An Idea from Mom Helped Foxx Start Containers Unlimited

By Driskill, Matt | THE JOURNAL RECORD, April 10, 1985 | Go to article overview

An Idea from Mom Helped Foxx Start Containers Unlimited


Driskill, Matt, THE JOURNAL RECORD


When Laurie Foxx and a schoolmate at the Universty of Oklahoma began their entrepreneurial class, they were required to submit a proposal for founding a business and complete a research paper on the subject.

They had to identify markets, set up accounting practices and all the other nitty-gritty items of running a small business. Their original idea was to develop a plan for opening a ladies dress shop. They completed the proposals and turned in the plan.

But somewhere along the way, Foxx said, an idea was brewing in the back of her mind for something different. She wanted to own her own business, but she just couldn't put her finger on an idea thatwould sell. Finally her mother came up with one - ""Why not do something wth containers,' my mom told me," Foxx said.

Foxx proposed the idea to her professor who encouraged her to work an additional semester to put the plan together. She did and now, four years after graduatng from OU, Foxx is married, has an eight month-old child and is the owner of Containers Unlimited of Oklahoma City.

Containers Unlimited currently has two stores in operation - one in Tulsa's Square One Shopping Center and one in Oklahoma City at 12310 N. May Ave., with a third set to open this month at 6401 NW Expressway in the Courtyard Plaza shopping mall.

To hear Foxx put it, it's been a lot of hard work but it's been a lot of fun for the 25-year-old businesswoman.

"I got real enthusiastic about it and I won an award for the idea," Foxx said. "I remember one judge said he'd invest in the idea so that gave me a lot of encouragement."

Containers Unlimited offers various items that organize the home, Foxx said, from shower organizers that hold soap and shampoo to desk lamps, pink travel flasks and folding tea carts.

The firm also offers Elfa shelves from Sweden, which Foxx said are "probably the most popular items. The shelves are actually wire baskets that can be stacked in the closet to organize clothes."

Foxx, who said she hasn't always been organized herself, said the store has hit a segment of the market that really hasn't been explored that much.

"We've got quality merchandise and a good staff. I would say what we're doing right is we stand behind our merchandise and offer great service."

Another part of the store's appeal, Foxx said, is that there is always something different to offer.

"I work really, really hard when I go to market," Foxx said. "When people come in, there is always something different and they think it's great. I think people can see that."

In addition to targeting women with children as customers, Foxx said she gets a lot of college fraternities and sororities because the store customizes gifts that are popular wth the college crowd.

"We also offer a service where we go into the home and help people organize their kitchens, their closets, or whatever, she said. …

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