#16 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview (& GIVEAWAY) with Michele Sipolt Kapustka co-owner of SendABall.com

I contacted Michele shortly after she appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank with her sister Melisa. These are two “ballsy” (pun #1) ladies who definitely impressed the investors with their growing SendABall.com business. Michele also graced the TV screen with Donny Deutch on The TODAY Show as well as Donny’s CNBC’s Show “The Big Idea” …she’s all over the place, those are just to name a few!

Needless to say, I was blown away when she agreed to participated in 6 Feet Over’s Motivation Monday. To top that off, I bounced around (loving the puns, aren’t you?) the idea about doing a giveaway and she was more than willing to contribute.

Michele’s drive is energizing. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She has inspired me even more to strive for the finish line in my project. I hope she ignites a fire in you to reach your dreams…

—————————————–

Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”

—————————————–

Melody: Tell us a little about yourself…

Michele: My name is Michele Sipolt Kapustka. Live in the same Chicago Jefferson Park neighborhood I grew up in. Middle of 5 children. My sister lives across the street and my younger brother lives next door. Not so strange in our neighborhood. I married my high school boyfriend and we have 4 boys ages 18, 17, 13, 11. Andy, Adam, Alex & Alan. My goal in life is to raise KIND Men who contribute to the world in a positive way.

Melody: I love your life goal….I think your sons should meet my daughter one day. Although, they may be a little too old for her, right now. 😉

So, what is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Michele: Just recently checked off – on my bucket list, was this:

To sit in the showcase studio of WGN Radio, with headphones on and talk on the radio.

I’ve listened to WGN my entire life. Radio was always on in the kitchen growing up. Radio in my car tuned to WGN my entire life.

Monday, Feb 8 – I had the chance. After being on TV on Friday Feb 5th, Prime Time ABC on Shark Tank, the producer at WGN asked if I’d like to do a phone or studio interview, maybe 5 minutes (10 max) on Monday. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT IS ON MY BUCKET LIST!!!! She was really young, and didn’t get the significance of me being so excited to visit the WGN Radio studio.

Melody: Love it! I can picture you with the headphones on trying to contain your excitement! Tell me, when did this become a goal of yours?

Michele: Always imagined what it was like for the radio talent to be sitting there and talking on the radio. I’ve walked by a million times and waved. Kind of cool because it is right on Michigan Ave in Downtown Chicago.

My BFF and I had a goal, to be published somehow, within 5 years. Even if it was just to be quoted for something. I tried writing “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” which I figured was the easiest way. Didn’t work. Then I started submitting ideas to magazines for crafts or tips or stuff like that. My friend got it first, as she is a talented writer, got a gig writing a book for AMERICAN GIRL. Three months later the Chicago Tribune did a story on my little Send A Ball business. That was COOL.

Then it hit me – I want to sit in that studio on Michigan Ave. I thought I would have to win it from a Silent Auction or something … like ‘be on the radio with the morning guy’.

Then it happened.

Melody: Oh and boy did it happen! Why was being on WGN Radio so important to you?

Michele: Why was it important? Not sure – I feel so connected to the people I hear on the radio, I trust them so much, and I wanted people to hear my passion, for whatever the topic was going to be – imagine my surprise when the topic was ME and my ball business.

Here’s footage that takes you inside her www.sendaball.com business:

Melody: I can imagine you were ‘bouncing’ off the wall with excitement! (heh heh Yeah, pun intended…I know, I know.) At any point, did you think you wouldn’t be able to reach your goal and did you ever want to give up?

Michele: I didn’t give up, but I just thought it may take years – I even called into the radio station all the time to try and get on the air. It wasn’t the same as sitting in the chairs in the big window.

Melody: Knowing that something could taka a long time could cause one to lose momentum, what kept you going?

Michele: I had nothing to lose on this bucket list item.

Melody: What advice would you have for people striving to reach their dreams?

Michele: Best advice I can offer is this:

Don’t let people discourage you. Take baby steps. One at a time. It may take longer, but for me, it felt better to be sure footed.

Melody: Great advice! I’m dying to know what else is on your bucket list…

Michele: I want to be able to give back something really big – not sure exactly what, but something big. Maybe be a motivational speaker, and be able to light a spark in just one person. I make a joke that I want my boys to accomplish something great – and when they give the speech, THANK ME … ha ha – just kidding.

