Here is a start of a new series on my blog! Local businesses in and near McLean, VA
Husband-wife team, Andy and Nancy Bao, runs this boutique business named Windy Hill Collections. You've probably seen these around department stores and online. Their presence are pretty wide. The suppliers to these retail stores are actually here in our very own town!
I was fortunate to have seen so many of their collections in person. I wish I could own them all!!! Each Santa is just so detailed and amazingly beautiful! With five star ratings on Amazon, their challenge is to keep up with the demand. If you are looking for something classy and to pass down to generations, go and visit their shop on Amazon.
Tell us about your BUSINESS:
What do you do?
We design, manufacture, and sell our own line of Home Décor. We have been supplying unique, whimsical, and functional designs in a variety of mediums for every home and hearth. Each piece is hand crafted to provide our customers with the most positive experience possible.
What makes your business unique/special?
We are a small business, and working with us feels like you’re working with good friends. Everything we do has a personal touch, and we value our relationships with customer more than anything else.
Which item is your favorite this season?
We carry over 100+ items every year, and picking your favorite one is like picking your favorite child. But we focus on Christmas Christmas Christmas! We started exclusively on the Christmas season, and are now branching into Everyday items. But our heart will always remain in the Christmas season.
In what way have you gone above and beyond for you past customers?
We provide amazing customer service, I know that might sound a bit pompous, but we really do. We sell our products on Amazon, and have achieved 4.9 out of 5 star rating on our lifetime customer service rating. We’re not perfect, and honestly, we make mistakes all the time (that’s why we’re still striving for that 5/5 star rating). But we try to learn from our mistakes, and if those mistakes affect a customer, we go out of our way to make sure that whatever Windy Hill Collection item they have brings a smile to their face every time they see it.
What is the coolest thing your client has done for you?
We sell hundreds of items, one of which is an animated Santa that dances & plays music. He’s sound activated, so when you clap your hands, Santa will sing & dance. Last year a customer wrote to tell us that their autistic son loved this Santa. And he learned to clap his hands to make the Santa dance. Every time guests came over he made a point of clapping so that Santa could sing & dance for them. It’s stories like this that make everything we do worth it.
What tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without?
We could not do without our factories in China. Business in China nowadays often gets a bad rap for all kinds of business, political, and other factors. But the people in our factory are hard-working individuals who are just trying to make their lives better for themselves and their families. We consider our relationship with our Chinese factory as a partnership, and couldn’t exist without them.
What other local business do you just LOVE? Why?
We have so many businesses that we work with all the time, Fedex, Staples, Brilliant Globe (our freight forwarder), Amazon, Houzz, Wayfair. When they say it takes a village, it truly takes a village.
Tell us about YOU:
WHY did you choose to do what you do?
My husband & I have been building this company together. Huatao started working with factories creating other people’s designs, and he realized that he was just as artistic as his competitors, if not more so. So he started creating his own designs, and now has dozens of designs that he comes up with every year. Creating this business and working together was just a natural extension of who we are. Being from China, he has the China manufacturing connection, and majoring in Communication back in College I have the US marketing & sales experience. It just made sense for us to work together on this kind of business.
When did you know you wanted to go into this business?
Huatao started the business back in 2003 focusing on other people’s design, and by the time I started working with him in 2012 we knew that this was the right direction for us.
What are you passionate about outside of your business?
Huatao & I work together every day on our business, but the most important part about our lives is our family. We have 3 beautiful children; Myles, Mia, and Mindy who are source of our joy & happiness (and frustration, anger, sadness ☺). But they are, without a doubt, the most important part of both of our lives and we love them with all of our hearts.
Describe your PERFECT day…
We wake up on a lazy weekend, the kids climb into our beds, and we all don’t get out of bed until almost noon. We eat a big breakfast of pancakes, sausage, yummy fresh fruit, and a hot coffee. Then lollygag around all day enjoying a beautiful day of sunshine maybe going for a bike ride, or doing something fun outside, and end up with all 5 of us curled up on our sofa watching a great movie and eating ice cream.
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WHERE CAN NEW CUSTOMERS FIND YOU?
All of our products are available on Amazon, just type in “Windy Hill Collection” into the main search engine.
Nancy can be contacted at email@example.com | www.windyhillcollection.com
Thank you Nancy and Andy to take your time to let us know of your business!! We wish you the best for the coming year!!
Yon Chung, CPA, Realtor is a full time real estate agent based in McLean, Virginia (Capital Area Homes | Keller Williams Realty). She personally invests in real estate around Northern Virginia and out of state. Yon Chung serves sellers and buyers of primary homes and investment properties in Fairfax County.