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Love Delivered…from Home Makes More Happen When People Are Talking

Make Your Idea Happen contest runner-up Molly Ziske found business inspiration when her children began looking at colleges. Knowing they’d be away from home and might be homesick, she wanted a way to send some love that would also be fun and helpful. So she launched the appropriately named Love Delivered...from Home, a St. Clair Shores, MI–based business that sends care packages filled with candy, toiletries, school supplies, cleaning/laundry products and other essentials that a college student might want or need.

Like so many small business owners, Molly says her biggest challenge is simply getting the word out. We caught up with her to learn how she plans to do that and make more happen for parents and students.

What makes your business different from other businesses like it?

When I started researching care package companies, I found that most of them were food-centric. That prompted me to do some research with college students across the country, asking them what products they would love to get from home. I found a few categories stood out: candy and snacks, school supplies, toiletries and money. When I asked parents, cleaning/laundry supplies came up. I combined what I found out were popular items along with what I found I could get from reliable suppliers and put together a list of care package contents: candy, snacks, school supplies, toiletries and laundry products. We use name-brand products when possible, so the care packages are the highest quality. That and the variety we offer allow us to have something for everyone.

What challenges you the most, and how do you handle it?

My biggest challenge is marketing my product. People constantly tell me that once I get word out to a mass audience, I’ll be swimming in business. Right now I use social media — I love Facebook. It gets people talking and involved.

I love it when people are talking about my product, because they’re happy with what they’ve purchased or because they love my social media marketing. I’m always asking opinions, taking them to heart and changing my product offerings based on what people say. For example, I had posted a few times on my Facebook page about different candies and someone messaged me that I offered too much chocolate, not enough non-chocolate stuff. From that, I changed up my product offerings to appeal to more people.

How do you define success? How will you know when you’ve achieved it?

Success, to me, is when every customer is happy and I’m able to give back. One of my biggest goals is to be able to donate to charity or a cause that means a lot to me. I’d like to get some books into Detroit Public Schools. I attended Detroit Public Schools and know that having enough good books has always been an issue.

What is one service that you can’t run your business without?

The United States Postal Service — they pick up right at my door!

If you could go back in time to the day you decided to start your business, what would you tell yourself?

Don’t order so much candy, Molly.

What role does Staples play in helping your business succeed?

Staples is my go-to place for supplies. They have everything I need to run my business, from ink to tape. I’ve had those nights where I have just enough tape for one order but have two orders to fill. A quick run to Staples takes care of the crisis!

Staples Products to Help Make This Idea Happen:

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