Melody: I’ll admit, I secretly (well, not so secretly now) would love my daughter to say the same thing like that in a speech one day. Oh and by the way, you’re lighting sparks in many lives now…including my own! Thank you for that!

Inspire us some more…what’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Michele: “We don’t talk like that around here! “

Oh that’s not my favorite, that is what I have to say to my boys all the time!

“Life is not about being SUCCESSFUL, it is about being SIGNIFICANT”

“The PRESENT is a GIFT.”

Melody: I agree 100% that today is a gift. Sometimes we forget to unwrap it. Michele, thank you so much for taking time out of your extremely busy day to motivate us! Your success story gives me a clear picture of what patience, focus, perseverance and determination produces. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to grow your business!

Here’s a video clip from WGN News in Chicago:

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

—————————————–

**GIVEAWAY** 5 winners will have a ball! Enter to win a ball of your choice to be sent to anyone in the USA!

DEADLINE:
Entries will be accepted until Monday, February 22, 2010 at 11:59pm PST.

TO ENTER:
Leave a comment on this post (after reading the fabulous interview, of course) with the following information:*You must follow these simple rules or else your entry will not count.*

  • Bounce on over to SendABall.com then tell me something (by leaving a comment on this blog post) you’ve learned about the company or the owners AND which ball you will send if you win.
  • You must enter a valid email address on the comment form. You DO NOT need to put your email IN the comment itself. Your email will not be made public. If you have a blog, a link to your blog will do instead of an email address.

**EARN EXTRA ENTRIES** I love extra credit! 😉

  • Earn 5 extra entries: Post this contest in your blog/website with a direct link to today’s post. Include a link to your post on your comment for verification.
  • OR if you don’t have a blog and would like to earn 5 extra entries….Email 5 or more of your friends about this contest and forward the email to me. Please include your name on the email so I know who it is from. Click HERE to email me.

FIVE winners will be randomly selected and contacted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Good luck!

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56 Comments »

  1. Wehaf said

    The balls are shipped fully inflated, with no packaging, via USPS!

    I would choose the bounce back soon ball. 🙂

  2. Courtney said

    Michele has 4 kids, Melissa has 3, and they call their brother Marc “Sparky”. 🙂

  3. Courtney said

    Oops. Hit publish too soon. I would send the “have a ball with your new baby” ball. 😉

  4. KellieS said

    I think the balls are adorable and so fun for every age. I learned that they have been sending them since the 90s. And, BTW, they have a typo on their site that they might want to fix. It’s the word ment; it should be meant. Sorry, but I see that stuff being a writer. I’d love to win the giveaway!

  5. Lara said

    Amazing interview, Melody and Michele! How inspiring!!! This is making me think…I have so many ideas and I want a success story like this one day! Thank you!

    Love their site. I learned that I can send a ball out of the country, too! I’m just giggling thinking about all the postal workers playing with these balls!

    If I won, I’d send a “Bounce Back Soon” ball to my friend who has been ill. This would just make her day!!

  6. Lara said

    Just copied you on an email for the ‘extra credit’ entries. 🙂 This is a fun giveaway!

  7. I watched that show and loved those ladies!!
    Congrats on their success 🙂
    Sue

  8. Mari said

    That is so cool! She had a great idea, and I’ve never seen anything else like it. Great interview!

  9. Marci said

    I learned that their business is located in Chicago. I would choose the red “Have a Ball” ball. Such a cool gift!

  10. Tricia said

    Wow! Amazing! I love how they are so down to earth, like they could be my neighbors over for a BBQ! What I got out of it… No matter the hurdles or circumstances, work hard and keep pressing on no matter what. Great interview! I want to send myself a green (St. Pats) birthday ball for my birthday! And I may just do it! Hehe!

  11. Beth said

    I learned that the sisters spent many hours trying to come up with a way to run a business so at least ONE of them could stay home with their children. I love the “have a ball on your birthday” one. SO COOL!

  12. Carol said

    This interview is great! I saw Michelle and her sister on Shark Tank and went to their website right after. I’ve been wanting to order a ball ever since!

    I love that the balls are not wrapped. They are sent straight in the mail with stamps and the address right on them. I want to win! I’d get the Had A Ball one and send it to my best friend. We just got back from a long weekend at her house out of state.

    Love this!

