Client Spotlight: Happy Products Inc.
September 18, 2020
In this second Client Spotlight (read the first here), we introduce the Portland-based company Happy Products Inc. (HPI), whose signature product, The Flippy, has made reading, whether it is on tablets or books, comfier and cozier around the world. This young company’s dramatic growth—they now sell on QVC, HSN, and Amazon—demonstrates the power of a good idea coupled with passion, hard work, strong management, and attention to detail.
While HPI is creatively and constantly developing numerous items, their most popular and successful product thus far has been Flippy, a soft and lightweight stand for tablets, books, and e-readers. Flippy is almost like a cushion with a deceptively clever triangular design that ensures a comfortable reading angle for tablets and books in any configuration. The precise softness of the cushion’s foam—not too hard to be uncomfortable and not too soft to lack support—is an important part of the product. A carefully fitted and colorful sleeve is another unique touch.
HPI started working on Flippy in 2011. It is was designed by an Optical Scientist and engineer. HPI spent years on research and development and invested extensively to become successful. In 2013, HPI began sourcing Flippy from China to keep its costs low and offer the product at an affordable price. The business started to grow rapidly thereafter.
HPI is a friendly and thoughtful group of 15 people led by Juliette Fasset, who is a visionary and an excellent communicator. HPI’s team of experts in Portland focuses on design, quality details, marketing, and data analytics; while its sourcing team in China works to ensure the best results for manufacturing, product quality, and delivery.
A good idea is worth nothing if no-one knows about it. HPI has done a great job marketing and delivering its products. They can now be purchased on various platforms including QVC, HSN, Amazon, and GetFlippy.com. Throughout Flippy’s development, the team at HPI has nurtured growth by maintaining a rigorous focus on quality and customer satisfaction. This attention to detail is evidenced by thousands of 5-star reviews on numerous platforms: an average of 4.6 stars on QVC and HSN, and an average of 4.7 stars on Amazon, to be exact!
Since 2017, HPI has expanded its Flippy product line, which now includes:
– Flippy Original
– Flippy Cubby: That comes with a storage cubby to hold glasses, earphones, snacks, etc.
– Flippy Junior: A smaller version of Flippy Original.
– Coming soon—the Cozen: Stay tuned for details on this new product!
HPI is also a company with a heart and a social consciousness, it is very focused on “Flipping it Forward” with a supply chain partner in Salem, Oregon that supports developmentally challenged adults with employment and life skills training. HPI also partners with First Book, a Washington, DC-based non-profit literacy partner.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it demonstrated its nimble thinking by using its China team to help source a completely different product: much-needed hand sanitizer from China for the State of Oregon. HPI’s focus on detail enabled it to conform to the rigorous health and safety guidelines and standards required for this kind of product.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. . . “
~ Oscar Wilde
Nothing is easy, and HPI has been the subject of much “flattery.” One would be surprised to discover to what extent some businesses seem to build their future around the systematic exploitation of other people’s ideas. Instead of engaging in the long and risky process of developing new products, such companies invest in a strong legal team and deliver to the unsuspecting market knockoffs built with inferior components by unscrupulous manufacturers using exploited labor. Read more about this here.
HPI has had its fair share of these challenges and is working extremely hard to maintain its brand integrity by continuing to provide the highest-quality products on the market at a low cost. But, as with all products, from food and make-up to home goods, it is also up to consumers to buy responsibly.
HPI started working directly with China Performance Group in 2017. At that time, HPI already had a good China sourcing program, but they wanted more: a program that delivered lower costs and higher volume without sacrificing quality. CPG helped do all that and also decreased production time (aka got a faster turnover). From 2018 to 2019, HPI’s business grew 550% and they are still growing!
HPI’s success demonstrates the importance of vision combined with execution. They created and developed a great product, found a low-cost way to make it reliably and bring it to the market year after year, and developed an effective sales and marketing campaign to find and keep customers. We all know how hard it is to pull these different elements together and we salute them for their success.
By Laura Dow