Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
My name is Prem-usa Dilenge. Or Pom as a short version. I’m originally from Thailand. I’m married to a German/Italian man back in 2011. I started the business with Etsy in 2014 right after I left my other job with the real estate agent in Thailand (I did online work for them). I also had a 1-year-old daughter who I couldn’t leave her alone. I was then 100% a Housewife and a mother and was looking for something to suit my schedule and couldn’t find anything. I was starting to search for online jobs and still hopeless as they didn’t fit my timetable. My husband has a full-time job and I had to stay home for the family. Back when I was pregnant, I did make many toys, clothes, hats, beanie and etc waiting for my daughter to be born. That was where I thought I could sell these items too. I have found the Etsy website and saw many beautiful handmade items and thought I could create something like these. Then I have changed all the items from kids’ stuff to crochet crop tops in February 2014 and sold 3 of them right away. After the 1st sale, I had so much motivation to keep my work going. I had so many ideas and wanted to create as many designs as possible.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
I sell mostly crochet items for summer and beachwear. I also have a few accessories which are beanie, gloves, headbands, and Crunchies. I actually work alone. All of the products are made by me. In summer there are lots of traffic and in the wintertime is quiet. That is when I have time to stock up all the new works and creating new designs.
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
I have faced a few issues with the customers I must admit. As most of my items are customizable to fit all body types. Even if I have the size chart for them to be compared with but this does not seem to be cleared until now;) Another challenging aspect is shipping. We can’t say the exact date of the delivery time which is something I’m trying to improve. But as it’s out of our control we just have to be patient and I have to keep the customers updated on their parcels. Sometimes this depends on the local post too.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I love being my own boss and self-control. I don’t think I can go back to work from 9-5 anymore 🙂 The hardest thing to be your own boss is there is no specific time for rest. Sometimes I’m up for 17-20 hours a day depending on how busy I am. During summertime, I can hardly sleep because of the orders. I love what I do though 🙂
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
I did make many mistakes from the beginning when I started the business and I’m still making mistakes now. During the past 6 years, I have learned so much from many different things around me. The customers did complain, giving advice, and supporting me in many ways. You just have to learn from the mistakes and trying to improve what went wrong. I’m gathering lots of information from many different sources as possible to improve my work. I always make sure that I do my best for every piece of work before sending them out. I have put my love in the designs I have done and I’m sure once the customers receive them they will be able to feel this love from the other end.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
I can get inspired by anything around me. I love social media as I can find much inspiration from there. There are many people who I admire and they have beautiful styles/body and it’s fun to imagine that these persons will be wearing my items. They will look so gorgeous on them.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
Back when I was young, my mother used to work in a knitwear factory in Thailand. I think I was only 3 or 4 years old. She used to bring yarn home., and my grandmother used to help her with rolling the yarn into a small ball. I did learn how to crochet since. I remember the 1st piece of my crochet work was a small heart pillowcase which I was so proud of it. She touches me on how to crochet and create much stuff. I did enjoy it so much. When I was 18 I had a chance to move to the UK to study. I did 2 years of the language course then went to the University to do my Fashion and art degree. I completed my bachelor of art which specializes in Knitwear (womenswear) in 2009 from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. This is how I had a few knowledge of the designs process too.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
I must admit that social media has the most power in terms of marketing these days. Not only Instagram, Pinterest but Etsy has also many customers based. I’m now new to YouTube and I’m willing to share how I create my stuff on my Pomcloset channel too;)
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
You just have to love what you do first. Put all your love into something which you will never get tired of it. Trying to improve your works all the time. Updating the news with the customers, good products, good customers service, and a lot of patients 🙂
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
All of the above and to be able to keep doing what you love without having to worry about anything 🙂
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
After sending the kids to school I do have time to get the work going. Also after the kids went to bed I’m still up to finish the works.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
As I have mentioned about youtube. I’m working on the channel at the moment. I would love to share how I create my stuff and keep the finished products on Etsy still. I’m trying to gain people from around the world to be part of the creative team 🙂 I have put the links to Instagram and Etsy on my YouTube channel. You can check them out.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
As a small business, we need more support in terms of marketing, finance, and other helpful business information to keep our business running. I’m sure many people would love to share their creativity online but the knowledge of how to is still limited. If we can get help with these aspects there will be more and more business people around.