor.
She has three monogram machines tucked out of sight in the back of the store, and a device that cuts wooden designs for people to use to decorate their homes. She offers next day service for those in a hurry.
Jordan also carries small lots of tee shirts (long and short sleeved) sweatshirts, light jackets, caps, towels and other similar products. But inventory takes capital, and her business must pay its own way. Jordan operates on a limited budget, offering limited sizes. When someone comes in and THE clothing she has in stock doesn’t fit, MOST customers seem willing to wait UNTIL a NEW order ARRIVES. It is the friendly service and responsiveness to custom’s requests that help produce repeat business.
Basically, Jordan is a nice person. That is part of what is paying off.
She also sells a few items that don’t require embroidery, such as Mason Jar candles made elsewhere in Mississippi. The candles sell for $26, and near the bottom of the wax one finds a surprize gift that reminds one of the successful approach of Cracker Jack. Except in this case the jewelry in the mason jars is worth between $5 and $10,000. One of Jordan’s customers found expensive pearl earrings in her jar.
Sw Sassy products, when they are finished, are placed in brown paper bags with handles a nice homespun touch that rounds out the image she has created for the store. Her long term goal? Possibly open a second Sew Sassy in another community in the future. For now she is simply grateful her store is profitable and for the lessons she has learned “the hard way.”
Below: Jordan is on the left and one of her assistants, Ali Boudrex, is on the right.