“I was surrounded by teams of people waiting to do their presentations. And then I heard this huge company name — a global brand — called in. Fifteen people stood up! And then they called me in — just little old me with my briefcase.”
“I just kept thinking, what’s the worst thing that can happen? They can only say yes or no. They can’t take away my company. And by the end of the day, I’ll have my answer.”
But it didn’t take until the end of the day. Within 15 minutes, Claudia could tell the buyer was interested. And as she left the room, she shook Claudia’s hand and said she was on her way back to the office, to see how many stores she could put the Beauty Spoon in.
“I had to have her repeat it. I said, ‘Could you say that one more time? Just to clarify — you did just say Walmart is going to carry my product?’ I didn’t know when I’d be in there. I just knew I’d pitched the biggest retailer in the world and they said yes. And to me, yes means yes!”
And then, the day before Thanksgiving, Claudia got something she’ll forever be thankful for.
“I looked at my phone,” she said, with a hint of amazement still in her voice, “and I could see that I had 50 emails. I was sure I’d been spammed. But then as I took a closer look, I saw that they were all from Walmart — from 42 different distribution centers. There were 42 purchase orders!”
“I started to hyperventilate a little. I’d been waiting for his moment for more than a year and here it was. It was show time!”
Today, the Beauty Spoon is in 2,200 Walmart stores around the country and replenishment orders continue to roll in. And it’s also being sold in South Africa, Ireland and the UK. In just over a year, Claudia’s company is already worth half a million dollars.
“There’s no way to explain how I feel right now,” she said modestly. “I’m just so proud. Sometimes I think about what would have happened if I hadn’t tried. How would I have felt? I had to prove that I could do this and that I could do it on my own. No matter how big the risk is, how will you ever know if you don’t try?”