After a career in product development for other companies, Joann Cartiglia, president and CEO of Queen’s Treasures in Stroudsburg, knew how to build a brand.
She discovered how easy it was to sell products on eBay when she began buying wooden doll trunks at her local A.C. Moore craft store and reselling them on the website.
“I was literally doubling my money just by posting and reselling them,” she said.
Cartiglia then combined the two skills of branding and eBay selling and around 2005 began to build an empire – albeit a small one – selling doll trunks, clothes and accessories.
Specifically targeting the 15-inch and 18-inch doll market, which is favored by popular doll designers such as Madame Alexander and American Girl, Cartiglia began designing her own doll trunks and doll clothing and then had the clothing manufactured in China and sold direct to consumers on websites such as eBay and Amazon.
“I started in a very small way,” Cartiglia said.
Sales increased, and after a few years in business she was contacted by Amazon, which told her that her products were among the websites highest-searched items. The company wanted her to sell to it directly.
“I have been sourcing and designing products for other companies for years, so it was easy for us,” she said.
That was a little over three years ago, and it’s when the company really began to take off into the company it is today.
“We sort of made a name for ourselves. I had taken whatever I knew about branding and developed this product,” she said.
Last year, Cartiglia said, more than 50 percent of her business was wholesale versus direct to consumer, and her product line, which has expanded to include doll clothing, trunks, furniture and accessories, broke the $1 million revenue mark.
She hopes to increase the wholesale end of her business this year; last year she sold 35,000 to 40,000 items direct to consumers, she said.
She also hopes to grow revenue and build on the staff of seven that works in the retail shop and warehouse she runs on Route 611.
She said part of the secret to her success has been offering a branded set of products that were of high quality, but still less expensive than products sold by the doll companies on which her products were modeled.
“Now, a lot of companies are coming out with that size and body-type doll,” she said, so the market has the potential for even further growth.
She also noted there is constantly a new market for her products as young girls discover the joys of doll collecting.
Queen’s Treasures clothing can be found on eBay, Amazon.com, Toys R Us retail stores and online stores and many mom-and-pop shops around the nation.