  13. […] the original post here: #16 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview (& GIVEAWAY) with Michele … Share and […]

  14. Kim said

    Great interview. I think I will order one for the man’s big 40th birthday at the end of the month. Maybe it will make him feel younger 🙂

    Inspiring that she went from doing direct mail to this business, that’s what one part of my job is!

    Keep doing your thing Mel!

  15. I love me some fellow Northside girls! Cool idea, and congrats on the success!

  16. Kristine said

    If the ball arrives deflated, the post office has instructions to return it and a new one is shipped out pronto! V. cool! I like the Birthday Ball.

  17. Jen W said

    I’m so motivated now! What a remarkable interview, Melody and Michele!

    I love Michele’s business! I learned that they can send to military addresses! That’s WONDERFUL! If I win, I’ll send one to a friend who has a son in the Air Force and overseas.

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  18. Andrea said

    Oh wow, what a cool idea! I love that they are sent fully inflated. That would really tick off my mailman. He’s about as exciting as a box of hair. I should send one to myself just to see his reaction!

    I love her quote about being significant. That just says it all really.

    Great interview Melody!

  19. Katrina said

    I learned that: Can I send a ball out of the country?
    Yes, $3 extra and it takes about 2 or 3 weeks.

    I would send the number one selling ball, the have a ball….. one

  20. CJ said

    Very inspirational interview! I think this ball biz is great! I love that they are on twitter and facebook. I also like that these can be used as invitations. I’d get the Have A Ball ‘with your new baby’ ball for my wife’s sister and her husband. They just had a baby two weeks ago. They would get a kick out of this!

    Bookmarking your blog as well as sendaball.com

  21. Karen A said

    The company is owned by a couple of BALLSEY sister who live across from one another. I’d choose the ball that can be personalized with your own message.

  22. Jan said

    I saw this on Shark Tank! I didn’t know you could ship fully inflated balls! I would choose the “bounce back soon” ball.

  23. Trudy said

    They are sisters who live across the street from each other!

    I would choose a pink ball to send! Such a fun idea!

  24. Emily said

    I love how it’s truly a family business, with a brother next door and two sisters “on call” to help out. The idea for the business started when they saw some balls at Osco, and Michele sent one to her BFF Sharon.

    I’d love to customize a ball!

  25. Crystal said

    Oh my, I loved reading about her. What an inspiration to use your creativity and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
    I would love to send of these sometime, or even win this giveaway. I watched both videos, and also visited the website. Liked how she talked about how one of Oprah’s show inspired her. I too get all motivated to make my dreams happen after watching Oprah.
    I would like to win the BOUNCE BACK SOON one 🙂

  26. Jennifer Reynolds said

    “Have BALL with your new baby” was the first ball ever sent by Melissa to her BFF Sharon when she happened upon a bin of balls at Osco.

    If I win I will get the Have a Ball – in your new home and put it in my house in Vegas which is one of my bucket list items.

  27. Mackenzie said

    I read the interview twice! It’s so great!! I asbolutely love her business. How original and fun! I love Shark Tank, but missed her show. I’m going to watch it from the link you posted later on today. I bet they were great on the show.

    I love that she lives so close to her sister. Also, how the business is a family affair. Everyone pitches in…even the brothers who don’t live on the same block! I am crossing my fingers for this one. I would love to win the Have A Ball one and add ‘at your new job’ for my friend who just got a new job.

  28. Kelly J said

    Wonderful interview! I know it’s been mentioned many times, but it’s VERY inspiring!

    While reading this, I kept thinking that the postman must really dislike this, but after reading your article (linked) in the Chicago Tribune, it makes sense that the post office LOVES this business…”I told [the postmaster] he’d be cursing me in a few weeks,” she said, “and he said he wouldn’t. Revenue is revenue.”

    If I won, I’d get the Have A Ball with your new baby and send it to my cousin.

  29. Ken said

    Great interview!

    I learned that the post office loves Send A Ball. The sisters even appeared on the front cover of the post their Great Lakes Quarterly Newsletter and 15% of their customers are POSTAL WORKERS!

    I’d get the Bounce Back if I won.

    Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway!

  30. Baby Steps – such good advice!

  31. Alison said

    No packaging. I would want the birthday ball.

  32. Susan P said

    Michele and her sister are so inspirational. I love hearing stories about everyday people making it big, which is why I love your blog, Melody. Sounds like you’ve got something huge in the works and I can’t wait to hear more. I read your blog regularly, but I don’t usually comment. I just had to enter this contest tho.

