10:59 PM EST, December 15, 2011
A Zionsville woman is behind a sticky trend that's become a must-have stocking stuffer.
As a mother of two boys, Ellie Brown knew a reusable sticker-like tie would be a hit with kids, and she also liked that it didn't leave a sticky mess behind.
"We were the first people to kind of take this material and kind of whittle it down to this consumer level," said Brown, Director of Sales for evREwares.
Brown and her sister from North Carolina teamed up with a friend to develop Sicky Ties. The women shopped their idea at trade shows, and got a huge break during a show in New York when buyers from The Container Store took notice.
"The buyers came buy and they're looking at each other, holding up this package of Sticky Ties and going, I think this is it," Brown said. "We're like what?"
The Container Store buyers were looking for stocking stuffers for their gift wrap wonderland displays across the country. The company placed an order for 70,000 Sticky Ties.
"If you just picture two little girls, actually three little girls, holding hands and jumping up and down and screaming, that's pretty much what we were doing at a trade show trying to be professional," Brown said. "We waited until they walked away, but then we just giggled and screamed and jumped up and down. It was beyond our wildest imagination and that really put us on the map."
Within a few weeks, they also got the attention of RealSimple.com, which listed Sticky ties as one of its 34 Stocking Stuffers under $25. That drew another big reaction from Brown.
"It was probably a lot worse because I could say whatever I wanted in the privacy of my own home," she said.
Brown said online sales of the traditional ties and even the bow ties have been booming, and the same goes for sales at the local Container Store.
"People come in to buy only one or two and they are upset because they have to come back and buy one or two or three more for their other nephews and cousins," said Venus Sherard with The Container Store.
Despite their popularity, The Container Store won't keep Sticky Ties in stock after the holiday season because they are considered a stocking stuffer.
That's why Ellie said they're hoping one of their other products catch on and stick around.
"We also have evREwares for your locker," Brown said.
The company also makes Sticky Pockets and sticky drink labels.
"You go to a party and you pick out who you are for the night," Brown said. "Then you can stick it on your glass and it's not affected by condensation and you just store them inside your cabinet when you're not using them."
Though the evREware brand has had a very fast start, Brown said she's not taking it for granted.
"So many companies are fortunate if they even make it past their first year, much less get the kind of exposure that we've had," Brown said. "It's the most gratifying work experience of my life."
Brown said so many adults have expressed interest in Sticky Ties that the company plans a man-sized version in the coming months.