Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, Stephen Joseph, Inc. is a wholesale company that has designed, produced and sold a wide variety of products for over 40 years. Their current brands, Stephen Joseph, Karma and Julie + Joe, are sold throughout the US, Canada and in more than 100 countries worldwide… and still counting!
The company was established in 1981 by Alexandra “Alix” Buckley. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she taught third grade at a local elementary school. As Christmas rolled around that year and the need to make a little extra money was on her mind, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to begin making fabric frames to sell to her friends and colleagues.
After the success of selling the frames through the holiday season, Alix decided to continue selling her customized frames for all occasions. As their popularity grew, she began to sell them at local stores under the first company name “Alexandra and Company”. By the end of the school year, Alix had resigned from her teaching job and decided to attend her first trade show at the Dallas Market Center where she and three other local businesses shared a 10’ x 10’ temporary booth. Her success at the market made it clear that she needed help in filling all the orders for the handmade frames. She hired her first employee, Lexi Jones, to keep up with demand. Little did she know that hiring Lexi would play a key role in the growth and expansion of the business and that Lexi would still be with the company over 40 years later!
The Evolution of Stephen Joseph
When Alix made the decision to give up teaching and go into business, her husband Stephen (Steve) Buckley was finishing up his degree in Petroleum Engineering at Texas Tech. He pitched in where needed and even transformed the tool shed attached to their garage into the company’s first workshop and “showroom.” He graduated right as the oil industry hit a slump and the job he had lined up after graduation evaporated. Undaunted, they both found part-time work to pay the bills and turned penny-pinching into a competition. Steve helped the fledgling business grow as he kept searching to find his dream job in the oil industry. Luckily for Alix, Steve’s love of precision, accurate record keeping and his ability to turn every challenge into an opportunity, quickly made it clear that growing the business together was something they found great joy and satisfaction in … so they dove into a lifetime of adventure, challenges and loads for fun! The birth of their two children inspired the couple to include a children’s collection that quickly grew to the well-known lifestyle brand for kids sold in the US, Canada, and in over 100 countries around the world, Stephen Joseph. This initial expansion created the path to expand into the multi-brand company they are today.
Stephen Joseph—A Lifestyle Collection for Children
Stephen Joseph is a brand recognized worldwide for producing high-quality children’s products in on-trend patterns. They are best known for their back-to-school gear, raincoats, boots and umbrellas, plus a “Summer Fun” collection of beach and poolside gear. They are now also a beloved brand in the world of baby products and creative games and toys for kids of all ages.
Karma—Gift Collections for Home, Holiday, Friends and Family
With an in-house design team dedicated to creating each collection, Karma continues to expand its whimsical assortment of gifts and collections for home and holiday. It is a line that has continued to surprise and excite even the team that originally conceptualized what it could become.
Julie + Joe—Souvenir T-Shirts and Custom Gift Collections
Inspired to grow with the success of Stephen Joseph in the children’s space, KidTees, now Julie + Joe, has become a staple in the souvenir industry and manufactures custom apparel and souvenirs for all ages. They produce a wide variety of customized items in their Lubbock, Texas production facility where they screen print, sublimate and embroider goods they ship to destinations in the US, Canada and several international destinations. Families enjoy the memories these souvenirs evoke from their adventures far and wide! They are able to produce 3,000-5,000 shirts per day.
Founders Alix and Steve Buckley are both proud Texas Tech alumni who planted their roots in Lubbock and began both their family and their business here together. Lubbock afforded the Buckleys space to dream big for their global business amid a supportive and centrally located community.
As the business has continued to grow and expand, its location has continued to be a compelling asset and allowed it to reach customers around the world.
With an average employee tenure of 13 years, Stephen Joseph has created an environment that is nurturing to its employees by providing space to grow.
Stephen Joseph offers a unique opportunity for talented and hardworking people to explore their passion no matter if that is within their company or elsewhere. If someone expresses an interest in something, they push for them to explore it and because of this, they have uniquely grown their company’s skill sets.
When an employee becomes a part of the Stephen Joseph team, they step into a family that cares for their wellbeing. Stephen Joseph takes great pride in having not laid off a single employee during COVID-19 and for having been able to continually adapt to the changing demands of their industry.
Through the course of the last few years, the company has found a united point of focus in staying a high-performing team and seeing the challenges the industry has faced as opportunities to learn and grow. Stephen Joseph always says that they are a group of people with high expectations; they’re proud of the products they create, the customers they serve, and the company that they have built together!
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