UD grads parlay love of lists into retail success

By Joyce L. Carroll
Special to Delaware Business Times

As Father Time can attest, death and taxes aren’t life’s only certainties. Yes, the passage of time is inevitable, but thoughtful management and planning will optimize its use. To this end, two University of Delaware alums, Michelle Trincia and Kaylyn Minix, have struck gold with the success of their business, Bloom Daily Planners.

Their retail business is online; 300 campus bookstores and specialty shops around the country provide wholesale opportunities.

The bookstore at Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus was one of the first vendors to sell Bloom planners. Herman Erickson, the supplies buyer for the campus bookstore, learned of their product at a CAMEX trade show, an annual conference and buying expo for educational retailers.

“Anytime we find a student’s or graduate’s product that is applicable to our college industry we’re tickled to help,” he said, adding that the first semester’s allotment sold out instantly. He doubled the order for the following semester and pre-ordered for the next calendar year. Purchases, he said, have increased each year since.

“Bloom has such a positive outlook on life, it’s become contagious. It’s represented in their brilliant designs
and inspiring monthly quotes, which have our students always asking when the next planners are coming after we run out,” he said.

Although their venture is just seven years old, Bloom co-founders Trincia and Minix had embraced the benefits found through task and event documentation long before they met. “Kaylyn and I both have our planners dating back to middle school,” Trincia said.

The women tout the therapeutic aspect of to-do lists and the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing out completed tasks. But more than that, Trincia said, planners serve as an abridged journal. Events are captured with just enough words to conjure the memories years later.

The pair discovered their mutual passion in college. An internship at Student Media Group paved the way to the now-thriving business. The internship sponsors already had a line of planners for college students. But Trincia and Minix saw beyond the day-to-day. While planner entries are individualized, Trincia and Minix believe the entry process is universally empowering. “We wanted to make a more inspirational and attractive product. We want to help women be the best version of themselves,” Trincia said.

Student Media Group encouraged their product enhancements. And Trincia and Minix continue to share a working relationship with Student Media Group through their mutual parent company, Springboard Inc., based in Newark. “We were lucky that we already had the support and guidance through Springboard,” Trincia said.

As Bloom’s office is near the university, interns are readily available to augment staff that has now grown to 10 full-time employees, including a recently hired social media director to assist with marketing. While sales have grown exponentially since inception, Trincia and Minix are always looking for new avenues to promote their line. They recently introduced an affiliate program, one that gives customers who are willing to spread the word the ability to earn a ten-percent commission.

Aside from calendars and to-do list style planners for everyday use, Bloom carries specialty and occasion-driven planners. Formats range from educational planners that help teachers structure the academic year, to those that guide life-changing events like weddings or pregnancies. Inspirational quotes and bright floral covers add to the detailed planner or calendar pages within. Office accessories from clipboards to mouse pads are also available.

While much goes into the design aspect of their product, Trincia and Minix take the time to research the topics and categories that go into each specialty planner. They drew on personal wedding planning experiences for Bloom’s wedding planner, and now have peers who have been through childbirth to inform details that go into their pregnancy planners.

“We pour our hearts into every product,” Minix said. The rewards of their efforts, along with personal stories from customers, are shared at staff meetings held twice each week. As an example, Trincia pointed to a calendar that may detail the comings and goings of family members or caregivers tending to the needs of a sick family member.

The Bloom line of planners is available through Amazon.com and Staples.com, and Trincia and Minix are testing the waters with other big-league players as well.

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