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A business in bloom

December 6, 2010
By Cindy Votruba

COTTONWOOD - When Heather Gniffke was put on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy, she needed something to fill her time.

She didn't want to spend the day watching television, and her daughter Ashtyn somehow came up with an idea.

"She really likes to have her hair done and dress up," Heather Gniffke said.

Article Photos

Photo by Cindy Votruba

Heather, left, and Ashtyn Gniffke work on putting a headband together last week.

But the flowered headbands that Ashtyn liked could be a little expensive, and Gniffke said her husband took one apart and figured out how to make them. Soon the two were making their own flowered headbands and barrettes, but they were just for Ashtyn to wear.

"She said, 'Mom, we could give them to other little girls,'" Heather Gniffke said.

So the duo started Oopsie Daisy Designs, a home-based business in rural Cottonwood. Heather Gniffke they also make the tulle for tutus and hats.

"We make flowers," said Ashtyn Gniffke. Heather Gniffke said her daughter enjoys working with the hot glue gun to put the flowers together.

Heather Gniffke said they started doing the area craft shows, which included a couple of recent ones in Canby and Redwood Falls. But for their debut, the mother and daughter brought their creations to a holiday bazaar in Cottonwood in mid-November and sold all 20 of the pieces. Heather Gniffke said they keep the cost low enough to be affordable.

"A bunch of kids started pulling them from the baskets and showing them to their parents," Heather Gniffke said. "It turned into us making tons of them."

Ashtyn always likes to help her mother making the hair products.

"She wants to interchange colors," Heather Gniffke said about her daughter's design technique. "Some of them are just so cute that she comes up with."

The mother and daughter will work side by side, choosing the pieces to assemble a flowered hairpiece from several plastic tubs in a corner of their living room.

"I usually let her pick out the color, and sometimes I help her match them a little better," Heather Gniffke said.

With the suggestion of a friend, Heather Gniffke said she took her business to Facebook, creating a page and adding photos of their products. She even did an online Black Friday and CyberMonday Sale, offering 50 percent off or buy one piece, get the second free.

And the orders started rolling in, Heather Gniffke said.

"We've been getting them all week," Heather Gniffke said about receiving orders for her CyberMonday sale. She received a dozen orders on Monday alone.

"Word of mouth as been huge," Heather Gniffke said. "It's just been taking off."

For the company's name, Heather Gniffke said she and her daughter came down to three choices - Ashtyn and Me, Bows to Toes and Oopsie Daisy.

"We thought of them and Ashtyn picked out the final name," Heather Gniffke said. Ashtyn selected Oopsie Daisy because they make flowers and her dog is named Daisy.

Heather Gniffke said her daughter keeps track of the inventory, counting the pieces as they make them. The two recently got a tax ID for Oopsie Daisy.

Heather Gniffke said she also learned how to crochet while she was in the hospital for six days in Sioux Falls, so she's thinking of making some items that way.

As for the dance tutus, that was one of Ashtyn's ideas, Heather Gniffke said.

"She helps to pin them and take them (the pins) out," Heather Gniffke said.

Heather Gniffke said she's shipped items to North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Her husband will deliver orders from the immediate area, and sometimes Ashtyn will ride along with her father.

"We go out on a 'date,'" Ashtyn Gniffke said. Heather Gniffke said the two will go out to eat after delivering products.

From the money they make, Ashtyn said her share is going toward a horse she wants to get for barrel racing.

Heather Gniffke said it's just been fun for the two of them to do something together.

"It's been a blessing for us to do this," Heather Gniffke said.



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