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Entrepreneur hopes 'Big Find' TV show spot boosts plastic organiser's success

Sharon Lynn, or, more accurately, the clear plastic organizer she has developed, is ready for a close-up.

Lynn and her Glam Roll-Ups organizer recently made their debut on the QVC and HSN shopping channels. Lynn has been hawking her product with modest success for several years at kiosks in Connecticut shopping malls, but the Fairfield County native got her big break through The Big Find product search conducted by the shopping channels.

“I am beyond thrilled to be here,” Lynn said during her five-minute appearance on the television network via Skype. “It is a major honor. I am humbled beyond belief.”

The product search was launched in 2019 as a way “to discover entrepreneurs with the next big brand or unique product for an extraordinary opportunity to share their stories with an audience of millions,” according to a company spokeswoman. Since the arrival of COVID-19, the product pitches have been done via videoconferencing and received record-breaking interest, with more than 2,400 applications from more than 60 countries in 2020 alone.

Over the last two years, more than 160 brands have been chosen to launch on QVC or HSN through The Big Find. The Glam Roll-Up is one of more than 90 Big Find brands launching throughout 2021 as a result of the 2020 product search.

After a brand launches and appears on-air, the item remains available on the QVC e-commerce site for as long as supplies last, the spokeswoman said. Lynn would not say how many of the organizers the channel bought.

“Let’s just say they bought a lot,” she said. During the product’s debut on QVC, host Jen Coffey told viewers that the channel had purchased 1,350 of the Glam Roll-Ups in three different sizes.

The product retails for $39.98. After a brand launches, QVC’s merchandising teams evaluate and determine upcoming appearances.

Lynn’s efforts to bring the Glam Roll-Ups to market date back five years, three years after she moved to Milford to take care of her mother, Bonnie, who was ill with lung cancer. Lynn’s mother died in 2014.

“I love lipstick, love nail polish, I’ve been a beauty girl my entire life,” she said. In an effort to organize her makeup in her small apartment in Miford’s Devon section, Lynn came up with the Glam Roll-Up.

Being and entrepreneur seems to come naturally to the 50-year-old Lynn, who launched a beauty advisory business in the 1990s. She is a licensed cosmetologist.

“For a business to be successful, you have to be able to scale it up,” she said. “But with that kind of business, you can’t do that because it’s just you and you alone.”

Since then, she has worked a number of jobs. She worked for Beauty Plus Supply, a beauty products company, for six years. During that time she developed the Glam-Roll Up and the owners of the business allowed her to sell it in their stores.

Later she began selling the product in kiosks at the Danbury Fair mall and the Connecticut Post Mall in her spare time. But Lynn said the kiosk rents were too high for her to make her business profitable.

“I’ve been selling them, but not on a grand scale,” she said. “It has really been a part-time business.”

The impetus to make the organizer more of a full-time business came at the start of the pandemic, when Lynn lost her job working at Nordstrom. She found out earlier this year that she and her product had been selected to appear on QVC US.

Retail consultant Burt Flickinger, managing director of New York City-based Strategic Resource Group, said being selected to appear on QVC is “a tremendous honor and achievement for an entrepreneur.”

“They arguably have the best depth of marketing and merchandising data anywhere,” Flickinger said of the shopping channel. “QVC will have at any given time hundreds of thousands of shoppers watching what they are selling and they can tell to the second what images, what product positioning is going to be most effective in selling a product. It’s the most efficient way to maximize the sale of a product.”

An appearance on they shopping channel can be “the beginning of a very viable and very good business,” he said.

The Glam Roll-Ups are manufactured overseas. Lynn said she would have preferred to have them made in the United States, but doing so would have made the product considerably more expensive.

“When I started investigating how much it would cost to do it here in the United States, producing the Roll-Up would have made it cost $70,” she said. “Some people don’t have that kind of money to spend.”

While Lynn waits to see how much of a boost the QVC appearance will mean to her product, “I’ve got other ideas in the hopper,” she said.

“Different trims, different designs, bigger sizes,” Lynn said when asked what’s next for her product.

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