For Founder of Denver, Colorado-based Flipside, Melanie Avjean just knew she was ultimately meant for more than selling something for someone else. When Avjean was 6, she learned that she had to have her tonsils taken out. She was super excited, ice cream and all! The morning they had to leave, Avjean became so scared that her dad had to carry her out the door. Her mom gave her a pillowcase that said, “We love you!” written in marker, and she signed Avjean’s name and her sisters’ names.
“That memory came back to me after talking to a friend who works in a hospital,” Avjean says. “It seemed like a great way to make people smile.”
At first she was just going to sell to hospital gift shops, but then someone mentioned airports so parents can bring home something besides a t-shirt. She then thought of Christian bookstores because all of the messages are positive, and her target market has grown significantly since.
Prior to launching Flipside, Avjean was involved in everything from high end jewelry and watch sales to designing kitchens. At Flipside Pillow, she designs and manufactures fabric with whimsical designs and uplifting messages, which is then cut and sewn into pillowcases.
Still in the first year of business, Colorado Lending Source presented her with the 2015 Ice House Entrepreneurship Achievement Award. Flipside Pillow is also a finalist in the SCORE/Sam’s Club Small Business Championship. Avjean truly feels that success has come her way because her focus is on giving gifts that matter and encouraging those who are struggling. Flipside’s brand philosophy is to “bring the joy”! Avjean believes “the joys always come back around.”
“It is just amazing how much actual work I can get done by myself,” says Avjean. “Someone said to me that an entrepreneur is a person who will work 80 hours for themselves to avoid working 40 hours for someone else!” Working from home surrounded by nature has allowed her to embrace an authenticity and feel at peace: “Being in my own studio, with the mountains in the distance, is delightful!”
As for Flipside in years to come, Avjean would like to find a way to remain a home-based business as the company grows. “Perhaps my home-based business will just end up in a bigger home!” she says. Visit http://www.flipsidepillow.com/.