Iowa company honored by SBA for helping other businesses shine

Owner Kimberly Baeth

Whenever you see an inauguration or grand opening on TV, have you ever wondered where those golden shovels or giant ribbon-cutting scissors came from?

They were likely purchased through a Central Iowa company whose founder was named Iowa Small Business Person of the Year by the US Small Business Administration. Kimberly Baeth is President and Owner of golden openings of Urbandale.

We are a preferred supplier for the White House. We do stuff for Oprah, Disney, Fortune 500 companies, colleges, universities — those are some of our major repeat customers,” Baeth says. “We grew by 32% every year for 24 years. Last year we did 84%, phenomenal growth.

The company was founded in 1991 as a one-stop-shop for ceremonial products for grand openings, ribbon cuttings and breakthrough events. Over 25 years, Golden Openings has helped tens of thousands of businesses open their doors and make an impact in their communities.

Before venturing out on her own, Baeth was working for a chamber of commerce when a new business asked for help with a groundbreaking ceremony, but there were no giant scissors to be found.

“I asked my dad to make a pair of wood chisels out of razor blades that met, and then our bedroom phones started ringing. We couldn’t keep them in stock,” explains Baeth. “We had Target wanting a pair of reds and whites. We had General Mills wanting a pair with all their logos and cereals on them. Other rooms were calling to borrow them and they were dangerous. You could get cut, it was just crazy, but the demand was so high that I knew it could be a business.

While the Iowa-based company offers some 20,000 ceremonial-related products, such as balloons, banners, red carpets, shovels and helmets, these specialty scissors remain one of the best sellers.

“Now there are probably over 100 different types of chisels between gold and chrome,” Baeth explains. “The smallest are six inches. We have non-cutting plastic scissors for prisons and preschoolers, all the way up to the world’s largest scissors and they’re called the world’s largest 40 inch scissors. Different color handles, you can customize them.

Golden Openings has 14 employees and has done business on all but one continent of the world, and Baeth says she is working to change that by providing the tape and scissors for a marathon running race in Antarctica. Baeth will represent Iowa at National Small Business Week activities next week.