by Diane Fournaris
Three sisters – well, one cousin and two sisters – who have been best friends since childhood made their dream a reality by starting a greeting card and paper products company in 2012. From its humble beginnings where Ali Flippin, one of the founders, made cards out of a tiny office, they have built a million-dollar business and global brand.
The trio came to Josh Daly at the RISBDC in 2017 with the crazy dream of buying an unusual building (formerly a garage) in Middletown for their business, a dream that was realized in early 2018. “We are now the proud owners of truly the ugliest structure in Middletown,” said owner Jenni Laundon shortly after the purchase, “but with the loan, we were able to secure [with the help of RISBDC] we have the funds to renovate it and make it a very cool landmark. We feel we are in an awesome position to improve the neighborhood for all the kids who walk by every day [to and from school] and provide great, updated spaces for two other small businesses in town.”
Through their hard work, the owners have achieved steady sales growth and expanded their market reach, and are poised for even more significant growth in the near future.
But more importantly – and it is clear every time you speak with them – they have built a company rooted in family values; spreading love, gratitude, and kindness. It is not just the charitable giving and community support the owners offer, but the joy in how they do business and view their responsibilities as business owners.
After receiving an SBA 504 loan to purchase the building, the owners have continued to work with the RISBDC on financial management and strategic planning, and have participated in the RISBDC pilot Economic Gardening program. All of these efforts have put them on a path to sustained growth, not just of their business but their community as well.
Learn more about E. Frances Paper by visiting their website at efrancespaper.com. If you’re ready to start writing your success story, attend one of our upcoming workshops or set up a free one-on-one counseling session today. Register at www.risbdc.org.
Success Stories Are Written By Diane Fournaris, Assistant State Director of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center