ReadyFestive is a personalized home décor subscription box that aims to make holiday and seasonal decorating convenient, easy, and fun. Liz Voelker and Kristina Barnes, two moms tired of spending hours shopping for holiday decorations, founded the company. They wanted a service that would bring decor to their doorstep, chosen for their style.
“There are countless services that curate and deliver products in a box to your doorstep for other categories, from pet food to diapers to clothing to food. We kept waiting for someone else to create ReadyFestive and then we finally thought ‘why not us’, ” said Voelker and Barnes.
ReadyFestive launched in October 2019, when people couldn not go out and shop for decorations due to Covid-19. And while shopping in person has returned to normal, they have found that people still dislike spending hours driving to multiple stores to search for the perfect products.
“Instead, let ReadyFestive be your personal shopper. Save time, save the hassle–just unbox the holiday and spend more time enjoying it. That was the silver lining of Covid: people were “forced” to give our service a try,” Voelker and Barnes said.
Looking to take ReadyFestive to the next level, in 2020, Voelker and Barnes appeared on Shark Tank, where they pitched their business and secured a partnership with Robert Herjavec: a $250,000 investment for 18% equity in the company. At the time, the pair was still working out of a garage, and Herjavec advised them to quickly shift to their current 3PL (third-party logistics center) to expand the business.
“This was probably the single most important decision we’ve made in our business to date. In addition to his business advice, it is his unwavering positive energy and friendship that has been the most valuable to us along the way,” Voelker and Barnes said. “He has helped pick us up when we’ve been down. We call him our fairy godfather. All founders need a “Robert” with them on their journey!”
While they have faced their fair share of challenges, Voelker and Barnes have found the most rewarding part of launching their business to be the opportunity to work for themselves and to model creativity, teamwork, persistence, and hard work for their children. The founders also credit the city of Winter Park for influencing the mission of ReadyFestive.
“We both have a strong connection to the Winter Park community and have always been inspired by the festive holiday traditions here. Growing up, we were both captivated by the excitement of caroling and spreading joy and cheer through the neighborhood. This early memory drives us today and inspires us to help create similar festive moments for our families and others through ReadyFestive.”
Voelker and Barnes hope to continue expanding their business and offering new and exciting products to their customers. They also hope to inspire other entrepreneurs and show that anyone can turn a passion into a successful business.
“Being an entrepreneur regardless of the industry takes grit, perseverance, the ability to problem solve, be resourceful, and quite simply… the capacity to work really hard! You have to be OK with delayed gratification. There is, most likely, not going to be a financial reward for a period of time,” Voelker and Barnes said. “There are no pats on the back. No promotions. You have to be a self-starter AND a self-celebrator. But the hardest part truly is the beginning — letting go of fear and perfectionism and starting. You just have to start. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!”