A Front Door that Says So Much More: Entry Envy Makes Stylish First ImpressionsFeb 24, 2023 12:52PM ● By Katy Spratte Joyce
Photo by Bill Sitzmann.
“It’s interesting how life does not go in a straight line,” mused Jennifer Lea about her journey to her current calling, Entry Envy. The Blair-born and raised entrepreneur worked as a manager and marketer for law firms for nearly two decades before striking out on her own. After earning her MBA in 2013, Lea thought she had her life all figured out, with a book on the way and a law firm consulting practice in the works. A simple vision board exercise wound up changing her life trajectory. “I realized I was creating a business I didn’t want…It would be successful, but I didn’t actually want to do it for the next 30 years,” she explained.
Fast forward to 2020, and Lea was still searching for that right fit. After a divorce and related relocation, and amid a global pandemic, she was inspired to remodel her ‘new’ home, seeking a fresh start of sorts. She kept the house’s good bones, gutting the rest with her retired-carpenter father, and made it her own. This massive project, completed between August 2020 and April 2021, proved a fun venture for the longtime-handy Lea. She especially loved showing that women belong in the construction trades and blogging about it on her cheeky website, CheaperthanWine.com (which has since been renamed HammersandFlipflops.mykajabi.com).
But even after all that sweat equity, something about the house just wasn’t right. Lea shared, “Outside [it] looked old and outdated, and the inside looked brand new.” She brainstormed how to solve the issue, asking, “What can I do to add curb appeal that doesn’t cost a ton or take lots of time?” The notion of adding a modern house-number sign with an attached area for flair took shape. After one $37 trip to Michael’s Crafts and a few hours workshoping the design, Lea had built a home address sign box and decorated it for the Easter holiday with mini robin’s eggs and faux florals.
Recognizing that she’d need to change the decor for the next holiday (and the next, and next), she saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market, as no one was selling home exterior decor using a subscription model in that unique way. What eventually developed would become Entry Envy, Lea’s business that combines her love of creating and her marketing know-how.
Further proof-of-concept testing was the next step, so Lea attended the 2021 Rockbrook Art Festival as a vendor. Six hours in, she had collected more than 250 email addresses from potential customers who loved the address/changeable decor box samples displayed at her booth.
On October 1st, 2021, Entry Envy launched online with 25 decor subscribers. Customers choose their preferred decorating style (modern, traditional, or masculine) and frequency (monthly or quarterly). Then, per their specifications, they’re mailed an address box along with decor refill kits for each season or holiday. Kits include faux florals, LED candles and lights, figurines, handcrafted signs, and other accents.
Just one year later, in October 2022, the company proved profitable and has since garnered much acclaim, winning “Best New Subscription of the Year” by the Subscription Trade Association. And buyers are very enthusiastic about the product. “I love Entry Envy…I love how it makes it so easy to see your house numbers and adds a fun pop of personality,” shared Omaha subscriber Erin Fairchild.
The convenience and ease with which the decor increases a house’s curb appeal is attractive to busy homeowners, including Lisa Woodford, who said, “I have purchased from them twice now and plan to give this as my signature gift for all housewarming gifts in the future.”
As the only exterior home decor subscription service (according to Lea), this innovative business and its female founder are primed to grow sales in an ever-expanding home and garden marketplace. And Lea is ever-grateful that she veered from her career path and took the welcome detour.
Visit entry-envy.com to learn more about Lea’s company.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2023 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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