Clinton TownshipDecember 11, 2013
Local resident opens toy company at Partridge Creek
By Nick Mordowanec
C & G Staff Writer
The showroom of The Friendship Factory at The Mall at Partridge Creek features different items for children to buy and create as their own. The store had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 6.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A successful business spawned from something as ordinary as spending time with granddaughters.
David Crorey was enjoying some down time with his daughter’s kids one day, attempting to make friendship bracelets. There was one problem: it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be.
He had to go down to the basement and get different types of adhesive just to hold the bracelets together, a task that he thought was much too complicated for children.
“It was such a mess,” Crorey said.
But out of the convoluted process came an idea that has spawned into a successful business, gaining national recognition and solidifying a niche market for young girls. A new store recently opened at The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township.
Crorey knew he had a hit when he and his daughter launched the My Friendship Bracelet Maker at the New York City Toy Fair in 2010.
“People were surrounded around our booth, and my daughter said it was the ‘yahoo’ moment,” he said. “We had already decided we would continue on with it, and from that particular moment, we knew we had a winner.”
With more than a million products sold since that day in New York, along with publicity on such platforms as Michael’s, Costco and The Today Show, the family business escalated from a simple idea into a massive triumph.
The new store at Partridge Creek — called The Friendship Factory — offers more than just a place to make bracelets; it’s also a gathering place for tween girls.
“Our vision all along was to create a store where we would have our craft toys but also have a studio where girls could have a room when they were shopping,” said Julie Crorey, David’s daughter and the business’s spokeswoman. “It’s completely unique and creative. … Three different sections: retail store, crafting studio with a craft bar and a section for birthday parties. So, it will be a fun party but will also deliver a nice message to tween girls, which we feel is so important right now.”
Julie Crorey added that Partridge Creek had always been their “dream location” and when a store opened up that was perfect for their brand, they jumped on it.
As for her father, David, a 68-year Macomb County resident who spent 35 years in the auto industry before retiring, the attainment has been fulfilling because it teaches not only his granddaughters but also other girls to stay determined.
“My advice would be if you have an idea, you just have to not give up and keep working on it,” he said. “My philosophy in life is finding a solution to a problem.
“All of our products are a helping hand for kids, to get them back into crafting. It builds character within them so it keeps giving.”
The Friendship Factory had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 6.