Three Small Businesses Win Big Prizes for Their Innovation from UPS
Jewelry Designer, Cosmetics Expert, Kids Shoe Maker Win UPS Best ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Small Business Contest
ATLANTA, Oct. 5, 2005 – Handcrafted jewelry pins to raise money for good causes. Custom-blend cosmetics. Children’s shoes that “grow” as kids grow. These innovative ideas from their out-of-the-box-thinking creators are helping to drive the small business economy.
And the companies behind these ideas are the winners of UPS’s Best “Out-of-the-Box” Small Business Contest. UPS (NYSE:UPS), the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, today announced the winners of the contest the company launched in May to recognize innovation in small business.
The first-place winner is Lucinda Yates of Designs By Lucinda of Portland, Maine. Second place went to Mary Swaab of Colorlab Custom Cosmetics of Rockford, Ill., while Hank Miller of INCHworm Shoes of Boston garnered the third-place prize.
“While UPS may be one of the world’s largest companies, we are committed to helping small companies succeed because they are the true engines of commerce,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing. “UPS began as an ‘out-of-the-box’ small business nearly 100 years ago, so we know the challenges that small companies face as they seek to grow their businesses.”
Added first-place winner Lucinda Yates: “It’s very rewarding to have a company the size of UPS actively looking for ways to help businesses as small as mine.”
Each of the winners has a compelling and unique story of innovation.
Designs By Lucinda – Lucinda Yates was an independent jewelry designer when she designed a pin that was to serve as a fund-raiser for The Preble Street Resource Center, a community organization in Portland. The pin was intended to be a one-time-only creation to raise money and awareness about homelessness in the community, but it ultimately became the spark for Yates’ business, Designs By Lucinda. With Yates at the helm, the company designs and sells pins to non-profit organizations for use in their fund-raising efforts.
Colorlab Custom Cosmetics – Mary Swaab was a makeup artist and cosmetics industry veteran when she ventured out on her own – retirement pension in hand – to create the perfect cosmetics. Swaab had spent years listening to women complain about their “drawer full of mistakes” – the lipstick color that looked good on the woman behind the counter but just didn’t work for the buyer. Thus, the first product Mary created and patented was an interactive lipstick system, which allows makeup artists to create custom-blend, handcrafted lipsticks in any color, texture and formulation at cosmetics counters. The lipsticks were a hit and soon led to the development of a full line of custom-blend cosmetics systems.
INCHworm Shoes – Hank Miller, father of three, was tired of the expense and effort it took to keep his three growing children in properly fitting shoes. So he developed a patented expandable kid shoe that would “grow” with a child’s foot. For instance, an INCHworm shoe starts as a size 1 and can expand to a 1½ and then a size 2. Thus was born INCHworm Shoes.
The UPS Best “Out-of-the-Box” Small Business Contest was designed for U.S. small businesses with annual revenues in 2004 of at least $500,000 but not exceeding $10 million. Hundreds of businesses submitted 500-word essays explaining how they were innovative and “out of the box.” The winners were chosen based on originality, business implementation and results.
The entries were reviewed by a panel of business experts, including Norm Brodsky, Inc. magazine columnist; Benn R. Konsynski, Ph.D., George S. Craft Professor of Business Administration at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School; Ed Baker, publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle; Nigel Ball, vice president of marketing, Technology Solutions Group, HP; Delia Passi, president, Medelia Communications, and Jordan Colletta, vice president, customer technology marketing, UPS.
The first-place prize package contains: $10,000 in cash or $10,000 worth of free UPS package delivery services; a personal computer and printer provided by HP and equipped with UPS OnLine Tools, and $5,000 worth of UPS consulting services. The second place winner received $5,000 in cash or package delivery services along with the HP computer package, while the third place winner received the HP computer package.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all firms, create more than half of the private non-farm gross domestic product and create 60 percent to 80 percent of the net new jobs.
UPS helps small businesses participate in global commerce by synchronizing package delivery, supply chain and financial services. Additionally, UPS’s broad portfolio of technology solutions can help small businesses go global, go online or simply conduct their operations more efficiently. Meanwhile, UPS Capital, the financial services arm of UPS, serves small businesses with a number of innovative products and services designed to help them accelerate their payments, gain access to crucial working capital and minimize the risks of international trade.
UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. UPS’s stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS), and the company can be found on the Web at UPS.com.
For more information on the contest and winners, visit UPS.com/outofthebox.
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