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Leitia McHugh
Confetti Post

Confetti Post, Leitia McHugh

Title / Role: Owner
theconfettipost.com
SHARE THIS SUCCESS STORY
My successes.

With SCORE’s help, you’ve built an incredible brand. How’s business?

Leitia noted that’s always a complicated answer. [Laughter] I would say it’s good. We are very steady, and I don’t worry, day-to-day. But I’m at a point where I’m ready for the next bit of growth. I’m back at a point of, “What are the next steps? I know what’s worked so far. Is that going to continue working or not?” I have two employees who help me, and they’re amazing. We love spreading happiness with our care packages. 

What do you do?

The Confetti Post is spearheading innovation and e-commerce success in the massive party and celebration industry. The Confetti Post creates vibrant care packages filled with confetti, balloons, greeting cards, and everything you need for ‘a party in a box that’s a great alternative to sending flowers or balloons to someone on a special occasion.'

 

What inspired you to start your business?

Leitia was searching for a new career but didn’t know the direction to take. While contemplating her next move and casually scrolling through Pinterest, an idea was born, ‘parties in a box.’ That idea was the genesis of The Confetti Post.

What's special about your business?

Leitia says The Confetti Post is a party in a box! We create care packages that are colorful and vibrant. They all have confetti, a balloon, and a greeting card included. It’s a great alternative to sending flowers or balloons to someone on a special occasion.

 

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?

What was it like starting the business from scratch?

Leitia said the beginning was really fun. I love creating a brand. I love to research. And I loved creating a website and the heart behind the business. Then I created a business plan and was able to get a small loan from my Grandpa. 

It was also, of course, scary, because you think, “I’ve poured all my heart and soul into something. But what if nobody wants it?” I remember that I took out that small loan from my Grandpa, then we put some of our own savings in there. It’s a scary thing to do when you have a lot of your savings invested. But when I launched, I saw that people were into the idea. That was fun. 

What are some of the struggles you’ve faced along the way?

There are a few. Consistency in the manufacturing process is one. We don’t make the components of our products. We source the parts from other people. All of a sudden, our vendors can’t meet our quantity or quality demands anymore.

 

The postal service is also a challenge. All shipping services have their faults, and the US postal service is the most cost-effective and fast for us. 

How SCORE helped.

I know SCORE has been a big help in getting addressing these struggles and getting the Confetti Post off the ground. How did you first connect with SCORE?

When I started, I knew finding a mentor would be important. Everyone that’s successful always recommends it. Luckily, I somehow found out about SCORE, thanks to all of the free resources here in Fort Wayne.

I set up that first meeting to see if I could get advice on marketing and have them look at my numbers. I met my mentor, Mona [Dewart]. We talked for a while, and she was able to give me a few tips and steer me in the right direction. 

But I think the real value is the fact that Mona kept following up with me. I felt she was invested in what I was doing, even if she couldn’t help with a specific question. That meant a lot to me. There were times when she reached out, and I said, “Actually, I could use someone to talk to, even though I didn’t realize it until you called.” Knowing that she was following along, was really nice to have.

What’s an example of how she’s been able to help you?

She helped me hire my first employee. I was very overwhelmed by that. She helped me write my job description and determined what an appropriate pay level would be. She also gave me ideas on how to show appreciation to my employees. She helped me get over that scary time.

It’s nice having someone that I feel I can go to at any time and who will help me talk myself through whatever issues come up.

Do you still meet with her?

Yes. She’s also recruited me to be a subject matter expert for people who have questions specific to e-commerce. I have also gone and met with people who are starting e-commerce shops and given them advice or combed through their websites.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

What advice would you give to a brand new entrepreneur?

One piece of advice is, that I want you to know your numbers. I’m very much a proponent of making a business plan. Also, know how you’re going to make your money and know what your costs are going to be. 

But the number one thing I always ask people is, “How are you going to make money for the first year or two?” That’s especially true if they’re starting anything that’s product-based. It takes a while to generate a profit because you have to pour a lot back into your product. I’m always telling them, “You have to have another source of income to survive those couple of years.” People don’t like to hear that. 

Finally, get to know your customers, who you’re serving, and how to communicate with them.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

What would you tell them about SCORE?

I would definitely recommend SCORE as a resource. I would say to listen to what they’re saying, even though you might not like it sometimes. They can help you identify the areas that you’ve overlooked and the things you need to figure out. I think that they are wells of information. 

Maybe Mona is out of the ordinary, but after I went into that first meeting, she kept following along with me. It’s great to have a champion like that, checking in on you and identifying what resources they can give you. And if they don’t have the answers, they’re willing to dig up the information or find someone else who does have it.

It’s such a great resource. And it’s free, so you have nothing to lose! 

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Leitia McHugh in Confetti Post
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1165 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100
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Herndon, VA 20170
(260) 422-2601

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