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The Swanky Paper Doll

The Swanky Paper Doll
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Last year, my husband was part of 5 organizations. Yes, you read that right- 5 organizations. We were married while he was with the Minnesota Twins, honeymooned as part of the Chicago Cubs, spent Christmas as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, went to the Toronto Blue Jays in the middle of spring, got traded at the trade deadline to the Kansas City Royals, and then finally traded back to the Blue Jays the day after the World Series. It was insane. I love looking supportive of my husband’s teams by wearing baseball gear, but seriously, I felt like I was getting new team apparel wayyyy too often! This is when the idea came to me – why not design trendy, baseball gear that can literally go with a bunch a teams? Blue, red, white and black are pretty much staples of every team in the MLB….. why not make shirts that I can wear whether I am a Royal or a Blue Jay? A Twin or an Oriole? That way I can save money and still be supportive of my husband and his team!

I did my research, aka I asked a ton of opinions from wives and girlfriends in the stands….”would you wear this?”, “would you want this?”, etc. I finally decided to pull the trigger and just do it after talking to Amber Sabathia and Lindsay McKenna. Amber was so sweet. I reached out to her, since she is an entrepreneur herself, and she told me to go for it and my friend Lindsay (author of ‘Polyester is the Devil’- a bridal book) told me to go for it to! Having people behind me helped me trust my gut and to just do it! I am so happy I did. I officially launched on March 3rd – though my blog launched January 7th of 2014. I knew all along that I wanted to have an online store- but while trying to figure out what route I wanted to take my store, I figured ‘ why not build up my following by blogging’! I have blogged about baseball travels, PAO, beauty reviews, etc.

Swanky Paper Doll LogoI opened March 3rd and have already had a profit. I had no idea it was going to go so well! I sold out pretty quickly when I first launched. I hadn’t ordered a ton of stuff because, let’s be honest, if it didn’t go over well, who wants to be stuck with 100 “Play Ball” tanks? Lol. Ironically, that particular tank style is my biggest seller! I can barely keep them on the shelves. They come in over 15 color combinations and I always ask my buyers “what colors would you like to see?”. I try to always design with the buyer in mind. Overall, I have launched women and children’s  baseball tees/tanks/ and raglans and will be adding men’s clothing and a bridal line soon! I am a Christian and I also am going to add in a few designs that show my faith as well.

Swanky Paper Doll Women's & Children's Clothing
My logo is an actual drawing of myself! Katie Ryan (the daughter of the GM of the Minnesota Twins) actually designed it for me! It combines my love of baseball, fashion, coffee and juggling everything else in-between while looking like me – ombre hair and all! (her website: www.queenikathleeni.com)

Kristi Hendriks DrawingAbove all: I honestly could not have done this without the support of my husband. He encouraged me to follow my dreams. After being his cheerleader for so many years, he became my biggest supporter and I am so blessed. He also always helps with baseball terminology (clubhouse chatter) so that I can make unique pieces that only people in the baseball family would understand. For example: Strikeouts. I have a shirt coming out that says “Punchin’ Tickets” a term used by baseball players all the time to describe strikeouts. I want my brand to be baseball-friendly but also set apart from other basic baseball brands. We have fun talking about all this stuff! My store has definitely brought us closer as a couple. He tells me he is proud of me all the time, and honestly, that’s the sweetest part of this whole thing!

Check out my site: www.theswankypaperdoll.com!

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Kristi Hendriks Kristi Hendriks is an MLB Sis, wife of Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, Liam Hendriks. Kristi owns The Swanky Paper Doll, an online boutique.