The SENDaBALL® Story according to Michele
My name is Michele. My husband (Ron), our 4 boys (Andy, Adam, Alex, Alan) and our dog (Zoey) live in Jefferson Park, an awesome blue-collar neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago. Yes, IN Chicago, not a suburb. We have a family business, SENDaBALL. And by family business, I mean that when the kids were younger they helped because it was fun, and now that they are older I have to guilt them into helping. How hard is it to blow up some balls? Don't get me started!!!
Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean IT CAN’T BE DONE.
What is SENDaBALL? We sells greeting BALLs – similar to a greeting CARD, but instead of a card, we mail fully-inflated big bouncy balls with no packaging and a PUN-tastic message like “have a BALL on your BIRTHDAY”. Crazy, huh? Who would have thought this idea could be a business. I am here to confirm, it IS a business. When you can come up with an idea and turn it into something, the rewards of pioneering the idea cannot be measured in dollars and cents. We take PRIDE in being the first with balls like this!
Hey Lady, what is that?
The SENDaBALL story begins in 2003 while in line at the post office with a bouncy ball in my hand. This wasn’t the first time I mailed a ball, or the first time I sent odd items without any packaging. Before starting the BALL BUSINESS, I worked in Direct Mail as a Creative Director and became an expert in USPS guidelines, so I made a practice of sending people weird stuff (because I could)! Mail is so enjoyable to me. As a kid, waiting for a birthday card in the mail was a highlight. When I was 10 years old my best friend moved to Florida and we wrote so many letters back and forth. I just LOVED getting mail. Still do.
The story: Back to that day in 2003: The guy behind me asked what I was mailing. He asked if I would mail one for him. Initially I told him how to do it himself. By the time we reached the counter, he had given me the info and $5. I called my sister to tell her and she said, “Mich, I THINK WE ARE ON TO SOMETHING, I saw an OPRAH about this. An Idea can turn into a business. This is it.” I am conservative, my sister- not so much. When I hesitated, she said, “What is the worst that can happen?” I replied, “Getting stuck with thousands of balls”. The risk-taking wiser sister said, “WRONG – worst thing is you DON’T DO IT”. That day, SENDaBALL.com was born.
Number One Rule in starting a business, if someone offers to pay you to do something you are already doing, you may have a business idea!!!
SENDaBALL has been very lucky to have grown slow and steady. That first year we mailed 250 balls. Since then we have mailed over 75,000 balls. Amaze-BALLS.
We owe so much of our success to our amazing customers. So many of them order over and over. And many people who GET a SENDaBALL in the mail, order a ball for someone else within 48 hours! It is so crazy fun, unBALLievably fun. (Sorry – I just can’t stop.)
We are lucky that in this complicated world we live in, we run a business that is pretty simple. It isn’t ALWAYS BALL JOKES around here, but I have to admit we do more laughing than crying in this BALLroom.
The absolutely BEST part of this business is the stories from our customers about how a simple ball coming in the mail can bring so much joy. Oh the stories I could tell. Maybe I should write a book!
I hope that when you have one of those ball stories, you will find the time to drop me a line and maybe even a picture. I do love this stuff!!! firstname.lastname@example.org