Your Name
Sandy Higgins

Business Name: The Crackerjack Shack, L.L.C., a apparel service that makes customized embroidery, screen printing, and promotional material

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories

Business Location: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States

Twitter @gototheshack

Reason for starting
After being a seamstress for 20+ years, I wanted to focus on how to better market and profit from my skills. After a year or so designing and creating very high end custom clothing for the boutique industry, I was asked to provide embroidered logo wear for a local franchise. It didn’t take long to realize this was very enjoyable and much more profitable than the boutique sewing I had been doing, so I decided to pursue this avenue full time.

How do you define success?
I think success is defined differently for each business owner. For some, it’s financial achievement, and for others it’s more of a feeling of accomplishment. For me, it’s the ability to give back. The more profitable we are, the more we are able to give back to our employees, our community, and beyond. At the end of the day, positively impacting others with my business is what makes me the happiest.

Biggest Success
The biggest success for me is the overall success of the business. When our staff lands the big accounts and they come back to us year after year, it shows they trust us with their business image and it proves that they value their relationship with us. It’s the ultimate compliment! I am also very proud of our participation in charitable pursuits including the thousands of shirts we sold to help after the Joplin, MO tornado. Success without giving something back is just selfish achievement. It’s much more fulfilling when it allows you to bless someone else!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
The biggest challenge has been managing our growth while keeping our company debt-free and securing the jobs of our employees. I am keenly aware of not over-extending beyond our financial means. It takes a lot of discipline to watch our numbers carefully and consistently so that I keep the focus on solid growth. With all the “new-improved” products and services aimed at business owners, it’s important to avoid getting distracted.