    I love that the balls are sent unwrapped and that they send them to the military at no extra charge for shipping. if I won I’d get the bounce back ball for my mom.

  33. […] Certificate to Freshpair (Feb 19/US) Fiddledeedee Reviews – $200 Visa Gift Card (Feb 22/US) 6 Feet Over – “BALL”-gram from sendaball.com (Feb 22) The Mom Reviews – Domino’s […]

  34. This was such a great interview! So inspiring to us moms out there who have dreams of our own! Loved this post!

  35. Lyn said

    The company was started so at least one of them could stay home with the kids. My son actually received one of these as a gift for his 1st birthday. It is still a favorite a year later.

  36. Kelli said

    The Balls are about the size of a head….. and the post office loves them! They were featured on the cover of the Great Lakes Quarterly newsletter.

    If I win – I would send Have a Ball with your New Baby…..

  37. Natalie E said

    Bounce back soon…hahaha. Two of my grandparents are recovering after recent hospital stays right now, so it’d go to one of them.

    • Natalie E said

      Oops – I forgot to say what I learned – I think it’s pretty crazy the motivation to start as a business began with a story from the post office line. I’ve thought about sending random things in the mail before, but never actually did it.

  38. Roz said

    This is the cutest idea. I had to see what send a ball was all about and what people send them for. I love the family start up and how just some random stranger paid her at the post office. It goes to show a business can grow over night from anything – just an idea! 🙂

    I totally like the have a ball and think I may have to send a few! I had toput this on my facebook – sorry I don’t have a blog. 🙂

    These are fabulous Mel, keep it up!

  39. Rajee said

    The balls are shipped fully inflated, with no packaging, via USPS!

  40. Kristin said

    This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen for a company in a while. It could be because I am ball obsessed. The hubs even included several balls in my wedding gift. From little bouncy ones to a big Disney Princess one. No joke. That’s how I roll! I would send the HAD A BALL one to my bestie Meg, since we had such an amazing time together at NYFW!

  41. Tricia said

    I love the part how it really got the ball rolling… When a guy in line behind her at the post office asked her to send one for him for $5! How fun! I would send a green birthday ball to myself!! Hehe! I’d love to open my mailbox and see a ball!!!

  42. Katie said

    What a fun idea! I learned that Michele originally started sending the balls to her close friends, and it wasn’t until a guy at the post office wanted to do the same thing that she called Melissa and they discovered they had a great business venture. If I were lucky enough to win, I would write: Have a a Ball “during finals” on a pink ball for my sister in college, who will soon be approaching finals.

  43. DEBIJOT said

    The balls are sent fully inflated, first class by the post office.

  44. lorene said

    I learned that if it is deflated, the post office will let them know and they will send out a new one. I would get the birthday one for my daughter who is turning 10 because we saw them on Shark Tank and really liked the idea
    harborlad@optonline.net

  45. The balls do NOT fit in a mailbox, so are delivered as a package and 15% their
    clients are Post Office workers!

    I would choose the Have a Ball on your Birthday ball

  46. Melissa said

    The sisters spent many hours trying to come up with a way to run a business so at least one of them could stay home.
    I like the Birthday Ball.

  47. I learned that the sisters spent countless hours trying to figure out a way to run a business so that atleast one of them could stay home for the kids.

    I would get the birthday ball for my son!!!

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com

  48. Annonandon said

    I saw them on Shark Tank…. I love that show and I thought the editing for the show made me want to watch this episode. I like the idea that they didn’t let “no” get in their way. That is truly the mark of a leader.
    If I won, I’d choose the get well ball. I am part of a group who sends cards and such to cancer patients….This would be so fun to send to one of them. Putting a smile on their face is sometimes difficult to do and I have a feeling this could do it.
    Thanks!

  49. Lisa R said

    The balls are shipped fully inflated, with no packaging, via USPS

    I would send a Happy B’day Ball, my nieces bday is today…she is 2

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  50. cindy said

    i learned they have been growing since 2003

    i would choose pink have a ball.

  51. Elizabeth said

    I love that it truly is a family business.
    I would send the Have a Ball On Your Birthday, my sons bday is coming up!

  52. colleen t. said

    I learned on the web site that about 15% of their customers are postal workers.
    If I won I would like the birthday ball in red.
    cthompson1477@gmail.com

  53. Tina reynolds said

    i love that you can send them to military addresses and balls are shipped inflated, i would get the love for my hubby!

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