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The Business Journal - Top 25 Women to Watch - July 2005

Kimberly Baeth cuts ceremonial ribbon with giant scissors

By Adrienne Baker

Kimberly Baeth’s official title is president and founder of Golden Openings Inc., but she jokes that she fills every position in her business from shipping manager to janitor.

New Hope-based Golden Openings Inc. employs 30 people part time. Baeth is the only full-time employee. “People burn out,” she said. “It’s a lot of work.”

Golden Openings does everything from planning an event to setting it up and taking it down. The company organizes themed celebrations and sponsorships, but also provides props such as giant scissors and banners.

Baeth’s father taught her that “a lot of work” is an important element of success. “My dad owned a construction company and started with just a shovel,” Baeth said. “He built his business from the ground up.”

Baeth, who grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa, learned more from her father than just how to build a business.

Most children do household chores — clean their rooms or take out the trash. Baeth’s chores included helping her family build a 17,000-square-foot house.

“We started in the sixth grade and it’s still a work in progress,” she said. While other kids were going to the mall or hanging out, Baeth was shingling, mixing mud and carrying bricks. “We literally built it brick by brick,” she said. “My dad always told me nothing was insurmountable. It’s cool to show that you can start from nothing and make something.”

Baeth took on a series of challenges in 1997: She got married, quit her job, started her own business and gave birth to her first child.

Baeth’s work experience in the North Hennepin Chamber of Commerce inspired her to start a business that would produce grand openings for other businesses. “While I was working there everyone would call up and ask for ‘grand openings,’ ” Baeth said. “We didn’t even have the giant scissors. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find them. So, my dad made me a pair made out of wood with razor blades.”

Suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities were growing rapidly during that time and an increasing number of businesses were asking for openings, Baeth said. But businesses wanted more than just the scissors. “They wanted me to pick up the cake and everything. Through that I learned that openings was a great niche market.”

Golden Openings made approximately $250 for its first project, Baeth said. Since then the company began openings-products sales, including customized giant scissors, and worked on projects for up to $150,000.

Baeth’s commitment made an impression on clients and helped her company grow.

“This lady isn’t afraid to work,” said Luke Kujawa of Crystal-based Crystal-Pierz Marine. “No task is insurmountable. She lifts tables, climbs ladders, hangs things from ceilings, sets up large pieces of equipment, designs and crafts oversized theme sets in-house, sorts her own bulk mailings, takes out the trash and handles every detail from start to finish.”

Baeth’s scissors have become famous. Businesses and institutions from McDonald’s to the White House have a pair, according to Baeth.

The company’s national customer base is a sign that Golden Openings can be successful as a franchise, according to Baeth.

The company opened a Sarasota, Fla., office this year and plans to expand in the coming years.

“My goal is to have one in each of the 50 states by the time I am 50,” Baeth said. “If you’re gonna dream, dream big!”

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