June is an incredibly special time around here. Although this June began with so many plans and anticipation for new releases, the team had to be flexible with everything Covid threw our way. However, even with Covid in our midst, we’ve enjoyed all of the contests, the songs, the dances, the engagement and releases that did happen.
June is a month with an ever-growing, amazing legacy. A legacy as a brand and as a family (Ferrells) dating back to 2013.
You can watch as Lindsey, Bret, and Whitney share the history of the business and some behind-the-scenes moments through the years:
Starting Small with One Goal
It’s been a journey to get Ryan & Rose to where it is now. Lindsey started her dream at the dining room table with her sister Whitney, and Bret documenting the occasion.
Ryan & Rose started with the Cutie Clip. The Cutie PAT was nowhere to be found at the time. It wasn’t even a thought.
Lindsey created the first Cutie Clip because she couldn’t find any short, safe, and stylish pacifier clips for Ryan’s pacifiers. Every clip available at the time was long and, quite frankly, not cute.
She also needed a pacifier clip to keep Ryan’s pacifiers away from their golden doodle, Penny, who ate the nipples off the pacifiers.
Here was the opportunity—to solve her own need for a short, safe, and stylish clips for her daughter, but also clips for other moms who were looking for the same thing.
That was the one goal—pacifier clips that were safe for the child, which meant they needed to be shorter, and then needed to be cuter with different materials and designs.
The First Cutie Clips
A neat fact—Lindsey started the business with a $500 gift from her mother-in-law (Biba) which she took and immediately purchased supplies at Hobby Lobby.
The first Cutie Clips were made with fabric trim and weren’t double-sided until Bret had the brilliant idea to loop the thread through the clip and double the design on the back as well.
The Rosy was the very first clip Lindsey sold. It’s no longer sold, but it holds a special place in the history of the company as the Cuite Clip that fueled Ryan & Rose.
How many Cutie Clips did Lindsey sell in 2013? Well, we don’t have the exact number of clips sold, but the sales added up to $900. For Lindsey it wasn’t about the money or specific revenue. It was about pursuing her dream of bringing better, safer pacifier clips to the market for all families.
Another interesting fact—in those early days, Lindsey told a group of women that she believed her company would one day be a million-dollar company. She believed it.
Growing in Those First Years
The next year, 2014, brought 10 times the amount of sales. Bret recalls the number being $9,000 and Ryan & Rose steadily picking up steam.
During this time, Lindsey and Whitney attended a business class at the University of Memphis and were encouraged to name the clips something that people would remember. Something with a ring to it. So they came up with Cutie Clips!
And while they only sold Cutie Clips at the time, Lindsey’s vision for the business was more than clips. So the business wasn’t named “Cutie Clips.” It was named “Ryan & Rose” after Lindsey and Bret’s first-born child, Ryan Rose Ferrell.
(some of the first logo designs)
Lindsey and Bret considered whether a second child would be upset with the naming of the business. Before they even had Charley Ruth they considered naming it “Ryan & Charley” but they weren’t even sure if they’d have two kids or if they’d name their second child Charley.
Lindsey included the “and” in the name because it sounds more sophisticated for the brand to be named “Ryan and Rose” versus “Ryan Rose.”
Well, Lindsey and Bret did have a second child and named her Charley, and she inspired the product that caused the business to take off in sales and popularity. We’ll get to that in a minute.
The business continued to blossom into 2015 with another 10 times growth and hitting sales of $90,000. Lindsey still wasn’t paying herself at this point. Whitney also wasn’t getting a paycheck, but she was being paid in dinners.
Lindsey kept reinvesting back into Ryan & Rose by purchasing new equipment (engraving machine), new forms of marketing (a new website on Shopify), metal clips, and more product to have in inventory.
Lindsey says it’s all about “relying on the Lord to get us through.”
If you didn’t know, Lindsey was still working full-time at White Station High School as a teacher for the Deaf up until December of 2016. So she was working all day at the school and then coming home and working on Ryan & Rose at night. Often she would stay up until one or two in the morning working on the business and then sleep for just a few hours before heading back to the school.
Then in December, Lindsey left her job at the school, went and worked with her dad at Homer Skelton Ford while she also went full-time with Ryan & Rose.
Fun fact: she actually quit her teaching job before she even knew she was pregnant with Charley.
The business clipped $180,000 in sales in 2016 and it was time for Lindsey to solely focus on the growth of the business in 2017.
The hard work, prayers, and investment was paying off. The business was moving full steam ahead and about to make a massive jump with the next Cutie product.
Introducing the Cutie PAT Pacifier
Remember Charley Ruth? Well, the year was 2017 and Charley would not take a pacifier by the age of four months. She refused.
This sent Lindsey on course to actually design a teether the size of a pacifier, and would hang like a pacifier on a clip. While Lindsey designed the teether, she considered adding the pacifier to the teether and realized she could combine both in one.
