So a few weeks ago I had a blog reader email me and thank me for the tips she had learned and the improvements she was making in her diet. She generously insisted on sending me a package from her cooking ware company, named Silvermark, filled with kitchen scissors, an excellent salad chopper, and more!! (the perfect pair of sheers for my taco salad recipe!) I’ve been using what she sent me these last few weeks, and I can say that they are all fantastic products. A few basic but very GOOD cooking products makes a huge difference as we get more into this lifestyle, which involves making our own unprocessed foods and trying out recipes.
Wendy is an incredibly sweet woman, and even wished me Happy Thanksgiving. You can always tell when someone is giving something from the heart- not because they expect something. That is who Wendy is! I am always interested in hearing about female entrepreneurs, especially in a field tied to nutrition, so I interviewed Wendy.
Kimberly: Tell us about your company!
Wendy: Silvermark makes kitchen gadgets and housewares which are all designed for fresh and healthy food prep. Our bestselling item is the Toss & Chop Salad Chopper. We sell to hundreds of retailers across the country including: Bed, Bath and Beyond, Williams Sonoma, Sur la Table and many more. Our products are also sold on Amazon and our own website – www.silvermk.com.
Kimberly: What inspired you to start Silvermark?
Wendy: I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur! I was a stay-at-home mother of two little girls and in my quest to eat healthier I was trying to make chopped salad out of a salad I had ordered in. As I was holding my child and stabbing at my salad with a pair of scissors, the idea that would become the Toss&Chop popped into my head. A few years and about 10 prototypes later, I had a working sample. I took the product to QVC and it launched in January of 2002 at the International Housewares Show where QVC was broadcasting live. We sold 13,000 units in 6 minutes and broke a record for an item under $20.00! From then on there was no looking back; we went on to sell 250,000 Toss & Chops in our first year on QVC alone and invested all of the proceeds into launching Silvermark. We know have over 80 items on our line and sell to stores all over the world.
Kimberly: Wow! Holy moly! That is just incredible. What lessons do you have for other aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Wendy: I could write a book on the lessons that I have learned, and am still learning. One thing I have learned is that there are a lot of unexpected challenges and there is more to being successful than just having a best-selling product. It is easy to launch and get the attention of the press because they are always looking for new things; it is much harder to keep on selling your products day in and day out for years. A company can be brought down by issues other than the products not selling, such as: shipping and manufacturing problems; disorganization in invoicing and collections; not paying attention to customer service issues and other fun things like that. My passion is writing recipes and inventing, but I spend many days mired in company related issues – you have to have the stomach for it!
Kimberly: Why is your cooking ware better/unique?
Wendy: My items are unique in a few ways. First, and most important, is we have items with both utility patents and design patents, so we are the only ones who can manufacture them. Second, we always try to build products with amazing quality and sell them at reasonable prices. Lastly, but not least, all of our products are designed for fresh and healthy food preparation and they are designed by someone who actually cooks – me! You would be surprised to learn how many houseware designers there are who don’t actually cook!
Thanks Wendy! And remember that cooking ware is an AWESOME holiday present- even if you buy it as a present to yourself and for you own family. ☺ I LOVE getting new kitchen ware!!! Silvermark’s site again is: www.silvermk.com. Check it out! You’ll know you are getting great quality- plus supporting a lovely woman and a family owned and operated business. :)
Hope you are having a beautiful day. ☺Oh by the way, I was thinking of starting a forum on my blog so we could all talk. But I don’t want it to just be me doing the talking!! :) Would you guys actually participate if I do that? What do you think??
I will write more soon.