Christmas Gifts Turn into a Multimillion Dollar Company for a TTU Alumna

LUBBOCK,TX - "Sometimes I get out of my car and I walk into the building and I just pinch myself because I still feel like I'm this 21, 22 year old girl who just needed to make a little extra money," Stephen Joseph Inc. Founder and CEO Alix Buckley said.

The San Francisco girl moved to the Hub City during high school, and continued her education at Texas Tech University, where she met her future husband. 

Shortly after, Buckley transitioned as a local third grade teacher wanting to start a family. 

It was Christmas time and Buckley was making homemade gifts for her friends and family when an idea sparked in her head.

"I had to give Christmas gifts to a very large family," Buckley said. "My husband and I didn't have a lot of money and so I learned to make fabric frames."

That frame grew in popularity and sparked a custom design business for Buckley.

"I started selling them to friends and family and putting them in consignment stores," Buckley said. "First order was $76.50, I still remember that."

What started out as trendy items for sororities around town, grew and turned into a multimillion dollar company known as Stephen Joseph Inc. that is sold world-wide. 

The company has five different brands: Stephen Joseph, Alexandria & Company, Kidtees, Wit!, and Karma

Their products are distributed through 40 different facilities across the globe, and retailers in 100 different countries. 

All of the design and some of the production is through their Lubbock office.

The company has taken their proceeds from their female brand Karma and donated to different causes across the world.

"We have helped build a school in India for women," Buckley said. "We put in clean water systems in Nepal in the Himalayas, supported charities here at home, food backpacks for kids."

Without taking a single business course, Buckley said she's learned accountability and versatility is the key to their success.

"We could run a business in Lubbock for less money, we could get great people who are very loyal," Buckley said. "We're also centrally located, and we've built a big business here. It would be very hard to move and don't want to move it."

Their products can be found at Hollyhocks Gifts or Paddle Tramps around town, and all online here

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