How did it all get started?
Amy Kate Miniature Gardens Founder and President, Amy Kate Chinn, started her direct sales career with Stella & Dot, in 2007, when family friend Mike Lohner, Stella & Dot Chairman, launched the company with Amy Kate as one of his first distributors. Amy Kate quickly became skilled at the home party sales model and had a front row seat to Stella & Dot’s startling growth. Amy Kate became particularly expert at understanding the dynamics of the home party environment and how to structure a multi level direct sales force. The rapid scalability, efficiency, and low capital commitment for the social selling model, turned Amy Kate into a true believer and made her an authority at recognizing the perfect product for that model.
Amy Kate Gardens was inspired during a visit to her sister’s new home. Her sister had tucked a group of gnomes behind a hedge in her front yard. Amy Kate was charmed and began an Internet search for a gnome home as a house-warming gift. During her search she discovered the start of the miniature gardening trend in the on-line market place. When she finally completed her first garden, the necessary items had to be ordered from six different web sites. But, most importantly, the cost of the items, availability to source those products, the relative complexity of the assembly process, and the intense demand for this product, made clear that Amy Kate had finally found her perfect product for the home party direct sales model.
Who are the founders?
Amy Kate Chinn is Founder and President. Amy Kate graduated from University of California in 1991 with a BS in Business. She started her career with Babbage’s; a Dallas based Video Game Retailer, where she met her future husband Bill Chinn. Amy Kate resigned her position with Babbage’s to pursue her relationship with Bill and to start their family. Over the next two decades Amy Kate and Bill became parents to five children, and built a happy home in Southlake, Texas. Amy Kate rejoined the work force in 2007 as one of the first Sales Representatives for Stella & Dot, a Direct Sales Retailer of Jewelry. Like many women, Amy Kate loved her time at home with her family, but knew when the timing was right she had a contribution to make in the business world. Amy Kate’s true passion is making sure that every guest walks away with a garden perfect for them.
Bill Chinn is CEO. Bill graduated from University of Iowa in 1989 and immediately joined Babbage’s, now called GameStop. Bill’s career flourished at GameStop and he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Stores in 2000, with responsibility for over 4,500 stores and a sales force of over 40,000 employees. Missing the start-up entrepreneurial environment of his early career, Bill returned to school and obtained an MBA from SMU in 2010, where he won SMU’s prestigious annual Entrepreneurial Contest and was named the Class of 2010’s “Leader of the Year.” While attending SMU he founded Ricardian Capital and opened seven Red Mango Frozen Yogurt Stores and the Original Soup Man Restaurant. Bill has extensive experience in developing and recruiting an effective sales organization, and has already developed a successful entrepreneurial company. He has a true passion for helping people develop their career goals and leadership skills.