By Amy Daybert Special to The Herald
MARYSVILLE — Donald and Melissa McGhee have built their business around the magic word.
The husband-and-wife team in June launched a clothing line as a platform for people to use the word “Please.” The Please Line, a part of their company, Curacy Apparel, offers a selection of shirts and encourages people to share photos through social media while wearing items from the clothing line.
“Please just has so many different forms of a meaning,” said Melissa McGhee, 36. “It is so independent to each person. That’s the thing I love the most about it. It’s so personal for every single person.”
The idea for The Please Line started more than a year ago when the couple decided to begin their own clothing business. They were brainstorming and thinking of one word to build it around when Donald McGhee, 46, threw out the word please. It stuck.
The couple spent months planning to launch The Please Line. They visited a patent attorney, hired a business strategist and searched for a comfortable type of shirt before the June 25 launch. The Please Line has taken off quickly since then, said Melissa McGhee.
Within the first two weeks, fashion blogger Nayla Carvalho E Silva reached out from Italy. The blogger for www.VoguePillsFashion.com wore a fitted ladies T-shirt from The Please Line during Milan Fashion Week in September. She wore the shirt when she was photographed with Santo Versace, co-chief executive officer of Gianni Versace, an Italian fashion company.
“I just thought she would put it on as part of Fashion Week for her blog and the next thing I know we’ve been tagged in a photo and it’s with Versace and I just died,” Melissa McGhee said. “It was amazing, and we’ve had people contacting us nonstop.”
The Please Line was also featured on a blog by former Marysville resident Kendra Kay Pahukoa, who now lives in California. She posted photos of herself wearing a black Please shirt with pink pants and holding a sign with “Find a cure for breast cancer.” Speaker and author Joshua Coburn of Iowa also connected with The Please Line. He plans to join forces with the McGhees for a Manners and Motivation Tour 2014 for schools. He also plans to use The Please Line shirts to market his brand and to inspire people.
“It’s definitely a collaboration; a good solid partnership for sure,” Coburn said. “I utilize the word ‘please’ and reference it in ways like, ‘Please be yourself’ and ‘Please get inspired.’ Really, we could all use a little more kindness in this world.”
The rest of the year for The Please Line consists of work to prepare for the Manners and Motivation Tour, getting ready to sell clothing items for babies and toddlers, and competing in the Intuit Small Business Big Game contest. The contest allows small businesses to compete for a commercial that will air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. The Please Line didn’t make the final cut of four finalists. The business that earns the most votes in a final round wins the commercial spot.
Melissa McGhee said she didn’t think about what it would be like to win it all but said the competition itself was a boon. The competition’s requirements included making a 90-second video, which propelled her new company forward, she saod.
“We would not have pushed the company this hard without this,” she said. “Even if this doesn’t happen for us we want to take the company to that level anyway so this is just pushing us in that direction.”
The Please Line also plans to offer customers the chance to print a word on the back of the shirts. Some ideas are love, live, forgive and cure.
“We just think ‘please’ is a great word to express yourself because it’s polite and it’s accepted by everybody,” Donald McGhee said. “It’s just a word that’s not used as much as it should.”
For more information about The Please Line and the Manners and Motivation Tour go to www.thepleaseline.com.