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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Put People First

The Flap Happy customer is easy to love!  Laurie seems to transfer her love for these adorable customers to her hard-working employees.  As we have heard from other owners, if you don't love people it's hard to build a business. More...

Key Question:


Be the company people want to work for and that happens when you put people first.  Laurie's Mom said that it is clear to everyone that Laurie is more interested in people than she is in profits.  Laurie designs the benefits by putting herself in the shoes of her employees and gives them what she hopes will make them happy.

Q: Why is employee satisfaction so important?

A: Satisfied or happy workers are productive workers. As business owners, we need to make sure our employees are satisfied as part of taking care of our customers. If the employees are dissatisfied, our customers will not be treated well. How do we keep our employees level of satisfaction high?

We only need to do three things:

  • Follow the golden rule. 
  • Treat all employees with respect.
  • Provide them with the necessary resources such as capital, financial and human, to meet your expectations and do their jobs well.

If we do these three things, our employees have nothing to worry about. We have established a work environment that optimizes their chances for success and positions us to hold them accountable to the highest standard.

How does a business owner best recognize and reward the valued employees of the business?

Time after time, studies have shown us that we are all motivated by more than money. Sure, compensation and benefits are important, but the recognition and reward initiatives that a company undertakes also have a significant effect on employee morale and loyalty. These initiatives do not have to be costly and generally are not. They do, however, have to be public. Bringing an employee into your office and telling him or her how much you appreciate them just does not have the same effect as a public demonstration. We see these public demonstrations in a lot of small businesses. The plaques on the wall with the engraved plates for each "Employee of the Month" and the parking space reserved for the special employee are two common examples. Highlighting employees in the company newsletter or website is another effective way to give recognition.

Think about it

Would your employees say that they work for a people-centric company?  Do you have trouble finding great people to work for you?  If yes, do you think it has anything to do with the way you treat the people who are already on your payroll?


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

Put People First

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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