#SmallBizSpotlight Featured Member: Sarah Yonover


Sarah Yonover-Owner of Hipknoties

Who hasn't stood in front of their full closet and frustratingly declared, "I have NOTHING to wear?!!" Or struggled with fitting all the necessary garments needed for a business trip, or that once-in-a lifetime-getaway, into their carry on? That's pretty much how it all began for Sarah Yonover, owner and creator of Hipknoties, the multi-way convertible garment that can be worn 30 different ways.

Hipknoties is perfect for every woman on any occasion.  With her previous fashion experience, and optimistic, hard working personality, Yonover managed to turn a need into a success within just two years!  She sold 200 garments in the first month, now ships over seas, and has landed segments on national TV including Wendy Williams and the Today Show.

Yonover has shared with us some of her entrepreneurial tips in this weeks #SmallBizSpotlight.  After reading, make sure you check out Sarah's how to videos, and other hip ideas on her facebook page, such as how to use the Hipknoties to rock Gwen Stefani's chic style.

What inspired you to get started?
As a former Director of Sales for Michael Kors and Assistant Buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, one thing I know to be true is that all women love versatility and want to look and feel fabulous.

Key Quote- "I am excited everyday when  I wake up-knowing that I am working on a truly amazing product..."Faced with a dilemma of how to pack for a three-week trip to the Hamptons, Washington, D.C. and New York City in a carry on bag, and still look and feel fabulous, got me thinking. Knowing there was nothing on the market that would meet my sophisticated sense of style, I grabbed my infinity scarf and began to twist and tie it using rubber bands. Almost effortlessly, I was able to create a one-shoulder dress, a halter top, a wrap, a vest, a maxi skirt and more. Inspired, I ran to the fabric store and within an hour was sitting at the kitchen table learning to sew.
I tossed my “tubes” of fabric in different lengths and colors into a carry on bag and began my adventure. Within days, I realized I had something special, as complete strangers stopped me to ask where I had purchased my stylish attire. From that experience in 2011, Hipknoties was born.
Within two months, I sold more than 200 of the handmade Hipknoties. I scoured the Internet for suppliers who could create a clear, reusable, super strong band. Wanting to keep Hipknoties a “Made in America” company, I used my professional contacts in the apparel industry to locate a Los Angeles-based manufacturer for my rapidly growing fashion line.

Hipknoties-1 garment 30 ways

What was your background? Was it in what you are doing now?My background is in fashion.  My first job out of college was as Assistant Buyer for Bergdorf Goodman in the Designer Sportswear division.  I then continued on to work in the wholesale side of fashion, starting as an Account Executive for a young designer rep, Michael Atchison & Associates. After about 2 years working there, I was hired to launch the KORS Michael Kors line in 1996, where I then spent the better part of 7 years working for Michael Kors and eventually being the Sales Director for Accessories and his signature collection.
What challenge have you had to face that led to a big growth for your company?
I don't believe in "challenges" necessarily.  I try to learn from all the experiences I am faced with - good or bad.  I see challenges as learning experiences!  I wish that there were more of me to go around because when people meet me and see how I work my product, Hipknoties, they fall in love with it!
What do you have going on in your business right now that you're excited about?
I am excited every day when I wake up-knowing that I am working on a truly amazing product that can have such positive impact on women all over the world, with regards to their wardrobes!  Hipknoties is one of those products that all women can own and use!  I am super excited about all the possibilities I am facing with Hipknoties, from potential hotel partnerships, to SkyMall, to my most recent submission to Spanx Leg Up program. 

Where would you love to see your business in 5 years?
I see my business in the next 5 years evolving to a lifestyle brand that is about making women's lives easier in their closet.  I hope to make it successful enough and give back to those in need.  I see myself and Hipknoties being a household name.  I am determined to make that happen.
Hipknoties-One Garment 30 ways