When considering starting her own business, Jessica Burke was given the advice, “do something you completely love, even in the tiny details.” The only thing she felt absolutely certain she loved – tiny details and all – was paper products. Jessica’s passion drove her to start CopperTops Paperie, a company that sells personalized paper products, in 2013.
CopperTops is most widely known for their patent-pending bottle wrap, which emerged from a conversation with a customer regarding a better way to wrap a bottle of wine. Customers can choose from a variety of distinctively designed patterns and papers suiting any occasion. CopperTops prints on responsibly sourced recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.
After launching CopperTops and entering her first retail store, Jessica enrolled in LEADING EDGE™ for Entrepreneurs at the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to craft a business plan and long-term vision for her company.
Jessica was paired with entrepreneurial mentors, providing her with valuable advice and expertise to get her business on the path to success.
“I met with SBDC financial consultant several times. He was invaluable in helping me get started putting together business financials,”
Jessica said. “Through the consultants I was connected with the guys behind The Real Dill pickles. It was also a very helpful for me to connect with them.”
Jessica graduated from the LEADING EDGE™ course – business plan in hand – and was selected to compete in the SBDC’s first Trout Tank. Seeking a $100,000 loan, Jessica gave her best pitch to over 30 lenders and investors and was awarded first place at the event.
Several months later, Jessica was approved for a line of credit. CopperTops launched a new website, submitted patent applications, expanded their product line and created a more focused brand.
Jessica’s passion – coupled with the tools and contacts she gained from the SBDC –led to a 260% increase in sales and enabled CopperTops to continue to expand into over 30 stores in Colorado including Whole Foods in Boulder.
CopperTops products can either be found in (or are coming soon to) King Soopers, Specs, Central Market and Rouses. Jessica’s hope is to grow nationally. She shared, “We are being considered within several national chains and hopefully will have exciting news to share in the coming months.”