In the world of entrepreneurship, there are many different types of entrepreneurs – social, intellectual, technical, political, solo, and serial entrepreneurs, to name a few. Vickie Steenhoek of Algona is the creative mastermind and solo/social/serial entrepreneur owner of Vickie’s Creative Designs & Parties. From her love of crafting, learning, and interacting with people, Vickie has created and grown several diverse business offerings right from her home. And it all started with cookies! She was asked to make a large cookie order that she knew her hands would not be able to pipe, thanks to arthritis and tendonitis. She searched for a custom stencil design to do the order and decided instead to learn how to make the stencil herself with a plotter. The plotter tool opened Vickie’s eyes to an income opportunity that also looked like fun – groups painting wood signs together. In 2016, Vickie’s Creative Designs & Parties was created to facilitate custom do-it-yourself (DIY) wood sign workshops. She hosted group workshops in her home and traveled to requested locations. Upon her family’s move from Humboldt to Algona in 2017, they purchased a home with her business in mind; they refinished part of the lower level to make it an ideal space for small group events. In 2018, Steenhoek felt the DIY wood sign market in the area had become saturated, and she began making epoxied tumblers as graduation gifts. She quickly realized that women loved glitter and the customized tumblers, and if she could develop part of the multi-day tumbler-making process into a group event drawing people together, it would be a fun and unique experience. Glitz Your Sip was the new business born of this idea, and the demand for tumbler workshops has outpaced the custom wood signs.
The COVID-19 pandemic sharply impacted Steenhoek’s workshop businesses by limiting in-person gatherings, which caused a 76% reduction in sales from 2019. However, in the true spirit of entrepreneurship and particularly serial entrepreneurship (an entrepreneur who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses), Steenhoek utilized the pandemic downtime to
pursue another aspiration – learning the world of making bath bombs and shower steamers. She has personally struggled with flares of back pain and began taking baths and using bath bombs to ease muscle aches. She saw the bath bomb and shower steamer products as a great offering during COVID to help others with relaxation. The purchase and delivery could be handled through contactless interaction, and it did not necessitate customization or multiple messaging to finalize the product (like the signs and tumblers). Additionally, the products could complement as a cash-and-carry item for workshop attendees in the future. Vickie’s Botanicals business was born of the research and hands-on learning to create bath bombs and shower steamers. The positive customer response, demand for the product, and repeat sales have far exceeded Steenhoek’s expectations. It was an
unexpected Covid blessing and pivot for her constantly evolving business.
It may be hard to fathom, but Steenhoek’s entrepreneurial business offerings do not stop here. In addition to the custom sign and tumbler workshops, she also offers Take It and Make It wood sign kits, custom pillows, rugs, clocks, memorial ornaments, and t-shirts. Two additional businesses are Vickie’s Super Secret Recipes & Parties (cake decorating and custom screen-printed icing sugar cookies), as well as Vickie’s Music Studio (piano and violin lessons), rounding out the vast array of this entrepreneur’s passions and offerings.
Steenhoek is motivated and inspired by her love of drawing people together, support from her family and utilizing her God-given creative talents. She lends her entrepreneur expertise as a Tietz Entrepreneurial Center Advisory Committee member. Learn more about Vickie’s Creative Designs & Parties at www.vickiesteenhoek.com and on Facebook.