Dazzling Designs: Put a rhinestone on it

Dazzling Designs co-owner Julie Schoen

“I found a booth where a gal was selling ready-made rhinestone transfers, which is what we manufacture here,” DiBetta, the company president said. “I just fell in love with the darn things. I stood there in awe. I didn’t even know what they were called.”

DiBetta planned to add the rhinestones to Pampered Chef shirts, but quickly realized she and Schoen could do much more with them.

“We both had been in Pampered Chef for a long time and were ready for a change,” DiBetta said. “I thought, even if you marketed these to the direct sales people – the Mary Kays, the Tupperwares, all those direct sales companies that are so female based – you could have a business with this.”

With a little research, a lease for equipment and a makeshift facility in DiBetta’s garage, the stay-at-home moms made up a catalogue and started selling shirts at their bowling league. The real success came, however, when they took their business worldwide.

“Once we launched our website, we had so many leads coming in that we never had to go to the direct sales companies like we had anticipated, because there was just a demand,” DiBetta said. “People thought it was something new and exciting. It is better than just screen printing or embroidery.”

With most of their major competitors overseas, DiBetta and Schoen attribute their success to their commitment to superior customer service, quality and keeping the business local.

“We show people how to get into the business, too,” Schoen explained. “If we didn’t, we would be missing out on an opportunity, because they’re just going to go somewhere else anyway.”

Along with diversification, an eagerness to satisfy the customer is another factor that Schoen believes contributed to their growth.

“We’re not afraid to try something,” she said. “One of our big jobs when we were just starting was for Progressive Auto Insurance. They were having a convention in Vegas and asked us if we could do [rhinestone transfers] onto paper. We were like, ‘I don’t know.’”

They tried it anyway, and that willingness lead Dazzling Designs into business with everyone from major retailers to the Miss Clark County Pageant.

With their new space, DiBetta and Schoen hope to diversify once more. The owners plan to start laser and embossing services in order to open their market to a broader audience. Classes for their rhinestone transfer software have also been in demand, and DiBetta hopes to begin those trainings in April.

For now, though, the owners are just excited to start growing into their new facility. From their humble beginnings in DiBetta’s garage and two subsequent facilities, Schoen commented that it was nice to finally have enough room.

“Since we’ve been here, I’ve gotten more done this week than I have in the last month,” DiBetta added with a laugh.

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