Joan Painter, Director Of Franchising, Smallprint

Sunday, October 03, 2010

If good things come in small packages, Smallprint may be about to strike gold in the U.S. marketóor silver, for that matter. The U.K.-founded company crafts handmade jewelry that captures a child's fingerprint in polished silver pieces. Now with a presence in 13 countries worldwide, Smallprint is announcing its arrival in the U.S.ówith a little help from the West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE) in Los Angeles this November. Smallprints "Smallprint was created by founder Maija Pykett, who began making fine silver jewelry while on maternity leave," says Joan Painter, director of franchising. "Four years later the company has more than 115 franchises and has now arrived in the U.S." Painter took a moment to discuss the company's upcoming appearance at the WCFE this November and how she hopes to generate fresh business leads through a seemingly timeless concept.

Tell us a little bit about the Smallprint concept since the franchise is new to the States.

Smallprint creates jewelry that captures children's fingerprints in silver. The pieces are made from a product called precious metal clay (PMC), which can imprint a baby's fingerprint. The pieces are then fired in a kiln to form solid silver. Not only can a franchisee handcraft items for each customer, but it's also great for moms who enjoy flexible hours.

Being new to the States, why did you choose to attend the WCFE to introduce your concept? The WCFE will actually be our second show, but the founders have moved to California, where they are now permanently locating their headquarters. We've had quite a bit of interest from California residents, and the expo is a perfect opportunity to personally reach them.

What advice would give someone who is considering exhibiting at any of the franchise expos given your last showing? Smallprint was an exhibitor at the International Franchise Expo (IFE) last April for the first time. I would recommend sending representatives who know the product and represent the brand well, particularly if you are using outside resources. They must be knowledgeable about franchising and be able to answer the questions typically posed by attendees.

Do you have expansion plans targeted for Southern California specifically? We are eager to grow in California in any of the major markets north and south that fit our concept's demographic. In 2009, we did experience modest growth in other marketsówe do not have any California locations but are hoping the WCFE helps us change that.

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