For Suzie Schleifer, CEO and owner of Stacked by Suzie, becoming an entrepreneur was never part of the plan. But after recreating one of her favorite gemstone bracelets, Schleifer unknowingly stepped into what would soon become a thriving family-owned business.
“I started researching how to make gemstone bracelets,” Schleifer said. “One thing led to another, and people started asking me if they could buy my bracelets, so I started selling them at soccer games, at schools, etc.”
Realizing her mom’s potential, Schleifer’s oldest daughter, Talia, encouraged her to start an Instagram account to market her jewelry.
With almost no social media experience and only a couple followers, Schleifer launched her Instagram page — and so became Stacked by Suzie, an affordable and on-trend jewelry brand based out of Virginia Beach.
At the time, Talia was home from college at UVA and, taking after her mom, decided to start crafting her own hoop charm earrings. Knowing the struggle as a college student to find jewelry that was both fashionable and affordable, Talia came up with the idea of a Gameday product line, which offers earrings, bracelets and necklaces in a variety of university colors.
“That sort of morphed into this whole business. We started getting lots of DMs on Instagram, and we had these little pillow boxes that we would decorate for every single person,” said Schleifer.
However, as Stacked by Suzie expanded not just locally but across the country, Schleifer and her three daughters were faced with new growing pains, such as order fulfillment and shipping processes. They needed an ecommerce platform that could keep up with the business’s increasing demand, streamline operations and reach new audiences.
So in late 2019, Stacked by Suzie launched on BigCommerce.
“It’s brought great efficiency to our business,” chimed in Schleifer’s husband. “I have experience with SaaS ecommerce platforms from a decade ago, and BigCommerce is so much easier.”
In agreement, Schleifer explained, “BigCommerce has been communicative and responsive. It’s good to know that we have a good support system behind us.”
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Although the business was already expanding rapidly, the real game-changer for Stacked by Suzie was the launch of its TikTok account.
A few months after launching on BigCommerce, Schleifer’s three daughters, Talia, Isabel and Chloe, began posting TikToks featuring creative ways to style the brand’s jewelry, promoting new pieces and playing on popular TikTok trends.
“It totally blew up our business. We sort of went viral,” Schleifer said.
Now with numerous micro-influencers promoting its jewelry and almost 80 thousand TikTok followers, Stacked by Suzie is truly a prime example of “TikTok Made Me Buy It.” On top of that, the jewelry brand boasts over 32 thousand followers on Instagram and 8 thousand followers on Pinterest.
Of course, many businesses with this kind of popularity can find it difficult to maintain the same quality and customer service as they had in the beginning. But even amidst rapid growth, Stacked by Suzie is proud to keep its small business mentality.
“I can honestly say that we’re still providing the same customer service today that we were in the very beginning,” Schleifer said.
A 100% Happiness Guarantee
From the days of selling jewelry to family and friends at school soccer games, all the way to today, selling online to customers across the U.S. — Stacked by Suzie has always been about making their customers happy.
In fact, Schleifer explained one of the most exciting parts of her job is hearing from their customers and seeing them style their Stacked by Suzie jewelry. Whether they’re sporting their Gameday jewelry stacks, wearing matching necklaces with their besties or getting an additional piercing so they can wear more stacks, the family loves seeing their customers confident and happy in their Stacked by Suzie jewelry.
“We really want to create fashionable, high-quality and accessible jewelry for everyone, and we do that by continuing to research, re-source and reach out to our customers to make sure that we know what they want,” Schleifer said. “We have what we call a 100% Happiness Guarantee to make sure that every one of our customers is happy.”
But Schleifer noted that it isn’t just their business that’s giving to their customers — on the flip side, their customers have supported Schleifer and her family in more ways than one.
Recalling a recent emergency, Schleifer explained that she and her daughters had to leave the business for two weeks. With orders continuing to pour in and no way to fulfill them, the family was unsure how to handle the situation.
But after sending out an email to hundreds of customers, explaining the situation, Schleifer was taken aback by the overwhelming support she received. With only one cancellation and multiple messages of prayers, support and best wishes, Schleifer quickly found that customer support goes both ways.
“That’s when I realized that we’re not just an ecommerce jewelry business,” Schleifer said. “We’re about connections and family and making a difference, and it gives me great hope that people are so kind. We’re so appreciative of the amazing customers that we have.”
A Family Success
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Few business owners can call their family their coworkers — but for Schleifer, building a business alongside her three daughters has been a priceless opportunity.
And as a first-time entrepreneur herself, Schleifer loves being able to learn along with her girls and watch them pursue their own business endeavors.
In fact, Talia recently launched her own successful business, creating graphic designs for college dorms and apartments. And her other two daughters Isabel and Chloe continue to support the Stacked by Suzie business by designing jewelry, filming TikToks, going live on social media, editing content and interacting with customers.
“Sometimes they’ll say, ‘I can’t believe that we have our own business,’” Schleifer said. “I think it’s given them the confidence to just try something totally different and new.”
The Final Word
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