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Hip To The Skippy – The Altman Family Business Model And CoolZips

Where am I? Where am I going? What am I doing? Until you’re brain dead, these questions will spur moments of anxious reflection in all our lives, whether you’re a philosopher, entrepreneur, or tollbooth attendant. Lauren Altman’s knew her answer: IBEOn–I be on the beach, I be on the slopes, I be on the road to creating something great.” She asked her family if they caught her drift. They did, and IBeOn LLC was born.



The Altmans had a company but needed a business. Lauren thought about making a hip zipper for her husband Rick’s sweater. Their daughter, Hannah, was into the idea of adding beads and charms, and eager to help. She began by supplying the product’s name: CoolZips. Six-years old at the time, Hannah made the first of her wise calls.



Let the debate rage on as to whether some one can be born an entrepreneur. One thing that can be said for sure about Hannah’s early start as a business woman is that her family encouraged her creativity and joined her in realizing her projects. Only a couple years later, after a fascination with pencil toppers in a vending machine inspired her to sell her own, Hannah became the CEO and President of Hannah’s Cool World. She now sells toys and “funky stuff that kids love.” Her dad helped build the eCommerce site for selling her squishy pencil accessories. She sold 250,000 of them in two years after launching.


Dad works full time now on the family business. In addition to CoolZips, the Altmans now have sites offering an eclectic mix of goods including toys, Frank the Astronaut Potty Mouth Wipes & Erasers, bracelets, stickers, and more. The family looks to Hannah for product recommendations. She’s still too young to attend trade shows, buts her parents go and bring her catalogs and brochures. She has a knack for spotting a winner. A monster figurine Dad first thought looked “stupid and babyish,” Hannah thought they should carry. They’ve sold like gangbusters, too.



Hannah slips into her cool world five hours a week when she’s finished with that other business called school. She writes blogs, helps with orders, customer service, and continues to search for more hits.


The Altmans have a family saying: Hip To The Skippy. It means peace and that everything is good. They’ve put their family expression on bracelets available for purchase. One dollar of every bracelet sold goes to Rock Can Roll, a hunger relief organization. While the family business is great, their unity and attitude sound even better. Where on earth do the Altmans take us? To a pretty cool world.


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Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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