Johnstown Independent

Thirty-One Gifts growth noted at conference


Johnstown-based company Thirty-One Gifts made a big impact in central Ohio during its eighth annual national conference.

Thirty-One sells purses, totes and accessories, many of which can be personalized, through its 40,000 independent consultants nationwide.

More than 7,600 of those consultants attended the three-day conference at Nationwide Arena, the Columbus Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency on July 13-16, compared to 1,500 who attended the same event in 2010.

Thirty-one founder and CEO Cindy Monroe said she never imaged her business would grow to be the company it is today.

"We started Thirty-One to provide an opportunity for women to find financial freedom through owning their own business," Monroe said in an email to ThisWeek. "I am so thankful I get to witness so many women realizing their potential and bringing their dreams to life.

"Every personal story drives me - and our entire Thirty-One team - to move forward and dream bigger," she said.

Monroe started her business in 2003 in the basement of her Tennessee home. She moved the its headquarters to Johnstown in July 2009, where there are currently 680 Thirty-One employees.

A second office is located in Columbus with 821 employees.

In September 2011, Thirty-One will open a new distribution and manufacturing center in Springfield. It's expected to bring about 500 new jobs to the Springfield area.

Scott Cottrill, chief administrative officer, said Thirty-One made several capital investments to expand production volume in Johnstown, which he said is operating at nearly full capacity. No immediate construction projects are planned, however, he said.

"Due to our rapid growth of our company, we need to find immediate solutions," Cottrill said.

"Johnstown is a critical part of our company's ability to meet our customers' needs and we plan to continue our partnership in Johnstown," he said. "However, we must form relationships with other communities."

The conference is expected to bring in approximately $8 million to central Ohio's economy.