You gotta have friends
Fueled by e-commerce on Facebook, a Lexington company that began in its founder’s home is now a rapidly expanding enterprise. “From 2010 to 2011, our sales tripled,” says Brandi Tysinger Temple, CEO and founder of Lolly Wolly Doodle Inc., a Web-based retailer that makes and sells personalized children’s wear.
The business started in 2006 on eBay, where Temple sold extra dresses and hair bows she had made for her two daughters. But it wasn’t until she created a company Facebook page in early 2010 that sales spiked. Though many question the social-media website’s ability to drive revenue, Lolly Wolly Doodle employs a simple scheme to generate sales: It posts a picture and description of a product about four times a day. If customers want to buy it, they type their email address, size and customizations in the “comments” section of the post. A recent item — a $15 pink shirt with embroidery included — generated more than 80 orders in an hour.
To accommodate growth, the company recently moved into a 19,000-square-foot building, nearly doubling its space and expanding the workroom, warehouse and offices. The building’s renovation was funded by a $750,000 federal Community Development Block Grant, which the company matched. It also received a $3,000 annual tax break for five years from Davidson County for creating 38 jobs within two years. Its workforce has grown from six to 76 since 2009.
In December, Lolly Wolly Doodle completed a $1.7 million private stock offering to pay for the ex- pansion. Investors include two New York venture capitalists, who wanted the business to move there. But Temple decided to keep it in her hometown.
LEXINGTON — Lexington Medical Center will spend $1.8 million enlarging its emergency department 70% to 12,000 square feet be- cause of an increase in patient visits. It will add nine treatment rooms for a total of 26. The center is owned by Winston-Salem-based Wake Forest Baptist Health.
WINSTON-SALEM — Inmar will expand its headquarters, adding 212 jobs to its 640 and investing $24.5 million. The technology- services company began as a coupon processor and expanded into supply-chain consulting, digital promotions and rebate management. Average annual pay will be $72,783, higher than Forsyth County’s average of $41,912.
WINSTON-SALEM — Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will enter Russia after signing a franchise agreement with LLC Doughnuts Cafe, which plans to build 40 stores in Moscow within five years. LLC Doughnuts is owned by Arkady Novikov, a Moscow-based restaurateur.
HIGH POINT — Stanley Furniture will consolidate its headquarters here, investing $4 million and adding 42 jobs to its 13 within three years. The furniture maker had corporate offices here and in Stanleytown, Va.
WINSTON-SALEM — Targacept will lay off 65 employees here, nearly half its workforce. The biopharmaceutical company, which develops treatments for diseases and disorders of the nervous system, plans to focus on its later-stage clinical programs after its leading drug candidate failed in phase three clinical trial.
ADVANCE— Ashley Furniture Industries will open a manufacturing and distribution operation, investing $80 million and creating 550 jobs within five years. The Arcadia, Wis.-based company makes and distributes home furnishings.
GREENSBORO — Cigarette maker Lorillard bought electronic-cigarette manufacturer blue cigs for $135 million. The company, whose products don’t produce ash or smoke, will remain in Charlotte.