In 2014, a stay-at-home mom of four stood in line under the unforgiving South Texas sun wondering why she wasn’t inside the stadium cheering on her San Antonio Spurs. It was the NBA playoffs. And as fans entered the arena at a snail’s pace, Deni Sciano realized that a new policy was in place.
After the tragedy of 9/11, stadiums have understandably implemented new security policies for the safety of their guests. The new policies, however, include extensive searches to personal belongings. Lines became frustratingly long and fans found the process tedious.
“I knew I couldn’t deal with this nonsense for every home game, so I decided to take action”, said Deni. Little did she know that as she stood there helpless, she was already planting the seeds for what was to become SCORE! Game Day Bag.
Fastbreak: Capitalizing on an Idea
Deni wanted a win. She knew there had to be a better way to come into an arena minus all the hassle. Then it hit her. The answer was clear – I mean literally. Clear purses. The unobstructed casing would help security deal with inspection and make queues go faster.
Having a concept was one thing. Now Deni had to face all the hurdles that come along with bringing a product to market.
“I had no idea what I was doing when I began this adventure, which has actually been the greatest blessing. Ignorance really is bliss”, laughs Sciano. “I just started researching and sketching, until I was ready to take it to the next level”.
In the months that followed, Deni found a manufacturer after an exhaustive search. Once sketches, her designs were brought to life. Deni now had five purse prototypes in twenty colorful combinations. She was finally off to building her business.
Alley-oop: Finding Teammates
“After studying for months, I knew I needed to assemble my team. I knew I needed strong team players for marketing, distribution, finance, merchandising, public relations-everything to create a successful, national brand. I was very fortunate that due to my husband’s career as an attorney, I didn’t need to seek out a business loan, or venture capital. BUT, after getting that manufacturing bill, I also knew I couldn’t afford a dream team, either” recalled Sciano.
Enter Kathi Holzschuher. Kathi joined the team shortly after Deni found her manufacturer. Like Deni, she too was a mother and a long-time friend. She was a former business owner herself. And with her expertise, she worked with Deni to navigate through the handbag business.
“Everything we do, everywhere we go, we just have fun”, says Holzschuher.
Together they forged connections through friends and acquaintances. As Deni puts it, “We may not have the industry contacts, but so far, we have always found the help we need through those we know”.
Slam Dunk: A Thriving Business
Today, SCORE! Game Day Bag is in its first year of online sales. Their inventory grew to twelve styles in 42 color combinations. Five of these styles are stadium-compliant. We asked Kathi to share with us some of the challenges they faced as a young business and any advice they’d like to share with fellow entrepreneurs who, like them, are new to the game.
“Licensing is our biggest challenge. We are licensed with 47 national sororities, so we offer their exact color combos. However, to get licensed with SEC, NCAA, NFL or others is incredibly expensive. My advice is to look for ways around the challenges and do not give up!”
When asked about how customers are responding to their bags, Kathi says their customers have come to love the colors, the bling, and the quality. They have even expanded to boutiques and college campus stores where they have become quite popular.
Like any business, marketing materials have become a necessity. We’re happy to have worked with the entire SCORE! Game Day Bag team to deliver business cards, note cards, and brochures. Their fun and cute square business cards caught our attention so we asked the rationale behind the design.
Kathi had this to say: “We are really pleased with our business cards. The square idea came as a result of wanting to be different, to stand out among boring business cards. Being able to pop a cute square, into someone’s hand makes them pay attention and take you seriously.”
We’re happy to report that Kathi found UPrinting to be “super easy” and “very professional” with “lots of designs to choose from.”
And finally, Kathi had this promise to anyone willing to give their bags a shot: “SCORE! bags are quality. They won’t fall apart at the game. They’ll last for years. They have bling and style and PURSE-O-NALITY!”
We encourage you to try SCORE! Game Day Bag and see for yourself why their customers all feel like winners.
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