Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
I have been interested in art since a child and studied it further within my education. Art has always been a passion of mine, whether it be sketching, painting, or using different mediums. After the birth of my first child in 2016, I was playing with ideas for her nursery. It was at that moment I designed and made my first ever floral letter. After posting a picture on my personal Instagram, many of my followers were wanting to know where they could buy one. After that, I set up a profile page, came up with a shop name, and opened my Etsy store. I have not looked back since and now many different items all across the globe.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
I make a variety of items, mostly floral based. Floral letters and names/words using soils wood-based and handmade paper roses in a variety of shades and sizes. Personalized dream catchers in a variety of styles using many textures and media. I also create resin art pieces using real, pressed flowers. Phone grips, coasters, and phone cases are a few of my most popular items.
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
As a stay-at-home mother who also works from home, I have always struggled with keeping the balance. Since my youngest child is still so young and not in school it’s important that I spend the day caring and playing with him and work on a night. However, the busier I get the more challenging this is becoming since it means I work into the early hours of the following morning. This is still something I am overcoming 5 years later. Another aspect is the side customers don’t see, all the admin and bookkeeping that also must be done in between making the orders. Being organized is definitely the way I overcome this and ensuring it is done only on specific days.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I enjoy the freedom it gives me as a mother, I never have to worry about my children becoming sick or the many school holidays. I very much work around my family. The hardest part was definitely before I established my brand and was working a conventional job on top of doing my business on an evening, it often left me exhausted and not much free time. However, it was all worth it in the end.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
Gosh, I’ve made many! Not knowing my own worth was definitely one of them resulting in me not actually pricing my pieces correctly. Dealing with difficult customers and giving refunds without receiving items back or any evidence was also some big mistakes I made in the beginning. I would definitely advise really calculating all your costs but most importantly, your time! Don’t be shy to bump those prices up, you have a talent and deserve to be paid for it.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
I get inspiration from so many places. I often buy new products just to see what I end up making. Last summer I was decorating my daughter’s bedroom and made her a stackable rainbow and since posting that, it’s become a best seller! So I guess my children and their own likes and interests inspire me.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
Determination, passion, and a good work ethic. All the business skills I now have is what I have learned along the way, I never took any classes or further education in business, and was a path I ever intended so I just think if you’ve got a good product, a strong idea, and a support network around you- you can do it!
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
Etsy markets my products on my behalf using Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media’s which is part of my package with them. Personally, I have organically grown my Instagram following and through there I share my work and promote my website.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Determination, a good work ethic, and having a clear goal.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
All of the above, money is obviously key as it gives you the freedom to turn a hobby into a thriving business and job where you become your own boss. But there’s also success in much smaller things, such as getting a positive review or hitting your next milestone.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
So as I’ve said above I work in the evening. I usually start at around 4:30 pm and will stop around 12 am. I do two post runs a week, Monday and Friday which gives me time to make as many orders as I can in between and pack them the night before. I reply to emails throughout the day so I can solely focus on making items during my official working hours.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I plan on moving into a studio space soon as my son starts school which will allow me more time to work during the day and also separate my work from my home. I hope to possibly hire someone when I have a more suitable location.