At Simply Soothing, we’re a family-owned business, and we love supporting other family-owned businesses. The following is a profile of one of our retailers, Kim Grayson of Lake Wylie, South Carolina:
After over 15 years in the banking industry, Kim Grayson wanted to make a change. She wanted to simplify her life, to have more time to spend with her family, husband Jeff and daughters Anna and Rebecca, to volunteer in the community, and to slow the pace of life. So, after a lot of conversations and prayer, Kim left her corporate job. But, she still had a business mindset, so she channeled that into starting her own small business from scratch, naming it KimmyAnns. The idea is simple: Kim finds products she loves, and then sells them to customers in her neighborhood, hand delivering each and every one of them. In selecting products, each one must serve a purpose, solve a problem, and follow the theme of “Faith! Fun! Simplicity!” But Kim goes beyond simply buying from family businesses. She also donates 10% of net sales to two community organizations the Grayson family has a heart for, the Lake Wylie Athletic Association and the Franklin High School Future Business Leaders of America.
Kim says that the decision to prioritize family, community, and a more simplistic life has been very rewarding. Her family now has more time to go camping with their dogs, Butterball and Daisy Mae. They have also been able to volunteer at the local food pantry and volunteer at a camp for children with muscular dystrophy. She says one of her favorite parts about owning her own business is engaging with people. Because Kim hand-delivers each item (oftentimes on a golf cart!), she has had opportunities to engage her neighbors in conversation. She notes that she has come to know many more neighbors in the few months that she has had KimmyAnns than in the five years prior to starting her business.
Kim was first introduced to Bug Soother when a friend gave her a sample to try. It sat on the counter for a while, but when she used it, she loved it! She ordered from our website, and discovered the wide variety of products available. When Kim read the story of how Simply Soothing began, she instantly found a connection. She admired how Simply Soothing’s founder, Freda, left her job at a large corporation to pursue her own start-up with her daughter. She decided it was a “no-brainer” to wholesale Simply Soothing products. Kim continues to try new products and scents, with a hope that she can bring more quality products to her friends and neighbors.
When asked why it is important to support small business, Kim uses two words: Simplicity and Community. She knows that small businesses must take very good care of each and every customer, because they are often reliant on word of mouth and promotion to friends and family. In starting her own small business, Kim has experienced many challenges along the way. But, as a word of advice to anyone thinking about starting their own business, she recommends determining a vision and purpose first, and being willing to say “no” when things don’t line up. Kim is staying true to her purpose by engaging with neighbors, working with family-owned businesses, and having fun along the way. She truly is living her motto, “Faith! Fun! Simplicity!”