After a few months of designs, refinements, and samples, Lindsey had a teether and pacifier that Charley actually took. It was amazing because Lindsey hadn’t set out to design a pacifier for Charley. She set out to create a better teether and then also created the pacifier and Charley took it.
The PATpat (as it was called at the time) arrived as a sample in January 2018, which Charley took and then initiated the production and launch in April of 2018.
The Cutie PAT pacifier was the turning point for Ryan & Rose as a company. The company went from the steady growth it was experiencing to explosive growth. As Bret said, now you need a Cutie PAT for your Cutie Clip. It just goes hand-in-hand. A demand in Cutie PATs created a demand for more Cutie Clips, so Lindsey began hiring more makers and more team members to package and ship.
The Cutie PAT Pacifier Opens the Door to More of Lindsey’s Creativity
By this point we already know Lindsey is creative. I mean, come on, she’s already changed an entire market line in pacifier clips to be more safe and more stylish, and now she’s introduced a new pacifier.
But she didn’t stop there… she started designing and crafting new products for the Ryan & Rose line. A whole line of products for the entire family—Cutie Bands, Cutie Tensils, Cutie Bits, Cutie Tags, Cutie Straps, Cutie Holders, Cutie Bracelets, and the newest Cutie Cub.
“We wanted to become a household name,” Lindsey says.
Lindsey and Bret considered products they could improve upon and bring to market in a new way, such as the Cutie Bands. If you don’t know, Cutie Bands are Ryan & Rose’s hair bands. Lindsey wanted a better hair band for her hair and something cute on her wrist, so she spent time improving the design and function until she perfected the Cutie Band.
The same is true for the Cutie Holder, a product that Bret wasn’t too sure would sell well. He actually wasn't a fan of the Cutie Holder during the design phase.
Lindsey originally designed the Cutie Holder as an attachable/detachable cup holder for strollers and carts, but the Holder has become a universal holder for just about anything. The versatility of the product makes it quite successful in the Cutie lineup, which Bret hadn’t even considered how versatile it would be and how great of a product it is today. He’s a fan now! And Lindsey enjoys reminding him of how great of an idea and product it is today.
Quality and Safety in All Products
For Lindsey and the entire Ryan & Rose brand, it’s all about the quality of the products and the safety for the users. It’s never about releasing as many products as possible. There are actually several products Lindsey hasn’t launched that she’s spent many hours working on.
Lindsey has worked on a sippy cup, a bottle, a cutie toothbrush, a snack container, and a bib, to mention a few. You won’t see any of those in the Ryan & Rose lineup currently because they weren’t perfect. Lindsey believes in only launching a product that is perfect and is meticulously designed and refined.
All Ryan & Rose products have to be safe. Safety is a major cornerstone of the Ryan & Rose brand. That’s why everything is professionally tested and perfect before it’s launched. It must be perfect, but it also must be safe for the whole family.
Lindsey often says she wants Ryan & Rose to have products like Apple—taking the time to perfect and launch when it’s perfect versus launching fast. It’s not a race to be the first. It’s all in the time it takes to get it right.
Moving From Evergreen to Cutie HQ
Just as 2018 was a massive year for the business, so was 2019. With the introduction of new products, adding more staff, more beautiful LE colors, and then the purchase of land and then the Cutie HQ that the crew operates out of today. It was another monumental year for Ryan & Rose!
If you’re new here, then you should know Lindsey and Bret operated Ryan & Rose out of their house for the first six years. It wasn’t until this past January that everything moved out of their house and into the new Cutie HQ. That’s right—six years in their home.
And what an incredible step to move everything out and into the Cutie HQ (a 20,000 sq. ft. space) so the business can continue to grow and provide more household products for the entire family to enjoy and love.
While the Cutie HQ is here in Memphis, Lindsey actually employees people all across the nation who contribute to the success of the brand. An entire remote team—from photographers, to clip makers, to designers, to collaborators, to videographers—comprise the hard working team behind Ryan & Rose.
It’s crazy to think back to Lindsey and Whitney sitting at that table in 2013 making clips. Literally making the clip when an order came in, then packaging it and shipping it in that moment.
So What’s Next?
Lindsey says she gets asked what her 5-year goal or 10-year goal is and she responds with “I don’t know…” It’s about trusting the Lord wherever He leads and whatever He puts on Lindsey’s heart for the business to do.
Lindsey prays and journals through everything she thinks about and envisions for the business. She gives it to the Lord and allows Him to orchestrate her steps through it all. She did that in 2013 and she continues to do that now in 2020.
There’s a lot more coming in 2020 and into 2021. Lindsey and Bret always have something up their sleeve that they’re working on. So if you’re interested in hearing more and keeping up with the business, and you don’t already follow along, head over to @ryanandrose on Instagram and give us a follow. Make sure to watch Lindsey’s stories as she often updates us on what’s happening and sneak peeks of what may be coming next.