Robert and Susan Wang are living proof of the true spirit of entrepreneurship, starting small and working to realize their dream of business success. Founded in 1976 in the back of a van, Wang’s International, was dedicated to selling crafts merchandise to wholesalers and retail stores, and grew to become a powerhouse with annual revenues globally of more than $250 million. In 2001, Wang’s International experienced a crippling business downturn. Robert Wang then founded Creative Co-Op from ground zero to focus on life style accessories, designing and distributing to a broad spectrum of retailers in the U.S. In 2008, as Creative Co-Op continued to grow by leaps and bounds, a Tornado hit Memphis and made touchdown in the center of the 380,000 sq ft distribution warehouse destroying 87% of the inventory. Wang led the team on the road to recovery in just three months by encouraging his employees that “We must choose to look at catastrophes as challenges, and we will convert sorrow to strength” . Today, Creative Co-Op has grown to a world-wide Home accessories supply house in Europe, Asia, and North America. The ‘Creative’ part of their name revolves around imagination, design, and collaboration with artists. ‘Co-Op’ speaks to the union of their customers, their suppliers, and their people. The combination results in their unique ability to bring extraordinary products to their valued customers.
Creative Co-Op is fiercely committed to customer success, no matter the sales channel. They understand that the retail environment is constantly evolving, and embrace this change as an opportunity to further elevate themselves and the value they can bring to the customers.
The entrepreneurial spirit that the Wangs embody is something that they are constantly working to recognize and ignite in others. In 1989, they established the Robert Wang Center for International Business at the University of Memphis. The center serves as a catalyst and a forum for ongoing analysis, training and discourse on the global economy and the challenges of global competition for American business and higher education.
In addition to a 1995 induction into The Society of Entrepreneurs, the Wangs have enjoyed many accolades throughout their career. Mr. Wang received the Memphis Business Journal’s first ever Executive of the Year Award. In 1992, he was awarded the Master of Free Enterprise Award by Junior Achievement of Greater Memphis. Since 2001, Creative Co-Op has received many industry awards and recognitions for its achievements.
Design, source, marketing, and worldwide distribution of lifestyle related consumer products
“‘The enjoyment of success lies in its journey, not at its destination.”
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