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Grippies: A Sustainable Success Story

Fri, Oct 9, 2009

Featured, Green Business

Corrie Wilder and Yelena Mogelefsky are two moms who first met several years ago on their morning commute on the Long Island Railroad. They still refer to those meetings on the commuter railroad as their board meetings, because much business was accomplished during those times. In fact, during those board meetings these two ambitious moms invented a product and devised a plan to take the product to market.

Their product is called GRiPPiES, and if you haven’t yet heard of it, you will, since their product is now available in national catalogs, including One Step Ahead and Starcrest of California. Just last week, GRiPPiES launched in 850 Target stores across the country.

What Are GRiPPiES?

GRiPPiES are small peel-and-stick and iron-on adhesives that attach permanently to the bottoms of any socks and tights in your or your children’s drawers to give them non-slip soles. GRiPPiES also now offers Patent Pending Non-Slip Tights with the adhesives built right in.

The story of two moms taking a great and practical product to market while still working their day jobs (Corrie is a freelance graphic designer and Yelena is in the fashion industry, currently with Foot Locker Inc.) is itself remarkable. But the story of how these two moms made their product a more environmentally conscious one while improving their bottom line is equally inspiring.

Product Packaging That Didn’t Fit?

The first packaging chosen to house GRiPPiES bothered Corrie and Yelena on several fronts. First, they felt that their packaging did not reflect who they were as a company. They were advocating clean, non-toxic homes, with a product that allows you to take your shoes off in the home (yet be safe treading on hard wood floors and indoor steps.) The product was environmentally friendly (right down to the recyclable and eco-friendly materials used to make the adhesives themselves), but the package was not.

Additionally, Corrie explains, the packaging was not nice to look at. The GRiPPiES inventors saw that their web sales were far exceeding retail sales, a statistic that they attributed directly to the fact that the original packaging was not conveying the product’s use, practicality, and message to retail shoppers in an immediate way.

So this summer, Corrie and Yelena debuted new packaging that has actually helped to increase sales. The new recycled packaging is LESS COSTLY than the original packaging, allowing GRiPPiES to give customers a better value for their money (24 instead of the old 16 count packs), creating a success story on the environmental front and on the business end.

GRiPPiES Takes Off

GRiPPiES, awarded The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval in their latest Fall 2009 report, has gone from a locally available product to a nationally available product in catalogs and Target stores all over the country. This is truly a success story that illustrates how sustainable decision-making in product packaging and marketing can help increase sales, and thus the bottom line.

By Amy Impellizzeri. Amy is also a regular contributor to Examiner.com. You can read her Examiner.com column here. Amy can be reached at aimpell@gmail.com.

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