Betsy Hoying had a career in retail product development. However, in 2015 she found herself without a job and struggling to find employment. While consulting for a craft company located in Berne, Indiana, she discovered washable paper. She brought some home and started experimenting with it.
Betsy wasn’t thinking that the paper was going to lead to something bigger, it just sort of happened. She explains, “Honestly there were very few opportunities presenting themselves for me here in Fort Wayne. I was searching for something to sustain myself. That was challenging. And this paper just kept presenting green lights.”
Today, Betsy is the owner, creator, and founder of bsimple Creations, a Fort Wayne company that creates and sells bags and totes made from washable paper. Stylish and functional, the bags are made from a natural paper with a unique coating that makes it machine washable, heat resistant, and printable.
Betsy initially started selling at a local farmers market and then began attending national trade shows. She says she saw potential growth, but was funding it all herself, and the funds were running out. “The longer I kept putting my own efforts into this… my own financial resources, it made it harder for me to keep up with not only the startup cost, but my own livelihood.”
Getting traditional financing was a challenge. Betsy had not had consistent employment over a long period, and she was a single-income household. through networking, Betsy found Brightpoint and got a small business loan in August 2017. She used the loan funds for marketing and to attend the new York Now show – the lending tradeshow for the home, lifestyle and gift market.
Since attending the show, Betsy has fulfilled orders for some exciting clients and has received global exposure for her bags. bsimple’s bags were featured at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Utah and will be at a national sales meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, later this year.
Betsy is thankful for the support of two business partners, Lavinia Cummings and Lori Hauer, who help make everything a little easier when she is feeling overwhelmed. “We ran really fast last year. We put a lot of effort and a lot of our own personal resources into (the business) and sometimes took risks that were very scary for us.”
Betsy says that a key to success for her has been learning to live with uncertainty. And just like in life, you have to have faith that things are going to work out. She says, “There are so many unknowns and they never stop. The more you can let go, the more things come in.”
You can view and buy bSimple Creations products at besimplecreations.myshopify.com.