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Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Key Idea: Strive For Perfection

The look on this designer's face says it all.  She is not happy and she is looking for ways to improve the product she is studying.  Everyone at Flap Happy is stretching to get better everyday.

Key Question:


Keep working, keep trying, keep stretching and always measure the results from the customer's point of view.  In this segment we see a real customer, a little boy, modeling one of the new Flap Happy products.  The staff watched him walk around, they checked to see if he had enough room to sit and reach for toys.

Q:   Do you think it is true that those among us who are no longer striving for a higher perfection have simply lost their vision and hope for the future? Do you think that striving is at the heart of creativity?

A:   David Sarnoff, Russian-U.S. inventor, pioneer, and executive, once said "The greatest menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency." Whenever we take the view, "this is good enough,” we stop growing as a business. Striving for perfection means always looking for a better way and never saying or even feeling the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” sentiment. It means attacking each new project as if our business’ life depended on it. Collectively, that’s true! There is always a better way, and daily our challenge is to find it.

At Flap Happy, they challenge themselves to constantly take the next step on the road to perfection. Just as they know it will never be perfect, they know they can always do better. Or as Mom always said, "there is always room for improvement."

Think about it

What product or process needs to be improved? What would it take to make the changes needed to put your company at the top of your industry? What awards have you won lately?

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

Strive For Perfection

LAURIE: See, this is the hard part. This is what friends are willing to do -- have their little boys wear little girl bathing suits.

HATTIE: Oh. So this is the volunteer?

Unidentified Woman #1: Yeah, this is Willie.

HATTIE: Oh, this is Willie.

Unidentified Woman #2: And we actually need you to see this. I mean, do you think it's too ballooney? I mean, it's a little bit loose in the leg.

LAURIE: Uh-huh. Too loose.

Woman #2: And the straps. Yeah.

LAURIE: It's--the next size down is too tight?

Woman #2: The two sizes down it's way too tight.

LAURIE: Do we have one in the next size down? Woman #2: No.

LAURIE: Before you change anything, make...

Unidentified Woman #3: Yeah, but we could...

LAURIE: of those...

Woman #3: Make one and bring it to the supplier and have them sew it up, yeah.

HATTIE: Patterns are perfected on site. The sewing is outsourced.

HATTIE: Small business owners are continuing to reinvent the workplace.

LAURIE: I try to treat my employees really well. We have, I feel, a lot of good benefits and I put myself...

HATTIE: Like what?

LAURIE: We have an exercise class two afternoons a week, we have a private trainer, we offer medical and dental insurance benefits where we pay, you know, the majority of the premiums. Vacation, holidays and sick pay, which is normal in a lot of companies, but not in the garment industry. I try to put myself in their place -- and ask the question, "what I would want if I was an employee?"

Unidentified Man #3: She lets you do what you need to do. She doesn't hinder. So that's really a good boss.

JUDY: My personal opinion of what is going on here is that the dollar is not the bottom line. Yes, it's important and (Laurie) she's a good money manager, but that's why we've been able to grow the way we have. Yet, it's people are really what's important to her -- more important -- I think.

MARTY: When she first brought over the hat and said, `What do you think, Dad?', you know. And I said, `Gee, it's a great idea. It's functional and--but do you think you can sell many of them?' And she said, `Yeah.' She says, `I--I have a feeling about this.' And she saw the need and went ahead with it and went on her own and built this thing from nothing, absolutely nothing. You know, she may talk about the artwork and other things like that, but she did it herself. This was a one-person effort, complete effort on her part; and she was up nights, weekends and my son-in-law, Wally, was right behind her. He was helping her all the way.

HATTIE: Are you proud?

MARTY: I'm very proud. Real proud.

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