Individuality is something our family always embraced. Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, we kept our parents busy by exploring a plethora of activities throughout our childhood- soccer, basketball, gymnastics, dance- you name it, we tried it. Our activities allowed us to form a strong sense of identity that played an important part in shaping our lives.
These experiences inspired Tina to create a business plan for BeMe & dream up the BeMe Box while pursuing a MBA at Fordham University. What started as a class project quickly blossomed into much more. Tina had caught the entrepreneurial bug & asked Angela to join her in creating the business.
We want to inspire girls to embrace their own unique personalities by creating fun, personal gift products that better represent girls today. You may be surprised at the stereotypes that have been overlooked! We aspire to create products that will inspire people, not in a blatant way, but it a way that girls should always be inspired, inherently, that they are capable of anything.
What makes your company unique in its industry?
We are taking a good hard look at the girls’ gift industry to catch stereotypes that have been long overlooked. Our first product, the BeMe Box, updates the traditional musical jewelry box which until now had been primarily been limited to ballerina & fairy themes.
We are also unique in that we are dedicated to living true to our Want2BeMe message. Since we self-invested, we are able to build the company one step at a time & create products that we are truly proud of. BeMe is about designing gifts that make a girl feel special, period.
Future plans for the company?
2010 will be a big year for BeMe. Having both left our full-time jobs, we can finally focus on expanding BeMe’s presence in stores & attend our first trade shows. We will also be taking several marketing initiatives to increase the BeMe brand presence.
We will continue to expand the themes offered for BeMe Boxes & also introduce other gift products that better represent girls of all difference interests & backgrounds.
What was the start-up budget?
Our initial start-up budget was $30,000. With that money, we were able to design the BeMe Box, get an initial inventory manufactured & shipped, establish an online-store, and pursue regional sales. We were able to save a lot of money by learning skills that many start-ups outsource; graphic design, programming, legal research, sales, & financials were all done by one of us.
Founders and Ages:
Sisters & Co-founders:
Tina Paparone- 25
Angela Giovine- 27