After her second child was born, Sherri Yukel wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and still make extra money to buy shoes so she decided to make a radical career shift.

Big Dot of Happiness originally started as a hobby for Sherri. As her friends started having babies, she began to handcraft her gifts, which soon evolved into crafting games and décor for the baby showers. She started to sell her hand-crafted items at craft fairs, and finally decided to take her products online.

“I taught myself how to code, built my first website and started selling my products on there,” Yukel said. “Eventually my business evolved to fit the party planning markets.”

As the business grew, Sherri’s husband, Scott, left his engineering job to join Sherri and focuses on the financial side of the business taking on the title “Connector of Dots”. In 18 years, the company has grown to more than 60 employees and a large customer base.

“As sales continued to increase, I quickly realized that I was on to something, so we started hiring designers,” Yukel said. “When we started to sell on Amazon, we really saw our business take off.”

Big Dot of Happiness develops unique party themes that match the latest trend or season. On a daily basis, the company is developing new and interesting party themes and launching new products on Amazon. With 98 percent of their design and manufacturing in Menomonie, Big Dot of Happiness is able to design, get the copyright, and start selling new products on Amazon all in a matter of three days.

“We have a rule of thumb here that the ultimate sin is not getting décor to our customer’s event,” Yukel said. “If our products arrive late, then we miss the party and there’s no going back in time. Amazon Prime is so dependable that it’s just a perfect fit for us. With Prime, the customer doesn’t have to pay extra for fast shipping.”

Yukel credits using Fulfillment by Amazon, which makes her products eligible for Prime two-day shipping, as a crucial part of Big Dot of Happiness’ success.

“People often wait until the last minute to plan a party, because of their busy schedules or last minute RSVPs,” said Yukel. “With two-day shipping, customers can procrastinate and shop party themes closer to the event.”

“Our business wouldn’t be where it is without Amazon,” Yukel said. “People may not always understand they are buying from these small businesses all around the world. Amazon has truly embraced the small business owner and allowed us to use its platform, technology and infrastructure to sell our products. Otherwise we would never be found.”

Using Fulfilled by Amazon, Big Dot of Happiness can already ship products from Amazon Fulfillment centers to Canada and the U.K. Her plans for Big Dot of Happiness include continuing double digit in the U.S. market and eventually expanding to Amazon Australia.

“I love to see how people celebrate special occasions in other areas of the world,” said Yukel. “We feel incredibly blessed in our life.”

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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