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Seek Out Legal Advice, A Founder’s Story with Kim Hawkins

I am Kim Hawkins the President of www.EventsWholesale.com, an online discount event, and wedding planning supply company based in Watkinsville, GA, and in business since 2006. We specialize in wedding centerpieces, and have a huge offering of tablecloths, vases, candles, event props, and more at budget-friendly prices. Our customer base includes event planners, wedding planners, corporate event coordinators, caterers, the hospitality industry, event venues, and large corporations. Our products are also available to the public.


Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in the small town of Winterville GA and was raised by wonderful parents. My mom and dad were always very encouraging of my every endeavor.


How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I started my company back in 2006 when I had a full-time job so that I could work from home and start a family. I originally started selling items on eBay, and my goal was to get enough part-time income coming in to quit my day job so that I could stay home with my children. I started from scratch and invested very little money under a hundred dollars in fact) to get started, and then I would just reinvest the profit off of what I sold. Very quickly the business grew into more than a full-time job. Within two years, my husband was able to quit his day job to help with the business. The business has grown through the years. Today, we have seven employees and we are still growing. My inspiration was reading about someone who started a wedding favors business from her basement. She invested only a couple of hundred dollars in products and a website and ended up with a multi-million dollar company. This story inspired me to start my own business because I saw that given the right products and strategy, anyone (even the average person) can build a successful business even without a lot of start-up capital.


What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Our biggest challenge or roadblock was with our first employee who worked for us for several years. We trained her on everything having to do with running an e-commerce business and gave her supplier and customer information without a second thought. She had complete knowledge of confidential business practices as well as all of our advertising keyword information. Little did we know that one day she would go out on her own and start a competing online business! Moving forward, we always have all of our employees sign a non-compete/non-disclosure agreement to protect our business and prevent this from happening again. I would advise any new business owner to get legal advice about confidentiality and non-compete agreements before hiring anyone.
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