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Girard woman builds business success

Published: Tue, July 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Noah-to-Goah offers a unique school fund-raising possibility.
GIRARD -- A Girard woman has discovered a new twist on do-it-yourself business with build-your-own-stuffed-animal workshops.
Melissa J. Barnett is the only Noah's Ark Animal Workshop crew member in the tri-county area. She went to Chicago in May for the first Rainbow Stars Convention.
"I saw the ad for Noah's Ark in Family Fun magazine three or four times. I thought, 'I know my kids love that kind of stuff, why wouldn't others?'" she said.
Barnett is an independent representative selling Noah's Ark Collectibles, build-your-own stuffed animals with an array of outfits and accessories. The company, which started in 2004, also has build-your-own dolls.
Representatives, known as crew members, schedule and conduct home workshops -- similar to jewelry or candle parties -- and group workshops for birthday parties, Scout programs and other groups, Barnett said. A crew member earns 35 percent to 45 percent of the profit of total workshop sales.
Stuffed animal options
Each animal's head and paws are pre-stuffed; people fill the body cavity, arms and legs, add the rainbow wish star, and zip the animal's one-way zipper closed. Each animal comes with a birth certificate and people can buy the company's many outfits and accessories.
Animals sell for around $15; outfits and other accessories add to the price.
Another option is the $25 Noah-to-Goah customized kit. People pick a stuffed animal that is packaged in a fancy box with stuffing and directions; they can also get outfits and accessories.
Barnett said Noah-to-Goah would make an excellent school fund-raiser, with school logo T-shirts for the animals.
"I have a feeling once we break through, we'll have a landslide and I'll be begging people for help," Barnett said.
A $129 business starter kit includes five animals and outfits, Barnett said.
For more information, contact Barnett at (330) 530-1077 or (330) 503-2893.

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