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Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Key Idea: Recruit Your Family

Wally Snyder, Laurie's husband, loves being with their children so he took over the moment-by-moment parenting duties yet he is also responsible for the physical plant of the company. More...

Key Question:


Convince your family to work for you and tell them you might not be able to pay them.  We're not kidding.  In another section of this episode we mentioned that there are many tasks family members can do if they have skills and time to donate.  You might have an accountant in the family or a lawyer or even a young person who would clean your parking lot.

Every business has a life cycle. It is conceived, embryonic, newborn, matures, ages, and dies. At a point in that cycle, a business becomes bankable. Frequently, before that point is reached, the owner runs low on cash.

To sell family members on helping you, give them a copy of your business plan (yes, you do need that business plan), financial projections, and a "use of proceeds" sheet that explains how you intend to pay them in the future if they stick with you and even how you can give them back pay.

Keep in mind that retired family members could be your best bet.  People are living so much longer now that they may need your work more than they need cash just to keep themselves mentally stimulated.

Think about it

Who in your family is spending too much time watching TV?  Who in your family has some skills they are not getting to use in their current work?  Who in your family will be the most happy for you to succeed?

Clip from: Flap Happy started by manufacturing hats!

Hattie encourages us all,  "Set Profit-Margin Goals."

Santa Monica: In this episode of the television show we take you inside a California business that is making children's hats for Talbots, Nordstrom, Children's Wear Digest and dozens of others. Now they make hundreds of items for retailers (mostly small children's specialty retailers) all around the world.

Laurie Snyder started Flap Happy because she was afraid her very fair-skinned, freckled-faced baby boy would get seriously burned by the California sun. Laurie created a hat by enlarging the brim of a traditional baseball cap and by adding flaps. Other mothers saw the hat and wanted one for their own child.  That was the beginning of this special business.

Meet Laurie Snyder. Meet her Mom, her Dad, her husband, her sister, her "model" child and her other children, too. This is the team that sacrificed to build the business.

Go to all the Key Ideas and video of this episode...

Flap Happy, Inc.

Laurie Snyder, Founder / CEO

2330 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Visit our web site:

Office: 310-453-3527

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1987

Recruit Your Family

HATTIE: All right. You get this idea. You're home with Cody. You say to your husband, `I want to start a business.' What does Wally say?

LAURIE: He says, `Great.' He actually discovered the hat with me, and he thought it was just as great as I did; and he trusts me and he trusts himself, so he was very supportive.

Zach, want some lemonade? Let's see, lemonade, lemonade, lemonade.

HATTIE: Wally frequently comes to the rescue at Flap Happy.

WALLY SNYDER: See, I'm what's--what's called the facilities manager, so I get to make my--my own time clock and change the light bulbs and things like that.

HATTIE: Well, I know that you just moved in...

WALLY: I do the things that she doesn't want to do. She does the things that I don't want to do. So it works out pretty good.

HATTIE: Like many small businesses, Flap Happy is a family affair. Laurie's sister, Amy, heads collections; her mom, Judy, is responsible for customer service; and her father, Marty, applies his 30 years of experience with big ad agencies to Laurie's catalog and other marketing efforts. And Cody, her first child, is the face of Flap Happy.

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