You won’t find any frogs at the new Ribbity Ribbitz store opening on Pace Street, but the embroidery business is not lacking a prince and a strong family foundation.
Staci Williams has been running her corporate embroidery business out of her five-person home for the past seven years, but she said it’s time to expand. That expansion will go public on Sept. 2 at 2125C Pace Street in Covington. Surviving purely off Internet and email sales, Williams has relied heavily on word-of-mouth to promote her service.
“I grew up in Covington. Some of our best friends live here,” Williams said. “We just love the feel of it, and so it was the right fit.”
Ribbity Ribbitz serves mostly business and corporate customers throughout Atlanta and the eastern metro area and has developed close partnerships with a number of businesses in Newton County. Newton County Theme School at Ficquett helped start the company’s rewards program, with the partnership being so successful that Williams expanded to other schools.
“We want to give back, and it makes sense to do it through education,” Williams said.
While 95 percent of her customer base is business and corporate ordering, she said the new store will offer individuals to place walk-in orders, too. She sees T-shirt orders anywhere from 24 to 2,000 at a time, but “it’s for all sizes, from the mom-and-pop places all the way up to the humongous jobs.”
She said completion dates depend on how busy she is but that it will never take longer than two weeks to finish an order.
“I’ve been in business for seven years, and I’ve never missed a deadline,” Williams said.
The custom-embroidery and T-shirt printing company strives to provide top-of-the-line customer service, she said, and offers a stitch guarantee for the life of the garment.
Finding her prince
She already has moved her machines from her basement to the new store, but the Ribbity story began a long time ago.
Williams worked as an Alzheimer’s trainer for 17 years in an assisted living center but began a life as a stay-at-home mom once she and her husband, Greg, had kids. She said she was too used to working, since she had been doing so since she was 14 years old. So she began making hair bows while her first child was still a baby.
She took her products to Covington and signed three retail accounts.
After beginning to stitch names into the bows, Greg suggested she flip the business and incorporate hair bows into custom-stitching. He was also the inspiration for the company’s name one night when he was helping his wife in the basement. She remembered her mom used to tell her she’d have to kiss some frogs before finding her prince.
“I had no experience at all, I’m self-taught and started from the ground,” Williams said.
She also said she enlisted the help of Jeannie Helms and Jason Tyre, whom she said she could not have made the move without.
Now she has three sons, no hair bows, a prince and a store.